Microsoft has recently announced that it is now possible to grant access to Office 365 Groups for external users with the new guest access.

Enabling guest access for external users is something that a lot of people were waiting for, so I have decided to test it out for you to show how easy it is to grant guest access to external users and to see what type of permissions is given to the guest user.

To show you how it works, I started by creating a new group:

Then I added a new member with a Hotmail account, the account is seen as a guest (see image below).

“Guest access works for any email accounts including corporate and consumer domains (such as or” source:

When adding an external member, you see the following message to notify you that the guest will have access to the group content. (it does not say what type of access, and you cannot select the type of access to grant the guest).

It will take some time (minutes) before the external user has access to the external content.

He will eventually receive the following email to welcome him to the group.

Once the external user clicks on the link to read group files, he will be asked to sign in to Office 365

Once the external user has signed in he will be able to view the Shared documents and the Shared Notebook from the Office 365 Group.

He will be able to add, modify, delete and sync documents in the Shared Library.

The External user will also be able to send email to the group to create a new conversation

See below the new conversation published to the group from the external user.

The guest user will also be able to add pages, lists, libraries and apps to the site.

At the moment of writing the external user does not have access to the group Shared conversation (but will receive email for each new conversations), Shared Calendar and Shared Tasks (Planner).

I hope that this helps you understand better how to grant access to external user and what an external user will be able to do in your Office 365 Groups.

If you want more information about Office 365 Groups you can read this other article that I posted on the subject

I will be watching the announcements at the Microsoft Ignite conference this week!

There are at least 30 sessions at ignite that will talk about Office 365 Groups