One frequent question we field here at Alltek is how to share a folder or file with someone else—whether that person is sitting across the office, working from home, or isn’t even a part of the organization.
Of course, there are plenty of ways to do this. It’s not difficult when you’re dealing with small files and security isn’t a particular concern. If nothing else, you can just attach files like these to an email and be done with it.
But when security matters or you’re dealing with files over a certain size, it gets tricky. Below, we’ll show you the simplest way to send a secure file using a tool you likely already have.
Microsoft 365 or Office 365 Users Already Have a Great Tool: OneDrive
If your organization is already paying for a Microsoft 365 or Office 365 license, you already have access to a powerful, intuitive way to share large files or even entire folders securely.
The application is called OneDrive, and many people don’t realize just how much OneDrive has to offer. At its most basic, it’s a cloud storage utility, providing a way to access your files from anywhere. Perhaps just as importantly, OneDrive also gives you the ability to share files and folders securely, including content that’s too large to be sent in an email.
Here’s exactly how to share files securely, plus how to properly set parameters around that shared data.
Method #1: OneDrive File Sharing Through Your Web Browser
The first method for securely sharing files using OneDrive starts in your web browser. Start by navigating to your organization’s OneDrive site. Next, follow these simple steps:
Find the OneDrive shared folder or file you want to share.
Click the ellipses (…) next to the file or folder name.
The “Share” menu gives you a few options. If you choose “Anyone with this link can edit/view,” you can then click “Copy link.” Then simply share the link with the users who need access.
Alternately, you can enter an email address in the Share window, plus an optional message, and then click “Send.” Doing this will generate an email to the selected users and give them the access you’ve chosen.
On the Share screen, you’ll see an arrow next to the first field (which should default to “Anyone with this link…”). Click the arrow, and you can change the access parameters. You can limit access to only those in your organization, only specific users, and so forth. When you’re dealing with highly secure files, you don’t want absolutely anyone that gets the link to have access, so be sure to tighten up access appropriately.
You can also toggle whether or not users can edit the file (rather than simply view it), and you can set an expiration date or even a password on this screen.
Method #2: Sharing Through File Explorer
You can also follow similar steps from within File Explorer. Only synced OneDrive files can be shared in this way, so if a particular file can’t be shared, you may need to move it to a OneDrive location first. All you have to do in this method is right-click on a file and click “Share.” Doing this brings up the exact same menu described in the previous method, where you can share access and modify parameters.
Quick troubleshooting tip: If you don’t see any OneDrive file sharing options in File Explorer, your IT team or vendor may need to enable OneDrive syncing before you can share OneDrive folder access at all.
Sharing large files securely used to be a big headache. But by using these simple shortcuts within OneDrive, you can streamline your workflow and enhance your security — at the same time.
Need help implementing OneDrive across your network? Alltek can help. Reach out today for a free consult and see what we can do for you.