SharePoint Online: How to Disable Download Option for Documents?

Requirement: Disable download document options in SharePoint Online.

SharePoint Online: How to Disable Download Document Button?

Are you looking for a way to disable the download option for documents in SharePoint Online? Well, One of the great features of SharePoint Online is that users can easily access and download documents. However, there may be times when you don’t want users to be able to download documents. This guide will show you how to disable the download option for documents on your SharePoint Online site. This is a great way to protect sensitive information and keep your data safe.

How to prevent download in a SharePoint document library? To restrict download options for documents such as download a copy, download button in SharePoint Online, here are some options:

Option 1: Grant “Restricted View” Permission to Users

To disable the download option in SharePoint Online, you can grant the “Restricted View” permission level to a particular user or group, allowing only read but not download.

sharepoint online document library disable download

This applies to a site or document library where you grant permissions. Users with a restricted view get a message, “You don’t have permission to download or print this file.” And SharePoint doesn’t allow these users to copy-paste also from Office documents.

sharepoint online disable download a copy

Please note, you’ll have to upload one file atleast to the site, to get the restricted view permission level.

Option 2: Share a File with Block Download Option

Unlike sharing a site or document library, You can share a specific document with the download option disabled. To share a file,

  1. Select any office documents, Click on the Share button in the toolbar (or from the context menu).
  2. In the Share Popup, click on “People in <Your Domain> with the link” or “Specific People” Option. Uncheck “Allow Editing” and enable the “Block Download” option.
  3. Click on Apply, and enter your recipient’s name.
    sharepoint online disable file download

This disables download options. Please note, that the block download option works only for Office documents such as Docx, Pptx, and Xlsx. For other file types like PDF, PNG, etc., you won’t see the “block download” slider!

sharepoint online disable download document

This allows SharePoint Online users to view documents while blocking the download. How about allowing users to edit but not download? Sure! How to Allow Edit Permissions but Not Download in SharePoint Online?

In summary, Disabling the ability to download files from SharePoint Online can help to protect your organization’s data and keep it secure. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can easily set your SharePoint Online site to prevent users from downloading files. It is always a best practice to have a balance between security and collaboration in any organization. In addition, preventing download option doesn’t stop users from copy-pasting the document content.

Salaudeen Rajack

Salaudeen Rajack - Information Technology Expert with Two-decades of hands-on experience, specializing in SharePoint, PowerShell, Microsoft 365, and related products. He has held various positions including SharePoint Architect, Administrator, Developer and consultant, has helped many organizations to implement and optimize SharePoint solutions. Known for his deep technical expertise, He's passionate about sharing the knowledge and insights to help others, through the real-world articles!

5 thoughts on “SharePoint Online: How to Disable Download Option for Documents?

  • Hello,

    Is it possible to restrict file download and print in SharePoint 2013? Already tried the view only permission level but didn’t work. Tried creating custom permission levels but didn’t help. In the library advanced settings, selected download option to No, still the files can be downloaded with View Only permission level.

    Please share suggestions.

  • Hi there!
    I want to share a whole folder in documents to anyone external who got the link, but totally remove BOTH the upload and download visibilty at the top menu, as well as “NEW”. I’ve tried the ones above but they are still visible. It didn’t help at all the methods above. We need customers outside our organization to go in and JUST browse the folder. br /Mats

  • that is the question I have as well

  • The big question still remains, can you allow editing (so people can change specific cells) whilst restricting downloads?


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