New Sharing Features For OneDrive and SharePoint

On UserVoice, “Share from Explorer” has been one of our most requested features from customers. Today, we are excited to announce that we’re bringing this capability to both File Explorer on Windows and Finder on the Mac. We’re also introducing an improved sharing UI that provides easier collaboration and better security.



For browser users, we’re bringing this same sharing UI to OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online websites. Here, users get the additional option of composing the email using Outlook on the web.




Share command

The Share command now sends shareable links by default rather than granting permissions to specific people like the old Invite people tab. This better matches user expectations that links sent in email can be forwarded to others by default. In other words, Share does the same thing as Copy link except it enables users to send the link immediately to recipients via email.


Both the Share and Copy link commands now default to the same permissions and use the same link settings.


Link types

Users can change settings on sharing links to one of three possible permission levels:


  • Anyone with this link: A shareable link that can be sent to others. It behaves like email. You can forward it to others or add people to the thread and it will work. This option does not require recipients to sign-in and hence is the most convenient for recipients. Use this for sharing content that can be freely shared with others, including people outside your organization. If you want people with the link to lose access after a certain date, you can optionally set an expiration date on the link.


  • Only people in [organization]: Users who open the link must sign-in or be signed-in to a non-guest account in your organization. It behaves like email with restrictions on it. You can forward it to others or add people to the thread, as long as the people added are inside your organization. If any external user gets a hold of the link, they will not be able to use it. Use this for sharing internal-only content.


  • Specific people: Grant permission only to the people you list. The link will only work for those people (and others who already have access to the item). If recipients want to send this link to anyone else, they need to ensure those recipients have been granted permission to the resource, otherwise the link won’t work. This option produces behavior similar to the "Invite people" tab in the old sharing UI.


Company admins who wish to change the default link permission can do so in the OneDrive Admin Center and the SharePoint Admin Center.


Users who want to explicitly grant permissions to an item without sending a link can do so by selecting “Manage access” and then selecting “Add people”. For example, if a user wishes to make sure that a folder can be accessed by an entire division, they may want to grant access here rather than send a sharing email to the entire division.


The new sharing UI starts rolling out this week on the following endpoints:

  • OneDrive for Business on the web
  • SharePoint Online document libraries on the web
  • Windows File Explorer context menu for sync'ed files ("Share" command)
  • macOS Finder context menu for sync'ed files ("Share" command)

We feel these new features will offer a more simplified experience for sharing files and folders in OneDrive and SharePoint while giving you greater control over who has access to your content.


Feel free to comment below and make sure to check out UserVoice if you have addtional suggestions on improving OneDrive.


Want a deeper dive on sharing? Check out this our newest Microsoft Mechanics video, "OneDrive for Business updates: simplified sharing and files on demand ".



Frequent Contributor

 Is this provided by a Windows or Onedrive update Windows File Explorer context menu for sync'ed files ("Share" command)?

Valued Contributor

@Stephen Rose

When a recipient gets a shareable read-only link to a document, he/she does not appear to be able download locally a copy of the document itself, which is a big difference from the case in which the document is sent as a traditional attachment.

Will this be addressed in the future?


@Peter Klapwijk, the update will come with a sync update, no Windows update required. We're targeting the next few months for that release. 


@Salvatore Biscari, we want to enable download of documents sent via anonymous link but we don't have a timeline for when that feature will be available. 




Stephen Rice

OneDrive Program Manager II




New Contributor

So this definitely has promise. I work at an educational institution though. And we don't necessarily want students to be able to see links shared with my organisation - thus in many situation this option is not relevant for us. Would it be possible to add an option - for educational institutions - whereby one could distinguish between shareable links for students and for staff? Or are we basically talking about sharing with AAD groups then?


Another question:

If I do choose to share with people in my organisation, which would probably be ok in most situations anyway, would that file then at some point turn up under "Find" or in Delve for a Student? OR for some other staffer, that I might not want the file to be seen by?


Hi @Allan With Sørensen,


Whenever you create a sharing link, the only people who can use that link are people who possess it. So if you create a sharing link that works for your organization and send it to one staff member, they are the only who will see it show up in Shared With Me or in Delve. Students could use the link, but they would have to have been sent it first. Unfortunately, we don't have a way today of locking down a link to only work for staff but not students. Thanks!


