OneDrive: Discover How To Share A File From Your Business Account?

Have you ever tried to share a file from your OneDrive account only to have the recipients fill your email with complaints that they can not get access to the file?

This step-by-step walkthrough will take you through the process and ensure that you and your recipients will no longer have the headache of rejected access, emails, and overall frustration. (Please note: This walkthrough is for Windows users and details steps and options available with a business/organizational OneDrive account.)

1. Navigate using your file browser to the location of the file that you want to share. Please Note the file must be located in your OneDrive.

2. Select the file by performing a single click on the file name. Once the file is highlighted, right-click.

3. You will now have access to the contextual menu for the file. As you have OneDrive installed, look down until you find either OneDrive or Share, depending on your file browser. Double-click Share.

menu (directory opus)

(Using Directory Opus file browser)

menu (windows file explorer)

(Using Window’s File Explorer)

4. This opens a new panel on your screen – the OneDrive Share “File Name”.  Take note of the OneDrive cloud located in the upper left corner.

share panel

Let’s take a deeper look at the options available inside this OneDrive Share panel.

At the top of the panel, you will find Send link. Directly below this, you will see the name of the file that you want to send. For this walk through, you will see that I’m sending a file called “Branding.docx.”

Next, you see a globe icon and the words “Anyone with the link can edit>.” The text here may differ depending on your organization’s primary security settings) This tells you the current permissions for the file. The text is actually a link to the Link Settings panel, which we will cover in detail later in this post.

Below the globe, you will find the To: area for entering the name, group, or organizational groups or departments created by your organization’s administration. To the right, you will see a pencil with a drop-down. Here, you can determine if the recipient Can Edit (make changes to the file), Can View (can NOT make changes to the file), or access Link Settings (as mentioned before, we will cover that panel a little later).

Under the “To:” field, you will find an area to enter a custom message to your recipients.

Below that, you will find three dots (. . .). By clicking on these dots, you will open a Share Link panel allowing you to share this link with nearby devices, email contacts, and share with other applications.

share link panel

Once you have selected who to send the link to, the message (if any), and any additional apps you may want to utilize, click the SEND button. It is located to the right of the three dots.

The next section of this panel is Copy link. Again you will find the globe icon and the words “Anyone with the link can edit>.” This is a link to the Link Settings panel. To the right, you will find the Copy button.

If you are looking at a file that has been previously shared, at the very bottom of the panel, you will find Shared with: and icons representing the links, individuals, and groups the file in your OneDrive account is shared with.

section of onedrive share panel showing who the file is currently shared with.

5. Now, it’s time to look at the Link Settings panel. Click on the text “Anyone with the link can edit>” beside the globe icon in the Copy link section of the panel.

onedrive link settings panel

Let’s review each option to ensure you make the correct selection for your share.

Anyone with the link – this provides access to anyone in the world who may have your link. This is perfect if you want to globally share a file and are not looking to have control of who can access the file. An example of this is sharing a file on social media. You do not want individuals to have to contact you to gain access or to get frustrated and not download your file.

People in Neurotic Dog Studios (this would be replaced with your organization) with the link – this limits the access of who may open the file to only those within your organization. This is great when you need to share a file with your entire organization but do not want it to be accessed by anyone outside the company.

People with existing access – This is more limited as it requires that an individual/group already has access to the file for the link to work; however it does not limit access to only those within your organization. This may be your best option if others need to be kept in the loop but should not have access to the file allowing you to send one email but maintain access control.

Specific people. This option is the most limiting in that you have to add individuals/groups for them to have access. There are no organizational constraints. However, if you are not sent the link directly, you can not access the file, even if you have obtained the link.

Once you have determined who you want the link to work for (the selected choice has a checkmark to the right), let’s move on to Other settings and specify what permissions these individuals/groups will have.

Allow editing check box. Check to let individuals with access modify your file; uncheck if you do not want them to make changes.

Open in review mode only. This option has a toggle to turn on/off to the right. This option may not appear with all types of files (i.e., CSV files) and is only accessible if you have the Allow editing option checked. Turning this option on will allow comments and suggestions through the program’s commenting feature. It will not allow the individual to make actual changes to the document. And, if you have not used the review (track changes) features in MS Word before – this is a great opprotunity for you to explore them.  They allow others to add/remove content and ask questions without making any changes to the original documents. You also have the option of accepting or rejecting these edits either one-by-one or in bulk.

Set expiration date. If you want to provide a time limit on the accessibility of a file. Click here to add a date and time at which the access provided to the recipients will expire. Any attempt at accessing the file after this date/time will result in a denial.

Set password. Adding a password to your file can provide an additional layer of security. This can be beneficial if you have file access set to anyone with a link (i.e., purchased download access) but don’t want the file to be shared. Having a password prevents the link from being obtained and the file from being accessed by anyone who has not also received the password. This is also beneficial when there may be too many people who need access to limit by using the group or specific people options, but a limiting factor is still needed.

Block download toggle switch. If you need to eliminate the possibility of a file being downloaded or otherwise going outside of your control, blocking the download capability can ensure that although a file may be viewed or even edited, it will not be reproduced or shared.

Once you have made all of your setting selections, click Apply.

6. A new panel has opened. This Link to dialog shows you the link to your file with all the parameters you set. To use this link, click the Copy button to save it to your clipboard.

onedrive link to dialog box

At the bottom of the panel is a summary of the permissions being shared with the link. If you realize that you need to change something – click the summary text, and it will reopen the Link settings panel allowing you to make changes.

I hope this helps you reduce the frustration of sharing a file from your organization’s OneDrive account.

Have a great day.

Until next time!


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