OneDrive File Requests – How to request files with One Drive

Microsoft OneDrive file requests is a popular feature that provides you with a simple way to collect audio, video, presentations and documents from anyone within your organisation or external to it. It is an ideal way to securely collect large files without having to use file sharing software.

Here are some commonly asked questions about the OneDrive file request feature, with answers.

1. Who can use the OneDrive file request feature?

You need a OneDrive for work or school account.  You can’t use the file request feature if you have Office 365 Government, Office 365 operated by 21Vianet, OneDrive for home, or Office 365 Germany.

2. How do you use the OneDrive request files feature?

Here is Microsoft’s step-by-step description of how to use the file request feature.

Create a folder, make sure you select it, then request files.

 

A few tips: you need to make sure that the ‘enable Anyone links in OneDrive’ is enabled otherwise you’ll get an error message. You also need to create a folder in OneDrive before you request a file, rather than using an existing folder.

3. Can you use SharePoint to request files?

No. Microsoft briefly launched a file request feature for SharePoint in 2020, but pulled it soon afterwards. If you want to use SharePoint for requesting files you need to either use a complex workaround using Power Ignite and permissions, or use file collection software that natively integrates with SharePoint.

4. Is OneDrive file request secure?

It’s pretty good. You are keeping files out of your inbox (which isn’t very secure). You’re also automatically sending them to your cloud storage, which means less human error in terms of moving files around and potentially losing them. Recipients of file requests also can’t view or edit other documents in your upload folder.

4. What is the recipients’ experience for a OneDrive file request?

Recipients see a basic Microsoft-branded message asking them to upload files. If they are not signed in to a Microsoft account, the recipient will be asked to add their first and last name. This information is prefixed to their files to help you identify them. Recipients get a success message when they have successfully uploaded files.

Recipient’s receive a simple message asking for files.

5. Can you collect extra text information with the upload files?

No. OneDrive file request is a useful feature, but a basic one. You don’t have form building functionality. You can add a short message asking recipients to email you extra information, but they might forget once they have uploaded files.

Microsoft Forms doesn’t currently let you collect files from anyone outside your organisation. This is unpopular with many Microsoft users, but there haven’t been any changes announced as of early 2022.

If you need to collect extra information, you’ll need to use file upload software that natively integrates with Microsoft OneDrive (see the example below, created using file upload software File Request Pro).

 

This file upload form allows you to gather text information as well as files.

6. Can you customise or white-label file requests?

You can’t customise or white-label the file request link. File request forms are designed by Microsoft, using their branding. This does mean the file request process can seem a little disconnected for your recipient because the style of the file request will be different from your company in-house style.

7. Can you automate client file requests and reminder emails?

No, you need to send file requests and reminder emails manually. Microsoft will display a success message, but you can’t direct recipients to a thank you page.

If you are getting fed up sending emails, then look at file upload software that automates the process for you. You could use email automation software, but it will be challenging to make the emails ‘smart’ – so that they only ask clients for missing files.

8. What are the alternatives to OneDrive file request?

OneDrive file request is pretty good if you are already using OneDrive and want to receive files from people within your company or external to it.

However, you might come up against these problems if collecting files is central to your business:

  • Do you need a professional file request experience that is customisable and fits with your company branding?
  • Do you need automated email sequences that save you time chasing clients for files?
  • Do you need form-building functionality so you can easily request extra information from clients, as well as documents?

If you answer ‘yes’ to any of these questions, then look at file upload software or client portals.

File Request Pro – collect and organise files and information from anyone, direct in your OneDrive account

File Request Pro is specialist file upload software. This means it is part form builder, part upload software and part automation tool.

Use OneDrive for file storage and File Request Pro for professionally requesting, collecting and organising client files and information.

  • White-label and customise file request forms
  • Create one page or multi-page forms to request any type of extra information
  • Use conditional logic to only show clients questions or requests relevant to them
  • Dynamic file organisation based on whatever factor you choose (name, email, ID, etc)
  • Automated email and thank you reminder sequences
  • Send file requests to anyone, on any device, with no sign-up required
  • Native integration with Microsoft OneDrive and SharePoint

See how you can use File Request Pro and Microsoft OneDrive.