1. elwin lobo's Avatar
    well recently I came across a situation in my university where I had to collect student information for an event..
    so I created and excel sheet using excel online and stored it in OneDrive... after the data entry was done I removed the edit permission so that students could verify their data...
    to my surprise, anyone with whom the document had been shared had rights to download the document... now this may seem like a minor thing in my situation but there can be so many instance wherein a person is not supposed to download the shared document..

    on contacting MS Support they informed that its by design
    prevent downloading of shared files\folders on OneDrive - Microsoft Community

    so I gave a suggestion using UserVoice for onedrive...
    prevent shared files from being downloaded ? Feature Suggestions for Microsoft OneDrive

    pls vote if you feel this is a necessary feature
    02-18-2015 02:08 AM
  2. Dk92's Avatar
    Sure thing, I'm surprised we weren't already capable of this.
    elwin lobo likes this.
    02-18-2015 02:14 AM
  3. elwin lobo's Avatar
    it would also be helpful if those of you'll on twitter can tag the right person and get this noticed by others...
    the way OneDrive is getting integrated with Windows as a whole (W10), such a capability is much needed...
    02-18-2015 06:51 AM
  4. hotphil's Avatar
    The counter argument is of course that if you give them permission to access a file (even read-only) there's not much you can do to stop them copying the data. Even if they just screen dump it. They can't "un-see" it.
    And stopping users who've been granted access to a file from downloading their own copy for offline reading/editing would likely cause similar headaches for what I would guess would be the majority of users.
    a5cent likes this.
    02-18-2015 06:56 AM
  5. AndyCalling's Avatar
    Yes, think it through logically. If they can read the file, they have ALREADY DOWNLOADED IT! How could they even see it otherwise? Once it is in their PC you cannot control it other than by illegal means (hacking their PC). If you don't let them download it, how can they read it?

    Only way is to require that they read the doc on a controlled PC or via a controlled paper copy, but even if you keep a watch to prevent photos and note taking they will still have their memories.

    Short answer, you can't both give and deny access to a document at the same time to the same person. It does not make sense.
    a5cent likes this.
    02-18-2015 07:05 AM
  6. elwin lobo's Avatar
    your logic fails because

    1. you can view many documents online but you cannot download every document... if there is no download button then how will anyone be able to download the article.. (im not speaking about someone selecting the text with their mouse and copying it and pasting it elsewhere)
    2. this is already implemented in Google Drive (and maybe elsewhere too but im not aware) wherein you can also control download permissions so yes you can view and not download and it makes perfect sense
    02-18-2015 07:15 AM
  7. elwin lobo's Avatar
    The counter argument is of course that if you give them permission to access a file (even read-only) there's not much you can do to stop them copying the data. Even if they just screen dump it. They can't "un-see" it.
    And stopping users who've been granted access to a file from downloading their own copy for offline reading/editing would likely cause similar headaches for what I would guess would be the majority of users.
    well your reasoning is similar to saying movies shouldn't play in theatres as people can download it in their memory or record it using their cellphone... there will always be people who will take a screen dump but there is no harm at all in providing a setting to prevent a big download button from appearing and making it all the more obvious...

    in college we upload a lot of slides (study material) and stuff but everything is not meant to be downloaded (I don't need to tell u the reasons)

    if this is present in the Business version of OneDrive then I have no idea how companies will be will to use this... almost all the conference we have, the speaker shares the slides in the beginning so that everyone will be looking at the same slide at the same time... but at the end of the conference the speaker mostly always says I cannot give them to you because of policy...

