Block Downloading from sharing links in OneDrive and SharePoint

A key use case when moving from file servers to Office 365 is to have that single source of truth and at a higher level, a better way to securely  manage, access and collaborate on documents inside the network or outside the network. So we do this by changing the mindset of users to think sharing first and removing the mindset of emailing attachments. The OneDrive team has done a great job in unifying the sharing experience across the different endpoints so that users have the same experience regardless of where they decide to share a file from.

There are multiple different options to choose from when users share files from within OneDrive for Business and SharePoint:

  • Anyone
  • People in your Organisation
  • People with existing access
  • Specific People

With a recent update, users will now be able to share a link to Office documents and block recipients from the file, making copies of the file, copying text into other applications or printing. With these settings enabled, the user that the file is being shared with is still able to view the document in Office Online. Currently this option is only available when using the Anyone or People in [your organisation].

Internally there are numerous use cases where this functionality will come in handy. A common question is “how can we publish a policy or procedure and now allow staff to download to their device”. While this could be accommodated a number of different ways, content owners can now use this new option, providing another time saving process.

The big win here is for the “Anyone” sharing. This means that you can now share externally, anonymously and also block the downloading of the document that is being shared. Below is what the user will see when the option has been enabled and a file shared.


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