How do I share SharePoint documents to external users?

To share a SharePoint document to a person outside your organisation, you can share a link that provides editing permission or viewing only permission.

  1. Sign in to the SharePoint portal.At the top of the page, click the app launcher , and then click Sites
  2. Navigate to the document that you want to share. Click the ellipses ...next to the document, and then click Share.  
  3. In the Share dialog box, click Get a link.
  4. Select the type of permission you want to grant users. If you intend to share the document with users outside of your organisation, you may choose View link – no sign-in required or Edit link– no sign-in required. Should you choose the latter option, be aware that anyone with the link will be able to edit the document, so exercise caution when choosing this option, particularly for confidential documents. 
  5. You can set the expiration date of the link on the Set Expiration dropdown list.  
  6. The last step is to copy the link and send it to the external user.

Note the following:

  • If a document is in a team site library, other site members can find the guest links in the Share dialog box and send them to others.
  • If the file you are attempting to share is located in a library that is using Information Rights Management, you will not be able to share it externally.
  • Anonymous guest links could potentially be forwarded or shared with other people, who might also be able to view or edit the content without signing in. Avoid using anonymous guest links for sensitive content.
  • People who are invited to access documents using anonymous guest links will only be able to view or read files in the relevant Office Online. They will not be able to open files in a corresponding desktop version of the Office program.
  • If external sharing is turned off globally in the Office 365 Service Settings or the SharePoint Online Admin center, any shared links will stop working. If the feature is later reactivated, these links will resume working. It is also possible to disable individual links that have been shared if you want to revoke access to a specific document. See How do I disable an anonymous guest link?
  • If you share Excel workbooks that include Power View sheets with people outside your organisation, they won't be able to see the Power View sheets in those workbooks.
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