Understanding SharePoint Share Option at Site and Document Levels

The Pre-Conditions to enable External Sharing is that, External Sharing must be turned on for that Particular Site Collection. It can be turned on at the tenant level by the Office 365 Admin and then separately can turn on or off for every Site Collection. 

It is important to understand the below scenarios, when Share Option is clicked at the Site Level: 
  • When you are logged in as a User with Full Control Permissions Or you are present in the Owners Group, you can share your Site with both Internal Users as well as External Users; When such a User shares, he also will an option to select one out of 3 permissions levels: Owner, Edit or Read - so accordingly, the Owner user can assign permissions to any of these 3 permission categories. 
  • When you are logged in as a User with Contribute Permissions (Or you are present in the Members group), you can share your Site with both Internal Users as well as External Users). A Member user cannot select the Permission category for the Invited user. The user by default gets Member permissions only. 
  • When you are logged in as a User with Read Permissions (Or you are present in the Visitors group), you can share your Site with Internal Users, but the Permissions request are only sent to the Site Owner. The Site Owner then has to login, go to Site Settings -> Site Permissions -> Click on View Permissions Requests and Pending Invitations and then Approve or Decline the request. Once Approved, then, the respective User invited by the Visitor User will get the required permissions (Member / Contribute level and the Admin can change it after Approving also). A User in the Visitors group however cannot invite External Users                                                                                                                                                                                     External User Invitations also expire in 7 days.                                                                                   
 When a single document is shared, then Get a Link option appears (this does not appear when Site level Sharing is done) and behaves as below: 
  • When a Full Control or Member user shares this, then, he / she gets an option to send a link for both View as well as Edit 
  • When a Member user shares the document, then he / she gets an option to send a link only for View 

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