Microsoft Plans New Share Experiences Across Microsoft 365

Posted on June 2, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Microsoft 365 with 11 Comments

Microsoft revealed that it is making changes to how sharing works across Microsoft 365 collaboration solutions like Teams, OneDrive, and SharePoint.

“The Share dialog appears in more than 40 areas of Microsoft 365 and is accessed about 400 million times a month,” Microsoft’s Ankita Kirti explains. “That’s why we’ve been gathering feedback and capturing data to understand how you collaborate—and more specifically, how you share and work together with teammates on files—so we can make the right investments to make sharing options more intuitive across Microsoft 365 apps and make collaborating easier for you.”

Over the next year, which, granted, is a long time, Microsoft plans to make the following feedback-based changes to how sharing works across Microsoft 365:

Quick permissions. This one is available now. When you select Share and enter a recipient’s name or email address in the “To” field, you no longer have to go into Link settings to select a permission level, but you can instead select it directly from a drop-down menu next to their name. Likewise, there’s now an additional entry point to Link settings from the Quick permissions dropdown that provides more granular sharing control for link types and permissions.

Copy link. When you set link permissions today and select the Copy link button, you see a confirmation window with an auto-generated link that you can copy and share with your team. But it doesn’t let you change link permissions, so you have to create a new link. In the coming year, this will change. Instead of a Copy link button, there will be a footer that lets you set permissions for the link and then copy it to share it with others. And if you need to update the link permissions, you can do so directly from the Link Created dialog too.

Shared with dialog and Manage Access settings. Microsoft will roll out changes to the Shared with dialog and Manage Access settings later this year. The Share with dialog will display a list of everyone who has access to the selected file and let you see how many people have access to the file. When you make a selection from that list, Manage Access settings appears, giving you more control over how files are shared. This experience will be made more efficient and easily accessible, Microsoft says.

Share menu. The menu that appears when you select Share—at the top of the page in OneDrive, SharePoint, and Teams, and in the top-right corner in Office applications—will “soon” be updated to provide contextual choices like Email, Copy link, and Teams. And once you have shared something this way, the menu will display an option to select Manage access settings for additional sharing controls.


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Comments (11)

11 responses to “Microsoft Plans New Share Experiences Across Microsoft 365”

  1. will

    This looks like a good update.

    Now they just need to fix the dumpster fire they have caused with the recent updates to the Teams UI.

    • behindmyscreen

      Are you talking about the change to the meetings? I like that update.

      • will

        No....the new three dots (...) menu option next to your profile picture vs just using cog wheel and the planned change to the Phone interface. Both have caused lots of frustration with users.

        The three dot one is annoying as there was just a leak yesterday of a possible new Outlook title/menu that looks great and they should stick with a common UI.

        • bettyblue

          I have no doubt Microsoft will keep adding stuff/changing stuff in Teams that they will ultimately ruin it for most users. It will be a bloated mess in short order.

          • hrlngrv

            Metaphorically, when it comes to UI design, Apple is a Michelin 3-star restaurant, MSFT is a poorly stocked vending machine.

    • coachjonno

      Are you talking about standardizing the placing of settings and other items behind the ellipsis? If so, I like that change because it is a more standard user interface separation of settings/configuration from account/session management.

  2. bart

    These seem like useful updates. Will these updates also affect Microsoft 365 Home users? If so, and Teams sharing becomes the default, there is another nail in Skype's coffin?

  3. bluvg

    "The Share with dialog will display a list of everyone who has access to the selected file"

    That's great for file-by-file, but this gets really messy quickly if you wanted to do an access review across a set of files/folders, or entire accounts/system. Most folks have no experience or background managing permissions, and can get easily burned (along with their org) with this.

  4. sno_wacko

    One thing our customers always ask for is better notifications that a link was accessed, file downloaded, etc like Dropbox or even OneDrive. Telling them that it's not an option in Sharepoint or 'coming soon' is not helping my upsell.

  5. hrlngrv

    Why not copy Google? Google Drive lets me create shared FOLDERS, set them to allow others only to view folder contents, and whenever I create a file in such a folder or copy/move a file to such a folder, that file automatically becomes shared only for viewing.

    Thus, for various user-to-user Excel forums in which I participate, I have Google Drive folders containing files which others may view and make their own copies. I have another Google Drive folder just for my family with files any of us may edit.

    From my perspective, this is vastly superior to MSFT's slow children's approach to this sort of thing.

    • hrlngrv

      I sure wish we could again edit comments.

      To clarify, OneDrive folders can be shared, but they DEFAULT to anyone with the link may EDIT. Google Drive lets me have shared folders which default to view only and others which default to edit.