Configure notifications for external sharing for OneDrive for Business

External Sharing Notifications provides a way for OneDrive for Business users to monitor and control which external users have access to their content. It gives owners of OneDrive for Business files and folders:

  • A notification when another user is attempting to re-share the owners file with an external user

  • A notification when an external users accepts an invitation to access their files

  • The ability to revoke access to their files

If external sharing is enabled in your Office 365 environment, using External Sharing Notifications (which are enabled by default), is an additional measure of security that an Office 365 admin can provide to your OneDrive for Business users.

How does this help my users?

Unmonitored access by external users to an organizations content is a concern for those that store content in OneDrive for Business. Office 365 admins can use auditing to monitor content that is shared externally, but OneDrive for Business users who own and are responsible for their content also need insight. External Sharing Notifications provides a way for OneDrive for Business users to monitor and control how external users access their content.

How do External Sharing Notifications work?

Note: External sharing must be allowed in your Office 365 environment in order to use External Sharing Notifications in OneDrive for Business.

External sharing notifications are designed to help end users understand who the external users are that are accessing their OneDrive for Business files and when it happens. There are two types of external sharing notifications that OneDrive for Business owners can receive:

  • Re-share notifications

  • Invitation acceptance notifications

Re-share notifications

When re-share notifications are enabled, when a user shares a file from OneDrive for Business with another user, and that user then shares the file with an external user, the OneDrive for Business file owner will receive a notification informing them of the transaction. The notification includes information about the user who shared the file, the e-mail address of the external user that was shared with, and additional details about the sharing user that may provide important context. The notification can also click Remove Access to let the owner revoke access to the user who re-shared the file. If the external user already has permission to the file, the owner can revoke the permission. Otherwise, if the external user’s invitation is still pending, the owner can withdraw the invitation.

Invitation acceptance notifications

When a OneDrive for Business user shares a file with an external user who has never been shared with before in the organization, the external user receives a sharing invitation, which helps them to create a guest account in the organization and access the shared resource. After this happens, users can share with the external user directly, and the external user will receive a sharing invitation when this happens.

When invitation acceptance notifications are enabled, when an external user accepts a sharing invitation to the owner’s OneDrive for Business content, the owner receives a notification. This notification provides information about the e-mail address at which the external user was invited, as well as the e-mail address which the external user accepted with (for example, bob@contoso.com was invited, but bob@outlook.com was used to accept it). The notification also lets the owner revoke access to the external user by clicking Remove Access.

How do I configure External Sharing Notifications?

An Office 365 admin can configure the OneDrive for Business External Sharing Notifications through the External Sharing settings in the SharePoint admin center. Note that these settings are enabled by default.

  1. In the Office 365 Admin Center, choose Admin centers, and then choose SharePoint.

  2. In the SharePoint Admin Center, choose External Sharing.

  3. On the External Sharing page, in the Notifications section, verify that the following are selected:

    • Send notifications about re-shared documents to owners on OneDrive for Business.

    • Send notifications to owners when a user accepts an external invitation on OneDrive for Business.

Office 365 admins can choose to disable either setting by de-selecting them.

See Also

OneDrive for Business in Office 365 - Admin Help

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