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OD4B seems to get more confusing by the day. I am now presented with 'sharing' and 'get a link'. Not exactly sure what the difference is. However when I choose share and 'can edit' and then select a specific person in my domain, when I later look at the information regarding the file, it tells me a specific link has been shared for 'edit' for anyone who has the link. While I know what this means, why did I share it with a specific person (only one person) and then see this behavior? So how do I actually shar with just one person? It's so hard to gain traction with users when I can't fully explain it myself. Every time I think I have it figured out, I see something like this. Is this behavior due to a universal setting? Thank you in advance. @Salvatore Biscari (Sal usually has the

20 Replies
INMHO the first difference between sharing and get a link is that if you use Sharing, you will send a sharing invitation that cannot customized in any way. However, the get a link option allows you to create a custom invitation when sharing a file with others

Hi Juan and thank you. But why when I shared a particular document with one person, it shows as a link was created and anyone with the link can edit? Is this do to my universal settings in OneDrive in the Office 365 Admin portal? I shared this file with one person but this is what the info show me? (see attached)2017-04-04_16-28-44.jpg


To share with just one person, press the share button and enter the person's name - then hit share and you're done.
The "get a link" is there for a more convenient way to be able to get access to the file, regardless if the audience is an individual or a group.

The main difference is that if you choose to share the file individually and that person wants someone else to access it - they have to come back to you to share it to that other person. Whereas the "get a link" method means anyone can simply pass the link around to others without involving you.

See my post above with screenshot. I did do that, I chose 'share' picked one person (in my domain) and when I look at the file info in OD4B I see that it's a link that 'anyone' (if they get the link) can edit. What caused that behavior?

I just tried again and when I select a file and select 'share' I am presented with the dialog box below. I shared with one person (user5) but it still states anyone with this link can edit. I am assuming that behavior got set somewhere else and I now need to change this every time prior to sharing? It's not a big deal to change it but if I accidently forget, I have, in effect, shared the file for editing with anyone who gets the link correct?2017-04-04_16-36-12.jpg

Hi Mark.

I will try to help:

  • Get link - Use this when you you simply want to get a link to use afterwards at your leisure, sending it to people by email or other ways that you prefer. In principle the link you get is not tied to any person and is reusable as many times as you want.
    There are three types of link that you can select:
    - Only specific people - only people that already have the correct permissions (at the moment when the link will be used...) will be able to access the item using such link. (Now you can also add such people on the fly in the side pane.)
    - Anyone with this link - everyone in the world (i.e. without authentication) will be able to access the item using such link.
    - Only people in My Company - everyone in the Company will be able to access the item using such link. 
  • Share - Use this when you want to generate a link and at the same time send it to someone. Depending on the type of the link, it can be tied to a specific person (the recipient of the email) or not (see herein).
    There are three types of link that you can select:
    - Only people in the To: line - only the email recipient will be able to access the item using such link.
    - Anyone with this link - everyone in the world (i.e. without authentication) will be able to access the item using such link. (Also if you are sending it specifically to someone.)
    - Only people in My Company - everyone in the Company will be able to access the item using such link.  (Also if you are sending it specifically to someone.)

You have already discovered how to change the type of link on the fly (i.e. clicking on the rather obscure hyperlink).

You can change the default type of link in the ODFB admin center.

Hope it helps...

Hi Sal, and thank you. So, the only way to change the behavior I posted in the screenshot is on the Admin side? Again, I selected 'share' (one document) and I added one person (domain user), however, as you see, the link it produced states anyone with the link can edit, as default behavior. As you said, I can change it on the fly but you have to "rememember" to do so. If I want the default behavior to only share with that person(s) with the ability to read unless changed, is there a specific in the Admin side? One you go into the Admin piece for OD4B, it gets confusing really quick with all of the seemingly "mix and match" options. My goal is to allow people to select "share" and then select people to share with and make them change the default read-only permissions to edit. As of now the default is anyone with link can edit.

You could set the default to "Direct" in ODFB admin center:


2017-04-05 13_35_14-OneDrive for Business Admin Preview.jpg


Hence, when you choose "Share", you will get the following:

2017-04-05 13_37_19-Files - OneDrive.jpg

Unfortunately, it is not possible to set the a default for the read/edit permission...

That seemed to solve my use case! As always, thank you @Salvatore Biscari !

Always happy to help!

Hi all,


Just popping in to +1 Salvatore's reply. Exactly the right solution and the right explanation for why the product does what it does. Feel free to ping me if you have any other questions/concerns on sharing in ODB & SPO. Thanks!


Stephen Rice

OneDrive Program Manager II

@Stephen Rice and @Salvatore Biscari I have a few clarifying questions.


  • When "Sharing" a file that file will show up in the receivers "Shared with me" view that doesn't happen when sending a link, correct?  To me, there is an advantage if having files show up in that view.  Otherwise if the receiver loses that link then they have not way of finding that file reference.


  • When "Sharing" a file then the receiver can re-share that file unless that option was disabled in the OneDrive Admin center, correct?  Whereas sending a "link" you have no control or visibility into who else it was shared with?


Thankas, Bruce...

Hi Bruce,


To your first question, if the link is e-mailed through OneDrive & SharePoint, it will show up in the recipient user's Shared With Me view. Otherwise, once they click on the link, the document will also show up in that view. In general, when ODB/SPO can be sure that the user should have access to the content, we will try and make sure it shows up in SWM. The primary cases where we don't know are when you copy the link as then we don't know where it is being sent.


For your second question, anyone who has edit permission to the resource is able to re-share it (assuming the Members Can Share feature is enabled, I can give you more detail on this particular policy if needed). There is an additional sharing policy in the admin portal that prevents external users from re-sharing content they don't own. 


Anytime someone clicks on a link while authenticated, they will show up in the "Manage access/permissions" pane and be associated with that link. If the user is not signed in, no information is added to the permissions pane, but we do log an audit event that the anonymous link was used.


Hope that helps!


Stephen Rice

OneDrive Program Manager II

Thanks Stephen. This is helpful though I had to read it a few times to fully understand it. ;^)

No problem! We're trying to make this all as easy to understand as possible. This is definitely one of those places where we have a little more simplification to do :)

@Stephen Rice Wish the OneDrive sharing policy has an additional policy that prevents internal users from resharing content they don't own. This is becoming a big problem with OneDrive adoption as few members are worried that the content they own is now being modified by people that they didn't intend to.

Hi @Anantha Dommeti,


There is actually a setting that you can turn on as admin that forces Members Can Share off on OneDrives. You can set thsi via PowerShell (I believe it is ODBMembersCanShareoff). Once off, only the owner will be able to share. Give that a try and let me know if it works! Thanks!


Stephen Rice

OneDrive Program Manager II

@Stephen Rice - Apologies for the late response. Yes, ODBMembersCanShareoff setting solved the problem.


Thanks for your help!

@Stephen Rice 


When someone sets up "Share with Specific People "and "External users must accept sharing invitation using the same account that the invitation was sent to".  Does MSFT alter the email header to prevent the recipient from forwarding the email with the invite so non-specific people can't view the document?  What exactly happens to prevent someone from forwarding the original invitation with the link?


I need to explain to clients why this feature protects their documents from being shared.