Image of external users being added as guests in Microsoft Teams

How to Add External Users as Guests in Microsoft Teams

Josh Logozar
October 2, 2020

Collaborating with people outside your organization can lead to email threads that resemble a Tolkien novel. Adding external users as guests to your Teams can help prevent this, and allow everyone to work on projects in real time.

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Sometimes you will want to collaborate with people that are outside of your organization. Normally you will be doing this by back and forth email conversations, managing attachments, and double-checking to make sure you're always clicking the "Reply All" button.

Today, let us look at ways to add Guests to your Teams. Guest users will have fewer permissions but they will sill be able to still do a lot of the same actions that your other team members can.

Note: You can only add guests using the desktop app or the web application version of Microsoft Teams.

What can Guest Users do in Microsoft Teams

Let us start by looking at what guests can do when they get invited into your Teams. Guest users who are granted access can do the following:

  • Create a Channel
  • Participate in a private chat
  • Participate in Channel conversations
  • Share a channel file
  • Can edit or delete their own posted messages
  • Can be invited by any work or school Microsoft 365 account

As you can see, there are lots of capabilities for the guest user, so they should be able to do everything they need to collaborate and get their work done.

Note: This list is based on the default settings in Microsoft Teams. Depending on your organization's preferences, these options may be disabled by your Teams administrator.

How to add a Guest to your Teams

Adding a guest to your Teams is a simple process, once you have confirmed a few prerequisites:

  • Check with your Administrator if your organization allows guests.
  • Does the guest you want to invite have a Microsoft 365 school or work account? (If they do not, they will be directed to create one for free)

To add guests, start by going to your teams' group, and then find the team to where you want to add the guest.

Image of finding groups and teams in Microsoft Teams.
You can find teams through the left sidebar.

You then either right-click, or select "More options" on the team that you want to add to.

Image of the more options menu in Microsoft Teams.
Click on the "More options" to display available actions.

Under the menu, select "Add member".

Image of adding a member from the menu in Microsoft Teams.
Click on "Add member" to start adding users.

You will get a pop up asking you to supply the guests email address.

Note: if you receive an error saying “We did not find any matches”, this means that your organization does not allow guests.
Image of entering a guest user's email address in Microsoft Teams.
Add guest users using their preferred email address.

After you have added the guest users, you will be able to edit the guest information. We recommend that you do this now, otherwise, you will need the help of your Teams Administrator to change it in the later.

Once you have entered a name for your new guest user, click on the check button to complete the process. And you are done!

Image of editing guest information in Microsoft Teams.
Enter your guest's username to finish the process.

Work together with Guest Users

As you can see, it's really easy to invite users into Teams, and get work done all in one place. If your guest users are new to Microsoft Teams, we've written this handy guide when joining Teams Virtual Meetings.

Now that you'll be doing even more of your collaboration within Microsoft Teams, it's now time to stay focused! Learn how you can manage your Teams notifications and make sure that you and your guests stay productive.

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