25 Remarkable File Sharing Statistics: What the Numbers Reveal

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file sharing statistics

In the past, people used to share files by physically giving them to each other or by sending them through the mail. But now, we can share files online with just a few clicks. 

This has made it much easier to collaborate on projects and share photos, documents, or videos.

In this article, we’ll explore some file-sharing statistics, and reveal the latest trends, challenges, opportunities, and insights into its impact on the current world.

Eye-opening file-sharing statistics

There are a few things I’m certain you didn’t know about file-sharing:

  • 77% of business owners want to access files remotely.
  • 80% of the enterprise workload will be done on the cloud in 2025.
  • By 2025, the world is estimated to store 200 zettabytes of data.
  • 92% of employees review and collaborate on documents via email.
  • Almost 14.1 million users shared movies through the P2P network in 2017.
  • 45% of workers in 2019 said it was time-consuming to find the documents they needed.
  • 46% of employees admit to sharing passwords with co-workers.

General file-sharing stats

Whether you’re a business professional or a student simply interested in the world of file sharing, these statistics will satisfy your curiosity.

Let’s dive in:

1. 45% of workers in 2019 said it was time-consuming to find documents they need

Source: [M-files]

Besides 45% of employees having a hard time finding the files they needed, many were not able to find them at all.

83% said they had to recreate documents that already existed because they couldn’t find them anymore on their corporate network. 

According to M-files, 42% of documents aren’t labeled correctly, 41% are saved in the wrong folder, and 29% of the information is lost. Also, 28% agreed that these files cannot be accessed on all devices. 

All these add up to why employees find it difficult to find documents.

2. In 2019, global social media users sent over 41.6 million mobile messages

Source: [Statista]

A big part of these messages were actually snaps/pictures, which summed up to 2.1 million.

Moreover, sharing which refers to users distributing files and content through social media platforms like Facebook has also contributed to global file shares.

The market leader, Facebook has reached 2.4 billion monthly active users while its photo and video-sharing sister, Instagram records over 1 billion monthly active accounts.

Nowadays, people online don’t just share articles and pictures anymore. They also love sharing videos, especially short ones. Videos have become really popular on social media platforms like Instagram and Tiktok. 

3. In 2019, 65% of employees experienced challenges in approving documents

Source: [M-files]

In the survey which was carried out by M-files, 31% of workers said they often had to approve documents with a physical signature. 27% complained that approving a document took too long.

While 23% believed the process to review and approve documents was too complicated, 21% reported that they are not always notified promptly to approve a file.

4. Organizations use a total of 4 repositories to store and manage documents

Source: [M-files]

A survey M-file carried out in 2019 reveals that these four repositories are email (69%), shared network drives and folders (55%), information saved locally to a desktop (54%), and printed paper copies (47%).

M-files also reported that 82% of workers said that navigating through different systems to find the most recent versions of documents took a toll on their productivity.

To crown it all, M-files argues that E-mail is the least equipped system to manage large volumes of company information even though it is the most prevalent repository in the business world.

5. 92% of employees review and collaborate on documents via email

Source: [IsoTracker]

Despite still being by far the most popular form of collaboration, email doesn’t seem to be a structured file management medium for large companies.

About 48% of employees have accidentally shared with a co-worker or boss the wrong document.

Also, 81% have unintentionally worked on the wrong version of a document.

However, working with a cloud-based system is sure to eliminate these problems with email file sharing.

6. In February 2023, WhatsApp announced an increased file-sharing limit for iOS

Source: [Market Research Future]

Not only that, it also introduced a new mode that allows a hands-free video recording and sharing of up to 100 media files in a chat simultaneously.

Both features are available on the beta version of the iOS app. WhatsApp is doing everything to ensure seamless file sharing and video recording for users.

7. 77% of business owners want to access files remotely

Source: [Record Storage Systems]

Scanning and storing documents in a cloud service is cheaper and less time-consuming. Apart from that, both employers and employees can access files easily.

On the other hand, paper file storage is quite expensive. For example, every year, US businesses spend $8 billion managing paper – that is some money.

Then, on average, shipping documents from Dallas to Addison (a 20-minute drive) costs $17 for standard delivery (2-3 business days) and $125 for swifter delivery (1 business day).

Whereas, with Cloud management, anyone in the company can transfer and open any file from anywhere for much cheaper as long as they have the required login.

P2P file-sharing facts

In this segment, we will explore some statistics around peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing, a decentralized method of sharing files directly between users without the need for a central server.

