Is it possible to just have only one file given access to an external user, and no other access? What I mean is the file that I want them to access is about 5 levels of folders, instead of this external person clicking on each folder to get to the file, perhaps there is a way that allows just only this file to show under "documents" when they come to our SharePoint Online site. Thoughts? Otherwise I have to allow them to view only the folder structure to actually see the file when they login. Thanks.

  • why would they need to see the folder structure or the library? You can share the file with them and then they can access the file. You don't need to give them access to the site.
    – teylyn
    Commented Oct 7, 2019 at 23:15
  • We have multiple domains that will be collaborating. The problem is I am trying to keep this the best way possible to manage. In other words, for tighter security I don't want them to have a link, or to share link. I want to specifiy what file they have access to, and when they go to our sharepoint, that is the only file or folders that shows up. It would be nice if it is a situation where there is only one file they need to update and input data, that they don't have to open up the sharepoint and drill down 5 folders just to get to that one spreadsheet they need to update. Commented Oct 8, 2019 at 17:57
  • Create a view without folders.
    – teylyn
    Commented Oct 9, 2019 at 0:33
  • Thanks, if i create a view without folders, can it be defined by groups as to which view they use? in other words lets just say i have abou 50 external users from 5 different domains, but have them all split up into different groups, Commented Oct 9, 2019 at 13:25

2 Answers 2


Yes, it is doable. Although it requires few configurations.

  1. Tenant Level Sharing Policy: Use this policy to define, what level Sharing is permitted in your organization. If your organization allow, you can set it to Anyone which means, anyone with the link can access the shared content. I am using New and Existing guest users, so they need to sign in before accessing the content. enter image description here

  2. Site Collection Level Sharing: By default, the site collection is set to only people in organization. Change it to New and existing guest. enter image description here

  3. Finally Document level Sharing: To share to external users, go to the document you like share, and click on Share button/icon using command bar or context menu. From the popup, update link setting to Specific people, you can allow editing or downloading of document here or simply turn it off, based on your requirement. Click Apply button, and now add the external user Email ID. A mail will be sent to the email id you specify. Refer to the video.

  • Thanks, already got it set to new and existing guests. I do not want to share links, i'd prefer direct access and the reason being is, lets say that person leaves and new person comes along, all i have to do is put that new external email address user into that group, and the permissions is complete. Commented Oct 8, 2019 at 17:58
  • If you watched the video, I paused it and copied the link from external user mail box. There are other stuff also going in that mail box, which I dont want to show, so removed that part. Since the link is created with read only access, next time click on 'Share' icon, click on ellipsis on top right corner of card, and click 'Manage Access'. Now click on the that ellipsis next to shared link and from the UI add another user. This will trigger a mail to user inbox. Commented Oct 8, 2019 at 23:30
  • thinkb4code.com/sp-share-part-2 Commented Oct 8, 2019 at 23:42
  • thanks for your comment, the problem is the link, need this to work via direct access by groups, and if they external user is in that group then allow them only certain things Commented Oct 9, 2019 at 13:26
  • I just have one question to you, so the problem you are trying to solve is, add external user to one SP Group, which will give them direct access to the file only. Okay, but how external user will navigate to that file, will they get a mail, or is it something like quick link on a page? Commented Oct 9, 2019 at 18:33

To grant direct access to an external user to a document, just navigate to the document and click Share > Link settings > Specific people > Enter email address and then send link.

The external user will not have access to the document library or the folder containing this document. The link will redirect the user to the shared document in opened status.

On the other hand, I don’t think your requirement is achievable since you need to grant the user access permission of the document library for him to see “only this file to show under ‘documents’”. The folder containing the document will not be invisible in this scenario.


Collaborate with guests on a document.

Share SharePoint files or folders.

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