'Copy Link' and 'Share' creating too many unique permissions to manage

New Contributor

Looking for some advice on managing the enormous amount of unique permissions created by the 'copy link' and 'share' functionality? Even when our team selects the link option as 'People with existing access' it creates a unique permission for the file/folder.


We have some intentional unique permissions in the library which I want to have oversight of but those are overwhelmed by the hundreds of unique permissions created by links to files/folders - which are mostly being used to share a file/folder with someone who already has access and so does not actually require a unique permission.


For now, I've asked people to copy the URL of the file/folder when sharing with someone who already has access rather than use these functions, but it is such a shame to not be able to utilise these functions as they are really nice to use. 

12 Replies
The existing access link was supposed to be fixed where it no longer messes with permissions. I’ll see if I can tag someone that should know this when I get to a computer.

People with Existing Access should not be creating unique permissions. If you are seeing that happen, please let me know (as Chris alluded to, we did fix a bug recently here).


As for your overall problem, one thing you can look at doing is locking down sharing to only site owners. This lets you approach permissions from a much higher and stricter level. Hope that helps!


Stephen Rice

OneDrive Program Manager II

Thanks for the help @Chris Webb and @Stephen Rice.


I've done some more investigating and yes, if I use "Share" -> "People with existing access" it does not create unique permissions. I will tell my people to only use this function.


However, if I click "Copy Link", it automatically creates a link using our default ("People in our organisation"), before I am able to change the setting to "People with existing access". This is what is creating all of the random unique permissions. Do you know if there are plans to be able to set our default link to "people with existing access"?


I will also consider the suggestion to restrict sharing to site owners. I do not think it will suit our work environment  but I had not considered that as an approach. 

Hi, @Amy_Tactix 

I wrote a post about this topic since I ran into a similar issue. You can also try changing the permission level of Members from Edit into Contribute to see if restricting helps. 






Agree, I would like to have the existing access be the default option for Copy Link. And your Site collection default setting for the Sharing button. 


Or give a Copy Link setting we can define, but default def. makes the most sense for Copy link. IMO that's all it should do is copy a direct link to the file. 

Thanks for the feedback all! As always, I recommend you suggest or vote up similar suggestions over at the OneDrive UserVoice for Sharing & Collaboration


Stephen Rice

OneDrive Program Manager II 

@Amy_TactixIn order to get the 'People with existing access' by default with 'Copy link', you need to change: SharePoint Admin Center > Sharing > Default link > Specific people.


I wrote about it here: https://ktnnsharepoint.wordpress.com/2019/08/01/share-copy-link-sharepoint-online/


Does anybody know if it is possible to get the direct link to a file?

Like in the Quick link Web Part when selecting a file.
Direct navigation to the file then copy url from url bar I think works. That isn’t a sharing link you copy it’s actually a document I’d to make it movable without breaking the link so you want to use that when possible over direct link.

@KM KTNN, Thanks so much for documenting this! Unbeliable! I almost went crazy trying to fix this. How would you ever suspect that setting the default to "Specific People" would be the right choice?

I noticed that you made an amendment stating that there should be a global option to set the default to "People with existing access". This option has not appeard in my O365 yet. I suppose they are still rolling this out.

Hi @Ben Liesfeld,


Since this post kicked off, we've actually added the ability to directly set the default sharing link type (whether you click on "Share" or "Copy Link") to People with Existing Access. You can run this on a per-site collection basis using the Set-SPOSite powershell command. Hope that helps!


Stephen Rice

Senior Program Manager, OneDrive

@KM KTNN There are several ways to get clean URLs that don't break permissions inheritance.  You can get the URL from the browser for PDFs, on the File tab for Office documents, you can obtain clean URLs in bulk by exporting a library to Excel and using VB, and finally there are two link options in your Office Profile/Delve. (Where your recently modified documents appear.) Details are at https://jennyssharepointtips.wordpress.com/2019/10/06/sharepoint-online-get-clean-document-urls-bypa...

@Chris Webb were you able to find an update to share with this thread?