Block download option for Microsoft 365 sharing

Office for Mere Mortals
Your beginners guide to the secrets of Microsoft Office
Invalid email address
Tips and help for Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook from Microsoft Office experts.  Give it a try. You can unsubscribe at any time.  Office for Mere Mortals has been running for over 20 years, we've never, ever revealed or sold subscriber details.  Privacy policy

The Block Download option is worth considering when sharing an Office document, audio file or PDF that you’d like to limit distribution in OneDrive or SharePoint.

Block Download is only available for Microsoft 365 Enterprise or Education customers. Look for it at the bottom of the shared Link Settings.

What does Block Download do?

The Block Download option is only available for ‘view only’ or ‘read only’ files where ‘Allow editing’ is off.

It stops the file being downloaded, copied, saved or printed from the OneDrive or Office online menus. 

The user can only view it online in a web browser.  Viewing in a desktop or mobile app is blocked.

Not just documents

The Block Download option isn’t just for Office documents, it can also be used for images, audio, PDF’s and other file formats.

Video files cannot have downloads blocked.  Microsoft says that blocking video downloads is ‘in progress’ but it’s been saying that for some time.

Not perfect

Block Downloads disables the copy, save and print options in OneDrive but that won’t stop a determined person from getting a copy of the file or document if they want to.

There are browser options available which Microsoft’s sharing options can’t control.

Sharing changes coming to OneDrive and Office 365
Ransomware protection in OneDrive isn’t everything Microsoft says
Beware fake OneDrive file deletion warning
OneDrive for Windows goes 64-bit – at last!

Latest news & secrets of Microsoft Office

Microsoft Office experts give you tips and help for Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook.

Give it a try. You can unsubscribe at any time.  Office Watch has been running for over 20 years, we've never, ever revealed or sold subscriber details.  Privacy policy
Invalid email address