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On my PC I routinely drop files into OneDrive via the Windows Explorer.
How do I get a link to the file without having to go to the website and sharing it publicly?

Example. I drop file foobar.txt into the public folder and want to send a friend the link to this file. For instance http://onedrive.live.com/myuserid/public/foobar.txt. When I click on the link, it should simply download the file, not go to a webpage that lets you download it.

Dropbox provides something like this. You can drop the file into your public folder and then access it as https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/{userid}/foobar.txt

Does OneDrive provide such functionality?

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In OneDrive, right-click on the file you are interested in download, and choose Embed.

This will bring up the Embed pop-up. Highlight and copy the the whole code and discern in text editor or copy just the part you need.

What is contained in the "" of src is your link

src="https://onedrive.live.com/embed?cid=bla bla bla very long"

i case that fails as i don't follow colosely the development of snatching links from one drive:

change the .com/embed? part of the link to .com/download?

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