Stephen Rice

OneDrive Program Manager II




@Stephen Rice with an update to the sync client is it going to be possible to synchronise the configurations itself? For example I have a dekstop and a laptop I configure folders to always be available on this device and files on-demand. If I then move to the laptop do I get an option whereby I can can sync the same config from my desktop to laptop? The same solution would be beneifical when upgrading a machine, I can swap out one dive for a new device and not have to reconfigure the end users specific configuration






If you are running Windows 10 Enterprise, UEV can do some of that. We will also look to bring some admin controls post launch. We will share more on scenarios like this at Ignite.

New Contributor

@Stephen Rose Thank you for your reply.



I just want to be have a clear understanding of what happens. Say I do this:

1. Select a folder in OneDrive for Business online

2. Click on "Get a link"

3. Click on "Everyone with this link" (to change it)

4. Change to "Only people in <my organization>"

5. Click OK

6. Copy the link into an e-mail

7. Send the e-mail to someone in my organization...


Then, surely, the Office graph/Delve is not aware that I shared that link with someone? And then it won't show up for anyone in Delve or in searches? But anyone in my organization who gets a hold of that link, will still be able to open it and view or edit the files? I think most of our users are pretty confused about what consequences those different options have, when sharing a file and that can lead to erronous settings and sharing of files that weren't intended to be, which is very unfortunate.


Honestly, at this juncture, I finde things around sharing files/folders to be pretty confusing and needlessly complex for our very non-technical users. The are at least four more or less different ways of sharing a folder or edit who can access a folder. I am aware that there is another revision of the sharing dialogue coming, so I am looking forward to that. But please forward to the team that things need to be simplified and easier to understand (very broad wish, but also very relevant in this situation).

Frequent Contributor

I see the new sharing features in my own tenant. But whatever I try, doesn`t matter who I add to share a file with I`m not able to share files. The Apply button is greyed out. 
Any idea what causes this? With the old sharing options I was always able to share with external users.


Sounds like a permission issue. I would go to the Admin center and ensure that external sharing is enabled.


@Peter Klapwijk, as Stephen suggested, please verify your external sharing settings (for both your tenant and for the site you are sharing from). If that doesn't explain the problem, can you grab a screenshot so we can diagnose what is going on? Also, make sure the link you are sharing is one that will work for external users. If you create a link that only works for "people in my organization", but enter an external e-mail address, we will block you from sending it as it won't work.


@Allan With Sørensen, sorry, I didn't see your question until just now! In the scenario you describe, the item won't show in users shared with me until they actually click on the link. The process by which we associate users with a link is what we call "redemption" and it can definitely feel a little complex.


When a user is "redeemed" onto a link, that is the moment in time when the user shows up in the "manage permissions" pane, when the item will show up in their "Shared With Me" view and when they can find it in Delve and Search. Conceptually, we want to redeem users onto a link whenever we (OneDrive/SharePoint) know that the user has the link. The case we want to avoid is when you copy an internal link for Bob but then choose not to send it, but the system exposes the item to Bob anyway. And of course it's even worse if we expose it to Alice too. 


Today, this means we "redeem" a user at two points in time:

1) The user sends the link via OneDrive (i.e. clicks "Share") to Bob. Because OneDrive is responsible for sending the mail, we know that Bob will have posession of the link so it is safe to redeem him.

2) The user clicks on a link. If the user clicks on the link, they obviously have it and should show up.


There's more we want to do here to help it make sense (particularly when you copy links and send them around using other O365 apps) but that's all in the future for the moment. Hope that helps explain things!


Stephen Rice

OneDrive Program Manager II

New Contributor

@Stephen Rice Thank you for the explanation! It does make sense to me now, but to our users this is insurmountable complexity! We're advicing our users NOT to use the option of creating links that are "company" accessible - as it is just too difficult for (most of) them to understand the consequences. We're talking, in some cases, extremely non-technical users who in some cases have problems moving a window in Windows... Another reason why we're not advicing the use of company links is that those links would, in theory, be accessible by students. And thirdly, the UI, when trying to decipher what someone has shared and with whom is, at this point, much more difficult do dissect than before, especially when it contains both links and users with whom files or foldes have been shared explicitly.


