Allow External User to Open in Desktop App

Occasional Contributor

I have O365 business, and I shared an Excel file with an external user (not in our AAD/domain).


They can open the Excel file in their browser with Excel Online, but the "open in desktop app" doesn't show up for them.


Is there a setting I can change to allow this external user to open the file in the full Excel program?

5 Replies
this is actually a Sharepoint question. When you share the link to the excel file there are different options available to make the link read-only, make it edittable, and for internal and external users. You need to change the link settings/permissions in Sharepoint.
Appreciate the reply. I found a thread that lists out the details:

That includes some direct responses from Microsoft indicating how it works (and unfortunately how it won't work for me).

@Shawn Keene To allow "Open in Desktop" functionality, you need to add the person you are collaborating with as a Guest in your Azure Directory. Follow these steps: 


Once your Guest is added, go to the file or folder you would like to share, and enter the Guest email address.


Note: In order for it to work, make sure your org settings allow sharing with guests: 


If this worked for you, please give it a thumbs up.

@olivierlord  this may have saved my life! this seemed to work for me, using another email address as a test. If I share this with another person in a different organization would anything on their end prevent the from opening the file in their desktop app?

@Caseypaulmq Once you give them access in your Azure Directory as guest, right-click on the file or folder to share, then Manage Access, and add their email again. They will need to accept the initial invite to join your Org Directory, then they should have access to the shared file/folder. If they can’t maybe it has to do with their own org security configurations — that, I can’t help with.