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3 recommended updates: Support for 'People with existing access' default sharing link

Version 20.02.19 is now available.

Microsoft MVP Jasper Oosterveld on classic SharePoint home page modernization, support for 'People with existing access' as default per site sharing link, and the ability to pin apps to the Teams left rail.

Welcome back to 3 recommended updates, a blog series where I bring you the latest and greatest from the world of Microsoft and Office 365.

I hope you enjoyed the last one—with my thoughts on the SharePoint page difference visualization, three new features for improved Teams-Outlook integration, and eDiscovery for Yammer—and are ready for the twelfth installment!


In this release, you’ll find my opinion on the automatic modernization of classic SharePoint home pages; new default access for per site sharing links; and the ability to pin apps to the Teams left rail.

Without further ado, let's take a closer look at my 3 recommended updates you need to know about now.


Classic SharePoint team site home pages updating to modern template

One of my customers actually alerted me to this update. They have a lot of SharePoint sites, and are wondering what the impact of this will be and how many sites are going to be affected.

For the younger folks who skipped the SharePoint classic era, you can get an impression of a typical classic SharePoint site below:

A typical classic SharePoint site UI.

Microsoft is automatically updating all classic SharePoint home pages to the modern SharePoint experience. 

Before you freak out, this is only going to affect home pages with exclusively out-of-the-box default web parts, such as Getting started, Document library, and Newsfeed. Classic team sites with any customized content will not be automatically updated.

We will automatically update classic home pages to a modern home page if they have not been customized.

Microsoft 365 Roadmap, Featured ID: 60405Tweet this

I applaud this update because customers have now had years to move to the modern experience; it's time to move on and finally leave classic SharePoint behind us.

Good to know:

Microsoft is gradually rolling this out to Targeted Release customers in early March 2020. The roll out will be completed worldwide by the end of May 2020.


Per site sharing links allow default to 'People with existing access'

Awesome! This update has been at the top of my Office 365 wish list for a while!

Most of the time when I share a file, I share it with people who already have access—I just want to make them aware of a review of a PowerPoint presentation or Word document.

We are now introducing support to set the default sharing link to 'People with existing access'. Once set, users who click on the Share button or Copy link will, by default, get an 'Existing access' link that does not change the permissions on the item.

Microsoft 365 Roadmap, Featured ID: 60335

The ability to share a file with people who already have access has been around for a while:

Ability to share file with people who already have access.

Unfortunately, we were never able to set this as the default sharing link. That was especially annoying because, as mentioned before, this is the most-used type of sharing link.

Good to know:

  • After an admin uses this new default, tenant users who click on the Share button or Copy link will receive an existing access link that does not change the permissions on the item.
  • Additional link types are still available in link settings if needed, and this update does not change any existing default settings.
  • This feature is initially configurable via PowerShell but will be customizable in the modern SharePoint Admin Center in the future.
  • You should start updating your adoption and training materials including this new feature.

Microsoft started gradually rolling this out to Targeted Release customers at the end of January 2020. The roll out will be completed worldwide by the end of March 2020.


Pin apps to the left Teams rail

Microsoft Teams is the hub for collaborative teamwork.

One of the most powerful features is the integrated and centralized user experience. Employees interact with colleagues across internal and external services without ever leaving Microsoft Teams—resulting in increased productivity and overall user happiness.

Teams users can now customize what apps appear on their left rail in Teams, allowing them to quickly access the apps that they use on a daily basis.

Microsoft 365 Roadmap, Featured ID: 56783

Microsoft is pushing the use of apps in Microsoft Teams. Soon, users can start adding, when allowed, their favorite apps to their Teams app bar. This is a great new addition to the long list of features.

Good to know:

  • This feature ships on by default so you will want to review your settings to ensure they are appropriate for the experience you require. If you wish to turn this feature off, visit Teams Setup policies in the Microsoft Teams admin center.
  • You should start updating your adoption and training materials including this new feature. Click here to learn more about finding and adding apps to Microsoft Teams.
  • Do you want to learn more about setting up app policies in Microsoft Teams? Click here for the official Microsoft documentation.

Microsoft started gradually rolling this out at the end of January 2020. The roll out will be completed worldwide by the end of February 2020.


Improved external sharing

The Office 365 message center was full of new features, updates and announcement—so it wasn't easy to pick only three updates for this month.

My favorite update is the ability to set default sharing links to 'People with existing access'. This feature makes my life—and my customer lives—a lot easier. When I can save a few clicks, I am a happy man.


In today’s digital workplaces, sharing content is an important piece of the collaboration puzzle—especially when working with clients, vendors, or anyone else outside your organization.

Download our latest eBook, Sharing is caring: A ShareGate guide to creating a productive and secure guest sharing environment in Microsoft Teams, to learn how you can leverage the power of self-service to keep sensitive data secure.

book cover sharing is caring

Secure collaboration in Microsoft Teams—without limiting productivity.

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