Files.com allows you to easily share files and folders with third parties via publicly accessible Share Links. Administrators maintain full control over which users have access to sharing features, as well as how long Share Links will last before expiring.
How Share Links work
The Files.com Share Link provides a virtual read-only, dynamic access point to select files and folders stored on your site.
While other share systems are usually static snapshots of files at the point of the share creation, Files.com Share Links remain dynamic. If you make changes to a file, this change is automatically reflected in all Share Links that include that file. If you add a file to a folder being shared, the new file is automatically added. This makes the Files.com share a much more powerful tool, and an effective alternative to sending files via email.
Administrators have powerful controls over all Share Links in their account.
Want to limit the amount of time that a Share Link is publicly available? No problem - the lifetime of each Share Link is completely customizable via the expiration option. Some users set this to the minimum of 1 day, while others opt for ultra long-term share access.
Would you like only select users to be able to share files? You can do that as well! Share Link permission is assigned at the user level so only those you explicitly grant this access to will be able to create Share Links.
Want to see a list of every Share Link being served by your site? Head over to Sharing and you will have full transparency. Curious if a Share Link has been downloaded? Files.com includes this information in your site history logs.
There are so many uses for Files.com Share Links. Let’s explore how to create and manage Share Links with those outside your account.
Creating Share Links
Starting a new Share Link
There are three ways to start a new Share Link. You can use the method that is most convenient depending on your needs.
- Option 1: Navigate to Files or Sharing, and click the New Share button.
- Option 2: Check the checkbox for one or more files/folders, and click the Add to Share button.
- Option 3: Hover your cursor over a file or folder and click the Add to Share (chain link icon) button.
Adding files and folders
Once you have started a new Share Link, it is easy to add files and folders to it. A Share Link can contain as many files and folders as you wish.
As with starting the new Share Link, there are multiple ways to add files and folders to it.
Option 1: Click the checkbox for one or more files/folders and click the Add to Share button.
Option 2: Drag and drop a file or folder from the folder list onto the share drawer.
Option 3: Hover your cursor over a file or folder and click the Add to Share (chain link icon) button.
Option 4: If you started a share using the New Share button, you can click the Add current folder button in the share drawer to add all files and sub-folders to the Share Link.
Users can expand and collapse the share drawer by clicking the handle at the top left of the drawer.
Share Link options
Each Share Link can be individually customized with the following options, which are accessible by clicking the Edit share options button in the share drawer.
Add an internal note
Sites often have numerous Share Links created by different users and active at any given time. This internal note assists to quickly identify Share Links while viewing and managing all Share Links.
This is a publicly visible description that will be displayed on the download page.
This option allows you to customize when the Share Link will expire. By default, Share Links will expire based on the global setting found at Settings > General > Share Link expiration.
To ensure that the contents of your Share Link don’t fall into the wrong hands, you may optionally choose to secure your Share Link with a password. Password-protected shares will require those visiting your Share Link to enter the correct password in order to view and download the contents of the share.
Generating the Share Link
The final step to create your Share Link is to generate the URL and copy it to your clipboard for distribution. Simply click the Generate Share Link button and the new Share Link URL will be displayed.
That’s it! Your Share Link has been created and is ready for distribution. You can copy the Share Link to your clipboard by clicking it.
Anyone visiting the Share Link URL in a web browser will be presented with a page displaying the contents of the Share Link. The visitor will have the option of downloading select files individually by clicking on a filename, or they can download everything contained in the Share Link using the Download all button.
Note that once the Share Link has been generated, you will not be able to add to or remove from the Share Link, except by adding to or removing from a folder already contained within the Share Link. For example, let’s assume you have a Share Link containing the folder
Publications. After sharing, you realize that you found another file which should be included in the folder and thus the Share Link. No problem! Since Share Links are dynamic references to the files and not snapshots of the files, once you upload the missing file to the
Publications folder, your share will automatically reflect the change.
Emailing the Share Link
After generating a Share Link, you may optionally choose to have Files.com send the URL to one or more recipients via email. Simply click the Share via email button, and enter the recipient email address(es) in the Send to box separated by commas. You may include a custom message in the email by entering it in the Add a custom message box. Finally, click the Send email button.
Managing Share Links
Viewing all Share Links
Both standard users with Share Link permission and administrators have the ability to view Share Links. Standard users will see only Share Links they created, while administrators will see all Share Links within the site.
Users and administrators can view Share Links by clicking on the Sharing icon in the left pane. The resulting table displays information about each Share Link, including the URL with quick one-click copy, the user who created it, the date it was created, the Share Link access control.
Revoking Share Links
A Share Link can be revoked at any time by an administrator, or by the user who created it. When a Share Link is revoked, it will immediately cease functioning, be removed from the Sharing list, and anyone visiting the Share Link URL will receive a “Share not found” message.
To revoke a Share Links, head over to Sharing and click the Revoke button at the far right of the Share Link to be removed. You can use the internal note to quickly identify the correct link. Next, click the Revoke button.
The Revoke all button can be used to instead delete all of the Share Links visible.
Password protecting all Share Links
By default, password protection of Share Links is optional. For greater security, administrators may elect to require that all new Share Links be password protected by enabling the security setting at Settings > Security > Password protect all Share Links.
Administrators can audit their existing shares for password protection by heading to Sharing and reviewing the SECURITY column for each Share Link.
Granting users permission to generate Share Links
“With great power comes great responsibility.” Share Links are extremely powerful; however, they also come with risks. Once a Share Link is created, those files are accessible to anyone with the URL until the Share Link expires or is manually revoked. To help administrators manage this, Files.com lets administrators control exactly which users have the ability to create Share Links.
Access to creating Share Links is controlled at the user level, and by default is disabled for all new users. Administrators can adjust this setting for any user at Settings > Users > [username] > Share Link Permission.