    so yes there will be people who will take screenshots or record it as a video but again that's another topic on ethics
    Dk92 likes this.
    02-18-2015 07:21 AM
  8. a5cent's Avatar
    1. you can view many documents online but you cannot download every document... if there is no download button then how will anyone be able to download the article..
    No, I'd also say those people already downloaded your document, at least in HTML form. I'd also argue that someone who has read-access to a document online should logically have read-access offline too. There is no reason to separate these two use-cases. Logically they are the same thing. It's more consistent, and it allows for more flexibility in terms of how users can work with documents, if read-access is provided both online and for the downloaded file.
    What you likely actually want to do is prohibit people from editing your document. That's a completely different requirement! I've not tested this, but in excel you can password protect your document from being edited. Try that, and see if it can still be viewed online. If it can, then that's the better solution.
    02-18-2015 07:39 AM
  9. hotphil's Avatar
    everything is not meant to be downloaded (I don't need to tell u the reasons)
    Not an uncommon scenario. But if you're putting data you don't want shared into (any) cloud, you may be using the wrong approach.
    Hiding a "download button" on a web page doesn't change the approach to the correct one...
    02-18-2015 07:52 AM
  10. elwin lobo's Avatar
    No, I'd also say those people already downloaded your document, at least in HTML form. I'd also argue that someone who has read-access to a document online should logically have read-access offline too. There is no reason to separate these two use-cases. Logically they are the same thing. It's more consistent, and it allows for more flexibility in terms of how users can work with documents, if read-access is provided both online and for the downloaded file.
    What you likely actually want to do is prohibit people from editing your document. That's a completely different requirement! I've not tested this, but in excel you can password protect your document from being edited. Try that, and see if it can still be viewed online. If it can, then that's the better solution.
    good point about the password.. yet to test it... but I have a friend who is an avid photographer and was considering using OneDrive to share his photos for people to view... but soon changed his mind as he realized people could also download it.. i understand the point about consistency but if i write a report, i would only want my fellow mates to verify it online and not have an offline copy of it... that gives rise to issues of plagiarism and others
    02-18-2015 08:01 AM
  11. elwin lobo's Avatar
    Not an uncommon scenario. But if you're putting data you don't want shared into (any) cloud, you may be using the wrong approach.
    Hiding a "download button" on a web page doesn't change the approach to the correct one...

    well that why I gave an example of a photographer friend.. frankly speaking I feel many people are just not aware that their files can get downloaded even if it is view only...
    02-18-2015 08:02 AM
  12. hotphil's Avatar
    As an example, the approach for a photographer would be to have a website where only low-resolution, watermarked thumbnails are available and have the webserver set to prevent download of the image files themselves. People can still screen dump etc, but they're only get the low-res watermarked thumbnails.
    ​If a photographer wanted to use OneDrive for hosting full size high-res images and not want people to be able to download them, it's not the right tool.
    02-18-2015 08:07 AM
  13. elwin lobo's Avatar
    u do realize that stating not the right tool is not something which MS wants to tell people.. specially when they are trying to bake OneDrive into the OS itself... do u think people who shift from GDrive and others where they have similar functionality wherein they can restrict downloads will listen to "this is not the right tool"... infact such a situation will make many leave OneDrive for other solutions that provide this functionality without redirecting them to another tool... in this case GDrive which is a close competitor to OneDrive because of the level of integration with productivity apps and email....
    02-18-2015 08:16 AM
  14. AndyCalling's Avatar
    your logic fails because

    1. you can view many documents online but you cannot download every document... if there is no download button then how will anyone be able to download the article.. (im not speaking about someone selecting the text with their mouse and copying it and pasting it elsewhere)
    2. this is already implemented in Google Drive (and maybe elsewhere too but im not aware) wherein you can also control download permissions so yes you can view and not download and it makes perfect sense
    It is not logic, it is reality. Every bit travelling between your client device (PC) and a device elsewhere on the internet is either uploaded (sent) or downloaded (received). If you can see it on your screen and it came in over the internet, you have downloaded it. It didn't get on your screen by magic. Let's get basic, and say the individual who has downloaded it has no idea how to turn that info into an office document file, and doesn't even know how to take a screenshot for OCR use. Why not just print it out? Or take screen photos with Office Lens on their phone and save off a PDF? The reality is, if it travelled down the wire to the receiver then that is a direct description of 'downloading'. You may like to believe that not providing an obvious 'download here' button negates reality, but you will come a cropper with that level of understanding.
    Last edited by AndyCalling; 02-18-2015 at 08:29 AM.
    02-18-2015 08:18 AM
  15. elwin lobo's Avatar
    im aware of the technical details involved in data transfer but reality is no common user is going to think in terms of bits getting transferred and downloading onto the local system...

    as i stated printouts, screenshots, video recording and other methods come under ethics and values and principles... not something that software can change... but software can provide controls to try and minimize the obviousness involved
    02-18-2015 08:25 AM
  16. AndyCalling's Avatar
    The reality is that 'common users' are much more savvy than you think. If you are relying on the lack of awareness in your audience as a security mechanism then you have a shock coming, especially with the number of easily obtained automatic tools for skimming online content (such as from youtube and Netflix, for example).

