Teams Notifications with Guests

Brass Contributor



We running 365 internally and I am a member of a number of Teams. This works fine


However we have started collaborating with a 3rd party who also runs 365 and Teams.


I have been invited as a "Guest" to there environment and now a member of some of there Teams.


To get to there Teams environment I need to logon to Teams and in the top right hand corner press the drop down arrow to move between my company Teams account to the 3rd partys teams setup.


This works ok, however if I am invited to a chat with members of the 3rd party (ie outside of teams channel) this chat happens in the 3rd party tenant and I do not see the chat withing my 365 tenant. 


If this how it works? I would have thought I shoudl see the chat in my Tenant ?



16 Replies

@Pn1995  That is how it currently works and it is easy to miss the chats and notifications.


There are some improvements coming but as you can see from the chat not exactly what is needed -

Hi @Pn1995

As @Andrew Hodges has said, that's how it works. Let me explain.

There is two kinds of communications with users outside your organisation. One is guest access and the other is external access (federation). The difference is that guest access allows you access to Teams and resources within the tenant that invites you and is done on an individual basis, whilst external access allows you to simply communicate with the other organisation - but this is done on a domain basis and does not allow you to access resources in the other tenant.

In other words, if you want to be part of a channel conversation in the other organisations team then guest access is needed for this. As Andrew says, you are typically notified by the red dot by the tenant name when a new post has come up in the conversation.

If you simply want to chat privately with individuals in another organisation which has Teams, and assuming both have external access enabled, all you have to do is go to private chat, start a new chat, type in their name and you should be able to chat with them in your tenant - not theirs.

Once you have chatted with them, they should show as username (external) as opposed to username (guest)

Hope that clarifies and answers your question.

Best, Chris
When Native Federation (External Chat) finally hits, I beleive we should be able to then Join group chats cross tenant. At this point as long as the other company invites your "External" user using "Search externally for...." when adding to the chat, you'll be able to stay in your home tenant for the chat. But that will be the only way to accomplish this, or you can start a meeting that you chat in and join from your home tenant as well today.

Otherwise as others have pointed out, you have to tenant switch and hope the toast notification on the tenant switcher drop down updates properly.

Most people, including myself, keep a browser open in the other tenant while keeping my desktop app open in my tenant. Then I can participate in both at the same time. It will remember that tenant as well, so you can easily have a browser favorite open the browser to to quickly have that available.
I mean, the red dot means nothing. It even has a counter of missed messages but the value is wrong and is stuck at a static value. If I have been invited as a guest I need to see notifications regardless of which domain I am on. Other chat applications do this (Slack, Discord). Is this even coming to teams? We are about to pull the trigger on something else

@Pn1995 As others have said the red counter is of little to no use and doesn't help at all when someone is trying to call you from another team and you're getting zero notification about these 

@dazzatrio @Pn1995 @StevenCombs  @Chris Webb  @Christopher Hoard 
I have much the same query on this - but perhaps different looking behaviour - namely I have NO red dots.

I have my own company with my own tenancy (call it ABC,) but work full time for another organisation  (DEF) that has just transitioned to Teams from SfB.  I am looking to implement a sort of Support desk for users within my own company where they can post into a Support Channel - but since I need to have the DEF  tenancy using the Desktop Client because it is 10000% more active for Support, I worked out what might be an easy solution, which was create the Channel in ABC teams, invite my DEF External login as a Guest.

Now that actually works and I can easily as some have indicated Switch between seeing My ABC tenancy and the other DEF tenancy Teams with the Dropdown at the top menu.

However I have tested with My ABC user by Adding a comment in the channel, and even doing an @ Mention of my DEF Guest account within that channel (done from another PC with teams Desktop) - Subsequently NO Red Dot, no notification, no "Someone mentioned you in teams" email, etc.  I left it for a little while and nothing - Then I go to the Drop down menu, click on My ABC tenancy and it seems more like it switches accounts at that point, opens up all My Company channels, and Desktop Notifications all of a sudden show up in sequence at the bottom of the screen.  Which seems to mean you can NEVER log into more than one account at once - which we sort of knew already - but even this Guesting functionality should be more fluid than this shouldn't it?


So is this by design - ? or just plain broken?


agree, notifications across orgs is super important. Also I am color blind so a little red dot is not sufficient. Should be able to configure these notifications in the OS like every other Apple platform. I use MacOS, ipadOS and IOS. Thanks
This is being worked on actively but IMO it is just kind of broken. Your best work around is to have web browser open with one tenant, and client open connected to the other. I use 2 tenants I work in on the same account and it works fine. Allow the browser to send notifications and your good.

Until they improve the experience that's the best you can really do for the time being. Mobile actually gets push notifications for multiple accounts, but not desktop client.

As for notifications on the color blind issue for the OS, there is a roadmap item they are working on this as well being able to set the OS notifications for Teams. Set for release Q3.

@Chris Webb There is a downfall to this - in one organisation we have started using SAML for some web-apps - and it is the Org that I have Teams Desktop running.  So it means that a couple of apps that need MS Office tenancy signin for one tab, subsequently can cause the Teams tab with the Other ORG either Keep requesting Authentication, or just fail with authentication as the User being signed in with does Not have permissions in the Other org.

I get that this coul potentially be fringe when it comes to what we are doing - but of course the fix would be the better Multi-signin functionality.

Incedentially - since I first posted this I have seen that notifications do seem to show up against the other Org - But again that is using a Guest account, and not a Main account. I also find the notifications are significantly delayed.



I find it very annoying as well not to get a notification when there is activity on the tenancy that is currently not selected at the top right. However, an hour later I get an email stating I missed some activity on the other tenancy. This maybe is even more annoying because now you know you're an hour late to react.

Searching for a solution  I found in the settings you can modify the frequency of email notifications. You can set it to "every 10 minutes" or even "as soon as possible". Because outlook does give a popup I hope next time I get a notification sooner.



hi Tim, thanks for the tip.  I'm not sure more email is a great solution for notifications - for our company and our clients, email is quickly falling to disuse in favor of Teams/Slack.  Slack handles this gracefully and with our clients using Slack it is fine.  For clients using Teams, this is a significant problem.


Also, while we use Office 365 as an enterprise, many users (including myself) use other email/calendar clients that have much stronger integration for other mac apps that are much more important to our workflows than email/calendar clients - eg omnifocus.


I think MSoft should just add this functionality.  Thanks

thanks Chris for the tip on OS notifications. I will have to try out the browser based solution when time allows.

@PT_Currie @Chris Webb My "outside-my-tenant-guests" claims they do not have the option "Channel notifications" on a channel. Is that be design?


On the positive side, when my guests switches to my tenant/org. they receive "@mentions".


How do I inform my "occasionally" guests about new file uploads / important new posting in a channel?

"Share to Outlook" within a specific post?


regards Jørgen

@Jørgen Rolighed Thyme 


I have found a work around although not perfect but it works for some cases.


If you setup a meeting with external members (all the people you want on the chat) then during the meeting use the meeting chat, it will stay in your chat channels and you are able to use it after the meeting. But I have not tested adding a new person the chat. 


Maybe this helps

@jadjoulji This issue seems to be unchanged.   I just got invited to be a guest in another org's team.  The only thing I see that might help is to set the notifications to use Windows notifications, time will tell if that's any better.
Microsoft will have to add something on the left side bar I expect to represent "other teams" or the like.

@Pn1995Hi there.
This post was written 3 years ago and things are still the same, that is quite annoying.
There is a post on the feedback portal that you can find here, you can upvote to give it more visibility.