Files shared with Anyone sometimes prompt users to request acccess to the file

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My company is experiencing an intermittent problem where sometimes a OneDrive for Business file shared with the setting "Anyone with this link can edit" prompts the user the file is being shared with to request access. If the user tries to open the file a second time, they can then access the file without requesting access. We're wondering why that access request prompt sometimes happens and how to prevent it. It doesn't happen consistently, so we're having trouble reproducing and troubleshooting it. Has anyone seen this before and know how to fix it?

76 Replies
Sounds like a different issue to me in your case, they are probably logged into different Microsoft accounts than that ones invited, thus this will happen. I tend to utilize "anyone with this link" + a password if it's somewhat sensitive when dealing with external people due to this problem.
Don’t really agree… that’s exactly the problem… when I say « anyone with the link », I don’t expect any prompting whatsoever, and this is precisely what doesn’t work reliably… this is definitely about a big, not a user-related problem.
Thank you but I agree with @PhilippeA below - I send the link by email to a number of recipients, so their logins shouldn't matter. And sometimes it works (the user can access the file without having to request access), sometimes it doesn't. Pretty random.
But when you say “ We share a file with a group of people, we give them permission to edit ” that doesn’t exactly give off using anonymous links ;). If using anyone links then most definitely shouldn’t be asking to login!
Yes, apologies - I was unclear. My approach has been to click on "share," then copy the link after making sure it's set to "anyone can edit." Then I send an email with the link to the people who will be reviewing the document. So they should have access without having to request access. But I'm sorry, I was definitely not spelling it out right in my earlier message.

@Kristin_Lund Our approach is the same as you and we still sometimes have issues (same experience as you). We've seen this with users who are already authenticated in their browser and those that aren't. If the user goes back and clicks on the link again they will have access....without any change by the person who originally created the sharing link.

@Lavan Jeeva 

this discussion is basically pretty useless... it is 100% obvious that this is a BUG !! (I spent 20+ years developing system-level software, so yes, I know what I'm talking about). 

I've crossed so many people having this issue, and have done so many tests myself, that there's absolutely nothing to discuss, and all the "pseudo-smarties" here around that come up with explanations or suggest that it might be due to this or that setting, are just wrong... there is a bug in MS' code, and as long as no one from MS gets to reach one of the people who really develop this (i.e. those who have written the code, or those who maintain it), there is ZERO chance for improvement !




"all the "pseudo-smarties" here around that come up with explanations or suggest that it might be due to this or that setting, are just wrong..."

Maybe switch to decaf?

I'm not nervous at all... ;-
And it was not an opinion, it was a diagnostic !

Thank you - I think PhilippeA is correct that this is a bug that has never been addressed, and I like your tip about having users try the link a second time. I'm just going to add that to my emails when I send a link around. Hoping it helps. Ridiculous that MS can't resolve the bug (but I'm no software engineer, so what do I know).
Yeah. We've determined it's a bug awhile back, the problem is they can't figure it out :). Hence them trying to get or somehow find a way to reproduce it which seems fairly impossible based on how random it seems to be. How many resources or what not has gone to this is anyone's guess, but def. a bug.

But besides the bug the other suggestions have been related to other scenarios that don't have to do with the bug and are other issues not related that get jumbled into this same thread, hence our discussion about the misunderstanding on the statement on how it was shared cause that would def. introduce a different issue that is a UX problem but not a bug, but we've determined that wasn't the case based on our clarifications :).

The original issue is most def. a bug that I'm sure haunts the SharePoint sharing team.
This is a really frustrating issue. I created an anyone with the link, shared it with our CEO and she couldn't open it, needed to request access. I tested the link in a guest window in Chrome and the file open right up, but when I clicked "sign in" in Word and signed with a personal Microsoft account (Not the tenant where the link was created), I now need to request access. From what I understand this should work just like "anyone with the link" in Google Drive. It should not matter if you have a Microsoft account or are signed in or not, or decide to sign in while you are using the file. Am I missing something with the way this is supposed to work.
Nope. It should work like that. Microsoft Tries to track who opens the files etc. if they are authenticated and that causes the issues we see with it I think. It mostly works fine but it has its issues sometimes.
Thanks for that. Hopefully it improves. The document I shared was a discussion about trying to get people to move away from Google Drive, I'm seeing that as more difficult now:)
I am not sure 'it should work like that' is a correct statement. I do believe that you are right, that they want to track users, but the result is that Anyone can open it EXCEPT if you are logged in. Which is kind of opposite day. You have successfully shared it with the entire world except the people in your organization.
What Microsoft should so is check how it is being accessed and respond to that. If it is by the shared link than that should be the first check. If it is directly to the file, than that should be the check. But denying access to your organization while opening it up to the world is the opposite of what should happen, IMHO.

@Stephen Rice is there any update on this problem? 

I have found that it happens more often with Safari on iPhone and Mac.


Please just make shared links work. 

Add me to the list with the problem. The recipient of the link uses an iPad. This has worked for me in the past but not anymore. The shared folder is in another shared folder (called "Shared") and anything in that folder should be shared implicitly but even trying to share the subfolder results in a request for credentials. I find it hard to believe that it cannot be reproduced since lots of us have links that show the problem.