Share sites and files externally

To collaborate with people outside your organization, you can share entire sites or specific files externally. If you want to get straight to setting up sharing, choose the scenario you want to enable:

Deciding how to share your content

When considering if and how you want to share content externally, think about the following:

  • To whom do you want to grant access to content on the site and any subsites, and what do you want them to be able to do?

  • To whom in your organization do you want to grant permission to share content externally?

  • Is there content you want to ensure is never available to be viewed by people external to your organization?

The answers to these questions will help you plan your strategy for content sharing.

Try this: If you need to…
Add a guest to a group
Provide someone outside your organization with ongoing access to information and content on a team site. They need the ability to perform like a full user of your site and create, edit, and view content.
Share a document and require guests to authenticate.
Provide specific people outside your organization with secure access to a document for review or collaboration, but these people do not require access to other content on the site.
Share a document, but don't require authentication.
Share a link to a non-sensitive or non-confidential document with people outside your organization so that they can either view it or update it with feedback. These people do not require access to content on the site.


When you disable external sharing, people outside the organization who currently have access will no longer have access. If you later turn external sharing back on, access will be restored for these people. To prevent a user from accessing a shared content, remove them from the Office 365 group, remove their permissions from the site, or stop sharing the file or folder with them.

Enable external sharing at the organization level

External sharing is turned on by default at the organization level, but not for all new sites. For info, see External sharing overview.


To allow external sharing for any site, you need to allow it at the organization level.

  1. In the admin center, type "external" in the search box on the Home page, and choose Sites external sharing.

  2. On the page that opens, choose whether users can share with existing guests only, new and existing guests, or anyone.

  3. Select Save.

After you enable external sharing at the organization level, you can fine tune your sharing settings to disable external sharing for particular sites. For info, see Turn external sharing on or off for a site.