Share files and folders and change permissions

You can use OneDrive to share photos, Microsoft Office documents, and other files with people.

On the OneDrive website:

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

  2. Tap or click Share on the bar at the top of the page, and then choose one of the following share options.

Invite people

Choose this option if you want to give specific individuals or groups permission to an item. This lets you remove permission for specific individuals or groups later if you need to.

  1. In the To box, enter email addresses or contact names. When you begin to enter info in the box, you can also choose a contact from the list that appears.

  2. Add a note to recipients if you want.

  3. To change the permission level, tap or click Recipients can only view or Recipients can edit.

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

    • If you choose Recipients 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 Recipients 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.

      If you always want recipients to sign in with a Microsoft account (to even view the item you're sharing), choose Recipients need to sign in with a Microsoft account. This helps prevent other people from accessing the shared item if a recipient forwards your message.

  4. Tap or click Share to save the permission settings and send a message with a link to the item.

Note   You can invite people without knowing their Microsoft accounts, even if you select Recipients need to sign in with a Microsoft account. You can use any email addresses you have for people when you send them the message. If you share an item with people who don't have a Microsoft account, they can create one for free.

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, download and copy the item. Keep in mind that the link can also be forwarded.

  1. Choose the type of link you want. The permissions for the item are automatically updated when you create the link.

    • 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 - A shared link with Edit permissions means people you share with can edit specific 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.

  2. Tap or click Create link.

  3. To post the link on a social network, tap or click the icon for the social network.

  4. If you want to include the link in a message with a limited number of characters (like a text message), or share the link in a printed document, tap or click Shorten link to make the URL shorter. This makes the link look nicer and makes it easier for people to enter in a web browser.

    Note   Using a shortened link might make it easier for someone to guess the web address to the items you share.

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 by inviting people - Tap or click the Recipients can only view link, and then choose Recipients can edit.

  • To share the folder with a link - In the Choose an option box, choose 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.

To see the items you've shared

In, tap or click Shared in the left pane, and then tap or click Shared by me.

To stop sharing an item, or change people's permissions

You can stop sharing an item, or change the permissions others have to it, if you are the owner of the item or have edit permissions.

  1. Select the check box of the shared item, and then tap or click Share on the bar at the top of the page.

  2. Under Shared with, select the permissions you want to change. You can switch a person or group's permissions between editing and only viewing, and you can stop sharing through any links you created.


  • 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.

Sharing with the OneDrive mobile apps

For information and help, see:

Contact support

Get help from the Answer Desk.

Go to OneDrive button on Help web page

Need more help?

See all support pages for OneDrive.

Applies To: OneDrive

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