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Shared Links: Overview And FAQs

by on ‎01-30-2015 05:30 AM - edited on ‎02-28-2017 02:10 PM by (92,954 Views)

Box allows for quick and easy content sharing via shared links. With customizable permission levels and a URL that’s easy to copy and paste, shared links can be used to send important content to coworkers and friends – both inside and outside your company.

Note: Old Box Experience

This page refers to the old Box experience. In Box, hover over a single file or folder with your mouse. If the item looks like the following image, you are in the right place.

 

Files and folders should look like this when you hover over them.Files and folders should look like this when you hover over them.

If the item does not look like the image above, visit one of the links below instead:

What are Shared Links?

Shared links, one of the most popular features on Box, allows users to quickly copy and share hyperlinks to content stored on Box with your coworkers and friends – both inside and outside the company. Customizable permission levels, expiration dates and optional password-protection make Box shared links a secure, simple way to share important content.

 

Where can I find them?

  • To generate a shared link, click Share on any file or folder. A pop-up window will appear with your shared link.
  • A shared link to the folder you are currently in will appear in the right-hand panel, beneath the collaborator list:
    Shared Links: Overview and FAQs - 1


What are my options when I create a shared links and what do they mean?

  • When creating a shared link, you will see these options:
    • When accessing the link, users will be asked to log in to Box to verify their identity. This option will be disabled if you are not using a legitimate, validated business domain to access Box, but can be enabled if you change your log in email address.
    • Collaborators in the folder can also access content if @Company is selected 
    • People with the link: People with the link can access 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.
    • People in your companyUsers with a Box account and who are currently managed users of your enterprise will be able to access content via the shared link. You can set an expiration date and restrict download and/or preview access for link viewers.
    • People in this folder: Only users who have been invited to the folder can access the content in the folder. Note: Collaborators already have access to their content, but can easily direct one another to a specific file or folder using the shared link.
    • Remove: This option removes and deletes the shared link assigned to that file or folder so it can no longer be accessed, even if someone has the old link
  • The link options can be set on individual files and/or folders by the owner, across all content a user owns or by the admin for the entire company


Is it available for all types of Box accounts?

  • This feature is available on all accounts
  • If you use a non-business email domain to access Box, you will need to change your login email if you want to leverage the company-only restriction  
  • If you are a Business or Enterprise user, you may find that your admin has restricted some or all of these options 
 

Can I turn off shared links or certain access levels across my entire account? How do I adjust my settings?

  • You have the ability to set shared link preferences for all content you own. If an option is disabled by you, it will not be visible to you or any of your collaborators. If you are an administrator a different set of options are available.
  • We recommend you only change your shared link settings if you want to restrict sharing access for every file and/or folder in your account. If only some of your data requires restrictions, you can restrict shared link access at the folder or item level.
  • To access shared link settings, navigate to the Content & Sharing section of your account settings:


  • From the Content & Sharing settings page, you can control what access options are available for your content, what the default access for newly created shared links will be and what permissions link viewers (who are not invited collaborators) will have for the content they access:

    By default, it is possible for every file and folder in Box to have a shared link, but the link must first be enabled by a folder owner, co-owner or editor

What do the different options on my Content & Sharing settings page mean?

