New feature: Introducing a new file experience for groups in Outlook on the web


Today, we've announced a new file experience for groups in Outlook on the web. People frequently rely on email to edit and share documents with their teams, and this new experience makes it easier to collaborate on documents in Outlook on the web. This feature is available to all First Release tenants.
Please try it out and give us feedback.


41 Replies
Will the "edit permissions" option be made available from this interface? I don't seem to see those anywhere. Or will you just have to go to the Shared Documents library via SharePoint to access those options?

Great integrative feature!


Two gripes I have straight away:

  • "Activity" shows the last action for SharePoint files (e.g. modified/uploaded) but shows "E-Mail subject" for e-mailed files. Two different types of information in the same column. Also: I don't really care about the last activity, do I? I mean "Modified" doesn't even mean that the file was modified since the last time I saw it, so it is not really of use to me.
  • The Save to group library / Edit and reply are almost the same and produce weird results - bear with me:


  1. I e-mailed the file "TestFile.docx" to the group. The file shows up in Files. Awesome!
  2. I like my files at one place so I "Save to group library". Awesome!
  3. I now have two "TestFile.docx" under files. One from the mail, one in SharePoint. A non technical user doesn't know this as I only have Activity=Uploaded and Activity="Testfile" (my mail subject)
  4. Somebody else sees the initial file and open it.
  5. He clicks on "Edit and reply". Another version is created in SharePoint. I now have "TestFile1.docx"

So I now have three TestFiles as seen in the screenshot attached to the post - a user wouldn't know what to do with this.

A follow up:

  • I deleted both TestFiles from SharePoint (they're also removed from Files. Great!)
  • I now have two files in Files: TestFile.docx (from the initial mail) and TestFile(2).docx which is "Shared" according to the Activity. Also the date is 8 hours ago?!

Something seems wrong here. As before, see attached screenshot.

Brent you will need to leverage the SharePoint doclib for this

Ey @Dennis Gaida , really in depth test of this new feature.. @Christophe Fiessinger it seems there are some bugs over there...

Dennis thanks for the taking the time to test this out. At this stage this is by design: we do not remove the "classic" attachment in the first email and only keep a copy in SP and hence showing two rows each pointing to two different file. What you type of behavior would you like to see in the future?
replied, what's your feedback Juan on how this can be improved? :)
I'd like to see some kind of link (kinda like in outlook with focused inbox / unread etc) -- (1) Show all files (2) Show only email attachments (3) Show only SP files
What about a kind of activity card similar to the Delve Cards we have for Office 365 users everywhere? In this card you could show a preview of the document and bellow the activity only show a record and the actiones done in the activity card

Positive feedback from my business user colleagues... I just left a typical Thursday morning business meeting that had nothing to do with this update and I overheard my colleague from our Marketing department giving a demo of this change to three other colleagues.  This impromptu demo quickly spread to all 15 attendees and consumed the first half of the meeting.  By the end of the impromptu demo, my colleagues were praising how helpful this will be and how much time this can save them during a typical work day.  They love that they can simply stay inside their inbox and complete quick tasks in their documents "in-the-moment" - one less thing to remember to do later.  They mentioned they would typically set aside emails requiring some sort of document activity and come back to it later.  


This is one of those updates which resonates with the general business users because it removes that question of "what to use when".  It simply brings a common daily business task right in their inbox - the simple things matter.  Well done Microsoft and looking forward to what comes next.


Next up for me - how to keep meetings on-topic!


Chad Johnston

Thank you Chad for the positive feedback, glad to see your colleagues are finding value, more to come on that journey to make email and files collaboration awesome. Have a great day and thank all your colleagues on behalf of the team in Redmond that worked hard on this feature.
Great effort and it looks great. One nice add-in would be allow sorting of columns. Guess it is currently sorted by date and would be nice if sorting of other columns is allowed as in doc library.

@Christophe Fiessinger

Speaking of bugs, after the rollout of this new feature, I now see two versions of the same file: one is the latest and the other is a previous one!

2016-11-18 19_41_41-GroupFiles - Salvatore Marco Biscari - Outlook e un'altra pagina ‎- Microsoft Ed.jpg

Salvatore, can you please navigate to SharePoint and look in the "Email Attachment" folder and see if you have your file there? When you select "Edit & Reply" we store a copy in that folder as explains in this article:

The duplicate file in the group visualization is "Documento prova gruppo.docx", which is marked as "Modificato" in two different dates. It is not an attachment. In SharePoint instead it is (correctly present) only once.

Definitely a bug in the new visualization, IMHO.

2016-11-18 19_41_41-GroupFiles - Salvatore Marco Biscari - Outlook e un'altra pagina ‎- Microsoft Ed.jpg2016-11-18 20_01_39-TestPublicGroup - Documenti e altre 2 pagine ‎- Microsoft Edge.jpg

IMHO it s not just a duplicate, it's just showing what has happened with the file but I agree is confusing and that's why I suggested an activity card for each file shown in the Files section...but just some feedback

Actually, it is a previous version: the content is different...

Is the new visualization supposed to show all the previous versions side-by-side? I hope not!

each row is a different file either attached to an email, shared with the group or stored in SP.

Christophe, thank you for your patience, indeed, but unfortunately that file is not an attachment...

Positively it is in SP.

Where can I see if it is a file shared with the group?