How To Add External Users To SharePoint

SharePoint offers several options for adding external users to enhance team collaboration within your organization. Follow this step-by-step guide to learn how to add external users to SharePoint.

To add external users to SharePoint, there are multiple options available. The first option is to share a site only by enabling external sharing in the SharePoint Admin Center and selecting the type of external sharing permitted. Then, navigate to the SharePoint site and click “Share” in the upper-right corner, entering the email address of the external user and selecting the appropriate sharing permissions.

Another option is to share a Microsoft 365 Group, which gives the external user access to the site as well as other group assets like Planner or a distribution list. This can be done by sharing the entire group with the external user. If the group was created from Teams, the external user can be invited to collaborate through Teams. This gives access to the Team’s channels, tabs, and associated SharePoint site.

To invite external users in a controlled manner, they can be invited to the tenant first and create guest user accounts, without being immediately invited to a specific site, group, or team. This allows for more control over the invitation process.

Finally, files and folders can be shared externally without giving access to the entire site. This option is useful when only specific content needs to be shared with external users.

By following these step-by-step instructions, you can easily add external users to SharePoint and enhance collaboration within your organization.

Enabling External Sharing in SharePoint Admin Center

The first step in adding external users to SharePoint is to enable external sharing in the SharePoint Admin Center. By enabling external sharing, you can control the level of access external users will have to your SharePoint site. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Log in to the SharePoint Admin Center using your administrator credentials.
  2. Click on “Settings” in the left-hand navigation menu.
  3. Under “External Sharing,” select the level of external sharing you want to allow. You can choose from “Don’t allow sharing outside your organization,” “Allow sharing with authenticated external users,” or “Allow sharing with all external users.”
  4. Click “Save” to apply the changes.

Once external sharing is enabled, you can proceed to invite external users to collaborate on your SharePoint site.

Types of External Sharing Permissions

When enabling external sharing in the SharePoint Admin Center, you have the option to select different types of external sharing permissions. These permissions determine the level of access external users will have to your SharePoint site. Here are the available options:

Permission Level Description
View Only External users can only view the content on your SharePoint site.
Edit External users can edit and collaborate on the content on your SharePoint site.
Full Control External users have full control and administrative privileges on your SharePoint site.

Choose the appropriate permission level based on the requirements of your collaboration with external users.

Inviting External Users to Collaborate on SharePoint

Once external sharing is enabled, you can start inviting external users to collaborate on your SharePoint site. There are multiple ways to invite external users, such as site sharing, Microsoft 365 Groups, Teams, or controlled tenant invitations. Additionally, you can choose to share specific files and folders externally without giving access to the entire site.

To share a site with an external user, first enable external sharing in the SharePoint Admin Center. Select the type of external sharing you want to permit, whether it’s allowing anyone to share with external users or only allowing sharing with external users who already have an account in your organization.

After enabling external sharing, navigate to your SharePoint site and click “Share” in the upper-right corner. Enter the email address of the external user and select the appropriate sharing permissions. This can include options such as “Can view,” “Can edit,” or even more granular permissions if needed.

If you want to give the external user access to more than just the site, you can share a Microsoft 365 Group. This will grant them access to the site as well as other group assets like Planner or a distribution list. Simply share the entire group with the external user, and they will have access to all the associated resources.

Another method of inviting external users is through Microsoft Teams. If the group associated with your SharePoint site was created from Teams, you can invite the external user to collaborate through Teams. This will give them access to the Team’s channels, tabs, and the associated SharePoint site.

In cases where you want to invite external users in a more controlled manner, you can invite them to the tenant first. This allows you to create guest user accounts for them without immediately inviting them to a specific site, group, or team. It gives you more control over the invitation process and allows you to manage their access more effectively.

Finally, if you only need to share specific files or folders externally without granting access to the entire site, SharePoint offers that option as well. This is useful when you want to share specific content with external users while keeping the rest of the site private. You can easily select the files or folders you want to share, generate a link, and send it to the external user.

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