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  • Writer's pictureAmanda Sterner

External users in Microsoft Teams – part 2 – collaborating in a team

Updated: May 2, 2022

Last week I wrote about External users in Microsoft Teams – part 1 – chatting and this week I will continue with the topic and show you how to collaborate with external users in a Microsoft Teams team.

1-2-1 chat in all of its glory but can’t we all just agree that a team is the thing to use for a project/department or any context with more than 2-3 participants? So how does it work when you want for example to invite a consultant or maybe a person from a third-party company.

Short explanation of difference between 1-2-1 chat and teams for external users

Let’s start with explaining the difference between chatting with external people and inviting external people to a team.

Chatting 1-2-1 as explained in the previous blog post: As a federation just as in Skype for Business, you will talk to the other person – you in your Microsoft Teams and them in their Microsoft Teams.

Adding a person to a team: This will make the external person a guest in your Microsoft Teams. I don’t want to be too techy, but basically what happens is that the invited guest will be created as a user in your tenant. When the external user is interacting in the team, they are inside your Microsoft Teams. Here’s a link to a great post by Microsoft where they explain a bit more thorough.

How to invite people to a team

1. Open the team where you want to add external users. On the team click and choose Add member

Add members to a channel

2. Search for the external user’s full email address and click Add XYZ as a guest. If this isn’t possible your organization have turned of guest access. You can invite all people to a team even if their organization isn’t federated with yours. You can actually invite Gmail addresses as well, but I haven’t tried because I’ve always been a true Microsoft girl

Add a new guest

3. The other person will receive an email from Microsoft Teams saying they have been invited to a team, hopefully the person who invited you told you about this, so it doesn’t come as a shock 😊

The email you recieve when you are added to a team

4. Once a person has been added as a guest in your tenant you will find her/him searching for their name as you would for any other colleague but with Guest specified to make it clear

Chat with a guest

Add a guest to a team

How will it look for the other person?

For the other person a new option will appear to change between organizations.

Change between Microsoft Teams organizations

If you get a notification from the other Microsoft Teams you will get a notification. Look at my blog post Notifications in Microsoft Teams for more details. Only difference is that when the message is going to a guest they will only receive notifications that would appear in the activity tab (so “normal 1-2-1 message without mention @ will not result in a notification, but it will result in a “missed message email” after a while).

A key thing is that they have to be logged into your Microsoft Teams environment to see the messages.

How do I remove a person?

To delete a member from a team, you open the settings for the team and click X on the user you want to remove.

View members in a team

Let’s try a task for this week’s blog post.

When you have an email that you are going to send to more than one participant, write the message in Microsoft Teams. You can even write it as a mail with a subject and main content with images/links/tasks.

Compare the same scenario with sending an email – how much faster did it go? Tag me in a tweet and let me know how it went! You'll find me at @amandassterner f


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