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Set up and manage public links

Public links allow teams to share individual Confluence pages with people outside of Confluence without giving them access to Confluence. This could be useful for sharing information to the public, like customer FAQs, release notes, shareholder letters, and more.

As an admin, you’ll find guidance on this page for how to set up and manage public links on your instance, so that the right content can be shared publicly by the right people.

For details on how public links work, go to How secure are public links?

If you’re looking for help on how to actually share individual pages, go to Share content externally with public links.

Public links are only available on Confluence’s paid plans (Standard, Premium, and Enterprise). Only Confluence pages can have public links, not any other type of Confluence content (e.g., whiteboards, blogs, etc.).

In Global permissions, the global toggle controlling whether the instance should allow the use of public links is set to Allow by default.

Global default may differ depending on date of instance creation
If your instance was created before October 16, 2023, the global public links toggle will be off until you choose to turn it on.

If your instance was created on or after October 16, 2023 — including server instances migrating to Confluence Cloud — the global public links toggle will be on. Because all spaces will allow public links by default, this also means all spaces on your instance will be allowing public links from the time you created the instance. You’ll have to turn the global toggle off to stop allowing public links on your instance.

This only applies to the global default setting, not to the space or page defaults.

In Space permissions, the toggle controlling whether the space should allow the use of public links is also set to Allow by default.

Related, in Default space permissions, the setting that controls whether any new space created should allow the use of public links is set to Allow by default.

At the page level, actual public links are off by default.

Upgrading from Free to paid plans will trigger these defaults

Public links aren’t available on the Free plan. Upgrading makes them available and will trigger these defaults. This means that, although no public links will be on immediately, people on your instance will be free to use public links in all spaces on your instance the moment you upgrade.

For more on public links default settings, go to How secure are public links?

We know it’s critical that you have visibility into and control over how public links are used on your instance or in your space. To that end, Confluence has an admin dashboard you can use to audit where public links are allowed and exactly which pages have active public links and make changes.

In the Public links tab of Global permissions, product admins will find a list of all the spaces on their instance and whether a space allows or doesn’t allow public links.

On the Standard plan, you’ll see two statuses:

  • ALLOWED = people can turn on the public link for any page in that space

  • NOT ALLOWED = no one can turn on the public link for any page in that space

These statuses don’t indicate whether anything is public — it simply indicates whether it’s possible to make anything public. A space could allow public links to be turned on but have 0 active public links.

As a reminder, all spaces will allow public links by default.

To see which spaces allow public links or not:

  1. Select the wheel icon () in the top-right corner to open Confluence administration.

  2. Find Settings > Security in the left-hand navigation.

  3. Select Global permissions.

  4. Select the Public links tab.

  5. Scroll and page through the table of spaces and their statuses.

    1. Or you can use the search and filter functions to arrive at different views.

To stop allowing public links in a space:

  1. Select the wheel icon () in the top-right corner to open Confluence administration.

  2. Find Settings > Security in the left-hand navigation.

  3. Select Global permissions.

  4. Select the Public links tab.

  5. Scroll, search, and/or filter the table of spaces to find the space you want to stop allowing public links in.

  6. Open the more actions menu (•••).

  7. Select Stop allowing.

When you stop allowing public links in a space, all active public links will be changed from an ON state to an OFF state, and if public links are ever allowed in that space again, all public links will remain in an OFF state until manually turned back ON.

If a page’s public link can’t be turned on (e.g., if public links aren’t allowed in a space), the public link option in the page’s Share window will appear grayed out, turned off, and disabled.

To allow public links in a space as a Confluence admin:

  1. Select the wheel icon () in the top-right corner to open Confluence administration..

  2. Find Settings > Security in the left-hand navigation.

  3. Select Global permissions.

  4. Select the Public links tab.

  5. Scroll, search, and/or filter the table of spaces to find the space you want to allow public links in.

  6. Open the more actions menu (•••).

  7. Select Allow.

From within Global permissions > Public links, you can drill down into any space to get more details about the active public links in that space without leaving global permissions. Simply select the number value in the Public pages column of the table or open the more actions menu (•••) and select Manage active public links.

In the public pages drilldown view, you’ll find a table that shows the individual public pages in a space. It will only show pages that are ON or BLOCKED. It won’t show pages that don’t have active public links and aren’t blocked.

  • ON = anyone with access to the page can copy the public link and share it with anyone on the internet

  • BLOCKED = the page’s public link is off and no one can turn it on until the page is unblocked

You can search and filter this list of pages and turn off or block active public links. On the Premium plan, you can multi-select pages and turn off or block them in bulk.

To turn off a public link from the pages view in global permissions:

  1. Find the page in the list you want to turn off.

  2. Open the actions menu (•••).

  3. Select Turn off.

To block a public link from the pages view in global permissions:

  1. Find the page in the list you want to block.

  2. Open the actions menu (•••).

  3. Select Block.

To view the public version of the page:

  1. Find the page in the list.

  2. Open the actions menu (•••).

  3. Select View public link.

Pages that are blocked have their public link in an off state and so don’t have a public link to view.

Product and organization admins can control whether public links should be allowed or not allowed in any new spaces created on their instance. By default, public links will be allowed in all new spaces created.

To change whether new spaces created should allow public links:

  1. Select the wheel icon () in the top-right corner to open Confluence administration.

  2. Find Settings > Security in the left-hand navigation.

  3. Select Space permissions.

  4. In the Public links section, select the toggle that controls whether new spaces should allow public links.

If you’re on the Premium plan, you’ll have the option to block public links from being allowed in a space, which means the table will have 3 statuses:

  • ALLOWED = people can turn on the public link for any page in that space

  • NOT ALLOWED= no one can turn on the public link for any page in that space but space admins in the space are free to change that to allow public links at any time

  • BLOCKED FROM ALLOWING = no one can turn on the public link for any page in that space and space admins are blocked from allowing public links

The ability to block gives product admins a higher level of control.

