How to share (or unshare) files, folders, and documents, using the OneDrive website

OneDrive is Microsoft’s cloud service for storing and sharing files. You can store business documents, presentations, pictures, videos, your personal folders and many other types of items. You can share anything from OneDrive using the OneDrive app for Windows, iOS, Android and so on. However, you can also share stuff from the OneDrive website, in any web browser that you want to use. Here’s how it is done:

1. Select the items that you want to share, on the OneDrive website

You can share any file or folder from your OneDrive, using the same steps. First, log in with your account on the OneDrive website. After you sign in, you can see your files. Navigate to the file, document or folder that you want to share.

Depending on the view that you are using (List, Tiles or Photo), you select the item that you want to share by moving the mouse on top of its name. Then, a checkbox is shown in the top corner of that item’s thumbnail (in the Tiles or Photo views), or on the left of its name (in the List view). Check that box to select the item. Then, in the toolbar on the top, click or tap Share.

NOTE: You can select multiple items in the same location, if you want, and share them at the same time.

2. Choose whether you want to allow editing of your shared item(s)

After you press Share, a new window is shown with several sharing options. By default, the “Allow editing” checkbox is selected. This means that, if you go ahead with the sharing, the item(s) can be edited by the people you are sharing with. If you do not want this, uncheck this box.

3. Choose whether you want to set an expiration date

A useful option is setting an expiration date for what you are sharing. This is especially true in a business environment, where you want to make sure that you do not share something more than you have to. To set an expiration date, check the box that says: “Set expiration date” and then type the number of days you want the share to be valid. OneDrive also calculates the expiration date based on the number of days that you type.

4. Choose how you want to share: through a link, an email, or social media

The next step is to choose how you want to share the selected item(s). You can share using a link and then copy and paste it anywhere you wish: e-mail, a message on Facebook, Skype, etc. To do that, click or tap “Get link” and OneDrive generates a link for you. Then, push the Copy button, and the link is copied to the clipboard. You can then Paste (CTRL+V) that link anywhere you wish.

If you prefer sharing through e-mail, click or tap E-mail and then two text boxes are shown. In the first, type the e-mail address of the person(s) that you are sharing with. In the second, type a message. When done, press Share, and you are done.

If you want to share the selected item(s) through social media, click or tap More. Now you can share on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Sina Weibo.

Click the social network that you want to use and then press the Share button for that network (if you are already logged in).

How to view everything that you have shared from OneDrive and all that is shared with you

If you want to know what you have shared and everything that others have shared with you through OneDrive, log in to the OneDrive website. Then, in the column on the left, choose “Shared.”

On the right, you see first what is shared by you with others.

If you scroll down, you see links OneDrive sent you through different means, including automatic photo albums. If you want to stop this feature, read this article: Stop OneDrive from creating automatic photo albums in 3 steps.

Scroll further down, and you see the people that have shared files and folders with you, through OneDrive.

How to stop sharing a file, folder or document, through OneDrive

In the list of shared items, accessed in the previous section, select the item that you want to stop sharing, by clicking the checkbox on the right side of its thumbnail. Then, press the i button on the top-right corner. You can see it highlighted in the screenshot below. This opens a panel with information about the shared item.

In that panel, you are shown who has access to the selected item. Click or tap the “Manage access link.

Now you see all the ways that item was shared. If you want to remove one sharing method, click on the link beneath it that starts with “Anyone with this…”

Now you can edit how the item was shared and set things like a new expiration date, or you can click or tap Remove Link to stop the sharing of that item.

You are asked to confirm your choice. Press Remove link and you are done.

What do you share on OneDrive with others?

The team at Digital Citizen uses OneDrive on a daily basis, and we also share documents, pictures, folders and all kinds of files. We do it both for work and for fun, depending on the context. Before closing this tutorial, we are curious to know what you share on OneDrive with others: Is it work documents? Are they pictures of your friends and family? Comment below and let’s discuss.