8. Nearly 14.1 million P2P users shared movies through P2P network in 2017

Source: [Tecxipio]

According to Tecxipio, this number of users shared movies from January to the end of May 2017. 

Although it’s questionable whether or not P2P is legal, movies shared through this medium in 2017 held up to 49.5% of overall content distribution. This made up the highest share of P2P users worldwide.

9. Africa made up 57.2% of global P2P files sharers for movie content in 2017

Source: [Tecxipio]

In other regions such as Europe, Asia, Australia, and the Americas the share was 5 to 10 percentage points lower than in Africa.

Since P2P is a data-intensive activity especially when it has to do with movies, a lot of users in these countries tend to turn to P2P VPNs to prevent latency and ISP throttling.

10. At 27%, TV series came second place for content shared on P2P networks in 2017

Source: [Tecxipio]

Tecxipio also observed that in 2017, about 7.7 million P2P users across the globe distributed TV series content.

According to the data, this distribution was highest in Australia as nearly 51% of the country’s P2P users shared at least one TV series file through the network.

Other regions on the other hand showed an average share of 28.5% – almost half of the activity in Australia.

P2P history dates all the way back to 1969 when the ARPANET was introduced and it has since become a norm in the digital space, especially for file sharing.

11. In 2017, over 5.5 million P2P users shared game titles through the peer-2-peer network

Source: [Tecxipio]

Game titles made it third on the list of the type of content shared through P2P networks. Then, with 42%, South Africa sat comfortably at the top of the regions that shared game titles through the P2P network.

12. In May 2015, 31% of Windows devices worldwide were using P2P

Source: [Statista]

Even in 2015 P2P file-sharing software such as qBitTorrent or uTorrent were still very popular amongst PC users.

These tools work with BitTorrent files and allow for faster file sharing.

13. In 2017, Russia contributed to 14.53% of global P2P file sharers worldwide 

Source: [Tecxipio]

This placed the country at the top of the global share. Second to Russia was China which had over 3 million users sharing P2P files daily, making up about 10.77% globally.

In addition to that, the most used P2P client in the top file-sharing countries of 2017 like Russia, Brazil, India, and the United States is the uTorrent. This service was second in China with a 12.7% share.

Cloud-based document management statistics

As organizations increasingly adopt cloud-based document management systems, an abundance of statistics has emerged, shedding light on the growing significance of this technology. 

In this part, we will explore key statistics and trends in cloud-based file sharing and data management.

14. Enterprise file synchronization and sharing market to expand at a CAGR of 28.30% by 2030

Source: [GlobeNewswire]

According to in-depth research by Market Research Future (MRFR), the file synchronization and sharing market is expected to be worth USD 84.1 billion by the end of 2030.

As long as file sharing market size is involved, the key players include:

  • Dropbox (US)
  • Microsoft Corporation (US)
  • Citrix Systems (US)
  • IBM Aspera (US)
  • VMware Inc. (US)
  • Google Inc. (US)
  • OpenText (Canada)
  • Thru. Inc. (US)
  • Accellion (US)
  • Onehub (US)
  • WeTransfer (Netherlands)
  • BOX (US)
  • Onehub (US)
  • Securedocs Inc. (US)
  • Droplr (US)
  • Alphabet Inc. (US)
  • Huddle (UK)
  • Owncloud GmbH (Germany)

15. In May 2022, Movebot and Dropbox Inc. entered a strategic partnership

Source: [Mordor Intelligence]

This single collaboration allowed individuals, teams, and business users to migrate from other clouds to Dropbox quickly and safely. 

The global agreement made Dropbox choose Movebot as its preferred data migration solution provider.

16. In September 2022, Google led the file-sharing software market

Source: [Statista]

Google led with a market share of 28.13%. Then, closely marking it was the San Francisco-based Dropbox with a share of 27.6% while Box followed at 14.5%.

17. Dropbox has a market share of 2.51% in the document-management market 

Source [6Sense]

Dropbox competes with over 241 tools in the document-management category. The top alternatives for Dropbox are G-suite with 66.52%, Google Drive with 7.27%, and Microsoft Office 365 with 7.07% market share.

Globally, more than 60,000 companies have begun using Dropbox as a document-management tool. Most of these companies are based in the US. 

In fact, 56.44% of Dropbox customers are from the United States. Other top countries using Dropbox are the United Kingdom and Canada with 8683(6.91%) and 5049(4.02%) customers respectively.

