Shared links enable you to quickly copy and share hyperlinks to content stored in Box with your coworkers and friends – both inside and outside the company. Sending someone a shared link to a file or folder is a way to work together with that person around shared content. Customizable permission levels, expiration dates, and optional password-protection make Box shared links a secure, simple way to share important content.
Sharing a link is different from inviting someone as a collaborator.
It takes just a moment to create a shared link. A few moments more, and you can also configure the link's security settings to control access to the linked content.
Creating and Sharing a Link to a File or Folder
With simplified sharing, in just one click you can share access to the file or folder of your choice. You can also email links to people you invite to collaborate.
Creating a link to share:
- Open the Share window. To do this, in your Box files view, hover over the row of the file or folder you wish to share.
- On the right, click the link icon ().
The Shared Link window opens. The link automatically copies to your clipboard.
That's it. You can now paste that link into the app of your choice -- email, messaging, and so on -- to share your content.
By default, shared links are disabled. If you share a link to a file or folder by clicking the Share button, or via the More Options menu (… ) > Share, you must manually enable and then copy the link. Only if you click the link icon () does Box automatically enable the link and copy it to your clipboard.
Modifying Link Security Settings
You can also use the Share window directly to configure security settings for your link. To do this:
- Open the Share window as you did, above.
- Click Link Settings. Box displays a list of link settings.
- Edit these settings and click Save.
- Select the access permission you wish to assign to the linked content. To do this, at the bottom of the Share window, click People in your company, and select from the menu that displays. (See below for further explanation of these menu options.)
- If available, click Can view and download, and select the activity you wish to assign to the link recipients.
- Close the Share window and use the app of your choice to send your link.
Shared link access
When you create a shared link, you have these access permissions from which to choose:
- People with the link: Anyone with the link can access the item and no Box account is required. For extra security, you can also set a password or expiration for the link, as well as restrict download and/or preview access for link viewers.
- Password-protected shared links are available to all paid Box User accounts. All passwords for open shared links require at least eight characters, and should contain at least one uppercase letter, number, or special character.
- When accessing the link, collaborators must log in to Box to verify their identities. People in your company is disabled if you do not have a valid business domain registered with Box.
- Collaborators in the folder can also access content if People in your company is selected.
- Invited people only: Only people invited to the folder or file can access the content. Collaborators already have access to their content, but can easily direct one another to a specific file or folder using the shared link.
Shared link actions
When you create a shared link, you can select the actions that the shared link recipients can take. The actions you can choose depend on what your administrator allows, but can include any of:
- Can view, download, and edit: The people with access to the link can edit the file, or the files in the shared folder, or the Box Note, as well as view and download the file, the files in the folder, or the Box Note.
- Can view and download: The people with access to the link can view and download the file, the files in the folder, or the Box Note, but cannot edit within Box.
- Can view only: The people with access to the link can only view the file, the files in the folder, or the Box note, within Box.
Your administrator defines the maximum actions that shared link recipients can take separately for files, folders, and Box Notes and also defines the default choice for each when more than one choice is made available.
You can set the link options on individual files and/or folders by the owner, across all owned content, or by the admin for the entire company. Also, verify that the setting you choose allows file access to the person with whom you are sharing it. Otherwise, your intended recipient receives an error when they click on the link.
Emailing Your Link
You can also email your link to invited collaborators directly from the Share window. To do this:
- Open the Share window. To do this, hover over the file or folder you wish to share. and click the link icon ().
- In the Share window click the envelope icon. Box displays the Email Link window.
- In the Email Shared Link field, type the name or email address of the collaborator.
- In the Message field, type a message of up to 750 characters for the collaborator.
- Click Send.
Finally, you can remove or cancel a shared link. To do this, from the Share window, click the Share Link slider to move it to the left. The slider color changes from blue to grey.
Permissions and Shared Links
Box makes it easy to collaborate on and share files and documents with anyone, inside or outside your organization. However, when you share, move, or copy content, the permission to access those items might change, often to a less restrictive setting. More on how Box helps you keep your content secure.
|Permission||Provided by Shared Link|
|View / Add Comments||Yes (via API)|
|View Item Collaborators||No|
|View Item Owner||Yes|
|View Item Creator||Yes|
|View Item Modifier||Yes|
|View / Edit Metadata||Yes (via API)|
|View / Create Tasks||No|
("item" means the folder or file to which the shared link points.)
- People who have access to a shared link (either by your sending them a link, or by their accessing it elsewhere, such as in a Web page or forwarded email) are allowed to see and work with you on the content to which the shared link points. Depending on the link settings, these permissions may include downloading or editing the content.
- Comments and metadata on files pointed to by a shared link can be viewed and created programatically via the API, even if they are not obviously visible in the preview experience.
- You can also access the Share window by highlighting the row of the item you want and either clicking Share or clicking the ellipsis (...) and then clicking Share.
When a collaborator has more restrictive access to a file that that is given through a shared link, the collaborator gains the permissions provided by the link when accessing a file with the link. For example, a user collaborating on a file you own has just the Viewer collaborator role. You create a shared link and allow View and download. If that user accesses the file with the shared link, rather than directly, they could both view and download the file.