What the guest experience is like

When a guest is invited to join a team, they receive a welcome email message that includes some information about the team and what to expect now that they're a member. The guest must redeem the invitation in the email message before they can access the team and its channels.

Example of a welcome email message sent by a team owner in Microsoft Teams to a guest user. The message includes text that can be customized by the team owner and brief descriptions of Teams features like chat, calls, and meetings.

All team members see a message in the channel thread announcing that the team owner has added a guest and providing the guest's name. Everyone on the team can identify easily who is a guest. As shown in the following screenshot of a sample team, a banner indicates "This team has guests" and a "GUEST" label appears next to each guest's name.

Screenshot shows a portion of the Marketing channel for Northwind Traders, with the notification in the top banner stating "This team has guests" and users who are guests identified with the word "GUEST" next to their name.

The following table compares the Microsoft Teams functionality available for an organization's team members to the functionality available for a guest user on the team.

Capability in Teams Teams user in the organization Guest user
Create a channel
Team owners control this setting.
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Participate in a private chat
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Participate in a channel conversation
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Post, delete, and edit messages
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Share a channel file
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Share a chat file
Add apps (tabs, bots, or connectors)
Create meetings or access schedules
Access OneDrive for Business storage
Create tenant-wide and teams/channels guest access policies
Invite a user outside the Office 365 tenant's domain
Team owners control this setting.

Create a team
Discover and join a public team
View organization chart

The following table shows the calling and meeting features available to guests.

Calling feature Guest E1 and E3 user E5 and EV user
VOIP calling Yes Yes Yes
Group calling Yes Yes Yes
Core call controls supported (hold, mute, video on/off, screen sharing) Yes Yes Yes
Transfer target Yes Yes Yes
Can transfer a call Yes Yes Yes
Can consultative transfer Yes Yes Yes
Can add other users to a call via VOIP Yes Yes Yes
Can add users by phone number to a call No No Yes
Forward target No Yes Yes
Call group target No Yes Yes
Unanswered target No Yes Yes
Can be the target of a federated call No Yes Yes
Can make a federated call No Yes Yes
Can immediately forward their calls No No Yes
Can simultaneously ring their calls No No Yes
Can route their unanswered calls No No Yes
Missed calls can go to voicemail No No1 Yes
Have a phone number that can receive calls No No Yes
Can dial phone numbers No No Yes
Can access call settings No No Yes
Can change voicemail greeting No No1 Yes
Can change ringtones No No Yes
Supports TTY No No Yes
Can have delegates No No Yes
Can be a delegate No No Yes

1 This feature will be available soon.


Office 365 admins control the features available to guests.

Guest access vs. external access (federation)

External access (federation) and guest access are different:

  • Guest access gives access permission to an individual. External access gives access permission to an entire domain.

  • Guest access, once granted by a team owner, allows a guest to access resources, such as channel discussions and files, for a specific team, and chat with other users in the team they have been invited to. With external access (federated chat), the external chat participants have no access to the inviting organization’s teams or team resources. They can only participate in one-on-one federated chat. Tenant admins can choose between the two communication options depending on which level of collaboration is desirable with the external party. Admins can choose either approaches or both, depending on their organizational needs, but we recommend enabling guest access for a fuller, collaborative Teams experience.

For a detailed comparison, see Manage external access.

Frequently asked questions

Q. Do guests have the same capabilities as team members?
A. No. For more information about what a guest can and cannot do, go to Guest capabilities in Teams.

Q. How many guests can I invite?
A. You can add up to 5 guests per licensed user.

Q. Do guests have access to OneDrive for Business?
A. No.

Q. Do guests have access to SharePoint files?
A. Yes.

Q. Can guests search within files?
A. No.

Q. Can guests attach files?
A. Yes, a guest can attach files in these two ways: • Select Files in the left pane, and then browse to the file location. • Upload from their computer.

Q. Can a guest download a file in a private chat?
A. Yes, they can receive a file from a member in a private chat, and then download it to their desktop.