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I have couple of folders in a document library.

I have assigned an internal and an external guest AD user with access to such a folder via link sharing with that specific user. I understand that this breaks inheritence on that folder.

Now I was expecting that the user can access the folder only via this specific link.

However they can use the generic document library link (user sees only the folder they have access to) or the generic folder link to access that folder.

But is this expected that the above links should work? And in that case what's the difference between link sharing and direct access in this scenario?

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Yes, because the permissions are assigned to the user, not the link.

  • Direct Access: You give certain people permission to see a folder. They can see it because you specifically allowed them.
  • Sharing Link: You create a special link to a folder. Anyone with this link can see the folder, even if they weren’t specifically allowed.

In your case, you gave people access with a link. But once they have access, they can see the folder directly, not just through the link. The link is just a way to give them access in the first place.

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  • As mentioned in my question, I have assigned an internal and an external guest AD user with access to such a folder via link - this means I have done link sharing.
    – variable
    Jan 9 at 12:16
  • Yes however once these users have access to the folder, they can reach it directly, not just through the shared link. The shared link is just one way they got access initially. After that, they can use any valid path to reach the folder. Jan 9 at 14:17
  • But if I have not explicitly given permission on the folder. I have only given permission via link. So how are those users able to use the generic link as well?
    – variable
    Jan 9 at 14:43
  • You’re essentially granting access to the users who receive that link. This means that the users are given permission to access the folder, not just the link. So, even if you haven’t explicitly given them permission on the folder, they can still access it because the link has granted them that access. Once they have access, they can use any valid path to reach the folder, including the generic document library link or the generic folder link. sharepointmaven.com/… Jan 9 at 14:52
  • But I can't replicate this same behaviour for a non AD user. For example if I share the folder with you then you won't be able to use the generic folder url. You must use that specific link. Is this expected?
    – variable
    Jan 9 at 16:58

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