Microsoft OneDrive: Sharing Files or Folders


This guide will provide the steps for sharing a file or folder in OneDrive either by sharing a link or by granting access directly.

There is also an official Microsoft page (external link) with more detailed information about sharing options. Want to change sharing settings later? See this Microsoft article instead (external link).


  1. Log in to your OneDrive account at and locate the file or folder you would like to share.
  2. Once you select a file or folder, you have two options:
    • Share a link to the file (any button circled in red below)
    • Manage access manually (circled in blue below)


Option 1 - Share a link to the file


If you click any of the sharing buttons circled in red above, the link sharing menu will open (picture below). Some options have already been filled out in this example as a demonstration. The menu looks slightly different when blank, or if the file has already been shared with someone.

From this menu, you have a number of options available.

  • Click the top option to access the link settings (by default: People you specify can view)
    • From this section, you can change who the link will work for. The default option, "Specific people" is recommended in most cases. You can also change other settings, such as allowing people with this link to edit your shared document/folder.
    • To create a link for general use, such as in a newsletter or on a webpage, you can choose one of the less specific options, such as "People in University of Tennessee with the link" or "Anyone with the link".
      • Note: Choosing the "Anyone with the link" option is less secure. These links do not permit editing and will automatically expire in 30 days or less. Adding a password is recommended.
  • In the recipient box, you can enter the name of a person or group, or a specific email address. These people will be sent a copy of the sharing link when you press Send.
  • Click the pencil icon to quickly change between a "view only" link and an editing link. You can also access the link settings menu from here.
  • Optionally, you can add a message that will be delivered with the link. This can help clarify what the link is for if your recipient is not already expecting the invitation.
  • Click Send to send the link to recipients with your chosen settings. Note that it is possible to create multiple links that have different settings for different people.
    • Want to use the link somewhere else? Click the Copy button instead to copy the link to your clipboard.
    • If you decide you want to cancel or delete a sharing link, please see the "Manage access manually" section below.

Option 2 - Manage Access Manually

If you click the Manage Access button (circled in blue in first image above), the access management sidebar will open (see below). The example folder has not yet been shared, so yours may appear differently.

If there are any active sharing links for this file/folder, they will appear under the "Links giving access" section. You can modify the sharing settings for that specific link, or deactivate it entirely. You can also create a new sharing link by clicking Share (see the Share a link to the file section above for more details).

This menu also gives you the option of granting someone direct access to a file/folder. You can click the + button to add more people, and optionally notify them. If people already have access, you can see who they are, and what level of access they have (view or edit). If you are an owner, you can also remove people or modify their access. The advantage of sharing direct access is that the recipient doesn't need to keep track of a sharing link to your file in order to access it, it will simply appear in their OneDrive under the Shared section.

If you are an advanced user and would like to modify the item's underlying SharePoint permissions, click Advanced.

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Article ID: 119011
Thu 10/22/20 7:56 PM
Wed 10/11/23 1:55 PM
Microsoft OneDrive