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OneDrive rolls out revamped and simpler interface for sharing files

Use OneDrive
Use OneDrive (Image credit: Windows Central)

Microsoft wants to make sharing files via a OneDrive account easier for its users. The company is rolling out a new interface for the cloud file storage service that cuts down on the number of options and menu choices by default for sharing OneDrive links.

In a blog post (opens in new tab), Microsoft stated that the previous setup for sharing files from a OneDrive account got too complex for most of its users:

"Previously, when you clicked "Share," we presented you with the option to either "Invite people" or "Get a link." The majority of people just wanted to get a link, but that wasn't the default choice. When you selected "Get a link," we also offered a number of ways to customize that link and restrict access. This resulted in a lot of confusion and broken links, and most of these options were used less than 0.01% of the time. We wanted to do better."


The new share UI is shown above, and it only offers two options for sharing OneDrive content by default. The first is for sending a link and the other for sending an email. Microsoft says:

"We use terms that are understandable to a wider range of users. We optimized for the common cases and present the rarely used options in less distracting ways. Basically, it's not as messy."

Microsoft tested this new UI with 28,000 OneDrive testers before its worldwide rollout.

  • That is a welcomed change :P
  • I'm really getting tired of all the MS revamping going on ..
  • It's called taking feedback and applying it. Every single technology company does it and the ones that don't eventually fade into obscurity because they don't adapt to their users.
  • Go take a nap and come back and enjoy the progress.
  • A lot of people were tired of Microsoft forcing their vision down users (and often developers) throats. It was one of the main things that made them the evil empire back in the 90s. Looks like they're trying to restore their image by getting away from that. The changes are a result of listening to user (and often developer) feedback.
  • Microsoft needs to do redesigns of what the users want. They would lose business to Box and Dropbox if they didn't. Posted From Windows Central for Windows 10 Mobile on Lumia 1520
  • Much better. Used to always hate the old style Posted from Windows Central for Windows 10
  • But they've got rid of the option to shorten the link. This is a disaster, because their links are way too long to send by email -- the second half of the link always wraps and clueless recipients don't know how to stitch the two parts together. Bring back the ability to shorten the links, MS!!! Always ruining things!
  • Bad Microsoft.
  • Agree. The default should be to a shortened link. This change will cause issues.
  • Vote to bring back the "shorten link" feature here:
  • Finally. I used to have problem for sharing files through onedrive
  • Great move!
  • Come on... We're not that dumb yet
  • That has nothing to do with being dumb but rather convenience and removing sources of confusion. The more streamlined something while still offering options the better.
  • Except that they took a vital option away: the ability to shorten the links....
  • Cool. I can use this already, but what happened with the "revamped" outlook web?
  • I never had a problem with finding the right options and liked the idea of being able to stare with specific OneDrive users, so that it stays in their "shared with me" section until i unshare it. Much more robust that just sending a link and not knowing who's using it.
  • This is still the case. As you can see in the screenshot of the article the permissions settings will bring you the page to 'invite' people. This is just better streamlined now for the majority of users. Very welcomed change.
  • I wish we can have something like this with all other sharing apps Posted from windows central for windows 10 mobile
  • This, like Maps
  • I was kind of scared that you couldn't prevent the use of the link by unauthorized people but it looks like you can still give permissions to specific people.
  • I tested this. I sent a link to an email that is not linked to a OneDrive. I could open the files without being logged in. In the old sharing system, one option was, "Make users sign in with a Microsoft account", or "Users don't need a Microsoft account to view". This option appears to be gone now. I *needed* this option to prevent users from sharing the link with others by forwarding the email. :(
  • It still works if you click in manage permisions to add acounts. I'm guessing your contacts will have to go to shared with me in OneDrive.
  • I don't see that option, though. I do get a different dialog but for me the option to restrict to logged in users doesn't seem to appear. I hope I am wrong! Here's a screenshot I took of what I see.      
