Share OneDrive files and folders

You can use OneDrive to share photos, Microsoft Office documents, other files, and entire folders with people. The files and folders you store in OneDrive are private until you decide to share them and you can stop sharing at any time.

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  1. Go to the OneDrive website and sign in with your Microsoft account.

  2. Pick the file or folder you want to share by selecting the circle in the upper corner of the item. You can also pick multiple items to share them together.

  3. Select Share at the top of the page.

    Screenshot of selecting a file and clicking the Share command

  4. In the Share box that appears, choose one of the sharing options: Get a link or Email.

    Screenshot of the Share dialog box

    Note: If you don't see these options, you're probably signed in with your work of school account. See the OneDrive for Business instructions.

Get a link

Choose this option to share items with lots of people you might not even know personally. For example, you can use these links to post to Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, or share in email or IM. Anyone who gets the link can view or edit the item, depending on the permission you set. Keep in mind that the link can also be forwarded and sign-in is not required.

Screenshot of the Get a Link option in the Share dialog box in OneDrive

  1. Select Get a link.

  2. Choose the type of link you want from the drop-down list above the Get a link button. The link automatically updates when you choose a different option from the drop-down list.

    For example, to reset permissions to view only, click the arrow next to Anyone with this link can edit this item and clear the Allow editing check-box.

    • View only - When you share items with this type of link, people can view, copy or download your items without signing in. They can also forward the link to other people.

    • Edit - When you share items with this type of link, people can edit files, and can add or delete files in a shared folder. Recipients can forward the link, change the list of people sharing the files or folder, and change permissions for recipients. If you're sharing a folder, people with Edit permissions can copy, move, edit, rename, share, and delete anything in the folder.

  3. Select Copy to copy the link your clipboard.

  4. Paste the link in an email message or wherever else you’re sharing the link. To post the link on a social network, select More and then the icon for the social network.

Email

Choose this option if you want to send an email invitation to people or groups and keep track of who you invited. This lets you also remove permission for specific individuals or groups later if you need to.

  1. Click Email.

    Screenshot of selecting Email in the Share dialog box in OneDrive

  2. Enter the email addresses or contact names of people you want to share with. When you begin to enter info in the box, you can also choose a contact from the list that appears.

    Screenshot of inviting people after selecting Email in the Share dialog box

  3. Add a note to recipients if you want.

  4. To change the permission level, select Can view or Can edit.

    • If you choose Can view, that means people you invite can view, download, or copy the files you share.

    • If you choose Can edit, recipients can use Office Online to edit Office documents without signing in. To make other changes (like adding or deleting files in a folder), recipients need to sign in with a Microsoft account.

      If you pick Can edit and a recipient forwards the message, anyone who receives it will also be able to edit the item you're sharing. People with edit permissions can also invite others to have edit permissions to the item.

  5. Select Share to save the permission settings and send a message with a link to the item.

Notes: 

  • If your Microsoft account is set with Family Safety, and your parent has turned off contact management, you can only share items with people who are already on your contact list.

  • Please respect copyright and be careful what you share online. Copying or sharing unauthorized materials violates the Microsoft Services Agreement.

Give recipients greater control and collaboration with shared folders

When you share folders with Edit permissions, people you share with can add the shared folders to their own OneDrive. This lets them keep the folder alongside their own folders and items, easily move items between folders, and more easily work on it offline. Any updates they make sync with the shared folder, so everyone with access to the folder is up to date.

  • To share the folder with a link - Choose Get a link, and in the Share box, choose Anyone with the link can edit this item.

  • To share the folder by email - Choose Email, and in the Share box, choose Can edit.

Tip: The recipient can add shared folders to their OneDrive, not individual files. If you want the recipient to add files to their OneDrive, put the files in a folder first, and then share the folder.

See the items you've shared

On OneDrive.com, select Shared in the left pane, and then select Shared by me.

After you sign in with your work or school account on the OneDrive website, here's how you share files or folders:

  1. Go to the OneDrive website and sign in with your work or school account.

  2. Select the file or folder you want to share, and then select Share.

    Screenshot of selecting a file and clicking the Share command

  3. Enter the names of the people you want to share with and a message, if you want.

  4. The blue text above the names you enter tells you what type of link people will get. For example, Anyone with this link can edit this item.

