Unable to add External User to Teams Contacts

New Contributor

I have a single user who is unable to add external contacts to their Contacts list in Teams Chat. The tenant is Teams only (no Skype).


The user navigates to Chat/Contacts and selects 'Add a contact to this group'.  They start typing the email address and Teams suggests the name of a current guest user. 


On completion of the email address, I would expect Teams to prompt 'Search email address externally'.  However, only the guest email address is displayed.


The user gets the same result for the app (latest version) and web based client.


All other members of the tenant are able to add external users without an issue - so it's unlikely to be a tenant related issue.


Any ideas?

7 Replies
Not sure what's going on here. How about other externals not similar to existing guest user?
I'm not 100% sure if they completely finished the back end transition for federated chats, but check to make sure that this specific user has the "Skype for Business Online" license applied to them. Think there is still required backend stuff that utilizes that for external chat. I could be wrong, cause I haven't been in the game around that stuff lately, but it used to be that way :P.

Outside of that, check other users that work as Christian said and see, if not, it's possible that the user might be under some kind of Policies outside of Teams preventing external communications etc.

Can users message them from another company?

Christian, Chris - Thanks for your response.

Other members of the tenant are able to add external users without an issue. My 'problem' user only has the issue of adding external users to his contact list when he has had some previous connection with the other tenants.

He can successfully add an external user to his contact list if he chooses a tenant where he has had no previous communications.

The user has the same policies as other users in the tenant and holds the same licenses.
Hi, can another user in your org. add a user from this org. that this particular user is having an issue with? Any difference if he leaves the org/s. that he's had some previous connections with? Perhaps something related to very restrictive external collaboration settings at the resource org. Again, not sure.
Hi Christian, Yes, other users in my org can add external users, including those which are at issue.

I'm going to remove some of the guest accounts and see if that resolves the problem.
Hi Christian,
The user can add a user from the other org if they are not defined as a gust user.

If I delete a guest user then my user can then add this person to their Teams Contact. I can then add the guest account back and everything is good.

I don't want to go through this process for future users. There must be a conflict with my user which prevents him from performing the 'Search externally for user xxx' when that user already has a guest account.
Hi, sorry. Didn't see your reply as I wasn't @mentioned. I've tried to reproduce this error but simply cannot. I recommend opening an official support ticket with Microsoft (if not already done).