When you share your personal files with people outside of your team, it's important to retain control over the original files. WorkDrive allows you to share files and folders from My Folders with external users in the following three ways:
1. Share directly using email addresses
- Access levels for files: View, View and comment, Edit, Share
- Access levels for folders: View, View and comment, Edit, Organize
2. Share with default permissions (for anyone on the internet)
External users will only be able to view and download files and folders. This is the default external sharing option in WorkDrive.
3. Share with custom external share links
- Create new external share links and set passwords and expiration date, allow or disallow downloads, and even request user information for the shared link to help restrict access and track activity.
- Access levels for files: View, View and comment, Edit
Access levels for folders: View, Edit, Upload
- You can create multiple custom external share links for each file or folder.
- The external sharing feature can be enabled or disabled at the team level.
- If external sharing is enabled in a Team, any Team Member can share files and folders externally from My Folders.
- If external sharing is disabled, Team Members will not be able to share files and folders externally from My Folders.
Share directly using email addresses
1. Select My Folders in the left pane.
2. Select a file or folder and click the share icon in the top actions bar.
3. Enter the users' email addresses and assign an access level.
4. Add a personal message if needed.
5. Click Share.
Users will be notified about this sharing via email.
Team users can share files and folders directly with:
- External users (who have a WorkDrive account)
- Users of other teams or organizations in WorkDrive
- Individual plan users in WorkDrive
- External users (who do not have a WorkDrive account)
- When you share with external users who have a WorkDrive account, they must sign in to their WorkDrive account to access any shared files and folders in their Shared with Me section.
- When you share with external users who have a Zoho account but don't have a WorkDrive account, they must sign in to their Zoho account to access any shared files and folders.
- When you share with external users who do not have a Zoho account, they can only access the shared files and folders after verifying their email address via OTP authentication. This ensures secured access for any external users.
- Users without a WorkDrive account will be able to add or upload (includes version upload), comment, rename, and download files and folders. For advanced collaboration features, they need to sign up for a WorkDrive account.
Currently, for Zoho format files (i.e., Writer, Sheet, and Show), external users without a WorkDrive account can only view, comment, and download. We will soon support other options compared to non-Zoho format files.
Share with default permissions (for anyone on the internet )
1. Select My Folders in the left pane.
2. Select a file or folder and click the share icon in the top actions bar. A share dialog box will appear.
Alternatively, you can also right-click a file or folder and select Share.
3. Click Change Visibility next to Permalink in the share dialog box. By default, Collaborators will be selected.
4. Click the dropdown next to Collaborators and select Anyone on the internet.
5. Click SAVE.
6. Click Copy, then share the link with external users via email, group chat, or social networking sites.
7. To stop sharing with anyone on the internet, click Change Visibility next to Permalink in the share dialog box and select Collaborators or Anyone in your team.
External users will only be able to view and download the file or folder.
Share with custom external share links
1. Select My Folders in the left pane.
2. Select a file or folder and click the share icon in the top action bar. A share dialog box will appear.
3. Click New external share link. An external share link dialog box will open.
Alternatively, you can right-click a file or folder and select Share > New external share link .
4. Enter a link name for easy reference.
5. Choose the Access Level for the file or folder you want to share externally.
Permissions for files:
For Zoho format files, i.e., Writer, Sheet and Show, external users can be given view, view and comment, or edit access.
For non-Zoho format files (documents, spreadsheets and presentations), and other file types such as images, videos and pdfs, external users can only be given view access.
Permissions for folders:
View - Restricts an external user to only viewing files inside the folder.
Upload - Allows an external user to do the following:
Upload files (file upload limit will apply based on the WorkDrive plan)
Preview and download files
Edit - Allows an external user to upload and edit files inside the folder.
- The maximum file upload size is 1 GB in Starter plan, 5 GB in Team plan, and 50 GB in Business plan.
- Only files in Zoho's native formats (i.e., Zoho Writer, Zoho Sheet, and Zoho Show) can be edited.
- All external share links are public links, i.e., anyone with the links can access them. You can set passwords and expiration dates to restrict access to users.
6. To enable password access to the file or folder, toggle Set password on and enter a password.
You can add passwords when you share confidential files and folders. Anyone who tries to open the link will have to provide the password you've set for the file or folder.
7. Toggle ON Set expiration to set an expiration date for the shared file or folder. This will make your share link invalid after the set date.
Consider a scenario where your team makes deals with clients or parties for a fixed period of time. You can set the expiration date for links you share with them to ensure that they won't have access to your file or folder once the contract ends.
8. Toggle ON Allow downloads to let external users download the shared file folder. If you wish to restrict users from downloading the file or folder, toggle OFF.
9. Toggle ON Request user data and choose the required user details like name, email address, and phone number. If this is enabled, a user has to submit their details every time to access the file or folder. This way you know who opens your file or folder via the external share link.
- If the name is not requested in a share link, external users will be mentioned as or called Guest# (in sequence as Guest#1, Guest#2, etc.) in WorkDrive.
- This setting cannot be enabled or edited once the external share link has been created.
10. Click Create. A new dialog box will open.
11. Click Copy, then share the link with external users via group chat or social networking sites.
12. To email the share link, enter email addresses of external users, separated by commas, add a personal message if needed, and click SEND EMAIL.
13. Close the dialog box and click the share icon again in the top to see the external share link created at the bottom of the share dialog box.
14. Click Actions next to the share link and you will have these options:
Copy link - You can copy the share link to share with your external users.
View stats - You can view the list of external users who have accessed the file via this external share link, their number of views and downloads, and the date and time they recently accessed.
Email share link - You can email the share link to external users.
Change settings - You can change the share link settings (password, expiration date, and download setting) at anytime after creating the link, or create a new custom share link for the same file.
Delete share link - You can delete the share link if required.
- You can create multiple custom external share links for a single file or folder, and share them with the appropriate person or group.
- You can find separate access stats for each external share link by clicking its Stats in the share dialog box.
- To access an externally shared file or folder, external users have to go to the email or app where they received it. The file or folder will not be listed anywhere in external users' folders, even if they have a Zoho account.
- Deleting external share links will remove access to files or folders for external users.
When you work together with external users for a long period (say, 6-12 months), you can add them as client users to your team with limited roles and permissions for better collaboration.