I'm responsible for a an IIS web site in our organization that has links to shared documents (.docx files, .pdfs, .mp4 videos, etc.).

We used to post the files on OneDrive, create a share, and copy/paste the share URL as a link on the web site. It worked great.

The problem was that the file on OneDrive - hence the shared link - was tied to a specific user. This would be a problem if that user left. So we decided to post our files to a Teams Channel instead.

It seemed to work "better". But a problem we discovered with Teams is that users can't access the content unless they happen to be a member of the Teams Channel. Even if we share the link to "Everybody in the organization with the link"... they still have to "Request access" before they can view the content.

Q: Is there some way to post a file on OneDrive so that the file remains - and the share remains valid - even if the user who originally posted it leaves the organization?

Q: Is there another, better solution to the problem?


2 Answers 2


These Microsoft Support articles help with the problem:

Set the OneDrive retention for deleted users

This article describes how to set the duration for deleted user's files to be kept alive up to 10 years.

  1. Go to Settings in the new SharePoint admin center, and sign in with an account that has admin permissions for your organization.

  2. Select the Retention setting.

  3. Enter a value from 30 through 3650 in the Days to retain files a deleted user's OneDrive box.
    The setting is activated for the next user that is deleted as well as any users that are in the process of being deleted. The count begins as soon as the user account was deleted in the Microsoft 365 admin center, even though the deletion process takes time.

  4. Select Save.

A Guide to OneDrive for Business Data Retention

This article explores the different ways using which IT administrators can retain Microsoft OneDrive for business data. Retention policies can be set to even keep data forever.

It requires OneDrive for business with the following licenses:

  • Microsoft 365 E5/G5/A5/E3/G3/A3
  • Office 365 E5/G5/A5/E3/G3/A3/F3/E1/G1

I think the best solution to this problem would be using a Sharepoint site. That way the files aren't linked to any user but rather a generic site in your Sharepoint online. Just keep in mind that your total Sharepoint online space is determined by your amount of licensed 365 users.

After creating the new site in Sharepoint online you could then configure the whole site to be accessible by the right people and files uploaded to that sites library should instantly be accessible to them.
If the files need to be accessible by outside/anonymous users or you need different permisisons per file you can also go into the library view of the site and share the files like a Onedrive file, which will generate a unique share link.

From https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/office/share-sharepoint-files-or-folders-1fe37332-0f9a-4719-970e-d2578da4941c?ui=de-de&rs=de-de&ad=de

  1. On your SharePoint site, go to the library where you want to share files.

  2. Pick the file or folder you want to share by selecting its circle icon.

  3. Select Share Share icon at the top of the page.

This should open a sharing dialog just like the Onedrive one.

  • Thank you for the reply ... but as I said above, SharePoint isn't really an option for our organization. Sadly...
    – paulsm4
    Sep 27, 2022 at 20:05
  • Ah I sadly didn't see the mention of Sharepoint not being an option in the bounty text. Are you sure Sharepoint is not an option? If your users have licenses that grants them Onedrive access you should also have access to Sharepoint, which is actually used by MS Teams in teh background to store files.
    – User025
    Sep 27, 2022 at 20:39
  • Good answer - thank you very much for your response!
    – paulsm4
    Sep 28, 2022 at 23:55

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