Sharing files and folders

These are the options you'll see when sharing files or folders in Microsoft 365, OneDrive, SharePoint Server 2019, and the OneDrive sync folder in File Explorer or macOS Finder. If an option is unavailable, check with an IT admin in your organization - they may need to configure external sharing.

Send Link

When you click Share, you can send a link to a person or group that they can use to access the file or folder. Just enter their name or email address, optionally type a message, and click Send.

To change the link settings, click the greater than (>) icon next to the current link type.

Notes: 

  • To remove someone or change who has access to the folder or file, select More (…) in the upper right, and then select Manage access. In the Manage Access panel, you can update or delete the links you have created.

  • If you copy a link to your clipboard and send it to someone, the shared item will not appear in search results for the recipient until they open the link.

The Send Link dialog box that appears when a file is shared from SharePoint

Copy link

Selecting Copy link creates a link that you can use to share a file or folder and copies it to your clipboard. You can change who the link gives access to by clicking the drop down list at the bottom of the dialog box and going to Link settings.

Link settings

In Link settings, you can choose who your sharing link gives access to and what they can do with it.

Link sharing settings in OneDrive

  • Anyone with the link    creates a link that any person can use to access the file or folder without signing in to Microsoft 365 or OneDrive. This link can also be forwarded around to anyone, so use it when you want to share with people and are comfortable with them passing the link around to other people, inside or outside your organization. 

    Notes: 

    • This option is not available in SharePoint Server 2019.

    • When you create "Anyone" links, people need the link to have access. It does not make the file publicly searchable to anyone on the web.

    • The option to create or open "Anyone" links to .aspx pages is not supported.

  • People in <organization> with the link    creates a link that only people in your organization who are signed in to Microsoft 365 or SharePoint Server 2019 can use to access the file or folder. This link can be forwarded only to people in your organization. This link will not work for guests in your organization or for people who are not signed in. Use this link when you want to share with someone in your organization and are comfortable with them passing the link around to other people inside your organization, but when you want to ensure that the link won't work for external users.

Note: When you create "People in <organization>" links, people in your organization need the link to have access. It does not make the file searchable to everyone in your organization.

  • People with existing access    provides a link that can be used by people who already have access to the file or folder. It does not change the permissions on the item. Use this if you just want to send a link to somebody who already has access. Examples of reasons for some people to already have access to an item could be (a) the file is saved in a shared folder (b) the file is saved in a shared library belonging to a Team or SharePoint site (c) people have used sharing links which already exist for the item

  • Specific people   creates a link that only the people that you specify can use to access the file or folder. If you select this option, enter the names or email addresses of the people to whom you want to give access to the file or folder. Use this to share with people inside or outside your organization but when you want to make sure it doesn't work if they forward it on to others.

After you select who you want to give access to, you can choose what they can do with the link:

  • Allow Editing    select or clear the check box depending on what type of access you want to allow. Sometimes your organization may require Anyone links to be view-only.

  • Open in review mode only will limit the recipient to making comments and suggesting changes to the document. This option is available for Word documents only. Note that if someone already has editing permissions for the item, selecting Open in review mode only will not prevent them from making edits. For them, document will open in edit mode.

  • Expiration date is available for "Anyone" links. You can set an expiration date after which the link will stop granting access. Sometimes your organization may require that "Anyone" links expire after a certain number of days. In these cases, you can set an expiration date that is shorter but cannot set one that is longer. 

  • Block download    is available for view-only links to Office documents. When you select this option, people who gain access to the file via the link you created will not see options to download, print, or copy the file. They'll also only be able to view the file in Office Online and will not be able to open the file in Office desktop or mobile clients.

Notes: 

  • In late May 2020 we will begin rolling out an update which enables users to create links which block download to additional file types like PDFs, images, audio and other non-text and non-video file formats that can be previewed on the web.

  • Administrators can control whether the "block download" setting appears only for Office files or not by changing the BlockDownloadLinksFileType setting in the Set-SPOTenant or Set-SPOSite PowerShell cmdlets.

When you finish specifying the link settings you want, select Apply.

Related Topics

Share OneDrive files and folders
Share SharePoint files or folders

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