Guest access in Microsoft Teams

Guest Access is new in Teams. It’s one of the features customers asked for the most. We’re still working on it, enhancing its capabilities. Here’s how you can keep up with our progress on Guest Access and tell us your thoughts:

Guest access in Microsoft Teams allows teams in your organization to collaborate with people outside your organization by granting them access to teams and channels.

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. No additional Office 365 license is necessary. Guest access is a tenant-level setting in Microsoft Teams and is turned off by default.

What 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 can be added as guest in Microsoft Teams. This means that anyone with a business (with 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 chats, meetings and files.

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.

Note

Users in your organization with standalone Office 365 subscription plans only, such as Exchange Online Plan 2, cannot be invited as guests to your organization since 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.

Organizations using 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 Active Directory.

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

Guest access differs from external access (also known as federation) as follows:

  • With guest access, a guest user has access to a specific Teams team that the user is invited into, and can access team-specific resources such as channels and files. The guest user can also chat with and call members of the team.

  • 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.

Teams and Office 365 Groups

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.

More information

Support resources for Microsoft Teams

Deep Dive into Guest Access
Enabling Guest Access in Microsoft Teams
Adding Guests in Microsoft Teams