How to check links shared in SharePoint Online or OneDrive for Business?

In this short abstract I like to give an overview on shared links based on SharePoint Online and One Drive for Business. I point out three views and areas for users and IT admins. Are you using SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business in your organization and allowing to share links even with anyone (anonymously)? So, have you ever been asked how can you check which files and folders are shared on SharePoint Online or OneDrive for Business?

User’s OneDrive

If you are a Microsoft 365 user and employ OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online you might want to see and check what you have access to and to what you allow access? I prefer the following way.

  • Go to and
  • login with your Microsoft 365 account (usually single sign-on does that for you)
  • click on “Apps” on the left hand side navigation bar
  • open your OneDrive
Source: Screenshot

If you open the “Shared” area you can select …

Shared with you

Shared by you

On this view you can see all your shared documents and scroll through. I can only recommend the compact list view here but there aren’t further filters available as far as I could see here.
In case you want to check access settings on a file or folder you can hover on the file and a associated ellipsis menu (three dots menu) appears for further options, e.g. manage access.

Admin – Reports

In the SharePoint Online Admin Center there is a report available to check on sharing links.

In the SharePoint Online report section there you can find “Data access governance” which brings you ahead to view reports and sharing links.

A single report or all the available reports are generated after you “Run all” depending on your checks or selection. It can take some time depending on your Microsoft 365 users.

As it reads here, just going to grab a cup of coffee or tea might not be enough time to get the results and reports ready and displayed.

Hit “Refresh status” to check if the status changed.

If it changed you can click on a report name, e.g. “Anyone” links to open the report and view it.

In this example you do not see any “anyone” links because there is none for the last 30 days. But there won’t be any because the external sharing policy does not allow it. Neither for SharePoint Online nor OneDrive for Business.

Conclusion, opinion and summary

Sharing files is an immanent collaboration feature. However, to which extend it is used or can be used, especially external sharing, should be up to every organization. There are different requirements, regulations and compliance aspects to keep in mind. These basic views for users and admins are something to start with but depending on more specific requirements this can be insufficient. For IT admins the reports are just a supportive (tiny) part of the compliance, regulation and monitoring puzzle they have to face, in my opinion.

For data governance a holistic approach is required. This short abstract only highlights the three areas, two for users and one for admins to gain insights on shared file via OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online. These are not the only options, of course.

Additional resources

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