How OneDrive’s New Sharing Link Dialog Makes It Easier to Configure Settings

Change Copy Link Settings Before Sending

Published in MC298387 (November 16, Microsoft 365 roadmap item 83728) and now rolling out to Office 365 tenants worldwide, Microsoft has updated the OneDrive for Business sharing link dialog to make it easier for users to change the sharing link settings before copying them to share with others. Roll out should complete between mid-December (targeted release tenants) and mid-January (standard release tenants).

Common Sharing Link

The sharing link dialog is used by both SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business. The old version (recently refreshed to display the set of people with existing access to a file) has a Copy link button (Figure 1), which generates the link with its current settings in a form that the user can copy it (and then insert into email, a Teams chat, Yammer message, or web page as appropriate).

The old design for the Sharing Link dialog
Figure 1: The old design for the Sharing Link dialog

Everything works in the old dialog, but you’ve got to configure the link with the correct access and recipient settings before you generate the link. For instance, you might want to amend the link to allow sharees to edit a file or force users to access the content online by blocking downloads. The new approach removes the Copy link button and replaces it with a complete section where the user can configure the link settings before generating the link (Figure 2).

The new design for the Sharing Link dialog
Figure 2: The new design for the Sharing Link dialog

Once the link is configured, the (smaller) copy button works as before.

Better for Sending Sharing Links by Email Too

The new arrangement also makes the use of the email (Outlook) option clearer. In the old dialog, the Outlook and Copy link buttons are arranged in a line under the Send button. In a weird kind of way, you could imagine that the Send button would work for both options. Now there’s only an Outlook icon in a straight line with the Send button to make the connection between the two clear and obvious.

Paying attention to how the sharing link dialog functions might seem like small beer when compared to the other changes happening within the Microsoft 365 ecosystem (like the introduction of Loop components for Teams chat). That perspective is accurate because this is a small change. However, it can equally be argued that making sure that everything works as smoothly as possible is important, and when it comes to the mechanism used to share documents with people inside and outside the organization, it’s critical that the right settings are in place. For that reason, this is a good and useful change.


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