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Sharing to External Users in an Office 365 Group

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Sharing to External Users in an Office 365 Group

I am still confused about the ability to share with external users. I have been able to successfully share with a gmail, hotmail, and other "consumer" providers.

 

I am not successful with other Office 365 external users.

 

Is this a supported scenario? I have my tenant and I want to add joe@somegreatcompanyono365.com and can't but i can add the same "joe"@hispersonalemail.com?

 

The error messaging compounds my confusion.

 

As I add the person I see this:

error adding user.png

 

So I go to my admin center as told and....

 

setting in admin center.png

 

 

And for the finalle the SharePoint additonal settings:

sharepoint settings.png

 

I am obviously missing something...

 

Any suggestions are much appreciated!

 

Thank you,

eZe

17 Replies
Solution

Re: Sharing to an external Office 365 Group

Have you manually enabled (by PowerShell) the external sharing for that Group?

See https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Turn-external-sharing-on-or-off-for-SharePoint-Online-62882...

Re: Sharing to an external Office 365 Group

I knew Salvatore was going to provide a super-fast answer :-)

Re: Sharing to an external Office 365 Group

I have not. I will give that a shot.

 

You guys rock!

Re: Sharing to an external Office 365 Group

According to the article shouldn't my Tenant settings allow this? I will give it a try though!

Re: Sharing to an external Office 365 Group

No. The tenant setting is necessary, but not sufficient.

You have also to enable sharing individually for each Group.

"By default, all SharePoint site collections that are part of an Office 365 Group have the sharing setting set to Allow sharing only with the external users that already exist in your organization's directory. To change this setting, you can use the Set-SPOSite Windows PowerShell cmdlet." (from the article cited above)

Re: Sharing to an external Office 365 Group

I understand your point, Salvatore, and the article you point out states it clearly, but I also had the same problem and misunderstanding that Eric had, and while now I know the solution (based on your fine response), I also believe the UI in the Admin Center should be updated. While a couple of different UserVoice entries say that this has been done, that is because now the PowerShell is available.
To the SharePoint UX designers, if the goal is to get users to understand that a document library in a site is a document library in a Group is a document library in a Team, then can we get consistent UX around their permissions? And, if the answer is, "When we ship external user support for Teams then all will be resolved and will be beautiful," then "Thank You In Advance"!
--Owen

Re: Sharing to an external Office 365 Group

To be fair, MS has promised some time ago in a thread here that the default for Groups will be changed to allow anonymous sharing. But then I guess that someone will complain about this choice... ;-)

So, the best thing would be to have all defaults configurable in the Admin Center UI. But then I guess that someone will complain that he/she has shot himself in the foot... ;-)

Re: Sharing to an external Office 365 Group

Do you get the same issue when you are in a Group in outlook on the web and try sharing to an external user from there?

Re: Sharing to an external Office 365 Group

Yep. Same thing.

Re: Sharing to an external Office 365 Group

Eric, Are you saying that even after applying the PowerShell change to the group, you are still unable to share with an external user with a Work or School Account?
--
Set-SPOSite -Identity https://contoso.sharepoint.com/sites/site1 -SharingCapability ExternalUserAndGuestSharing
--

Re: Sharing to an external Office 365 Group

No I haven't run the PowerShell script yet. I will give it a shot!

It should work with any user right? Not just work or school account, correct?

Thanks Owen!

Re: Sharing to an external Office 365 Group

Yes, it will allow sharing with every MSA or Work and School Account.

If you don't run the PowerShell command, you will be able to share only with external users already existing in your directory, if any.

Re: Sharing to an external Office 365 Group

Is it just me or does this all sound completely bonkers?  As a small business, we don't have an IT department and I'm responsible for keeping things running.  I can generally find my way around the Admin Centre, but have never used PowerShell and don't see why I should need to.  All the Admin Centre settings are set so that external sharing should work ... but it doesn't ... and the answer is to use PowerShell!?!?  If the Admin settings only do half the job, why bother having them at all, why not just tell customers that they can only do external sharing if they get a highly paid SharePoint administrator who knows how to use PowerShell ... or have I missed something?

Re: Sharing to an external Office 365 Group

Hi Oz.

The actual trend is to require PowerShell for all "advanced" settings. Only "basic" settings are configurable in the Admin UI. (Of course it is arguable what is "basic" and what is "advanced"...)

Also, it is quite common to require PowerShell in order to tweak settings for new features: the corresponding Admin UI is often introduced later.

Hence, IMHO, you should start to learn the basics of PowerShell: it should not be so difficult...

Re: Sharing to an external Office 365 Group

Well, I've just spent 45 minutes on the phone to a very helpful Microsoft Tech.  For the benefit of others, I'd summarise as follows:

  • All the sharing settings in the Admin Center and SharePoint Admin Center are just to setup sharing options at the very top (tenant) level.
  • If you then need to share content from a specific group with external users you need to turn on this ability using Powershell (I still think that's bonkers, but hey, ho).
  • The Powershell code (to be run as an admin) is:
    • a. Set-ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted
    • b. $UserCredential = Get-Credential
    • c. Connect-SPOService -URL https://<domain>-admin.sharepoint.com
    • Set-SPOSite -Identity https://<domain>.sharepoint.com/sites/<sitename> -SharingCapability ExternalUserAndGuestSharing

Now, this didn't work for me first time as it said I was restricting settings to lower options than in the SharePoint Admin Centers.  I therefore changed access in there to allow anonymous access, ran the code again and then changed the Admin Center setting back.

 

All now works perfectly!  Hurrah.

Thanks for the input from people on here.

Re: Sharing to an external Office 365 Group

This worked for me!

Re: Sharing to an external Office 365 Group

Just ran the same script and it worked like a charm.  Only my second time using PowerShell so I'm pretty excited.  Seems like when dealing with Groups, PowerShell is the best option.  I just recovered a deleted Group using PowerShell (my first PowerShell adventure).