  • Select what you want to share, click the share button on the tool bar and you'll see the options to share by link or email. Right below that you'll see an option to "Manage Permissions", click that and it'll show you the detail panel. There you will find the option to give permissions to an specific person.
  • I see the "Manage Permissions" area, but it doesn't offer any more detailed options than the initial sharing area. I can click "Add People", which takes me to the same view as the initial share option does. I can also click on people who I've already shared with, and change their access type (edit, view only, or stop sharing). But I cannot change the way OneDrive verifies their identity any more.
  • It does work with single files or folders I don't get the option when I select and try to work with multiple files or multiple folders. Try with one file or folder.
  • I still look forward to the day that they get their web interface fixed. Copying and moving files there is horrible.
  • I'm disappointed that they took away the Invite option as that is what made the shared photos appear in a users gallery as if they were their own photos. It was more advanced than sharing a simple link and was one of the exclusive features of OneDrive. For example, I could invite a user to a Summer Vacation folder and when they opened the Photos app on their Windows Phone, the photos would be there, even if they never looked at an email from me about the photos. I could say, "Open your Photos app and you will see your digital prints". I used Invite exclusively for my photography business. I'm hoping the "Email" option still provides the same features as Invite, including the auto customized email with thumbnails that take users directly to a photo but knowing Microsoft, the Invite feature was probably removed due to backend costs to keep that integrated Windows tie in going. Sure....MS gave their reasons, based on usage, but they could have kept the options and refined the UI as planned, even put Invite under an Advanced link. I was pretty disappointed when I was ready to invite a client to their digital gallery and I was presented with these overly simple option. There is a difference between simple to use ans simple due to a lack of features and it appears that MS is leaning more to the simplicity due to the removal of features, shrouded in an easier to use UI. Oh well. I hope this change makes it easier for everyone else.
  • Doesn't clicking the "Manage permissions" link and adding people under Sharing do the same that the old "Invite" option did?
  • Read the article again and you will see the original options still exist, by default this new UI has just URL and Email options but if you click the "Manage Permissions" link then you will get the rest of the options such as Invite as well. Posted from Windows Central for Windows 10
  • How un-Microsoft of them. Nice. ☺
  • This is a good change. Similar to the improvements they made to the file save interface in office. It's still not great but much better than it was.
  • What version? Either it's not in the store yet, or I already have it. Please advise.
  • says it's OneDrive on the web (in his first sentence, like it should be reported. Just saying . . . .)
  • not the app.
  • Dumb users like this.
  • Is this when sharing from Explorer or a web browser? Wasn't sure as the screenshot of the UI looks web based but the main screenshot for the article shows OneDrive in explorer
  • It's the web, or so says Can't tell from this article.
  • Thanks, hadn't had a chance to look further so far.
  • Good
  • it's a nice feature.
    I shared an album with 2 peoples, one people with MS onedrive account and other one doesnt have a MS email.
    The first people received the email saying the album is available as shared folder and the other second person received an email giving the link.
    So, no need to panic, every sharing options are still here, it's just more useful way to share.
    When you finished to share the files, you can verify what is the email that has been sent when going to your "sent" folder in
    You will see what emails have been sent.
  • Just came here to say that I am now on Android because Microsoft's cut back of storage to Windows Phones users. That was the last straw for me. And honestly there's zero advantage to owning a WP. It's all the same over here on Android except that there are more apps. Nadella's Microsoft took away all the reasons to owning a WP by putting it on all platforms. And frankly WP10 is way worse than what's available on Android and iOS. There a reason why that WP dude with the funky hair cut took a hiatus. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Now if MS would only fix the sync problem with OneDrive on W10M. That would be insanely great.
  • Have Microsoft ever heard of Dropbox?
  • "Get a link"... So misleading! I want to SEND a link, not RECEIVE one...!
  • I don't like that MS took away native link shortening.  There was an option to shorten the link to the shared files.  That option is gone now.  I will have to use a 3rd party like or tiny url.
  • Oh...That's very inconvenient