Share file from Office 365 via link without copying to OneDrive

Not applicable

We are a small shop and are moving from Office 2016 to Office 365. We have a file server with several shares on it. Currently if we want to share a file internally from with in the application (Word, Excel) we can go to the back menu, click on share and share via a link in an e-mail. It seems that in Office365 that the only options I have are to copy the file to OneDrive or attach a copy. Both of those options create additional copies of the file.


Eventually we will move all of the shares to OneDrive or SharePoint. Is there a document or other information on "best practices" on making this leap from on premises to cloud?


(We will also be moving our CRM and Exchange server to Office 365 and Dynamics 365 in the coming months.)


Thanks, Eric. 

2 Replies

Hey @Deleted,


I am not sure of a document that goes over best practices, but I can tell you the resource area you should look in the FastTrack resources.


Here is an adoption guide I have used allot -

Here is a generic Microsoft doc on Fasttrack


Fastrack is a resource microsoft uses to move over larger companies to the cloud, but most of the resources are free for anyone, regardless of size.

Outside of that, let me speak to why you are seeing what you are.

In short, Microsoft has no way of knowing or resourcing your legacy file shares. The reason when you send an email it is giving you the option to either attach a copy, or put the file in onedrive, is that is the two most direct ways to share via email, through sources Microsoft knows.


The Share via OneDrive is actually a great system, as instead of sending a bulky file that is large, and then can change with each email, it is sending a reference point back to a living file. So if I send a link to a OneDrive file out to 4 coworkers to work on over the weekend.

- Coworker 1 immediately goes in makes some changes.

- Coworker 2 is out at dinner, but goes in alter that night.

- Coworker 3 and 4 both dont get to it till Monday morning and try to get their edits in last minutes before our meeting.


In each case, the changes made by the other coworkers before them will be reflected, and even in the last case with 3 & 4 they can actually work on the document at the same time, and even see the changes the other is making! So instead of this large file that is a dead point in time, you have a "living document" that changes and morphs over time, which is really a powerful thing!!

Your end game is likely not going to JUST be in OneDrive however. OneDrive is personal storage, and tied to each user, SharePoint uses the same sharing architecture, but is designed for groups and not tied to any one person.

If I was advising you, for the users who are sharing allot of files right now, I would encourage you to either use OneDrive as a temporary solution until you can tackle your migration. Or if you want to be a bit more proactive, move some of the files that are commonly worked on to SharePoint document libraries. Then your users can create links that can be shared through chat/email/etc that work just the same way as the OneDrive link I described above.

Regardless, Office 365 will need you to upload the files to one of their systems to take advantage of the awesome sharing and collaboration functionality.





Thanks, Adam, I will read your referenced documents.