To block a space from allowing public links:

  1. Go to Global permissions > Public links.

  2. Scroll, search, and/or filter the table of spaces to find the space you want to allow public links in.

  3. Open the more actions menu (•••).

  4. Select Block.

Only Confluence admins can block spaces from allowing public links.

When you block public links from being allowed in a space that has active public links, all active public links will be changed from an ON state to an OFF state, and if public links are ever allowed in that space again, all public links will remain in an OFF state until manually turned back ON.

To unblock a space from allowing public links:

  1. Go to Global permissions > Public links.

  2. Scroll, search, and/or filter the table of spaces to find the space you want to allow public links in.

  3. Open the more actions menu (•••).

  4. Select Unblock and allow.

Unblocking a space returns it to its default state, which is ALLOWED. The table doesn’t support unblocking directly into NOT ALLOWED.

To preemptively block a space from allowing public links:

  1. Go to Global permissions > Public links.

  2. Make sure the global toggle to Allow public links on this site is in an off position.

  3. Scroll, search, and/or filter the table of spaces to find the space you want to allow public links in.

  4. Open the more actions menu (•••).

  5. Select Block.

Basically, this lets you set up which spaces on your instance should never be allowed to have public links before you enable the global toggle that allows the use of public links on your instance.

Remember, as soon as the global toggle is moved to an on position, all spaces not blocked from allowing will by default switch from NOT ALLOWED to ALLOWED.

If you’re on the Premium plan, you also have powerful bulk actions at your disposal.

To make bulk changes to which spaces allow public links:

  1. Go to Global permissions > Public links.

  2. Scroll, search, and/or filter the table of spaces to find the space you want to allow public links in.

  3. Select multiple spaces or select the top checkbox to bulk select all spaces currently loaded on the page.

  4. Select one of the bulk actions:

    1. Stop allowing

    2. Block

    3. Allow (in the ••• more bulk actions menu)

    4. Unblock (in the ••• more bulk actions menu)

An organization-level control in Atlassian Administration is coming soon.

Only site admins or Confluence admins can change the instance setting.

By default, your instance will allow public links (depending on when the instance was created).

To allow public links on Confluence:

  1. Select the wheel icon () in the top-right corner to open Confluence administration.

  2. Find Settings > Security in the left-hand navigation.

  3. Select Global permissions.

  4. Select the Public links tab.

  5. Toggle on Allow public links on this site.

“Allowing” public links on Confluence makes them available for use. It doesn’t make anything public on its own. With public links allowed, anyone who has access to a page can turn on and share that page’s public link with anyone on the internet.

To stop allowing public links on Confluence:

  1. Select the wheel icon () in the top-right corner to open Confluence administration.

  2. Find Settings > Security in the left-hand navigation.

  3. Select Global permissions.

  4. Select the Public links tab.

  5. Toggle off Allow public links on this site.

All active public links on your instance will be turned off and have to be manually turned back on.

The public link toggle on pages will appear grayed out, turned off, and disabled when not allowed, such as when:

  • The specific public link is blocked by an admin.

  • Public links aren’t allowed in the space.

  • Public links aren’t allowed on the instance.

Space admins can change this setting, as well as organization and product admins.

By default, all spaces allow public links.

To allow public links in a space:

  1. Go to the space.

  2. Select Space settings in the sidebar.

  3. Select Public links under the Space permissions card.

  4. Toggle on Allow public links in this space.

Similarly to the Confluence-level control, “allowing” public links in a space makes them available for use. It doesn’t make anything public on its own.

To stop allowing public links in a space:

  1. Go to the space.

  2. Select Space settings in the sidebar.

  3. Select Public links under the Space permissions card.

  4. Toggle off Allow public links in this space.

All active public links in the space will be turned off and have to be manually turned back on.

For guidance on how to turn public links on at the page level, go to Share content externally with public links.

By default, all new spaces created will allow the use of public links in them.

To prevent new spaces created from allowing public links:

  1. Select the wheel icon () in the top-right corner to open Confluence administration.

  2. Find Settings > Security in the left-hand navigation.

  3. Select Space permissions.

  4. Select the Public links tab.

  5. In the Public Links section, toggle off Allow public links in all new spaces.

In the Public links tab of Space permissions, space admins can find a table that shows the individual public pages in a space. It will only show pages that are ON or BLOCKED. It won’t show pages that don’t have active publics and aren’t blocked.

For example, if you only just allowed public links in your space, then the list would be empty because no one has had a chance yet to turn on any public links.

To turn off a public link from the pages view in space permissions:

  1. Go to Space settings.

  2. Select Public links from the Space permissions card.

  3. Find the page in the list you want to turn off.

  4. Open the actions menu (•••).

  5. Select Turn off.

To block a public link from the pages view in space permissions:

  1. Go to Space settings.

  2. Select Public links from the Space permissions card.

  3. Find the page in the list you want to block.

  4. Open the actions menu (•••).

  5. Select Block.

To view the public version of the page:

  1. Go to Space settings.

  2. Select Public links from the Space permissions card.

  3. Find the page in the list.

  4. Open the actions menu (•••).

  5. Select View public link.

Pages that are blocked have their public link in an off state and so don’t have a public link to view.

Although you can preemptively block spaces from being allowed, there’s no way to preemptively block pages from being turned on.

To learn more about what notifications you get from Confluence to help you maintain awareness and control over how public links are used on your instance and in your space, go to How secure are public links?

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