Unable to share externally on Shared Channels

Brass Contributor

We are unable to share files and folders on shared channels with external users.  We get the following message when trying share with an external email address:


“Your org doesn't allow sharing with these people. To continue sharing, remove the highlighted recipients.”




We are able to share externally on Standard and Private channels. 


Guest Access is On in the Teams admin console:




In the SharePoint admin console > Policies > Sharing > External Sharing, both SharePoint and OneDrive are set to “New and existing guests”.




In the SharePoint admin console > Sites > Active Sites, the team site in question has External Sharing set to “This site can be shared with new and existing guests”.  On the General channel we are able to share with external users. 





However, on the shared channel sites, External Sharing defaulted to “This site can't be shared externally”.  There is no edit button.  As a workaround, I leveraged PNP PowerShell to enable external sharing with the following command:


Set-PnPTenantSite -Url $SiteURL -SharingCapability ExternalUserSharingOnly


The SharePoint admin console now indicates that I can share externally on the shared channel site.  External Sharing shows “This site can be shared with new and existing guests”. 




However, I still receive the aforementioned error when trying to share externally.  What am I missing?  How do I enable external sharing on shared channel sites?  Why is this not consistent with SharePoint, OneDrive, and Teams standard/private channels?



23 Replies



As I am off soon will reach out to some of my community friends to pick up


@adam deltinger @Chris Webb @Juan Carlos González Martín - you guys got any idea as I know you have worked with Shared Channels prior


Best, Chris


Can you please check what is the external communications configuration in Microsoft Teams side? At times the external communications from Microsoft Teams block the same.

With Regards,
Satish U

Hi Ryan,

All you have tried here seems to be right and I would recommend to wait some time untill the changes in the SPO site are propagated in the backend. Anyway, if you click on the view 2 channel sites in the main site card, you should be able also to check the settings for any channel site linked to that main site and make changes there. 

Another important thing here: Is B2B Direct Connect configured behind the scenes for the shared channel? I think the problem you are experiencing could be related to the fact that Shared Channels relies on B2B Direct Connect even for sharing the SPO site being used....I have just tested this on a demo tenant and I can share documentation with users belonging to tenants configured in B2B Direct Connect, but I cannot if they belong to tenants not configured. 



External access is set to allow "All external domains".  External sharing works fine on standard and private team sites, as well as general SharePoint sites and OneDrive.  



Note that I made these changes in June - so it's not a propagation issue. Also, when I click on "view 2 channel sites" there is no option to edit the External Sharing settings as there is on the main site card. See the last screenshot on my original post. That is why I used PowerShell to change the setting.

B2B Direct Connect is not configured as we are not sharing with a specific tenant. We are only trying to leverage basic SharePoint external sharing that works on every other type of SharePoint site. Are you suggesting that is unavailable on Shared channel sites?
I think that could be the casse and it can make sense

@ryanmillar, you should check Azure Active Directory > External Identities | Cross-tenant access settings to enable conection between tenants, it is no only Teams Admin Portal setting. (Collaborate with external participants in a shared channel | Microsoft Docs







Thanks @gilbertovm. I adjusted the B2B settings. I will wait a few hours for the changes to propagate and then follow up.



The B2B settings should have propagated by now, but still no luck.  Here are the updated settings as well as others I had now shown before:


Cross-tenant access settings:




External collaboration settings:



Global Teams policy




Trying to share from SharePoint on a shared channel's site is unchanged.  I still get the following message for external email addresses:


Your organization's policies don't allow you to share with these users. Go to External Sharing in the Office 365 admin center to enable it.


If I click on "Share with people" on a shared channel and enter an external email address, I get "We didn't find any matches".  The same occurs if I enter the email address of an existing guest account.   




However, I can add an external user to the Team. 


When I sign into Teams as the external user, I can see the team and the General channel, but not the Shared channel, which is shared with the team.  


Are there any other settings I could be missing?




I'm having EXACTLY the same issue and really hoping someone can find the answer. I was thinking that the issue was linked to the External Sharing policy in the SharePoint Admin Center, but that doesn't make sense as it only applies to Guest users, and external people in Shared Channels aren't treated as Guests (i.e. they don't get added to your directory). I'm therefore suspecting that the issue is somewhere in the Azure B2B Direct Connect setup, but it all looks as it should as far as I can see. CONFUSED!
I've just re-read your post and we may be having a slightly different problem. Am I correct that:
1. You have not added the external people to your shared channel, and
2. You are trying to share files / folders out of SharePoint with external users?
If so, because it's a shared channel you won't be able to share with external users unless BOTH you AND the external user's tenant have configured the Azure AD B2B direct connect settings. If the external user's tenant hasn't been configured, then I'd expect what you're seeing, i.e. not finding the external users when trying to add them to the channel.

