Collaborate with guests in a team

If you need to collaborate with guests across documents, tasks, and conversations, we recommend using Microsoft Teams. Teams provides all of the collaboration features available in Office and SharePoint with persistent chat and a customizable and extensible set of collaboration tools in a unified user experience.

In this article, we'll walk through the Microsoft 365 configuration steps necessary to set up a team for collaboration with guests.

Video demonstration

This video shows the configuration steps described in this document.

Azure Organizational relationships settings

Sharing in Microsoft 365 is governed at its highest level by the organizational relationships settings in Azure Active Directory. If guest sharing is disabled or restricted in Azure AD, this setting overrides any sharing settings that you configure in Microsoft 365.

Check the organizational relationships settings to ensure that sharing with guests is not blocked.

Screenshot of Azure Active Directory Organizational Relationships Settings page

To set organizational relationship settings

  1. Log in to Azure Active Directory at https://aad.portal.azure.com.
  2. In the left navigation pane, click Azure Active Directory.
  3. Click External identities.
  4. On the Get started screen, in the left navigation pane, click External collaboration settings.
  5. Ensure that Admins and users in the guest inviter role can invite and Members can invite are both set to Yes.
  6. If you made changes, click Save.

Note the settings in the Collaboration restrictions section. Make sure that the domains of the guests that you want to collaborate with aren't blocked.

If you work with guests from multiple organizations, you may want to restrict their ability to access directory data. This will prevent them from seeing who else is a guest in the directory. To do this, under Guest user access restrictions, select Guest users have limited access to properties and membership of directory objects settings or Guest user access is restricted to properties and memberships of their own directory objects.

Teams guest access settings

Teams has a master on/off switch for guest access and a variety of settings available to control what guests can do in a team. The master switch, Allow guest access in Teams must be On for guest access to work in Teams.

Check to ensure that guest access is enabled in Teams and make any adjustment to the guest settings based on your business needs. Keep in mind that these settings affect all teams.

Screenshot of Teams guest access toggle

To set Teams guest access settings

  1. Log in to the Microsoft 365 admin center at https://admin.microsoft.com.
  2. In the left navigation pane, click Show all.
  3. Under Admin centers, click Teams.
  4. In the Teams admin center, in the left navigation pane, expand Org-wide settings and click Guest access.
  5. Ensure that Allow guest access in Teams is set to On.
  6. Make any desired changes to the additional guest settings, and then click Save.

Note

It may take up to twenty-four hours for the Teams guest settings to become active after you turn it on.

Microsoft 365 Groups guest settings

Teams uses Microsoft 365 Groups for team membership. The Microsoft 365 Groups guest settings must be turned on in order for guest access in Teams to work.

Screenshot of Microsoft 365 Groups guest settings in  Microsoft 365 admin center

To set Microsoft 365 Groups guest settings

  1. In the Microsoft 365 admin center, in the left navigation pane, expand Settings.
  2. Click Org settings.
  3. In the list, click Microsoft 365 Groups.
  4. Ensure that the Let group owners add people outside your organization to Microsoft 365 Groups as guests and Let guest group members access group content check boxes are both checked.
  5. If you made changes, click Save changes.

SharePoint organization level sharing settings

Teams content such as files, folders, and lists are all stored in SharePoint. In order for guests to have access to these items in Teams, the SharePoint organization-level sharing settings must allow for sharing with guests.

The organization-level settings determine what settings are available for individual sites, including sites associated with teams. Site settings cannot be more permissive than the organization-level settings.

If you want to allow file and folder sharing with unauthenticated people, choose Anyone. If you want to ensure that all guests have to authenticate, choose New and existing guests. Choose the most permissive setting that will be needed by any site in your organization.

Screenshot of SharePoint organization-level sharing settings

To set SharePoint organization-level sharing settings

  1. In the Microsoft 365 admin center, in the left navigation pane, under Admin centers, click SharePoint.
  2. In the SharePoint admin center, in the left navigation pane, expand Policies and then click Sharing.
  3. Ensure that external sharing for SharePoint is set to Anyone or New and existing guests.
  4. If you made changes, click Save.

The default file and folder link settings determine the link option that will be shown to users by default when they share a file or folder. Users can change the link type to one of the other options before sharing, if desired.

Keep in mind that this setting affects all teams and SharePoint sites in your organization.

Choose any one of the following link-types which will be selected by default when users share files and folders:

  • Anyone with the link - Choose this option if you expect to do a lot of unauthenticated sharing of files and folders. If you want to allow Anyone links but are concerned about accidental unauthenticated sharing, consider one of the other options as the default. This link type is only available if you've enabled Anyone sharing.
  • Only people in your organization - Choose this option if you expect most file and folder sharing to be with people inside your organization.
  • Specific people - Consider this option if you expect to do a lot of file and folder sharing with guests. This type of link works with guests and requires them to authenticate.

Screenshot of SharePoint organization-level files and folders sharing settings

To set the SharePoint organization-level default link settings

  1. Navigate to the Sharing page in the SharePoint admin center.
  2. Under File and folder links, select the default sharing link that you want to use.
  3. If you made changes, click Save.

Create a team

The next step is to create the team that you plan to use for collaborating with guests.

To create a team

  1. In Teams, on the Teams tab, click Join or create a team at the bottom of the left pane.
  2. Click Create a team.
  3. Click Build a team from scratch.
  4. Choose Private or Public.
  5. Type a name and description for the team, and then click Create.
  6. Click Skip.

We'll invite users later. Next, it's important to check the site-level sharing settings for the SharePoint site that is associated with the team.

SharePoint site-level sharing settings

Check the site-level sharing settings to make sure that they allow the type of access that you want for this team. For example, if you set the organization-level settings to Anyone, but you want all guests to authenticate for this team, then make sure the site-level sharing settings are set to New and existing guests.

Screenshot of SharePoint site external sharing settings

To set site-level sharing settings

  1. In the SharePoint admin center, in the left navigation pane, expand Sites and click Active sites.
  2. Select the site for the team that you just created.
  3. Click ... and choose Sharing.
  4. Ensure that sharing is set to Anyone or New and existing guests.
  5. If you made changes, click Save.

Invite users

Guest sharing settings are now configured, so you can start adding internal users and guests to your team.

To invite internal users to a team

  1. In the team, click More options (***), and then click Add member.
  2. Type the name of the person who you want to invite.
  3. Click Add, and then click Close.

To invite guests to a team

  1. In the team, click More options (***), and then click Add member.
  2. Type the email address of the guest whom you want to invite.
  3. Click Edit guest information.
  4. Type the guest's full name and click the check mark.
  5. Click Add, and then click Close.

See also

Best practices for sharing files and folders with unauthenticated users

Limit accidental exposure to files when sharing with guests

Create a secure guest sharing environment

Create a B2B extranet with managed guests

SharePoint and OneDrive integration with Azure AD B2B