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Tips for reviewing shared files in OneDrive

Make sure access is granted only to people who need access.

By Corey Oxenbury

September 23, 2021

Overhead image of man typing on laptop, words technically speaking

If you’ve ever shared a file or folder within your Metropolitan State University of Denver OneDrive account, you may have noticed there are several options for how you want your content shared, including who will have access and what those people can do with it. While these options offer a great deal of freedom with file-sharing, it’s important to know how they make your content available to ensure that protected or sensitive information is kept secure. Here are a few things to keep in mind when sharing files:

  • Always try to keep the scope of sharing as narrow as possible, granting access to only the people who need it. When in doubt, use the Specific people option, the default in MSU Denver’s Office 365 environment. Remember, you can always add more people later if you need to.
  • There are no sharing options that on their own make your content publicly searchable on the web. However, the Anyone with the link or People in MSU Denver with the link options can still be less secure than other options because they create a link that can be accessed by more than just the people you send it to – for example, if someone forwarded an email from you containing the link to someone else. Take care not to use these options for files containing protected or sensitive information.
  • If you don’t want your audience making modifications to the document, make sure you turn off the Allow editing option when creating a link. Alternately, for Word documents, you can enable the “Open in review mode only” feature to allow readers to make suggestions you can accept or reject. Check Microsoft’s Track changes in Word support document for more information on using review mode in Microsoft Word.
  • It’s important to review your files’ sharing permissions periodically to make sure that access is granted to only the people who need access. Every file and folder’s “Manage access” menu will show you a list of every sharing link you’ve created and shared for that item, as well as any users with direct access (by default, only two users will be in the direct-access list: yourself and a system administrator). If anyone doesn’t need access anymore, you can remove their permissions from here too. Please see Microsoft’s See who a file is shared with in OneDrive or SharePoint support document for more information.
  • To make reviewing share permissions easier, it’s recommended that you create a folder in your OneDrive dedicated to documents you wish to share, rather than sharing documents from multiple folders. Take care to share only with individuals who have a business need to view the sort of data included in the files you are sharing.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Information Technology Services Service Desk at 303-352-7548 or

Topics: ITS, Technically Speaking, Technology

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