Office 365 for business allows users under a single subscription to share documents with anyone who isn’t covered under the same license as you. The feature is built for sharing documents with someone outside your company and is called guest sharing. While guest sharing is possible, it only allows users to view a document and not download it. Users certainly can’t open it in an Office app on their desktop. The restrictions are there so that your business has control over who can access and view a document. As yet, direct link sharing which allows a user to simply download a copy of a file isn’t possible. If you want to share a direct download link to an Office 365 document, you’re going to have to make a slight change to the guest sharing URL you get. Here’s what you need to do.
Step 1: Sign into the Office 365 web interface and navigate to the document you want a direct share link to.
Step 2: Copy the share link to that document and paste it in a simple text editor so you can edit it. You can go ahead and paste it in your browser’s URL bar too and edit it there. Do what suits you best.
Step 3: Your share link will look something like this;
In the share link [Token] will be a numerical value that will be different on a per-file basis. It’s not any importance in this case. All you need to do is replace ‘guesstaccess.aspx’ with ‘download.aspx’ so that your link looks like this;
Step 4: Share this link with anyone and when they click it, it will download a copy of the file to their local drive.
We should mention that external sharing should be enabled in Office 365 or you won’t be able to get the guest sharing link. The token generated with this link is essential for the download link to work. If a file is restricted from being shared with outsiders i.e. the guest sharing option isn’t available, this trick won’t work.