Guest access in Microsoft Teams
Guest access lets you add individual users from outside your organization to your teams and channels in Microsoft Teams.
To compare external access (federation) with guest access (and decide which one you should use), read Communicate with users from other organizations in Teams.
If you're ready to turn on guest access in your organization, start with the Guest access checklist.
Guest access overview
Guest access allows teams in your organization to collaborate with people outside your organization by granting them access to existing teams and channels in Teams. Anyone with a business or consumer email account, such as Outlook, Gmail, or others, can participate as a guest in Teams with full access to team chats, meetings, and files. As the Teams admin, you control which features guests can (and can't) use in Teams - check out Manage guest access.
Guest access is an org-wide setting in Teams and is turned off by default. Guest access is subject to Azure AD and Office 365 service limits.
Guest users follow Teams Org-wide settings for the coexistence Upgrade mode. This can't be changed.
Licensing for guest access
Guest access is included with all Office 365 Business Premium, Office 365 Enterprise, and Office 365 Education subscriptions. No additional Office 365 license is necessary. Teams doesn't restrict the number of guests you can add. However, the total number of guests that can be added to your tenant is based on what your Azure AD licensing allows - usually 5 guests per licensed user. For more information, see Azure AD B2B collaboration licensing.
Users in your organization who have standalone Office 365 subscription plans only, such as Exchange Online Plan 2, cannot be invited as guests to your organization because Teams considers these users to belong to the same organization. For these users to use Teams, they must be assigned an Office 365 Business Premium, Office 365 Enterprise, or Office 365 Education subscription.
Who is a guest?
A guest is someone who isn't an employee, student, or member of your organization. They don't have a school or work account with your organization. For example, guests may include partners, vendors, suppliers, or consultants. Anyone who is not part of your organization can be added as guest in Teams. This means that anyone with a business account (that is, an Azure Active Directory account) or consumer email account (with Outlook.com, Gmail.com or others) can participate as a guest in Teams, with full access to teams and channel experiences.
Finally, all guests in Teams are covered by the same compliance and auditing protection as the rest of Office 365, and can be managed securely within Azure AD.
Why use guest access?
With guest access, organizations that use Teams can provide access to teams, documents in channels, resources, chats, and applications to their partners, while maintaining complete control over their own corporate data. All guests in Teams are covered by the same compliance and auditing protection as the rest of Office 365, and guests can be managed securely within Azure AD.
Understand the limitations for guests
The guest experience has limitations by design. Make sure you understand the guest experience so you don't try to fix something that isn't a problem. For example, here's a list of some of the functionality that isn't available to a guest in Microsoft Teams:
- OneDrive for Business
- People search outside of Teams
- Calendar, Scheduled Meetings, or Meeting Details
- Organization chart
- Create or revise a team
- Browse for a team
- Upload files to a person-to-person chat
- Guests can still search and find users (outside their team) if they know the user's full email ID. To prevent this, IT admins can use patterns like scoped directory search that have the ability to restrict guests to their own virtual GAL.
- Currently, Teams supports only State 1 and State 2 types of guest users as defined by Azure B2B
For a full list of what a guest can and can't do in Teams, see the comparison of team member and guest capabilities table. To learn more about guest access at the Office 365 level, read Adding guests to Office 365 Groups.