How to share from OneDrive using temporary links, in Windows, Android or a web browser

In May 2017, Microsoft quietly introduced the ability to share files and folders with others, using temporary links that expire after a certain number of days. This feature was offered by other cloud storage solutions for a long time, and it is great that Microsoft has copied it. If you have an Office 365 Home or an Office 365 Personal subscription, here’s how to generate temporary sharing links in OneDrive:

NOTE: This guide covers Windows PCs, Android devices and any computer or gadget with a modern web browser where the OneDrive website works.

How to share OneDrive expiring links from Windows

If you are using Windows 10, Windows 8.1 or Windows 7 and you have installed the OneDrive desktop app, you can share straight from File Explorer (in Windows 10 or Windows 8.1) or Windows Explorer (in Windows 7).

First, open File/Windows Explorer and then go to the OneDrive folder. Find the file(s) or folder(s) you want to share and right-click on it or them. In the contextual menu, select “More OneDrive sharing options.”

Your default web browser opens, straight to the OneDrive website. If you are already signed in, you will see a window with sharing options. If you are not, then you will need to sign in to OneDrive, using your Microsoft account before seeing this window. Click the arrow near the text “Anyone with this link can view this item” to see all the sharing options.

Set whether you want to allow editing and then check the box that says “Set expiration date.” Enter how many days you want the sharing link to be valid, and you can see the date when it will expire. Once you are happy with your settings, click or tap the Copy button.

This expiring link can be copied to anywhere you wish and can be used by the people receiving it only until the date that you have set.

How to share OneDrive expiring links from Android

If you have the latest OneDrive app for Android, open the app. You must be signed in with your Microsoft account for it to work.

Then, navigate to the file(s) or folder(s) that you want to share. Select what you want to share by pressing and holding on the first item. Selection boxes are shown, and you can use them to select other items that you want to share. When you are done selecting everything, tap the Share button on the top. You can see it highlighted in the screenshot below.

Sharing options are displayed. Select whether you want to set editing or viewing permissions and then tap “Set Expiration.”

You are shown a window where you can select the date when the sharing link expires. Set the date that you want and tap OK.

Now you see a summary of your settings, and you can tap Copy link, to copy it to the clipboard and then paste it into another app, like your e-mail app or a messaging app for Android.

The expiring link can be used by the people receiving it until the date that you have set as its expiration day.

How to share OneDrive expiring links from a web browser

If you prefer to use a web browser or you don’t have the OneDrive app at hand, using your Microsoft account, then sign into the OneDrive website in any web browser. Then, navigate to the file(s) or folder(s) that you want to share. Select what you want to share by clicking on its selection icon in the top-right corner. Then, click or tap the Share button on the top.

A window is displayed, with options for how you want to share. Set whether you want to allow editing and then check the box that says “Set expiration date.” Enter how many days you want the sharing link to be valid, and you see the exact date when it will expire. Once you are happy with your settings, click or tap the Copy button.

The sharing link with the expiry date that you have set is now copied to the clipboard, and you can paste it anywhere you wish: in an e-mail, message, presentation and so on.

Do you use expiring links on OneDrive?

Now that you know how to share from OneDrive using temporary links that expire after a certain time, let us know whether you use this feature often and how you like Microsoft’s implementation. Does it work well for you? Is there anything that Microsoft should improve? Let us know in the comments below.