Files overview

Files enables you and others to upload, organize, share, and collaborate on files easily.

Files provides an easy way to share files and ideas with people and communities, and a central storage place for your work. Files can be shared, tagged, organized in folders, and accessed from other applications, such as Activities.

Working with Files as an external user
External users might be partners, third parties, contractors, or vendors from outside of an organization. If you are an external user, you can perform the following tasks:
  • View and download files shared with you.
  • Share files with people.
For more information about what external users can do, refer to What can external users do?. Content shared by external users is represented by this icon: external user icon.
Uploading files

Click Upload Files from the Files screen and optionally add tags, comments, and specify sharing options. See Uploading a file.

Opening and editing a file
Open a file for view or edit by opening its file page and clicking Download.
Downloading a file to a device
Download a file by opening its file page and clicking Download. Click Save File > OK and specify the folder to save the file to.
Some file types can be viewed directly from within Files. See Viewing a file using the viewer.
Sharing files

Keep files private so that only you can read and work with them. Share files with specific people or communities, and optionally allow them to share the files with others. See Sharing files. If external collaboration is enabled in your implementation of Connections, you also can share files with external users; that is, people such as partners, third parties, contractors, and vendors from outside of your organization.

Or make files public so that anyone who can access IBM® Connections can read them.

Finding files

Find files by looking through lists of files in different views. Sort views by column and then filter views to list files by date, how they are shared, or by their access level. Search for files using tags. Pin files you work with often to make them easy to find. Finally, organize files in folders to easily group them. See Finding files.

You also can use the Thumbnails gallery display to sort through visual representations of files using the Previous and Next buttons to navigate through the gallery of images.

To assist in finding the file you need, preview a file's contents by viewing a thumbnail or by clicking Preview on a file's summary page to see whether the file will suite your needs.

Following files

Open a file and click Follow to receive update notifications. You will receive an email notification each time the file is edited or a new version is uploaded. You will also receive descriptive updates in your My Dashboard News Feed. See Tracking file and folder changes. External users can follow files.

Access levels

When you share your files with people, groups, or communities you can give them Reader or Editor access. When you share your folders with people, groups, or communities you can give them Reader, Contributor, or Owner access. External users would have the same access to files and folders.

When you share a file with the public, anyone can view and download that file. See Using file sharing to collaborate with others. External users do not have access to view or download public files.

Recommending and commenting

Recommend (like) files. See Working with other people's files.


Comment on files. See Working with other people's files.

External users can comment on files.

Organizing files with tags

Add descriptive tags to files to make files easier to find later. See Using file tags.

Organizing files in folders

Organize your files in folders. Like files, you can follow folders to receive notification when they are updated.

Folders can be private, shared, or public. Keep folders private so that only you can work with them. Share folders with people, groups, or communities and choose their access level. You can make folders public so that anyone can see them. See Creating folders.


When you add a file it becomes the first version of the file. A new version is generated if you restore a file from an older version, or upload a new version of the file. If you have access to read or edit a file, you can see its versions. If you are the owner of a file you can delete versions. See Using a file version.


Move files to the trash to remove them. Files in trash are not yet permanently deleted until you delete them from the trash view. To find a files that you have moved to the trash view click Trash in the navigation pane. Other people cannot see or link to files that are in your trash. See Removing files.

Synchronizing files (Sync)

Add files to the Sync folder so that they can be synchronized to your desktop, allowing you to work with those files offline. Syncing is a way to share a file and keep it synchronized when multiple people are updating it concurrently.

Keep your local files synchronized with files on the server. If you change a local version of a file, the changes are uploaded automatically to the corresponding file on the server.

Conversely, if you or another user changes the version on the server, then the changes are synchronized to your local file.
Note: Being able to synchronize files is dependent on the desktop plug-ins being installed on your client.