    You know those 'confirm you are human' type-a-phrase boxes web pages use to avoid bots making accounts for spam etc.? There is a reason they are very hard for even humans to read. It takes that level of obfuscation to fool the automatic brain and eye of the PC. You would have to produce your documents in that style to even stand a chance of doing what you are discussing.
    02-18-2015 08:32 AM
  17. astondg's Avatar
    As an example, the approach for a photographer would be to have a website where only low-resolution, watermarked thumbnails are available and have the webserver set to prevent download of the image files themselves. People can still screen dump etc, but they're only get the low-res watermarked thumbnails.
    ​If a photographer wanted to use OneDrive for hosting full size high-res images and not want people to be able to download them, it's not the right tool.
    Off the top of my head I can't think of the right tool, at least not a generalist one anyway. If you have a website with the original, full resolution image on it, even if you disable right click on the website the image is still already downloaded to the users machine by the web browser (& stored in the browser cache). That would include web based services like Flickr.

    If you want a user to view something then they have to download it, all you can control is the form they receive it in. E.g. Converting to html first or adding DRM.

    Maybe OneDrive makes this download obvious, rather than just a file in a cache, but I don't think it's doing anything different to other forms. To open it in Excel/Word/PowerPoint/etc. it has to download the file to the users machine. The only way to prevent the Excel file from being downloaded would be to restrict viewing to the online, web browser based, version of Office but even then the HTML version of the file has been downloaded to the users PC.
    elwin lobo likes this.
    02-18-2015 08:55 AM
  18. a5cent's Avatar
    good point about the password.. yet to test it... but I have a friend who is an avid photographer and was considering using OneDrive to share his photos for people to view... but soon changed his mind as he realized people could also download it.. i understand the point about consistency but if i write a report, i would only want my fellow mates to verify it online and not have an offline copy of it... that gives rise to issues of plagiarism and others
    Except that can happen either way, bevause it's downloaded either way, even when using Google docs. It's impossible to view something without downloading. Simplest method is just to cut and paste the contents of excel online into an empty spreadsheet. Excel online even gives me access to the formulas you used, whereas a password protected spreadsheet does not (last time I tried which was quite a while ago).

    I think you're expecting the absence of a download button to provide a type of security it just doesn't provide! If you want something that works, then you need more than the fake security that the absence of a download button implies. Your friend is making an even bigger mistake. Just take a screen capture and any photo online is instantly copied to the viewers clipboard. In that scenario the absence of a download feature achieves exactly nothing. We'd at least need to include watermarks, provide only low resolution images to anonymous viewers, and solve the screen capture issue. There are sites specifically for that sort of thing. That's not what OneDrive is for however, nor should it try to be.

    OneDrive is for synching content across devices and sharing documents with specific people in order to facilitate collaboration.

    Another option, and maybe the best, would be to save your excel sheet as a PDF file and then share that. That is by its very nature the best choice for read-only sharing, as it contains all the formatting but none of the smarts of your original excel sheet. That's what I would do.
    Last edited by a5cent; 02-18-2015 at 12:42 PM.
    elwin lobo likes this.
    02-18-2015 12:00 PM

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 3
    Last Post: 02-18-2015, 01:45 PM
  2. Mail not syncing in Lumia 925 PFD
    By abhichaudhari in forum Windows Phone 8.1 Preview for Developers
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 02-18-2015, 03:36 AM
  3. Add new funktions in Windows 10 phone
    By Laurin999 in forum Windows 10 Mobile Insider Preview
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 02-18-2015, 02:10 AM
  4. Viber scores an update to version 4.4.1, no changelog in sight
    By WindowsCentral.com in forum Windows Central News Discussion
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 02-17-2015, 08:00 PM
  5. Screen width in pixels of Landscape
    By ReprobusR in forum Nokia Lumia 1520
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 02-17-2015, 06:23 PM
LINK TO POST COPIED TO CLIPBOARD