Durable Document Links in SharePoint Server 2016 and Online/O365

I’ve heard these mystical links called many things, whether persistent, permanent or durable, but they all mean the same thing:

Your document links will be unbreakable when changing file names or moving files because the links created for sharing/linking refer to the document by an ID instead of its common name.

But for this to work you must activate a site collection feature available only on SharePoint 2016 or later, or SharePoint Online/O365.


Before activating Document ID Service feature:


After activating Document ID Service feature:


Activate the Document ID Service

  1. Go to site collection features (Site Settings –> Site collection features)
  2. Activate Document ID Service

Depending on how many documents your site collection has, this might take a while. You can occasionally refresh the Document ID Settings below until the red message is no longer present to check the status.

You will need to repeat this for each site collection in which you want that feature activated.

Add a prefix to document IDs

Some additional, optional, settings now available to you after having activated the Document ID Service feature include the ability to set a custom “string” to precede each document’s auto-assigned ID:

  1. In Site Settings, under “Site Collection Administration” click the new “Document ID Settings” option
  2. By default, it will have already started assigning IDs, but you can go ahead and enter a prefix and select “Reset” to make sure any existing IDs are updated to follow your prescribed convention.
  3. Click OK

One Reply to “Durable Document Links in SharePoint Server 2016 and Online/O365”

  1. Note that the Document ID Service does not generate globally unique IDs (ie at the tenant level).

    These Document Service IDs are only unique within the site collection, and if you ever have to migrate these documents across site collection boundaries you can run into problems pretty quick because the IDs will change.

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