How to Share Files With External Users in Microsoft Teams

If external access is not managed correctly, it can quickly lead to additional licensing costs. It also presents a significant security risk.

With Teams, you can easily share files with external users. You can choose which permissions to grant. You can also set up security protocols to protect your data.

Invite External Users

The administrator of a classic SharePoint Online site can invite external users to access the team’s content. Once the user accepts the invitation, they can access the site’s files and documents and join the team channels. They can also receive group email and calendar invites and participate in Yammer discussions. They will not be able to share their own data.

If you are sharing with authenticated external users, you can set the link to require sign-in or require multi-factor authentication if you have it enabled for your organization. You can also set the expiry date for the link. If you are sharing with unauthenticated external users, the link will be an open one that does not require a login.

To revoke external access for a file or folder, you need to go to the item in question and select ‘Manage Access.’ This opens a dialog box that allows you to see a list of all external users who have access and to change their permission levels.

Set Permissions

Once an external user is invited to collaborate with your team, you can set their access level. This affects the folders they can be collaborated into. They can be allowed to view and edit files, or just view them.

To set permissions, go to Admin Console > Users & Groups and double-click the external user name. For each folder you want to grant access, click the Access Level menu and select a new option from the list.

To enable more fine-tuned guest access settings, go to the SharePoint Admin Center and select Organization-wide settings — guest access. You can also use site-level settings to further limit how guests can share files and folders. For example, you can choose to allow guests only in certain security groups or allow only existing guests. You can also decide whether to allow visitors to see who viewed a file or page. These are all options that allow you to tailor guest access for your specific organizational needs.

Share Files

If you need to share files with people who aren’t on your team in Microsoft Teams, you can create a private channel and add them as members. You can also grant access to documents or libraries that you have created. The limit for sharing with non-guest external users is 250 and varies by Microsoft 365 plan.

When you create a shared link, you can choose to request user information and set an expiration date. You can also allow or disallow downloads and set a password to secure the file or folder. You can configure these options at the team or Team Folder level.

Illinois State allows students, staff and faculty to add guest users and chat with them using Microsoft Teams. Guests can also access Teams files and use OneDrive for Business to store their files in OneDrive for Business or SharePoint. To do this, they can select the Ellipsis for More option located in the upper-right corner of a file or document.

Manage External Users

When you allow external users to view content in your organization, you must provide them with a link. You can then require them to verify their identity using a trusted email address or verification code before they can access the content. The option to require an extra step is available for both communication sites and classic sites. Global admins and site owners can select the option, but only if you enable it at the organization level.

You can also control folder permissions for external users in Team Folders. The permissions you select determine whether the external user can forward links or access files that are attached to them.

You can change a managed external user’s OpDiv affiliation by selecting a team from the dropdown menu. You can also add them to a shared channel. To do so, they will receive an invite from the channel and be able to select a team that they belong to.

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