OneDrive and SharePoint File Sharing

Prior to using OneDrive and SharePoint, if you wanted to share a file you would send it as an attachment over email.

With OneDrive and SharePoint, you can share files without attaching them to emails – you are actually sending them a link to your file rather than the file itself. The advantage of this is that you can dictate what the recipient can do with the link:

  • Prevent the download of the file – only allow viewing it in a web browser
  • Allowing access only to the person you have shared it with
  • Remove access to the file at any time

There are numerous ways to share files, in this article we will cover two of them:

Sharing from within Windows File Explorer

If you have your OneDrive/SharePoint libraries synced to your computer, you can access the sharing options by right-clicking any file and select the Share option:


1. First you need to select the who you will be sharing the file with:


2. Choose one of the following options:


  • Anyone with the link – this will send a link that can be used by anyone, not necessarily the people you originally sent it to. This option may not be available due to your company’s security policies
  • People in [Company] with the link– this will send a link that can be used by anyone in your company but no external users
  • People with existing access– this is used to send a link to a file that you know the recipient already has permission to see
  • Specific People – this will send a link to people outside your company which must be accessed by the people who you sent the link to.

3. Also on this screen, you can choose whether to allow editing of the document. Any changes the recipient makes will show immediately in your file.

4. You can also block download of the file for added security.

5. Once you have set these options, enter the recipient’s email address and a message. When you click send, an email containing the link will be sent. Alternatively, you can use the Copy Link button so that you can compose the email separately and paste the link into it, or you may wish to send the link via Microsoft Teams or other instant messaging service.

Keeping track of shared files

1. Access the OneDrive web portal via


2. Click on the Shared option from the left-hand side:


3. From this screen you can view files shared with you and those you are sharing with other.

4. From the Shared by me screen, you have the option to Stop Sharing which will prevent the link you sent from working:


5. Select the file and click Manage Access (1), either click Stop sharing (2) or click the X next to the person’s name (3)