Guest access in Microsoft Teams

Guest access overview

Guest access is one of the features customers asked for the most. Here’s how you can keep up with our progress on guest access and tell us your thoughts:

Guest access allows teams in your organization to collaborate with people outside your organization by granting them access to existing teams and channels on one or more of your tenants. 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.

Guest access is included with all Office 365 Business Premium, Office 365 Enterprise, and Office 365 Education subscriptions with no additional licensing requirement. You can have up to 5 guests per licensed user on your tenant. For more information about licensing, see Azure Active Directory B2B collaboration licensing guidance.

Guest access is a tenant-level setting in Microsoft Teams and is turned off by default. Guest access is subject to Azure AD and Office 365 service limits.

Note

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. (You can read about guest restrictions in Authorize guest access in Microsoft Teams.) 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. 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 external 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.

Teams is built on Office 365 Groups and provides a new way to access shared assets for an Office 365 group. Teams is the best solution for persistent chat among group/team members. Office 365 Groups is a service that provides cross-application membership for a set of shared team assets, like a SharePoint site or a Power BI dashboard, so that the team can collaborate effectively and securely.

How does guest access compare to federation (external access)?

With federation or external access, an external user can have 1:1 chats and calls with a user in another organization by using either Teams or Skype for Business. The federated user cannot access any team resources. Compared to guest access, external access allows cross organization communication (if permitted by policies) without an explicit invitation, but is limited to chat and call only.

More information

Support resources for Microsoft Teams
Guest access in Office 365 Groups

Introduction to to guest access
Deep dive into guest access
Adding guests in Microsoft Teams