“Can I change the default sharing behavior for shared links in Outlook?” this was a question posed to me on a recent training course. The short answer is, yes, you can now change the default sharing behavior when a shared link to a file stored in SharePoint Online, or OneDrive, is attached to an email. Below we will look at how to make the change, and why you might consider doing so.
When you insert an attachment in Outlook 2016, if the file to be attached is stored in SharePoint Online or OneDrive, then you have the option to “Share Link” instead of attaching a copy of the file to the email. The recipient of the email will receive a link they can use to directly access the file in your cloud storage location. In the past, the default security setting associated with that shared link was “edit.” This assumed that you wanted the recipient of the email to be able to edit the original copy of the file in your cloud storage location – which might not be what you intended. There is the option of changing the permissions associated with the shared link yourself before sending the email, however some people might not be aware of that option and simply go with the default setting – which is what we are concerned with in this article.
The good news is that Microsoft is in the process of rolling out a change to SharePoint Online that will allow you to set the default security for the shared link to “view only” instead of edit. This is relevant because the sharing settings, which are configured in the SharePoint Online admin center, come into effect when you share a link to a SharePoint Online file as an email attachment. Microsoft reports the the roll out of the change will be completed by the end of October.
Now is a good time to check your sharing settings in SharePoint Online to confirm they conform to your organization’s approach to securing data. More information can be found in this post by Microsoft, which explains the change from a SharePoint Online perspective, rather than in terms of Outlook.