How to Request Files With Onedrive: Quick Feature Tutorial

How to Request Files With OneDrive: Quick Feature Tutorial

Do you know that you can request files from others through OneDrive?

Well, that’s basically the gist of this new feature. You can basically send them a file request so they can upload it straight to a folder.

In this article, I want to talk about this request files feature, show you how to do it yourself, and answer common questions regarding this feature.

Let’s get started.

What is the request files feature in OneDrive?

This new feature was announced at SharePoint Conference 2019.

Funny enough, this only works within OneDrive. You can’t request files from any SharePoint library or any other place.

Basically:

  • You send a file request to someone through OneDrive
  • That recipient clicks on the file request link
  • That recipient can then easily and safely upload the requested files
  • You will then receive an email when new files are uploaded

I’ll show you:

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    How to use the request files feature in OneDrive?

    Sender

    If you’re the sender, here are the steps on how to use the OneDrive request files feature:

    • Select the folder where you want to the save the requested files
    • Click the “Request files” button in the command bar
    • Alternate: Right-click the folder and select “Request files
    Click the request files button on a folder in OneDrive

    Then:

    • Provide a name for the files you’re requesting
    • Click the “Next” button
    Name the files you're requesting from the recipient

    On the next page, you can then either copy the link or send an email with a short message:

    Copy the file request link or send the link via email

    If you use the email feature, the system will then inform you that the “file request was sent”.

    Recipient

    If you’re the sender, here are the steps when someone sent you a file request through OneDrive:

    • Click the link from the email (or sender)
    • Click the “Select files” button on the page
    Select the requested files from your device or computer

    Then:

    • Select the related files from your device
    • If you’re an external user, enter your first and last name
    • Click the “Upload” button
    Upload the requested files to the page

    The system will then inform you that the “upload was successful” and that it will know the sender that you uploaded the files.

    The email looks like this:

    The system sends an email to the sender that new files are uploaded

    Note: The request files feature doesn’t come with a feature that will allow the sender to approve or reject the uploaded files.

    Common questions regarding the OneDrive file request feature

    With that, here are some questions that you may be having regarding this feature:

    1. Who can create or send a OneDrive file request?

    The OneDrive request files feature is only available to those with a OneDrive for Business account.

    Specifically, this feature isn’t available for:

    • OneDrive for home users
    • Office 365 Government users
    • Office 365 operated by 21Vianet users
    • Office 365 Germany users

    In the event that you don’t see the “Request files” button when it’s supposed to be available for you, then you may need to contact the admin.

    That’s because the external sharing must be set up to allow any to share files and folders with links:

    Set slider to the most permissive option

    Note: For more information, you may want to check out my article on external sharing in SharePoint Online as it also involves OneDrive.

    2. Who can upload to OneDrive file requests?

    Fortunately, anyone who you sent the link will be able to upload or respond to OneDrive file requests.

    In fact, even those who don’t have a Microsoft account can upload the requested files — though they will need to enter their first and last names.

    Again, anyone can upload the requested files, including those who don’t have a OneDrive for Business account.

    3. Is the OneDrive file request secure?

    Well, seeing the answer to the previous question, it’s only logical that the “security” will also be questioned.

    Fortunately, the feature is safe to use for both the sender and the receiver:

    • The sender will not be able to do anything on the receiver’s side.
    • The receiver will not be able to see anything on the sender’s OneDrive account.

    If you’re the sender, you can rest assured that the receiver will not be able to see any files or folders within your OneDrive.

    4. Can you edit a OneDrive file request?

    Once you have given the link or sent the email, you will not be able to edit the file request anymore (or recall it).

    However, if you meant the destination folder, then rest assured that you can always edit the folder’s name.

    What the receiver will see now is the renamed folder. Unfortunately, if you used the “wrong” folder, then see the answer to the next question.

    5. Can you stop a file request in OneDrive?

    If you used the wrong folder, here’s what you can do:

    • Delete the folder or delete the request link (manage access)
    • Send a new request files link with the correct folder

    If you don’t know how to delete the request link, follow these steps:

    • Right-click on the target folder
    • Click “Manage access” from the list
    Right click on a folder and click the manage access option

    Then:

    • You will see the links that give access
    • Click the three dots on the link you want to delete
    Click the three dots in line with the request link to delete

    Finally, click the X button beside the “Copy” button of that link:

    Click the x or delete button of the access link to delete

    You will then have to confirm with the system that you want to delete the link and that it will affect everyone who uses the link.

    By the way, do you have any thoughts on this feature? Feel free to express your thoughts and questions in the comment section.

    For inquiries and other concerns, please send me a message through the site’s contact form and I’ll get back to you asap.

    About Ryan Clark

    As the Principal Solutions Architect at Mr. SharePoint, I help companies of all sizes better leverage Modern Workplace and Digital Process Automation investments. I am also a Microsoft Most Valued Professional (MVP) for Office Apps & Services.

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