File Sharing

Nextcloud users can share files with their Nextcloud groups and other users on the same Nextcloud server, with Nextcloud users on other Nextcloud servers, and create public shares for people who are not Nextcloud users. You have control of a number of user permissions on file shares:

  • Allow users to share files
  • Allow users to create public shares
  • Require a password on public shares
  • Allow public uploads to public shares
  • Require an expiration date on public share links
  • Allow resharing
  • Restrict sharing to group members only
  • Allow email notifications of new public shares
  • Exclude groups from creating shares

Configure your sharing policy on your Admin page in the Sharing section.

  • Check Allow apps to use the Share API to enable users to share files. If this is not checked, no users can create file shares.

  • Check Allow users to share via link to enable creating public shares for people who are not Nextcloud users via hyperlink.

  • Check Enforce password protection to force users to set a password on all public share links. This does not apply to local user and group shares.

  • Check Allow public uploads to allow anyone to upload files to public shares.

  • Check Allow users to send mail notification for shared files to enable sending notifications from Nextcloud. (Your Nextcloud server must be configured to send mail)

  • Check Set default expiration date to set a default expiration date on public shares.

  • Check Allow resharing to enable users to re-share files shared with them.

  • Check Restrict users to only share with users in their groups to confine sharing within group memberships.


    This setting does not apply to the Federated Cloud sharing feature. If Federated Cloud Sharing is enabled, users can still share items with any users on any instances (including the one they are on) via a remote share.

  • Check Allow users to send mail notification for shared files enables users to send an email notification to every Nextcloud user that the file is shared with.

  • Check Exclude groups from sharing to prevent members of specific groups from creating any file shares in those groups. When you check this, you’ll get a dropdown list of all your groups to choose from. Members of excluded groups can still receive shares, but not create any

  • Check Allow username autocompletion in share dialog to enable auto-completion of Nextcloud usernames.


Nextcloud does not preserve the mtime (modification time) of directories, though it does update the mtimes on files. See Wrong folder date when syncing for discussion of this.

Transferring files to another user

You may transfer files from one user to another with occ. This is useful when you have to remove a user. Be sure to transfer the files before you delete the user! This transfers all files from user1 to user2, and the shares and metadata info associated with those files (shares, tags, comments, etc). Trashbin contents are not transferred:

occ files:transfer-ownership user1 user2

(See Using the occ command for a complete occ reference.)

Creating persistent file Shares

When a user is deleted, their files are also deleted. As you can imagine, this is a problem if they created file shares that need to be preserved, because these disappear as well. In Nextcloud files are tied to their owners, so whatever happens to the file owner also happens to the files.

One solution is to create persistent shares for your users. You can retain ownership of them, or you could create a special user for the purpose of establishing permanent file shares. Simply create a shared folder in the usual way, and share it with the users or groups who need to use it. Set the appropriate permissions on it, and then no matter which users come and go, the file shares will remain. Because all files added to the share, or edited in it, automatically become owned by the owner of the share regardless of who adds or edits them.