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How do I see site usage and run reports in SharePoint?

Published: 12 October 2021 Last updated: 17 February 2022

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Site usage

To view usage data for your site, click the settings gear and then click Site usage.

The following information is available on the site usage page:

  • Unique viewers
  • Site visits
  • Average time spent per user
  • Popular content
  • Site traffic
  • Popular Platforms
  • Shared with external users

More information please see the following Microsoft link:

Shared with external users report

You can create a CSV file of every unique file, user, permission and link on a given SharePoint site. This can help you understand how sharing is being used and if any files or folders are being shared with guests. You must be a site owner to run the report.

When you run the report, the CSV file is saved to a location of your choosing on the site.

For items shared with direct access, the report contains one row for each user / item combination. SharePoint groups are shown in the report, but not individual users inside them.

For items shared with a link, the report contains a row for each signed-in user who has used the link or has been sent the link through the sharing dialog. Links emailed directly that haven’t been clicked, and Anyone links are not included in the report.

The report contains the following columns:

Resource PathThe relative URL of the item
Item TypeThe type of item (web, folder, file, etc.)
PermissionThe permission level the user has on this item
User NameFriendly name of the user or group that has access to this item. If this is a sharing link, the user name is SharingLink
User E-mailThe email address of the user who has access to this item. This is blank for SharePoint groups.
User or Group TypeThe type of user or group: Member (internal), Guest (external), SharePoint group, Security group or Microsoft 365 group. (Note that Member refers to a member in the directory, not a member of the site.)
Link IDThe GUID of the sharing link if user name is Sharing Link
Link TypeThe type of link (Anonymous, Company, Specific People) if user name is Sharing Link
AccessViaLinkIDThe Link ID used to access the item if a user’s permission to an item is via a link.

How to run the report

  1. Navigate to the SharePoint site you’d like to run the report on.
  2. Click the settings gear and then click Site usage.
  3. Scroll to the bottom to find the ‘Shared with external users’ section.
  4. Select ‘Run Report’ to generate the report.
  5. You can only store reports in the default ‘Documents’ document library. Select ‘New’ then ‘Folder’.
  6. Name the folder ‘Sharing Reports’ then press ‘Create’.
  7. Select the ‘Sharing Reports’ folder and choose ‘Save’.

Please note that this process can take some time and will depend on the complexity of your site. You will receive a confirmation via email once the report is ready.

Access the report

To access the report, click on the link in the confirmation email. Alternatively, select the gear icon to access the settings, choose Site Contents then click on the ‘Documents’ document library. Select the Sharing Reports folder then click on the CSV file to open it.

Recommendations to make the report easier to read

To make the report easier to read you can use filters in Excel to filter out entries such as site owners, members and visitors. This will narrow the report down to the generated sharing links.

  1. Right click on the file then choose ‘Open’ then ‘Open in App’.
  2. You should see a ‘Possible data loss’ prompt. Go to ‘File’ then ‘Save As’.
  3. Change the format drop-down menu from ‘CSV UTF-8 (Comma delimited)’ to ‘Excel Workbook’.
  4. Press ‘Save’.
  5. Select the first row containing the column names.
  6. Go to ‘Data’ then select ‘Filter’.
  7. Select columns A to J, right click on your selection then choose ‘Column Width…’.
  8. Set the column width to 20 then press ‘OK’.
  9. Select the drop-down arrow next to ‘User Name’.
  10. Uncheck results that you don’t want to see. It can be helpful to uncheck Owners, Members and Visitors.

For more help with filtering an excel spreadsheet, please see the following Microsoft support page:

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