Also, I have seen the screenshots of the upcoming "Share" option in file explorer - but while adding it there makes a bunch of sense, it will confuse users a whole lot, if the "Share with" option in Windows also stays... Again, many of our non-technical users will not understand, that there is a small cloud on one option, where it says "Share" and no cloud on the one that says "Share with..." - in fact, just the other day I was running an internal course on OneDrive and was showing people how to share files in the web interface - on the projector for everyone to see - but nonetheless, someone still managed to use the "Share with..." option in file explorer. This is not to belittle my own users, I am just trying to convey how difficult some of our users find these concepts to be. Anyway, I think we will go for removing the "Share with..." option from the context menu, that should help.


Hi @Allan With Sørensen,

We really appreciate all of the feedback! This is definitely an area we're continuing to invest in and improve. The easiest way to explain this to your users will be: If you choose to "Share via e-mail" in OneDrive/SharePoint, recipients can find the item in search and SWM. If they copy the link, the only way to get access is by clicking the link itself. 


We're also working on an overhaul of the manage permissions pane which should alleviate the complexity there as well. Stay tuned for that! 


Finally, we're working with the Windows team to help make sharing from File Explorer as simple and easy as possible. Thanks!


Stephen Rice

New Contributor

Thanks @Stephen Rice - It makes more sense to me now. I like what I am seeing from the new screenshots. Simplifying the buttons to "Share" and "Copy link" was much needed - and so was integration with file explorer. Obviously similar options should show up in Office, but I am guessing you know a few people over there you can talk to :) - and also when sharing from the "edit document" view. Fingers crossed for a cleanup of the "shared with me" view as well - and getting a notification from the OneDrive client, when somebody shares a file or folder with me, would be much appreciated, especially if it is a folder, so that I can immediately click right there to have that folder sync to my own pc.


Hi @Allan With Sørensen,


By the "edit document view", do you mean the World web application? 


Anyway, all I'm going to say is that we've been thinking about many of those same ideas you've mentioned and you should definitely keep your eyes open :) The new sharing dialog is one of our first big sharing improvements this year but it's far from our last! 


Stephen Rice

OneDrive Program Manager II

Frequent Contributor

Hi @Stephen Rose and @Stephen Rice it`s not an permissions issue, external sharing is turned on even for anonymous users on OneDrive for Business.
In the past I was able to share files with external users and I`m still able to create a link for anonymous users. But sharing with specific people doesn`t work anymore, the apply button is greyed out.

Before I was able to share Documents from for example Word, but when I now click on Share I receive an error message: We`re still uploading your file. You can jump back in as soon as we`re finished.
But these are old files, are in OneDrive for more than a year.
So it looks to me my sharing options got f*cked up by the latest feature update.


@Peter Klapwijk


Thanks for reaching out, that's definitely not the type of experience we want you to have! Can you e-mail me at srice@microsoft.com so we can troubleshoot further? Thanks!


Stephen Rice

OneDrive Program Manager II

Occasional Visitor

Hi, just tested this, and especially liked how the sharing e-mail now looks like, much more intuitive to open file rather than click on a link:-)


But- when you stop sharing, my experience is that this does not bring back inheritance in Sharpoint/Onedrive, but strips all rights except owners. I may be a bit quick here as I have not tested used only a user regular priveleges in Sharepoint, but is this how it is designed?


It do make sense that i file can be "stopped sharing" so that only owners can view and edit, but I do think the majority of users will just stop sharing links to work, not stop sharing alltogether.


Vidar Crosby


Hi @Vidar Crosby,


We're glad you like the new e-mail templates! If I never have to look at those old templates again, I'll be very happy :)



For permissions management, we want to give users the ability to revoke individual users or links and give them the big "panic" button to make it private. We definitely understand a desire to "restore inheritance" as well and helping users understand how inheritance impacts permissions is on our list of things to improve. Thanks!


Stephen Rice

OneDrive Program Manager II

Frequent Contributor

Hi @Stephen Rice
I will send you an email. I`ve opened and service request to start troubleshooting, will forward that to you.





Occasional Contributor

Thank you for the improvement, it looks good. However, have you removed the email notification to the document owner when he/she shares a document from OneDrive? Previously the owner of a document in OneDrive would always get acopy of the sharing email, but that is no longer the case in our organization. We have not made any changes in the admin configuration. Would be good to have your feedback, thanks.