New OneDrive and SharePoint sharing experience

Microsoft has improved the sharing UI on the OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online websites and sync clients to provide easier collaboration and better security.  They have also made some changes which improve usability.


Share command

The Share command now sends shareable links by default rather than granting permissions to specific people like the old Invite people tab. This better matches user expectations that links sent in email can be forwarded to others by default. In other words, Share does the same thing as Copy link except it enables users to send the link immediately to recipients via email.

Both the Share and Copy link commands are now default to the same permissions and use the same link settings.

Link types

Users can change settings on sharing links to one of three possible permission levels:

  • Anyone with this link:    A shareable link that can be sent to others. It behaves like email. You can forward it to others or add people to the thread and it will work. This option does not require recipients to sign-in and hence is the most convenient for recipients. Use this for sharing content that can be freely shared with others, including people outside your tenant.
  • Only people in [tenant]:    Users who open the link must sign-in or be signed-in to a non-guest account in the tenant. It behaves like email with restrictions on it. You can forward it to others or add people to the thread, as long as the people added are inside your tenant. If any external user gets a hold of the link, they will not be able to use it. Use this for sharing internal-only content.
  • Specific people:    Grant permission only to the people you list. The link will only work for those people (and others who already have access to the item). If recipients want to send this link to anyone else, they need to ensure those recipients have been granted permission to the resource, otherwise the link won’t work. This option produces behavior similar to the “Invite people” tab in the old sharing UI.

Tenant admins who wish to change the default link permission can do so in the OneDrive Admin Center and the SharePoint Admin Center.

Users who want to explicitly grant permissions to an item without sending a link can do so by selecting “Manage access” and then selecting “Add people”. For example, if a user wishes to make sure that a folder can be accessed by an entire division, they may want to grant access here rather than send a sharing email to the entire division.

The new sharing UI will be rolling out in the summer on the following endpoints:

  • OneDrive for Business on the web
  • SharePoint Online document libraries on the web
  • Windows File Explorer context menu for sync’ed files (“Share” command)
  • macOS Finder context menu for sync’ed files (“Share” command)

You can read more about this user experience here.

One comment

  1. I hate this new sharing experience – it does not improve usability for me at all. I already hate that I can’t set SharePoint to stop automatically sending out emails when I share a document/folder, but this new set up makes it so much harder to undo that option. Supposedly, I should be able to grant permissions to an item without sending a link via “Manage access” and then “Add people”, but the “Add people” option doesn’t even show up for me consistently. For example, if I am in the document (let’s say an Excel spreadsheet), I don’t have the option to “Add people” after I select “Manage access”. I only get this option when I’m in the folder view and select the document I want to change permissions for. SO annoying.


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