Guest Access to Microsoft 365 Groups

Guest access in Microsoft 365 Groups lets you and your team collaborate with people from outside A-State by granting them access to group conversations, files, calendar invitations, and the group notebook. Access can be granted to a guest—for example, a partner, vendor, supplier, or consultant—by any group owner.

How it works

People using Microsoft 365 Groups can use Outlook on the web or Outlook for Windows to add and manage guests in their Microsoft 365 groups. Guests can have any email address, and their email account can be a work, personal, or school account.

When sharing OneDrive folders/files, syncing between OneDrive Business accounts and OneDrive Personal accounts is not supported by Microsoft at this time. You can still share with guests that only have Personal OneDrive accounts (accounts that are not tied to an organization), however, the user will only be able to access the shared file or folder from a web browser.

  1. A group owner adds a guest to the group.
  2. The group owner is informed of which content and resources the guest can access within the group. A combination of text and icons gives all group members a clear indication of guest participation.
  3. The guest receives a welcome email and can participate in group conversations, receive and respond to calendar invitations, and access the group files.
  4. Guests can leave the group at any time via a link in the footer of all group email messages and calendar invitations.

When a guest is invited to join a group, they receive a welcome email message that includes a little information about the group and what they can expect now that they're a member. The message also includes a set of links to help them get started and connect to group resources.

All of the guest member's interactions occur through their email inbox. They can't access the group site but can receive calendar invitations, participate in email conversations, and, if the admin has turned on the setting, they can open shared files using a link or attachment.

All group email messages and calendar invitations the guest receives will include a reminder to use Reply all in responses to the group, along with links to view group files and leave the group.

The following table summarizes what guests can and can't do.

Feature Guest user allowed?
Create a group No
Add/remove group members No
Delete a group No
Join a group Yes, by invitation

Start a conversation

Reply to a conversation Yes
Search for a conversation Yes
@mention a person in the group No
Pin/Favorite a group No
Delete a conversation Yes
"Like" messages No
Manage meetings No
View group calendar No
Modify calendar events No
Add a group calendar to a personal calendar No
View and edit group files Yes
Access the group OneNote notebook Yes, access from welcome email
Browse groups No