Comment on files without edit permission

Iron Contributor
I just learned about a relatively recent Google Drive feature where files can be shared with others with only permission to comment:

Does anyone know if there an equivalent feature like this in OneDrive for Business? I know you can set the default state of a doc shared to be in “view mode”, but a collaborator still must have edit access in order to make comments. Curious about workaround ideas that folks have.
8 Replies

@Bynum Hoekstra I did a web search on "share docs for commenting only" and found a number of ideas, including and 


Note that because of the versioning capability of OneDrive, I am quite happy to share docs with full edit capability as 1) I can always retrieve a pre-edited version, and 2) the person(s) who made the edits are tracked in the version history.


There are probably also mechanisms for sharing docs via SharePoint and tracking comments in SharePoint external to the document.

best response confirmed by Bynum Hoekstra (Iron Contributor)

This is enabled by default when you share the file with view-only permissions - opening it in the web apps allows the use of "Review" mode, which gives you a commenting permissions and nothing else.

@Vasil Michev I wish that we could lock down edits completely, but you're right that this is closest approximation of the requirement to share with comments only. 

@Bynum Hoekstra Did this ever get posted as an idea/request? I'm happy to upvote it. Its definitely hurting our teams not being able to do this in view only mode. 


Ideally, there would be a user security setting that was essentially view only with an upgrade for comments only on files. 

@uramanda As @Vasil Michev noted, a feature that approximates this functionality already exists with Word files that you can share with "Open in review mode only" (do a CTRL+F on this page for "review mode":  However, this feature does still require edit/contribute access be given to a file: 


2021-01-26 13_40_44-My files - OneDrive — Firefox Developer Edition.png

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@Vasil Michev  i shared and excel sheet with view only permission, on the review tab, the user still can not comment or make notes in free personal excel 365. do you have any solution for this?

I think the "review mode only" option is only available for Word docs, and not Excel :\