My issue is slightly different, in that I can add them to the channel, they can access it and join in conversations, but they get a "That didn't work. External Sharing is disabled" error when trying to access / upload files.
Microsoft support confirmed that external users and guests are not yet supported in shared channels unless they have M365 accounts with B2B direct connect configured. That is a huge loss of functionality compared to private and standard channels. We collaborate with tons of external users that have no M365 subscription. We migrated everything to shared channels to help consolidate and organize our teams. But in the process lost the ability to search and share (search currently does not work in shared channels either). It's a huge deal breaker. Microsoft Support has been utterly useless in the process, so we are currently migrating to Google Workspaces. It took Microsoft Support two months to even confirm that sharing with external users is not possible on shared channels. They have no ETA on a fix.
@PaVee, this only works if the external user has an O365 subscription and can enable the relevant B2B settings. I need to share with external users that have no O365 subscription - just like I currently do on standard and private channels, OneDrive, and other SharePoint sites. This is a huge loss of functionality if we can no longer share with non-O365 external users.

I have exactly the same issue as @ryanmillar , and I have multiple clients who need this for various use cases. My external users don't have access to a Teams admin panel, and won't have a clue what B2B settings are. They want to click on a link, and come to the Team.


I have moved thousands of users to Teams in the past year...and our expectation was that Teams was intended to eventually become fully functional cross-org.


As I understand it now, we can

  • add Jim and Martha with their Gmail addresses
  • it takes a few hours to propagate
  • But Jim and Martha can still only be Guests, not Members in a Shared Channel.
  • That's crazy.


I need to be able to

  • add Jim and Martha, using whatever existing email addresses they have (don't make them create a MS account or O365 subscription), and make them Team Members.
  • easily toggle their edit/view-only privileges, and restrict downloads.
  • avoid needing an emailed PIN to log in - some of our Team Members from other orgs get stuck doing that.



Thanks for your response. "Microsoft support confirmed that external users and guests are not yet supported in shared channels unless they have M365 accounts with B2B direct connect configured." seem to indicate that as long as you have an M365 account and B2B direct connect is configured, external sharing is possible with files/folders stored in a Shared Channel linked SharePoint Online site. We have both turned on, and I am assuming the other party has to turn it on too. It is a major limitation.
Hi -
I have the same issue and can't seem to find a work around. Agree this is a huge loss or productivity and a major limiation on an expensive subscription product. Any resolutions?

Hi . After much confusion and lots of research, I now get where this is coming from and have it working well across multiple tenants. I wrote a short blog on the subject a while back which may help: Private and Shared Channels in Teams | LinkedIn.

You basically need to ensure external sharing is turned on for the Teams' SharePoint site BEFORE creating any shared channels (if you created shared channels whilst external sharing was turned off you'll need to re-create the shared channels unfortunately).

If external sharing is turned on, you then 'simply' need to configure Azure AD B2B Direct Connect in any tenants whose users need to access a shared channel. This takes 3 minutes and can be done by tenant admins - I usually just jump on a call with the other tenant admins and we set it up together using the following instructions:

Collaborate with external participants in a shared channel | Microsoft Docs

I get why it's built this way, as opposed to external or Guest access where everything is within your own control. With shared channels they effectively sit within both tenants so for security reasons both tenants have to unlock the door.

I hope this helps and you can get the benefits of shared channels soon as they really can transform how organisations can more easily collaborate.


Hi @OzOscroft , so in order to allow external users to access a shared channel is always needed to setup a B2B connection? If yes, this is a huge lost of functionallity. Private channels allow it. How it is posssible shared channels that supposedly ara a step foward in terms of collaboration don't allow sharing with externals the same way they allow with private channels. Can't believe it

Totally agree. I had to first of all figure out that this is even possible (with this workaround), which as we all have found, is a ton of Googling. Then I have to help my two client companies to understand it, explain to both of their IT leaders, and then walk them through making the changes. Completely ridiculous...when the label is a "shared" channel, and you need to do this level of detective work.