18. Google Drive’s market share in file hosting services is about 44.89% 

Source: [Enlyft]

Currently, over 76,000 companies use Google Drive as their file management system. The top industries that rely on this file storage service are Education (5%) and Information Technology and Services (5%).

Regionally, 62% of customers that patronize Google Drive are based in the US while 6% are in the United Kingdom.

19. 80% of the enterprise workload will be done on the cloud in 2025

Source: [Oracle]

Oracle predicts that a lot of businesses in the future will embrace cloud technology. Once this transition is enabled, it will develop the second-generation cloud which will offer 100% data-center replacement.

However, enterprises haven’t started to move fully to cloud file management because they are concerned about security, cost, and the ability of cloud servers to hold overwhelming data at once.

20. By 2025, the world is estimated to store 200 zettabytes of data

Source: [Cybercrime Magazine]

According to Cybercrime Magazine, these data will be stored in the cloud. This would include public clouds operated by vendors and social media companies like Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Twitter, and so on.

In 2020, approximately 5 billion people accessed and stored data on their digital devices and the cloud. 

Cybercrime Magazine projects that 90% of the human population, aged 6 years and older would be online and generating data at the end of this decade.

File sharing security statistics

File sharing online is certainly faster and more efficient.

But is it safe? Data shows that data breaches are pretty common in this area. For this reason, businesses and individuals alike employ cybersecurity measures, including internal commercial VPNs, antiviruses, and more.

Let’s check out the biggest risks and notable data breach cases.

21. 49% of organizations have had at least one data breach in SharePoint between 2015 – 2017

Source: [Ponemon Institute]

This research shows that breaches are likely to occur because many employees are mistakenly sharing files with unauthorized people, like other employees or outsiders.

In the absence of suitable technologies, data breaches within the SharePoint environment may remain unnoticed. 

Additionally, some employees are accessing information they shouldn’t have access to, and some are not following the rules by not deleting confidential files as they should.

22. Misconfiguration of the cloud platform makes up 68% of the top four public cloud security threats 

Source: [AgileVision]

According to the 2020 Cloud Security Report, the primary concerns highlighted by participants also included unauthorized access to cloud resources (58%), unsecured interfaces (52%), and the compromise of user accounts (50%).

23. 93% of companies suffering from catastrophic data loss do not survive

Source: [Unitrends]

This information is gathered from a survey carried out by the University of Texas. It shows that 43% never reopen and 51% close within two years.

In addition to that, the National Archives in Washington reported that 93% of companies that lost their data center for 10 days or more due to a disaster, filed for bankruptcy within one year of the disaster. 

Furthermore, 50% of businesses that found themselves without data management for this same time period filed for bankruptcy immediately.

24. 72% of departing employees admit to taking company data in 2019

Source: [Cyber Security Intelligence]

Also, another interesting file-sharing statistic shows that around 70% of intellectual property theft takes place during the 90 days before an employee’s resignation announcement.

25. 46% of employees admit to sharing passwords with co-workers

Source: [djsresearch]

The survey by Djs Research in 2021 polled 1000 employees in professional roles. It revealed that nearly half of these workers shared their passwords in and out of the workplace mostly through email.

Additionally, 46% of the respondents believed that strict passwords hindered productivity. The survey also found that some people used the same password for different accounts. 

Around 25% of respondents used a similar password for their personal email and their work account. 

Then, 22% use the same password for their work account and their bank login, and 18% use the same password for their social media accounts and their work account.

Wrap Up

This file-sharing statistics article underscores the widespread popularity of file-sharing platforms. With billions of files being shared globally every day, it shows how individuals and businesses interact with digital content.

While file sharing facilitates efficient communication and collaboration, it has also raised concerns surrounding copyright infringement, piracy, and data privacy. 

Lastly, the rise of peer-to-peer sharing, cloud-based storage, and the advent of blockchain technology has further complicated the legal and ethical dimensions surrounding file-sharing practices.


  1. M-files
  2. Statista
  3. M-files
  4. M-files
  5. IsoTracker
  6. Market Research Future
  7. Record Storage Systems
  8. Tecxipio
  9. Tecxipio
  10. Tecxipio
  11. GlobeNewswire
  12. Tecxipio
  13. Statista
  14. Tecxipio
  15. Mordor Intelligence
  16. Statista
  17. 6Sense
  18. Enlyft
  19. Oracle
  20. Cybercrime Magazine
  21. Ponemon Institute
  22. AgileVision
  23. Verizon
  24. Unitrends
  25. Cyber Security Intelligence
  26. djsresearch

More about the topics: Statistics