Share documents or folders in Office 365

TheOffice 365 documents and folders you store in OneDrive for Business are private until you decide to share them. Similarly, in a team site library, you may want to share specific documents or folders with people who don't otherwise have access to the site. When you share documents and folders, you can decide whether to let people edit or just view them.

Note   You may also be able share documents with external users (people not on your network) by inviting them as “Guests,” or by creating and posting guest links. For details, see Share sites or documents with people outside your organization.

Share a document by using Get a link

You can share a link to a document that others can also share by using Get a link. Get a link is available only for individual files, but it’s the easiest way to share documents with everyone in your organization or to share with people externally (as long as external sharing is enabled for your sites).

  1. Go to OneDrive for Business or the site library that has the document you want to share.

  2. Right-click the document you want to share, and then select Get a link. If you don't see Get a link, click Share, and then click Get a link.

    Screenshot of Sharing a document by using Get a link
  3. Choose the type of link you want to create.

    Screenshot of choosing a link

    Links for internal sharing:

    • Edit link – account required People in your organization can edit, copy, or download the document.

    • View link – account required People in your organization can view, copy, or download the document.

    Guest links:

    • Edit link – no sign-in required People outside your organization can edit, copy, and download the document.

    • View link – no sign-in required People outside your organization can view, copy, and download the document.

    Notes   If you see only a restricted link option instead of the options shown here, sharing links may be disabled or you may not have permission to use them. For information about how to enable sharing, see Video: Share a site without access request.

    If guest access is disabled, you'll see only account required options.

  4. If you choose a no sign-in required link and you want to set the link to expire, click Set expiration, and then choose how long before the link expires, such as 30 days. Account required links don’t expire and there’s no option to set an expiration for those links.

    Screenshot of Setting an Expiration for a guest link

  5. Click Copy to copy the link to the clipboard.

  6. Paste the link into an email and send it or post it on a website for the people you want share with.

Notes   

  • Links created by using Get a link are not discoverable by search, so only people who receive a link from someone else can use it.

  • No sign-in required links are guest links that are ideal for external sharing. 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.

  • You can remove no sign-in required links at any time in the Share dialog box mentioned in the steps above. The REMOVE link is right next to the Copy button.

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

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Share a document or folder by inviting people

To share folders or to share documents when Get a link isn’t available, you can invite people.

  1. Go to OneDrive for Business or the site library that has the document or folder you want to share.

  2. Right-click the file you want to share, and then select Share.

    Screenshot of sharing a document by right-clicking and then choosing Share

  3. In the Share dialog box on the Invite people tab, type names or email addresses of people you want to share the document or folder with.

    Screenshot of sharing a file in OneDrive for Business

  4. Select a permission setting, such as Can edit.

    Select a permission setting for people invited to share a document

  5. If you want, type a message to be included with an email that’s sent to all invitees. The email includes a link to the shared document.

  6. If you don't want to send an email, uncheck Send an email invitation (you may need to click Show Options first).

  7. Click Share.

Note   If guest access is disabled, you may not see the Require sign-in option.

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More information in this article

Learn more about file storage and sharing in Office 365

For recommendations on where to store files in Office 365 and how to set things up, see Set up Office 365 file storage and sharing.

Share documents with a limited set of people

To share multiple documents with a selection of people, you have a couple of options:

  • Create a group (if you’re in Office 365 and Groups are enabled)

  • Create a folder and place documents in that folder as you create them

Create a group (if you’re in Office 365 and Groups are enabled)
  1. In the navigation, next to Groups, click the plus sign (+).

    Screenshot of creating a group from OneDrive for Business by clicking the plus sign

  2. Type a name for the group, set the Privacy to Public or Private.

    Screenshot of typing a name and clicking Creat to create a goup from OneDrive for Business

  3. Click Create.

  4. Add members to the group.

  5. In your group, near the top of the page, click Files to go to the group OneDrive.

    Screenshot of clicking Files in a Group to go to the OneDrive for the group

  6. Drag files onto the page or click Upload.

Create a folder and place documents in that folder as you create them
  1. To create a folder, click New > Folder. You can share the folder with people as you create it.

  2. If you didn't already share the folder while creating it, share the folder by inviting people.

  3. Upload or drag files to the folder.

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See who you're sharing a document or folder with

  1. Right-click the document and then click Share.

  2. In the Share dialog box, click Shared with.

    Screenshot of the Shared With tab on the Share dialog box

  3. If you're sharing with more people than whose names will fit on the card, select the more link at the end of the list of names. You can scroll the list to see all names.

    Tips   If the library you're working in has a Sharing column, you can select the people icon to open the Share dialog box.

    Share icon for a document shared with two or more people

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Stop sharing a document or folder

To make a document or folder private again, you can stop sharing it.

  1. Select the people icon for the document or folder to open the Share dialog box.

    Share icon for a document shared with two or more people

  2. On the Shared with tab in the Share dialog box, select Can View or Can Edit next to the person you want to stop sharing with, and then select Stop Sharing.

    Screenshot of how to stop sharing with one person

  3. To stop sharing a document with everyone at once, select STOP SHARING below the list of people you're sharing with.

    Screenshot of how to stop sharing with everyone

    Note   The STOP SHARING link that removes all users at once is not available for folders. To quickly stop sharing a folder with many users or groups, try this: Click ADVANCED, use the check boxes to select the users or groups you want to remove, and then click Remove User Permissions.

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Other ways to share a document or folder with everyone in your organization

In OneDrive for Business, there are more ways to share a document with everyone:

  • Use the Share dialog box. Follow the same steps described above for share a document or folder, but type Everyone in the Invite People box.

    Share a document with everyone using the Share dialog box

  • Create a “Shared with Everyone” folder (or one with a similar name) and place documents in that folder as you create them. To create a folder, click New > Folder. You can share the folder with people as you create it.

    Shared with Everyone folder in OneDrive for Business

Note   You may already have a Shared with Everyone folder that was provisioned for you.

The Share dialog box lets you select Everyone except external users. If your organization allows external sharing, sharing with “Everyone” includes external users: people outside of your organization who have previously been invited to share documents as guests, either by you or by others in your organization.

If you have a Shared with Everyone folder that was provisioned for you, everyone gets permission to edit documents that you put in the Shared with Everyone folder, unless you change the permission setting or unless your OneDrive for Business was created before June 2014. If your OneDrive for Businesswas created before that date, the Shared with Everyone folder started with View-only permissions. You can change the permission setting any time by following the instructions for sharing a folder earlier in this article.

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How do people find documents I’ve shared with everyone?

Documents you share with everyone don’t appear in their Shared with Me view in OneDrive for Business. Why not? Consider that depending on the size of your organization, there might be hundreds if not thousands of documents that are shared with everyone. Also, you may not want to send a share invitation email to everyone in your organization.

Instead, people can find these documents by:

  • Following a link you send them directly in an email.

    You can find any document’s web URL in its document callout.


    A document's web URL

    Copy and paste the URL into an email addressed to specific people you want to notify.

  • Using their Search box in OneDrive for Business.

    In this example, Molly Dempsey searches on the keyword “Court Cases” to find any relevant documents shared with her in her organization.

    Search keywords to look for documents people have shared with you

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Applies To: SharePoint Online, Office 365, Office 365 Admin, Office 365 Small Business Admin, OneDrive for Business, SharePoint Server 2013 Enterprise, SharePoint Server 2013 Standard, SharePoint Server 2016 Standard, SharePoint Server 2016 Enterprise, SharePoint Online Website



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