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Getting started: 6 efficient ways of sharing your folder (or file)

ownCloud gives you six different ways of sharing a file or folder. In this blog post, we explain when to use which.

By ownCloud

There are multiple ways of sharing, and none of them are complicated

At ownCloud, we aim to make sharing files simple and secure. However, requirements and contexts differ, so there are a number of ways to share files with ownCloud. To enable you to get things done quickly, today we list and explain the different ways to share a file in ownCloud.

Public links are low-threshold, Bertolt

For sharing files with people that do not have an account in your organizations’ ownCloud, create a public link. You can send it directly by mail or copy the link and send it any way you see fit, for example in a messenger or video conference. But be careful: Anyone that has the link can access the file or folder you have shared. To mitigate that risk, you can set a password for the share. You can also boost security by setting an expiration date, for example if you know the share will be used right away and the link does not need to work much longer.

Creating a public link is easy: In the classic browser interface, select the file or folder you want to share, and in the file details sidebar, click on the sharing tab and then on “Public Links” and “Create public link”. In the menu that opens up, optionally set a name, a password and an expiration date for the link.

Screenshot of public link sharing in ownCloud's classic browser interface

In the new ownCloud Web frontend, just click on the paperclip icon in the “Actions” column for the relevant file or folder, this creates and copies the public link in one click. To customize the public link, open the “Links” area in the context menu and click on the pencil icon. Then, you can set a password, an expiration date and a name for the share.

Screenshot of public link sharing in ownCloud Web

To create a public link using the Desktop App, in your file manager, select the file you want to create a link for, and open the context menu. Then, select “Copy public link to clipboard” or, to set a password, expiration date or a share name, choose “Share…” to open the full sharing dialogue. There, click on “Public Links”, make your desired settings and click “Create”. In the results view, you can then open, copy, send or delete the resulting public link.

Screenshot of Public Link sharing using the Desktop App

Send a colleague a share, Claire

To share a file or folder with someone who has an account with the ownCloud you are using, create a private share. This does two things: It makes a file available for one or more users and it sends a notification about that file to that user(s).

You can share internally in the classic browser interface via the file details sidebar by clicking on the sharing tab and, under User and Groups, entering the colleague’s name – the form field suggests user names matching your entry.

Screenshot of creating a private share in the classic browser interface

In the new ownCloud Web frontend, click on the “Add people” icon in the Actions column for the relevant file or folder, and enter the user name. Then, set the role for the user, and optionally set an expiration date, and click on “Share”.

Screenshot of private sharing in ownCloud Web

With the Desktop App, open your file manager, select the file you want to create a link for, and open the context menu. In the ownCloud submenu, select “share”. In the share dialogue, enter the user name of your colleague. This form field to suggests user names that match your entry.

Screenshot of creating a private share using the Desktop App

Choose a private link internally, Angie

If you want to just send a link to a user that already has access to a folder, like a colleague in your team, just send a private link. Make sure the colleague actually has the right to access the file, either outright or by inheriting access through the file’s parent folder.

You get this link in the classic browser interface via the file details sidebar by clicking on the little link icon right next to the file name.

In the new ownCloud Web interface, click on the kebab menu icon in the Actions column for the relevant file or folder, and select the Links menu, then in the Private Link area, click on the clipboard icon.

Screenshot of copying a private link in the new ownCloud Web interface

With the Desktop App, open your file manager, select the file you want to create a link for, and open the context menu. In the ownCloud submenu, select “Copy private link to clipboard” – that’s it.

Screenshot that shows how to copy a private link with the ownCloud Desktop App

Guest User sharing saves time, Ephraim

If you want to make a file available to a specific external contact for longer periods of time, or maybe plan to share files with that contact repeatedly, may we suggest you create a Guest User account for that external contact.

It is easy: In the browser interface, select the file or folder you want to share. In the file details sidebar, click on the sharing tab and, under User and Groups, enter the recipients’ email address. If presented with a choice of Federated or Guest, choose Guest. The guest then receives an email, and has to activate the guest account first by setting a password.

Screenshot of inviting a guest user in the classic ownCloud browser interface

Just send a group invite, Dwight

If the file or folder you want to share is already made accessible to a custom group of users, just add the additional user to that custom group. This of course requires your ownCloud to have the Custom Groups feature activated – traditional groups can only be created and edited by administrators.

To add a user to an existing custom group, open the browser interface, click on your user name in the top right corner and select settings. Then, on the left select the custom groups sub menu. There, select the relevant custom group, and a context menu opens on the right. In it, find the form field that says “Add user to this group” and, well, add the user to the group.

screenshot of adding another user to a custom group

You could just federate, Kate

If the user you want to share a file or folder with has an account with another ownCloud, you can send a federated share. The address for this resembles an email address and is called Federated Cloud ID: username@server. You’ll find yours in your personal settings.

To share using federation in the Desktop App, select the relevant file or folder in your file manager and access the ownCloud context menu. There, select “share” and, in the following dialogie, enter the Federated Cloud ID for the user you want to share with and hit enter. ownCloud then sends a notification email to the share recipient and also adds a little hint in brackets for your reference that this user is a remote user.

Screenshot of federation sharing in the desktop environment

In the classic browser interface, click on the sharing icon for the relevant file or folder, and in the Users and Groups tab, enter the Federated Cloud ID for the user you want to share with into the form field.

Screenshot of the process of sharing a file to a federated contact in the owncloud web interface

In the new web interface, click on the “Add people” icon in the Actions column for the relevant file or folder, and enter the Federated Cloud ID for the user you want to share with and hit enter.

Screenshot of federation sharing in the new ownCloud Web interface

ownCloud

Luglio 5, 2021

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