If you own a company with multiple locations, ensuring that every employee has access to the critical documents they require can be difficult. Authorized employees can use Microsoft SharePoint to open, review, edit, and share documents from anywhere.

Is SharePoint part of Office 365? Yes. SharePoint integrates with numerous Microsoft programs, including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Users can easily access SharePoint content from familiar applications, share files, and collaborate in real time. SharePoint includes tools for workflow management, process automation, custom form, and app development.

Your on-site or remote staff can access the same data and tools with SharePoint. It can be used as a shared file repository, a blog site, a web content management system, or a SharePoint intranet. It is also available in many versions, including SharePoint Server and SharePoint Online, which is included with Office 365.

Your team can benefit from professional Microsoft SharePoint training to maximize its features and functionalities.

Steps to Add External Users to SharePoint

  • Ensure external sharing is enabled on your SharePoint site: Go to the SharePoint Admin Center and choose the site to allow external sharing. Then, under the left-hand menu, click ‘Sharing’ and ‘External sharing.’
  • Choose the type of external sharing you want to permit: You can restrict external sharing to anyone, only authorized or specified external users or domains.
  • Add external users to your SharePoint site once external sharing is enabled: Navigate the SharePoint site and click ‘Share’ in the upper-right corner.
  • Enter the email address of the external user you want to invite: type their address into the ‘Share’ dialog box, and then select the appropriate sharing permissions (e.g., ‘can view’ or ‘can edit’). If the external user does not already exist in your organization’s directory, enter their full name, and select the proper authentication method (e.g., Microsoft Account or Google Account).
  • Click ‘Share’ to send the invitation to the outside user: After this step, they will receive an email containing a link to the SharePoint site.

How much SharePoint storage with Office 365 you have will depend on your subscription plan. Review your plan for more details.


Accessing SharePoint by Sharing from Teams

If you want your external users to have access to channel discussions, Team apps, and more, follow these steps:

  • Launch the Teams app and navigate to the team you want to invite external members to.
  • Choose ‘Add member’ from the three-dot menu next to the team’s name.
  • On the ‘Add members’ window, under the ‘Input an email address’ field, enter the email address of the external user you want to invite.
  • Choose ‘Member’ or ‘Guest’ from the dropdown menu to change the user’s role.
  • If the user is a guest, you can provide them access to a specific channel or the entire team.
  • Include a message with the invitation, but this is optional.
  • To send the invitation, click the ‘Add’ button.


Things to Remember Before Adding External Users

Adding external users to SharePoint opens up your documents to security risks. Here are the most severe security threats to consider:


Unauthorized Entry

External users may be unfamiliar with your organization’s security standards, and may inadvertently or deliberately gain access to information they should not have.


Data Breach

If external users have access to sensitive information in SharePoint, they may share it with people or entities who should not access it. This can lead to data leakage and other security issues.



External users may introduce malware into your SharePoint environment accidentally or intentionally. This can infect your entire site and potentially spread to other portions of your organization’s network.


Brute-Force Attacks

External users may use brute-force attacks to access other sections of your organization’s network via SharePoint. Brute-force attacks entail trying many passwords until one succeeds, and they are effective if users do not use secure passwords.



External users may be more vulnerable to phishing attempts, which can be used to obtain sensitive information in your SharePoint system. You should instruct your users on how to use SharePoint securely and watch for any security breaches.

Security mechanisms can mitigate these threats. Some examples include access controls, user permissions, and multifactor authentication. 


Next Steps

Sharepoint offers so much more than access for external users–Microsoft programs are complicated to the average user, but with proper training, can maximize productivity. If you are ready to take advantage of what Microsoft Sharepoint has to offer, reach out to ONLC today. ONLC has been designated a Gold Microsoft Partner and authorized to provide official technical training, so your employees will navigate Microsoft programs with confidence after working with our experts.

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