Can I restrict download access to the preview when sharing?

By | Sharing

Short answer: Yes, when sharing a file you can untick the “Download preview” option to control who can download the previews. If no download options have been ticked, we won’t show a download button on the share page. The receivers will be able to watch the media files online.

Please note: this only applies to the preview files. For more information about restricting download access to your source files, please see this support article.

Long answer: you can hide the download options, but there’s no guarantee someone won’t find a way to store a copy. For someone to be able to view a given file, his/her computer or mobile phone will need to download it first. This download usually happens in the background but tech-savvy people will find ways to store this file. Even video streams can be captured and stored without explicit permissions (like a screen recording or screen capture). And we have seen people simply take a picture of their computer screen with their mobile phone.

So while we will make it more difficult for a receiver to download the previews, unfortunately there are always ways someone can store a copy of what they’re seeing. There is no way to circumvent this, so it’s also one of the reasons we tell people to be cautious when sending sensitive information over the internet. If the content is so sensitive this becomes an issue, consider whether uploading this file to the internet is a good choice.

What can I do to prevent unwanted downloads?

  • Send out personal links. If it ever leaks, you will know who leaked it.
    You can always get in touch with our support team to help investigate a certain share link that may have been leaked on an internet site.
  • Use personal accounts whenever possible.
    Sharing files with someone on a regular basis? Consider creating a MediaLab account for them. They will be required to set a password and you get an extra audit trail in case a copy of a file leaks.
  • Set a short expiry interval.
    Send out a short-lived link by default, for example 2 weeks. If they haven’t seen it then, you can always send them a new one. If the link leaks, the limited time frame will help keep the damage to a minimum.
  • Add a watermark to files shared online.
    If you choose to share files publicly, consider adding a watermark to them to make it harder to share without proper attribution.
  • Create a custom format for sharing.
    For enterprise customers, we can provide custom formats for a given file type. These custom formats can then also be shared. Examples include a special video format with reduced audio bitrate, custom image specifications, etc.


Have more questions? Feel free to get in touch with us.

Can I restrict access to the source file when sharing?

By | Sharing

When sharing a file in MediaLab we provide several options to restrict what the receiver can see and/or download. Depending on the type of file you are sharing, some options may not be fully supported. Please have a look below to see how we handle the different files that can be shared.



Yes, you can share a video without providing download rights to the source file. For all media uploaded to MediaLab, we create one or more copies that we use for display purposes. If it’s a video, we will prepare an MP4 file that can easily be played online. We call these extra formats “preview files”. Usually the preview files are of lower quality compared to the source file, but good enough to provide a decent online playback experience for your receivers.

What happens when sharing one of these files without “Download source” rights? You are basically sending a link to let someone watch the preview file. We will not provide a way to download the source file and there is no way the receiver can download it from our servers.

Example: let’s say your source file is a 1-hour BluRay 1080p video (17 GB total with 38 Mbit/s bitrate). A default preview setting of (1 Mbit/s, MP4, H264) would give us a preview file of about 460 MB. When you send a share link, you are allowing the receiver to watch the 460 MB preview version. He will not get access to your 17 GB source file.

Exception: when your original source is already to the same specifications as our preview files, we use the source for previewing. Read more about downloading previews here.

Audio & Images

Yes, for audio and images we also create preview files, such as MP3 files for audio and JPG for Images/PSDs etc. Unless your original source is already to the same specifications as our preview files, in that case please see the part about downloading preview files for more information.

Office documents and other files

No, for other file types we are not always able to create preview files. Imagine Office documents, ZIP files (.zip) or an Executable installer (.exe). When you decide to share one of these files, we will assume you intent to share the source file or there would be no use sharing it. On the share page we will show a file icon as placeholder and provide a “Download” button to download the source file.

For all office documents we will attempt to create a PDF version as preview file. However, since this is a best-effort attempt and may not always match the original (like large Excel sheets), we will still allow downloading of the source. Office documents include PowerPoints, Word documents and Excel files.

Custom formats

For enterprise customers we support custom formats created to your own specifications. For example, it is possible to have a custom HD preset that we use when transcoding your video, which can then be shared with external stakeholders. This way you are not limited to sharing the preview files, but also special formats that you use.

Can I restrict download access when sharing a file?

By | Sharing

Short answer: of course! When sharing a file you can tick the “Download source” and the “Download preview” options to control who can download the media files. If no download options have been ticked, we won’t show a download button on the share page. The receivers will be able to watch the media files online.

Long answer: yes, but it depends on what files you are sharing. To read more about applying download restrictions, please navigate to one of the following support articles:

Omroepen & Media bedrijven

Met MediaLab is het mogelijk om alle soorten video bestanden te delendownloaden en te uploaden op een zeer snelle en vooral veilige manier. Je kunt een geautomatiseerde workflow opzetten om producenten direct hun formats te laten uploaden, welke direct bij het delivery platform kunnen worden afgeleverd.

Content Creators

Werk je met mediabestanden dan kun je niet werken zonder een betrouwbare deel/verstuurtool. MediaLab biedt meer dan alleen het delen van bestanden: voorvertoningen, makkelijk delen en reageren op tijdcodes zijn slechts enkele van de vele kenmerken.

Bedrijven & Merken

MediaLab levert gecentraliseerde opslag voor belangrijke onderdelen zoals productfotografie, kunstwerken, instructievideo’s, geluidsfragmenten en logo’s. Met onze tool is het mogelijk om je merk gecontroleerd te stroomlijnen.