OneDrive Upload-Only Folder — A Secure Way to Request File Uploads From Clients and Co-Workers

Key Points:

  • The world knows OneDrive as a cloud storage resource.
  • However, the resource has a file request feature that allows users to set upload-only folders where others can upload files but can’t view, edit, download, or delete other files in the folder.
  • The file request feature makes file collecting more secure and efficient.

Microsoft OneDrive is an excellent resource for storing files in the cloud. However, the resource has a file request feature that allows you to create an upload-only file folder to request others to upload files.

Users uploading files cannot see, edit, delete, or download content on the folder — they can only upload. The feature is excellent for sharing large files with others without having to grant access to your entire OneDrive account.

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Requirements to Create an Upload-Only Folder on OneDrive

To create an upload-only folder and request files on OneDrive, you must meet the following conditions:

  • You must have OneDrive for work or school accounts
  • You must enable the Anyone links feature on OneDrive
  • You must configure View, edit, and upload permission for anyone links

The feature is unavailable on OneDrive for home or Office 365 Government.

How to Create an Upload-Only Folder and Request Files on OneDrive

Making an upload-only folder and requesting files on MS OneDrive is quite straightforward. The steps are as follows:

  1. Open your Microsoft OneDrive and sign in with your account.
  2. Navigate to the New Folder button at the top of the page and click on it to create a target folder for your file request.
  3. Enter the name of the folder you want to make upload-only in the Folder Name field and save.
  4. Click on the folder you’ve created and select the Request files option from the top gray menu.
  5. A window named Request files will open. Fill in the field asking you what file you’re requesting.
  6. Select the Next button to open the Send file request window.
  7. Choose a method to send a file request. You can hit the Copy link button to copy the file request link and send it to users over email.
  8. Alternatively, you can type in the email addresses of the people to upload files to the folder in the People field.
  9. Hit the Send button up to complete the setup.

OneDrive has the Add a message section that you can utilize to communicate the type of files you need users to upload. You should clarify what files you want to avoid back and forth communication when users upload the wrong files.

How OneDrive’s Upload-Only Folder Works

When you create an upload-only folder and share the file request link, the following apply:

  • Anyone with the file request link can send you a file, even if they don’t have OneDrive.
  • All the files that users upload through the link go to the folder you set
  • Every file will have a prefix of the person uploading it to help you know who shared what file
  • If users upload files with similar titles, OneDrive will automatically add a number to name the second file
  • People uploading files can’t view, download, or edit content in your OneDrive

Since the file request link allows people without OneDrive to upload files, you can set a way to share files with clients faster without any barriers.

How to Edit OneDrive Upload-Only Folder

If you messed in creating the upload-only folder — maybe made an embarrassing typo in the folder name, here’s how to make corrections:

  1. Head over to your OneDrive and sign in with your account
  2. Find the upload-only folder from the list of files and folders and click on it
  3. Choose Request files
  4. Rename the target folder in the Folder name field

If users already had access to your folder, they’ll see the name of the new folder after you have changed it.

How People You Request File From Interact with the File Request Link You Share

After sharing the file request link, users will receive emails telling them that you’re requesting a file for the upload-only folder. For instance, if you’re Ben and named the folder “Project Z,” users will get emails with requests saying, “Ben is requesting files for Project Z.”

The email will have a Select files button which users to upload files. The link will direct the users’ to their computer storage, where they can search for the file you’re requesting and upload it.

Users can upload more than one file by clicking the add more files option.

While users don’t need a OneDrive account to upload files, Microsoft will ask for their names and email addresses. Microsoft does this to help you identify where the files are coming from and avoid spam.

If whoever you’re requesting files from having Microsoft 365 accounts and are logged in, their email addresses and name will fill in automatically.

Users will then click the Upload button to send the files to the upload-only folder you created. Microsoft will then notify them about the successful upload. They can click the Upload more button if they need to add more files.

Stopping File Request on One Drive

After receiving all the files you requested, it’s reasonable to deactivate the upload link. You can delete the upload-only folder on your OneDrive to make it inaccessible to anyone. Right-click on the folder and select delete in the drop-down menu. Alternatively, delete the link that points to the folder manually in the following steps:

  1. Hover the cursor over the upload-only folder on OneDrive for a small window to pop up
  2. Select Manage access to open a new window
  3. Find the three dots option next to Link Giving Access
  4. Then click the cancel icon X and select the Delete link

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