How to receive files using OneDrive for Business

If you want to receive files without using email, you can use the Request files feature in OneDrive for Business.

Locate the folder you want the incoming files to end up in, click on the three dots next to it, and select Request files:


Enter a descriptive text. This will be shown to the users sending you the files (as you will see in screenshots later):


You are now presented with two options:

1. A link that you can copy and share with people that are going to send you files

2. Add email addresses to send a file request email to


The link looks something like this:
Note that the link exposes your tenant and UPN (thanks to my colleague Daniel Bugday for clarifying it wasn’t your email address).
If you lose the link, it can be retrieved again, see Managing Access below.

Here I added two email recipients and added a message. Notice the warning that one of them is outside of my organization:


After sending the request, I am shown this message:


The recipients will get an email that looks like this:


You will see the request name and custom message. Notice that I can not see the other recipients of the file request here.

When you click on the link in the email (or the copied link, if you chose not to send emails), you will end up here:


Clicking on Select files opens a local Open dialog, where you can locate the file you want to send:


You can add more files here, but you can also upload more files later by returning to the same link (as long as the Request file access has not been removed).
When you are done adding files, click on Upload:


In the example above I was already logged in to OneDrive, so you can see that my name was prepopulated (and not editable).

You do not have to be signed-in to OneDrive, or even have a OneDrive account to upload files. In those cases, you must add a name yourself:


Upload progress will be shown:


Then you will see this message:


As the receiver, I will receive a notification email about uploaded files:


Clicking the link takes me to the folder in my OneDrive for Business and I can see the files that have been uploaded. 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 second file’s name.

To stop the possibility to upload files, click on the three dots next to the folder and select Manage access:


On the Manage Access pane, click on the three dots next to the sharing link:


Click on the X to remove the sharing link.
Notice that the sharing description says Anyone with the file request link can upload only, so you are technically not sharing anything.


Approve the warning about link deletion to complete the removal.


The next time someone uses the link they will see this message:


Maybe a more File request related message would have been better (it is not access to a document that has been removed), but the link stopped working, and that is what is important.

Some important notes:

· Your admin must have enabled Anyone links in OneDrive

· Uploaders cannot see the content of the folder, edit, delete, or download files, or even see who else has uploaded files

· This feature is not available for Office 365 Government, Office 365 operated by 21Vianet, OneDrive for home, or Office 365 Germany

· The maximum file size is 100GB

If you try to upload a larger file you will get this message:


Files prefixed with ~tmp are still uploading or failed attempts. You can see that the file size is not displayed for these:


I hope this was helpful!

About Tom Aafloen

IT Security Advisor @ Onevinn
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