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Sharing Options in SharePoint Online

Tony Phillips

Published: 05, Oct 2018

Sharing a document via SharePoint has many advantages. Traditional ways of sharing a document (such as emailing) creates many problems such as having multiple versions, removing central governance, it can cause confusion and inefficiency in any organisation. Sharing a document via SharePoint ensures there will only be one version of the truth, it keeps the document within your governance rules and provides ownership of the document to the organisation rather than the individual.

SharePoint Intranet Branded

There are benefits to sharing your documents for GDPR compliance too. Keeping documents in SharePoint (even when collaborating with third parties) means that the document will still adhere to your retention policies and ownership. It’s much easier to stop sharing a document than retract an email (accidental data breaches). While in SharePoint there is a clear audit trail (containing any data breaches). In this blog post I’m going to look at how to share (and stop sharing) a document in SharePoint.

Sharing a document

Start off by selecting the document and clicking “Share”.

Sharing documents

Enter the email address of the person who you wish to share it with. Users in your organisation will autocomplete as you type.

Sharing Link Types

If you haven’t changed any of the out-of-the-box sharing policies, the default link will be an anonymous link. You may want to lock this down in the admin centre if required. You can decide which type of link to send to your contact:

  • Anyone – Anyone with the link can access the file until the expiry date
  • People in [Organisation Name] – The link will only work for people in your organisation
  • People with existing access – This will honour the existing permissions on the document – users will get access denied if they don’t already have access
  • Specific people – external users will receive a link and then a pin number to access the file. This stops users forwarding or losing the link.

You can also allow users to have “edit” or just read access to the file.

Press Send to share the file

Shared file

The document can be shared exactly the same way but through the outlook interface when attaching a recent file.

Sharing a file from SharePoint in Outlook

“Share Link” will setup the default share link.

Outlook sharing links

The permissions and link type can be set directly in Outlook before sending the message.

Outlook sharing link options

If you are wondering what the email looks like to an external user, this is a screenshot from my non-Office 365 email share.

Shared file email

Stop Sharing

Maybe a document no longer needs collaboration, or you need to remove access for other reasons, you can do that very easily in SharePoint.

Select the document and open the information panel if it’s not visible.

Open SharePoint information panel

It indicates that the item has been shared with guests. Click “Manage access”.

Manage Access

You can stop sharing the document completely (as you might have a few links here if you have shared on different occasions with different links). Alternatively, you can stop sharing one of the links by pressing the “X” next to it.

Stop Sharing

Confirm the link removal. If you want to share it again, you will need to send out a new link.

Confirm Stop Sharing

If you are interested in setting up SharePoint for your organisation or school, take a look at our easy-to-use pre-built intranet solutions specialised for business and education at Cloud Design Box https://www.clouddesignbox.co.uk.

Cloud Design Box Ltd