  • In the menu, you can determine what types of content should be accessible to non-collaborators (Note that collaborators have to be explicitly invited into the folder, and already have access to the content whether or not a shared link has been enabled)
  • The options include:
    • With access options: Here you can set what access options are available for the content types selected above. By default, Open is selected, meaning that users with appropriate permissions can choose, per item, what access permission to grant their content.
    • People with the link: People with the link can access. No log in required. Note: Users can still set a password or expiration date for these links.
    • People in your company: Users with a Box account and a validated email address matching your domain (or your account admin’s domain for business and enterprise users) will be able to access content via the shared link. When accessing the link, users will be asked to log in to Box to verify their identity. This option will be disabled if you are not using a legitimate, validated business domain to access Box.
      • Collaborators can also access content if @Company is selected
    • People in this folder: Only users who have been invited to the folder can access the content in the folder. Note: Collaborators already have access to their content, but can easily direct one another to a specific file or folder using the shared link.
    • Default new links to: Choose what the default for newly enabled links will be. By default, this will be the highest access option available.
    • Let link viewers: These settings apply to any viewers of the files who are not folder collaborators. If ‘preview’ and ‘download’ are allowed, folder owners will be able to override these settings for individual files or folders, and restrict access on particularly sensitive items. It is recommended that both ‘preview’ and ‘download’ be enabled for your users to collaborate effectively.
    • Folders and Files: (default) All content in your account will follow the shared link settings that follow this option
    • Folders only: Folders in your account will follow the shared link settings that follow. Shared links for files can be enabled, but will only be accessible by invited collaborators in the folder.
    • Files only: Files in your account will follow the shared link settings that follow. Shared links for folders can be enabled, but will only be accessible by invited collaborators in the folder.
    • Nothing, restrict sharing: Enabled shared links for files and folders in your account will only be accessible by invited collaborators in the folder.

    • For each of the subsections, you can choose:

 

I can't access content using the link that was sent to me!

If you are unable to access content via a link that is sent to you, there are a few things to check.
 
  • Shared Link Permissions: If a link is not set to 'people in the company' and is set to either "people in this folder" or "people in the company," you will be prompted to log into Box. Only shared links that are set to "people with the link" will allow content to be viewed without having to log into Box. See more about shared links here.
  • You were sent a direct URL and not a shared link: If the link sender copies and pastes the URL from directly from the address bar, you may not be able to view the shared item. Shared links will include a /s/ for a shared link as seen below. 

shared link faqs - 1

  • Custom shared links will have a /v/ in the URL:

shared link faqs - 6

  • If the link is a direct URL, users must have registered Box accounts and must be invited to the folder in which the file is located in order to access said file. Direct URLs look like the photo below.

shared link faqs - 7

When you send out a shared link, make sure you are sending them a shared link generated by clicking on "shared" next to the item. If user's are sent direct links and are not collaborators, they may be prompted with the following error message:
shared link faqs - 8

 

What happens if I disable a shared link?

  • For security purposes, disabled shared links are deleted and cannot be added back to a file or folder. If the shared link is later re-enabled, a new unique URL is generated to ensure the content is only available to those with access to the new link.
  • The behavior is the same on custom links – once it is disabled that link is deleted and is no longer assigned to that file or folder
    • Note that this frees the link back up to be used by someone else on that account, so there will potentially be another file/folder with the same custom link in the future
 

What happens if a file is deleted while it has an active shared link, but is later restored? Will it restore the file with the original link or create a new one?

If you delete an item with a shared link and then restore it from trash, the original link is maintained

 

What happens if a user that shouldn't have access to a file or folder tries to use the shared link?

If you set a shared link to ‘Company’ or ‘Collaborators Only’ and a user that is not one of these access types accesses the link, they will be prompted with this error message:

 

What if I only need to restrict certain content? Do I have to restrict shared links for my entire account?

You can always restrict shared link access to contents of a specific folder, allowing for the protection of particularly sensitive data while freeing up collaboration options in the rest of your account

 

  • If you want to restrict a folder that you own, go to the folder options menu, select Properties and then General Info to open the Folder Properties pop-up. In the pop-up, click the Security tab. You can also modify these settings under Folder Settings.
    Shared Links: Overview and FAQs - 7
  • Check the box next to Restrict shared links to collaborators only and choose what item types you’d like to restrict access for – both files and folders, files only or folders only.
  • After you press the Okay button, the selected items will only be sharable with other collaborators in the folder.

Can I set a shared link to expire after a certain date?

In order to change shared link permissions, you will need Editor+ access to the content.

  • Select Share next to the name of a folder/file to generate a shared link for that item
  • Under the shared link will be a setting allowing a group of Users to access the link. Set it to "People with the link"
  • Click on the Gear icon to modify shared link settings
  • Under Link Expiration, check the box next to "Disable Shared Link on."
  • Select a date.

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