Can externally share files OK, but not folders


Posting here as MS Support have not come up with a solution.  The scenario is tenant wide and is regarding the Share feature in a standard modern document library.  Quite simply, for the same external user:


  1. If Share is selected on a file it works perfectly
  2. If Share is selected on a folder in the same library we get this error message:
  3. AFAIK there are no settings that differentiate between sharing of files and folders
  4. MS Support have checked all External Sharing settings and they are correct

Any suggestions gratefully received.



8 Replies

Hi @Nigel Horncastle ,


What happens if you break the permission inheritance on the folder and then add the user in? 


Do you as a SharePoint admin still get this issue if you try and share the folder or is it just users with Contribute/Edit permissions? 




Best Response confirmed by Nigel Horncastle (Contributor)

Solved by MS Support.


In my 19 years of hacking SPS for living I have never touched this setting.  The solution is to deactivate the "Limited-access user permission lockdown mode" in the root site collection.  This allows for the sharing of folders.  Don't ask me why......


@Nigel Horncastle  Have you tried disabling the 'Limited User Lockdown' mode on the site? I believe it is enabled by default.

Open the SharePoint site> Settings> Site Information> Site Settings> Site Collection Features> Scroll to “Limited-access user permission lockdown mode” and deactivate it.

@Kimberly Roetmanplease see my post above

@Nigel Horncastle  :lol: Guess I was a couple of minutes late on my reply!

Hi@Nigel Horncastle ,


That setting is not enabled by default in SharePoint Online, like you I have not touched that setting on many, many tenants.



.@Kimberly Roetman .....but you were 100% correct!  Many thanks for responding :)

Hi @Andrew Hodges -  the Limited Use Lockdown mode feature gets enabled if you activate the publishing infrastructure feature.


(We've run into this before because of that.)