The error Sorry, something is preventing us from sharing this occurs when certain Office users try to share Word files via email or they try to generate the share link. This problem is confirmed to occur with Microsoft Office 365 as well as with older Office suites.
If you’re just starting to troubleshoot the issue, the first thing you should look into is if you have a secondary copy of the document you are trying to share. Duplicated documents will trigger this error with certain Office suites due to a logic error.
Another reason when you might see this error is if link editing is disabled in your Microsoft 365 account settings or if the share link functionality is broken.
Since system file corruption can also be responsible for this issue, it’s good practice to reinstall the Office suite and scan for malware before ensuring that Word is updated to the latest version.
However, there are documented cases where this problem occurs due to a problem with OneDrive syncing – try clearing the Onedrive sync cache and unlinking your account temporarily to resolve the issue in this case.
Below you’ll find a series of step-by-step methods that will walk you through everything.
1. Remove the secondary copy of the document
If the file you are trying to share is a duplicate of another document that is already a part of the Shared list, this is most likely the reason why you are experiencing the when trying to generate a share link or when trying to invite people via email.
This problem only seems to standalone installation of Word as it’s not confirmed to occur with Office 365.
In case you’re just starting to troubleshoot this issue, start by ensuring that the file you are trying to share is not currently opened in another instance of Word – if it is, close one instance.
Next, navigate to the location where the file you are attempting to share is hosted and delete any duplicates of this file that is residing in the same path.
Note: Hosting Word file duplicates shouldn’t be a problem, but certain Office builds (particularly Office 2019 and older) will restrict certain sharing functions for duplicated files.
If you navigate to the location path and notice two Word files with the same type, size, and modified date, delete one of them before attempting to share the remaining file once again.
2. Allow Link editing (Microsoft 365 only)
If you see his error in Microsoft 365, it’s likely because the individual file settings for the documents you are trying to share are configured to disallow editing.
If this scenario is applicable, you’ll need to go under Share > Link Settings and adjust the permissions to Allow Editing before clicking on Apply.
Note: When you share a document, the document, and its metadata are automatically added to the recipient’s Shared view in OneDrive, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Office.com.
In case this scenario is applicable, follow the instructions below to allow link editing for the individual file that is triggering the error:
- Start by opening the Word file that’s triggering the error inside Office 365.
- Go to the right corner of the screen and click on Share.
- From the context menu that just appeared, click on Link settings (Anyone with the link can edit).
- Next, choose the permissions that you want to grant for this shared link, then click Apply.
- Finally, generate the shared link or invite via email and add a message (optional) before clicking on Send.
3. Share document via email invitation (Microsoft 365)
If you’re using an older Office suite, it’s possible to see this error due to a glitch that affects the link generation function for shared files.
While some users have managed to resolve this issue with a simple restart, others report that the problem has persisted even after they’ve reinstalled the Office suite.
However, there’s one fix that the majority of affected users have successfully used to bypass the error when sharing Word documents via the link-sharing function. It involves sending the invitation using the built-in integration.
Note: If you go with this option, the link will automatically be embedded in the invitation email that your shared contact will receive.
Here’s a quick guide on how to share a Word document via email and avoid the error:
- Open the Word document in the Office suite that is throwing the error.
- From the ribbon bar at the top, click on File.
- From the context menu that just appeared, click on Share.
Note: Keep in mind that these options will vary a lot depending on the Office program that you are using.
- Next, from the dedicated Share options, click on Email.
- From the next screen, you can choose between Send as Attachment or Send a Link.
Note: Our recommendation is to go for the Send as Attachment option since Send a link might result in the same error.
- You will then be redirected to your email program where you’ll need to insert the recipient email address, subject line & body. Do this before clicking Send.
Note: If you don’t have an email client configured, you will get a different error after selecting between Send an Attachment and Send Link. In this case, configure an email client properly before trying again.
- Ask the recipient if he successfully received the shared document.
4. Remove malware before Reinstalling Office
There are documented cases where the error was occurring because their machine is currently hosting spyware or malware that prevents Office from making registry changes.
This will prevent you from generating share links, adding collaborators, or even installing, uninstalling, or updating the Office suite and any of the installed apps.
If this scenario appears to be applicable, you should begin by utilizing a powerful anti-malware cleaning tool to remove the security threat before touching the Office installation – we recommend doing a deep scan using Malwarebytes.
Start by installing Malwarebytes, then deploy a deep scan on every system partition and wait until the operation is complete.
After the scan is finished and the security threat has been removed, follow the instructions below to uninstall your current Office installation before reinstalling the most recent version from scratch and installing every cumulative update.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to accomplish it:
- Hit the Windows key + R to launch the Run dialog box. To open the Programs and Features menu, type ‘appwiz.cpl’ and press Enter.
- If the UAC (User Account Control) prompts you, click Yes to grant admin access.
- Go down the list of installed apps in the Programs and Features screen until you find your Microsoft Office installation.
- Once you’ve found the Office suite that’s causing you problems, right-click on it and select Uninstall from the context menu that appears.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the uninstalling procedure, then restart your computer and re-download the newest version of Microsoft Office through the official channels.
Note: Depending on where you obtained your Office key from, your Office version might not auto-update to the latest version when you reinstall it. To make sure you are running on the latest version – Go to File > Account > Office Updates and make sure every pending Office update is installed.
- Once Office has been reinstalled and updated to the latest version, see if the sharing function now works by attempting to generate a share link or by attempting to share via email.
5. Unlink OneDrive sync
The error might be also fixed by unlinking the OneDrive account that is synced to your Office account. This could cause the issue if you are currently using a different OneDrive account than the one synced at the moment.
You should try to unlink the current account to see if that makes any difference. You can do this from the Office Upload Center.
Here are the steps on how to do this:
- First, press the Windows key, then type ‘office Upload Center’.
- From the list of results, click on Office Upload Center.
Note: If you can’t find this app, skip the remaining steps and move directly to the next method below.
- From the Office Upload Center, click on the gear menu (Settings), then click on Delete cached files from the context menu that just appeared.
Note: Confirm at the prompt, then wait until the operation is complete.
- Once the cached has been released, open up the tray menu and click on the OneDrive icon.
- From the next menu, go to Settings, then look for the Unlink section.
- Click on Unlink this PC, then click on Unlink account at the confirmation prompt.
- Once the Onedrive integration has been de-synced, reboot your PC, then access OneDrive again at the next startup and add the email associated with OneDrive to sync in once again.
- After OneDrive has been re-synced, attempt to share the problematic Word file once again to see if the problem is fixed.
6. Reset the OneDrive temp folder
If you already tried following the method above but couldn’t clean the Office Upload Center, the workaround is to reset the entire OneDrive sync client directly from your run window.
Note: This method is typically reported to be effective with newer Office installations including Microsoft Office 365.
Here’s a quick guide that will show you how to reset the One-Drive temp folder:
- Press the Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box.
- Inside the Run window, type ‘%localappdata%\Microsoft\OneDrive\onedrive.exe /reset’ and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to effectively reset the entire sync client:
- When the UAC (User Account Prompt) appears, click Yes to grant admin access.
- Once the command has been run successfully, reboot your PC then try the sharing functionality once again to see if the problem is fixed.