Can SharePoint site content be shared publicly ?
Yes, you can share SharePoint Online files and folders using anonymous links which can be accessed without signing in.
You may want to share documents from your SharePoint Online site with external vendors, partners, customers so they can easily access them. Though SharePoint provides option of external sharing, but many users complain its a lengthy process and want to avoid it. Biggest problem is that the invitation email goes to the spam/junk folder.
Can entire SharePoint site be shared publicly ?
No, SharePoint Online Public Websites are discontinued. Read more here.
You can share SharePoint Online file or folder anonymously as public links which do not require external users to login with Organizational or Microsoft account.
Steps to enable SharePoint anonymous access
- Navigate to SharePoint Admin Center (require SharePoint Admin / Global Admin access).
- Open Sites --> Active Sites --> search your site.
- Open Policies --> External Sharing --> Edit --> select Anyone (IMPORTANT).
- Click Save.
- Navigate to the SharePoint Site Collection.
- Select the file/folder which you want to share anonymously --> Click Share and configure "Send link" as shown below.
- Click Apply.
- Now you can copy the link and share with external users.
- If you want to share .aspx pages anonymously, deactivate the Site Collection Feature "Limited-access user permission lockdown mode". When this feature is enabled, permissions for users in the "limited access" permissions level (such as Anonymous Users) are reduced, preventing access to Application Pages.
Who would you like this link to work for? - Anyone with the link (IMPORTANT).
Expires - Default is 90 days, you can change the date.
Set password (You will need to provide the password to others) - If you want additional security by allowing access only with a password.
Reference - External sharing options for SharePoint Online site collection (Microsoft Office 365)External Sharing setting are set at organization Tenant level, but can be overridden from individual Site Collection settings.
|Sharing Option||Use to|
|Anyone||Allow site owners and others with full control permission to share the site with people who authenticate. Allow site users to decide when sharing files and folders to require authentication or allow unauthenticated people to access the item. Anyone links to files and folders can be freely forwarded.|
|New and existing guests||Allow site owners and others with full control permission to share the site with people outside the organization. These people will need to sign in and will be added to the directory. Allow site users to share files and folders with people who aren't in the organization's directory.|
|Existing guests||Allow sharing with only people already in your directory. These users may exist in your directory because they previously accepted sharing invitations or because they were manually added. (You can tell an external user because they have #EXT# in their user name.)|
|Only people in your organization||Prevent all site users from sharing any site content externally. (This is the default setting for new classic sites.)|
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