    Screenshot of the Share dialog box when sharing a file in OneDrive for Business

  5. (Optional) Click the blue text to change the type of link. The Details pane opens, where you can change who can access the link and whether people can edit the item you’re sharing.

    Screenshot of the Permissions pane for a file in OneDrive for Business

    Options for Who can access this link (options vary based on admin settings):

    • Anyone with this link gives access to anyone who receives this link, whether they receive it directly from you or forwarded from someone else. This may include people outside of your organization.

    • Only people in <Your Organization> gives everyone in your organization access to the link, whether they receive it directly from you or forwarded from someone else.

    • Only people in the To: line gives access only to the people you specify in the "To:" line, although other people not on the “To:” line may already have access. If people forward the sharing invitation, only people who already have access to the item will be able to use the link.

    By default, Allow editing is turned on. If you want people to only view your files, uncheck the box.

  6. (Optional) After you choose the options you want, click OK to close the Details pane and go back to the Share dialog box.

    Screenshot of the Share dialog box when sharing a file in OneDrive for Business

  7. When you’re ready, click Share.

Get a link to a file or folder that you can copy

Another way to share is to get a link to a file or folder that you can copy and paste in a text message or on a website. People you share these links with can also forward your link to others.

  1. In your OneDrive, click Get link.

    Screenshot of sharing a file by using the Get Link button in OneDrive for Business

  2. The blue text tells you what type of link people will get. For example, Anyone with this link can edit this item.

    Screenshot of the Share dialog box after choosing Get Link

  3. (Optional) Click the blue text to change the type of link. The Details pane opens, where you can change who can access the link and whether people can edit the item you’re sharing.

    Screenshot of the Permissions pane for a file in OneDrive for Business

    Options for Who can access this link (options vary based on admin settings):

    • Anyone with this link gives access to anyone who receives this link, whether they receive it directly from you or from someone else. This may include people outside of your organization.

    • Only people in <Your Organization> gives everyone in your organization access to the link, whether they receive it directly from you or from someone else.

    • Only people in the To: line gives access only to the people you specify, although other people may already have access. If people forward the link, only people who already have access to the item will be able to use the link.

    By default, Allow editing is turned on. If you want people to only view your files, uncheck the box.

  4. (Optional) After you choose the options you want, click OK to close the Details pane and go back to the Share dialog box.

  5. Click Get a link.

    Screenshot of the Share dialog box after choosing Get Link

  6. Click Copy to copy the link to your clipboard.

    Screenshot of copying a link from the Share dialog box after choosing the Get a link option

  7. Paste the link (Ctrl+V) to wherever you want, such as a text message or on a website.

Notes: 

  • The permission granted by a sharing link lasts only as long as the link exists. For example, when a link is disabled, access is revoked (though people may still have access to the file via other means).

  • When Allow editing is selected: After they sign in, people in your organization can edit, copy, or download the files. When Allow editing isn’t selected, people in your organization can view, and may be able to copy or download the files.

  • You may be able to share files with external users (people not on your network) by inviting them as “Guests,” or by creating and posting guest links. These links are available by default in Office 365, but administrators can disable external sharing for your sites. For details, see Share sites or documents with people outside your organization.

  • Site administrators can restrict sharing so that only owners can share files and sites. For information about an admin can enable sharing links, see Video: Share a site without access request.

Add people to a file or folder

One more way to share is by adding people to the file or folder.

  1. In your OneDrive, select the file or folder you want to add people to, and then click the Information icon.

    Screenshot of the Add People option for shairing in the Permissions pane in OneDrive for Business

  2. Scroll down to the Sharing section, expand it, and then click Add people.

  3. In the Share dialog box, enter the names of people you want to add, choose whether people Can edit or Can view, and type a message if you want.

    Select people to share document with.

  4. Click Share.

Sharing with the OneDrive mobile apps

For information and help, see:

Need more help?

Get help by emailing the OneDrive support team.

See more support pages for OneDrive.

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