OneDrive: Sharing Files/Folders


This article describes how to create shareable files and folders links, and invite & manage collaborators.

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Sharing Files Getting a sharable link:


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 see who a OneDrive file is shared with or stop sharing at any time.

Users with the link cannot upload new items. Keep in mind that the link can also be forwarded and sign-in is not required.

This article is specific to OneDrive, for information on SharePoint see the following article:  SharePoint: Share Site/Team Files

Web Based Application (Browser):

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

  2. Pick the file or folder you want to share by selecting the circle to the left of the file name. You can also pick multiple items to share them together.

  3. Select Share at the top of the page.


  1. Select Specific People with the link can edit to customize the link options.

    1. Note: If a sharing option has been greyed out, your organization's admins may have restricted them. For example, they may choose to disable the Anyone option to prevent usable links being forwarded to others. Specific people includes users external to USNH

  2. Set the options you want on your link, then select Apply when you're done.

Link Settings options for sharing a file in OneDrive


By default, Allow editing is turned on. If you want people to only view your files, uncheck the check box. This can be further restricted by selecting the option to Block download, which means they cannot save a local copy.

  • Allow editing - 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.

    Unchecking this box means that people can view, copy or download your items without signing in. They can also forward the link to other people. However, they cannot make change to the version on your OneDrive.

  • Set expiration date - The link will only work until the date you set. After that, the link will be invalid, and you will need to create a new link for users requiring access to your file or folder.

  • Set password - When a user clicks the link, they will be prompted to enter a password before they can access the file. You'll need to provide this password separately to users.

  • Anyone 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.

  • People in <Your Organization> gives anyone in your organization who has the link access to the file, whether they receive it directly from you or forwarded from someone else.

  • People with existing access can be used by people who already have access to the document or folder. It does not change the permissions on the item. Use this if you just want to send a link to somebody who already has access. 

  • Specific people gives access only to the people you specify, including those external to USNH.  Although other people 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.

  1. Once you're back at the main Share box, select Copy Link to copy the link to your clipboard.

Copy Link confirmation when sharing files via link in OneDrive

Note: "” is the shortened URL for OneDrive. Shortened URLs are useful for sharing via Twitter.

  1. Paste the link in an email message or wherever else you’re sharing the link.

Email Invitation

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. In the Enter a name or email address field, start typing 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.

Share files dialog box in OneDrive with email addresses added

  1. Add a note to recipients if you want.

  2. To change the permission level, select Anyone with the link can edit.

  3. Set the options you want on your link, then select Apply when you're done.

Sharing 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.

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.


Inviting Collaborators

  1. Select the files or folder you'd like to share.

  2. Select Share Share

  3. Select Anyone with this link can edit this item and set the permissions:

    • Select Allow editing if you want others to be able to edit the file.

    • Uncheck Allow editing if you only want others to be able to view the file.

  4. Select how you'd like to share:

    • Get a link - Select Copy and paste the link into a message, file, webpage, or other location.

    • Email - enter the emails of the people you want to share with, add a message (optional), and select Share.

    • Social network - Select More and select the social network you want.

Screenshot of a selected file and the Share button in OneDrive.


OneDrive Share All Options


Sharing using the Desktop App:

  1. Open the desktop app using the OneDrive icon in the lower right dashboard of your computer.  If you do not see the Blue Cloud symbol you may need to use the up Arrow to view more icons.

  1. The application will open and you will see a file structure very similar to Windows Explorer.  You will then right click on the folder or file you are looking to share and use the Share option from the menu. 

  1. From here use the instructions above starting at step #4.


Stop or change sharing

If you are the file owner, or have edit permissions, you can stop or change the sharing permissions.

  1. Select the file or folder you want to stop sharing.

  2. Select Information Information in the upper-right corner to open the Details pane.

  3. Select Manage access and:

    • Select the X next to a link to disable it.

    • Select Can Edit or Can View, and then select Stop Sharing.

    • Select Can Edit or Can View and then select Change to….

Screenshot of the Sharing section of the Details pane for a shared file.


Need Additional Help?

Please fill out the Microsoft 365 Support webform with as much detail as possible, or contact the ET&S Help Desk team on your local campus.


Article ID: 2055
Mon 10/21/19 1:24 PM
Fri 4/15/22 4:31 PM
Applicable Institution(s):
Granite State College (GSC)
Keene State College (KSC)
Plymouth State University (PSU)
University of New Hampshire (UNH)
USNH System Office