OneDrive family and group sharing now available

Published 10-29-2020 08:00 AM 14.2K Views

We have all been adjusting to the new ways we stay in touch, share, teach, and learn. As many of us have made the shift to working and learning from home, we’re relying more than ever on digital sharing and collaboration. Now, Microsoft OneDrive is introducing a new time-saving, frictionless way to share files with a predefined family or friend group.


OneDrive has always made it easy to share docs, photos, videos, albums, and folders. But until now, sharing to a group of people meant typing in the names of all the people you wanted to share with. Today, we’re simplifying that process with one-click sharing to family and groups.

Once you predefine your family or friend group, you’ll be able to share a photo, album, or important document to your group with one click.


Family and group sharing is available in OneDrive for the web and included in all free and paid OneDrive consumer plans, as well in Microsoft 365 Personal and Family plans. We expect it to become available on OneDrive sync client, Mac, and directly from Word, Excel, and PowerPoint by mid-2021.


To use family sharing, have your Microsoft account login and password at hand and follow these instructions:

  1. First you will need to set up your family or a friend group:
    • To set up your family, go to, then select Create a family group and follow the directions. Note: All members of the group need a Microsoft account, and each will need to accept your invitation to the group to access it. (You can also set up a family group on Xbox or with the Family Safety app.)
    • To set up a friend group, see the article how to create an group. Groups can be family, friends, classmates, your kids’ sports league, your sports league, old college buddies, new game night pals—anyone you want to stay connected with. Note: you will need a free or paid Outlook account.
  2. Go to the OneDrive page and sign in with your Microsoft account (or your,, Hotmail, or MSN account).
  3. Select My files or Photos on the left pane.
  4. Pick the file or folder you want to share by selecting the circle in the upper corner of the item, then select Share at the top of the page.
  5. Select Anyone with the link can edit.
  6. In the Enter a name or email address field, type “Family” or the name of your group (i.e., Soccer Team). When you type “Family,” OneDrive will give you the option to share with specific members by surfacing their names, or you can select Your family to share with your entire family. Your Family_x1.png
  7. Add an optional message and then send then share the file/folder.


You can learn more about family and group sharing here. And as always feel free to send us your suggestions for making OneDrive even better on UserVoice.

Super Contributor

This is confusing to see personal version updates on this Tech Community which is predominantly visited by admins using M365 in orgs.

Community Manager

@Oleg K we recognise that a lot of blog articles and discussions are focused on IT Pro or Dev audiences, but from time to time we post updates that may be useful for people in their home environment. Likely you may get asked questions about this from friends, family or your community, so if this assists in those conversations, I think that's a good thing!

Senior Member

I have a family group set up and I tried to share a file with the family group. When I typed in "Family", nothing popped up. I find that sharing in OneDrive is not as seamless as I would like it to be. I hope that this feature can be improved in the near future as I often find myself just downloading the file and attaching it to an email for all members of my group.

Occasional Visitor

Family sharing is limited to generating links with full/read-only access and sending them out via email, chat etc?



I got the same problem as rosemo780.

Family group is not showing up.

Occasional Visitor

I wish this was a lot easier. If I share a folder with the family they should not have to click on the link, it should just be shared. It also needs to be very easy to find in one drive. when you use file explorer on the computer you can not find the shared files. 

I was hoping to have folders that acted like shared ownership. 

Or have an automatic folder for the family. With 365 family sharing with them all needs to be easy. 

When the links for sharing send they end up in the junk folder. why are emails from Microsoft junk?  


Hi @philipp19,


Can you check and confirm that your family is showing up and configured? Also, what endpoint are you sharing from? Thanks!


Stephen Rice

Senior Program Manager, OneDrive




When you share with your family, items should show up in the Shared With Me view as well to help facilitate easy access. This is all great feedback though and I will be sure to pass it along to the rest of the team!


Stephen Rice

Senior Program Manager, OneDrive

Occasional Visitor

There seems to be no way to view all a families' files and photos together in one place as you can in google.  It is nothing short of tedious to have to generate sharing links or have to download everything just to upload it again to get it organized in one place.  Step up your game MS!

Occasional Visitor

Having to generate links is not frictionless.  Also impossible to organize everything together by type, date, etc...  If I have 2 or 3 family members taking photos, they do not get synchronized in the same place.  


Hi @Stephen Rice 


Thanks for your reply. I finally was able to share it with "your family" but I had to do it when I have entered the album. On the album view, with ticking the album using the circle, it was not possible.


My only family member got the mail to view it but always has to open it using the link in the mail. It is not apperaring in the shared view. Weather on Edge (Win10) nor in the OneDrive App on Android.


Best regards


Occasional Visitor

When I share folders to Family group,  we can access folders using browser but not with android or iOS OneDrive apps.  Does not matter which account I use or which mobile device.  All mobile apps appear broken for shared content.  The desktop app for Windows also works fine to access shared content.  All mobile apps are up to date.  I tried unsharing folders and then share them again.  Very frustrated because I just paid for office 365 for the purpose of sharing photos among family members.  

Occasional Visitor

With 'Microsoft 365 Family' there is no 'request files' option.  I have shared a folder with some friends so we can collaborate on a little project. BUT they cannot upload files!!  That pretty much ruins this as a collaboration tool for me.  I also get very confused with web search results as they often refer to products that dont exist any more - eg Office 365 or One-drive only to find this only applies to 'work or school'. Looks like I have fallen into the Microsoft spaghetti.  

Occasional Visitor

Don't understand why the personal version of this has to be so different from the business version.  I would think that the same features would be available but maybe a simplified admin.  While the link stuff works fine for sharing a few photos,  it's basically useless for files and documents etc. and merging of changes etc.  Seems like personal users are assumed to just throw a few photos of music tracks around.

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‎Oct 29 2020 04:26 PM
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