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How To Request Files Securely Using Microsoft 365

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This guide provides two options for securely requesting files from a client.

Using these methods avoids emailing sensitive information and also avoids any size restrictions that can occur with emails.

Method 1  – OneDrive File Request.

This method is best to be used when requesting ad-hoc files from external parties. The same link can be provided to multiple people and the files will appear in your own OneDrive folder.

With a file request:

  • Anyone with the file request link can send you a file; they don’t need to have OneDrive.
  • All the files sent to you are saved in a single folder that you choose.
  • Every file will have a prefix to help you identify who uploaded it.
  • If two files with the same name are uploaded, OneDrive will automatically add a number to the name of the second file. 
  • People who respond to your request can only upload files. They can’t view or edit the contents of your OneDrive.
  1. To use this method, log in to your OneDrive folder at, select the folder where you would like the files to go.
  1. Select ‘Request Files’ on the top of the page.
  2. Enter a descriptive name for the files you are requesting from others in the “What files are you requesting?” (They’ll see this description when they get the file request.)

    Selection of files UI
  3. Select Next.
  4. You can select “Copy link” to copy the request link and send it to anyone you would like to request files from, or you can enter the email address or addresses of the people you want to request files from. You can also type a message that will be included in the email that OneDrive sends to them.

    Send file request UI
  5. Select Done.

You’ll receive a notification email whenever someone uploads files to your file request folder.

If you want to edit the descriptive name of the file request, select the folder and select Request files again, then change the name. The people you sent the request to will see the new name when they upload files.

With the file request feature in OneDrive, you can choose a folder where others can upload files using a link that you send them. People you request files from can only upload files; they can’t see the content of the folder, edit, delete, or download…

Method 2  – Creating a Dedicated ‘uploads’ Folder Per Client

This method works best if you wish to have a permanent link where you and your client can share files from. It can be created in a shared location, such as a Teams or SharePoint Folder, so multiple people can access it.

With this method:

  • You can create a dedicated folder per client for uploads/sharing.
  • Your client will be able to create files or folders in this location.
  • Your client will be able to see other files and folders in this location.
  • You can provide a permanent link to this location for your client.
  • You can share with individual email addresses, rather than providing a link that works for anyone.

To use this method, follow the instructions below:

Creating a dedicated ‘uploads’ folder and sharing with your client.

  1. Create an ‘uploads’ or ‘sharing’ folder in the location of your choosing. You can do this in the web, Teams, Windows File Explorer, or wherever you feel most comfortable creating folders.
  1. Right-click the folder, and click Share. This will bring up the share window.
  1. Click on the upper box to access the permissions for the link.
  1. Choose your permissions. To share with a specific individual, you would select ‘Specific People’ and ensure to ‘Allow Editing’. This will allow your client to upload files.
  1.  Type the email address of the person you wish to share with. If you would like Microsoft to send them an email with the link, type a message and click Send. If you prefer to obtain the link and send it in your own email, after typing their email address, click ‘Copy Link’. You can now paste the link into an email of your choice.

Your client can now use the link you shared with them to access the folder you have created. Anything files you store in that location they will be able to download, and they will also be able to upload files. They can either use the controls at the top of the window to upload, or simple drag and drop things into the window. See the example in the image below.

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