Do "External" users need a MS Account to access a SharePoint Site to which they've been invited?

%3CLINGO-SUB%20id%3D%22lingo-sub-752194%22%20slang%3D%22en-US%22%3EDo%20%22External%22%20users%20need%20a%20MS%20Account%20to%20access%20a%20SharePoint%20Site%20to%20which%20they've%20been%20invited%3F%3C%2FLINGO-SUB%3E%3CLINGO-BODY%20id%3D%22lingo-body-752194%22%20slang%3D%22en-US%22%3E%3CP%3EI%20have%20a%20site%20in%20SharePoint%20Online%20that%20I%20want%20to%20invite%20external%20users%20to%20access.%20I%20don't%20want%20to%20share%20specific%20files%20or%20folders%2C%20rather%2C%20I%20want%20them%20to%20be%20Members%20of%20the%20site.%20This%20is%20a%20standalone%20(NOT%20Group-connected)%20site.%20The%20audience%20for%20this%20site%20doesn't%20need%20the%20additional%20functions%20of%20a%20Group%2C%20they%20just%20want%2Fneed%20a%20SharePoint%20site.%26nbsp%3B%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3E%26nbsp%3B%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3EWhile%20I%20can't%20find%20specific%20documentation%20to%20support%20this%2C%20it%20seems%20that%20those%20external%20users%20need%20a%20Microsoft%20Account%20of%20some%20kind%3B%20either%20an%20O365%20account%20or%20some%20other%20type%20(Live%2C%20Xbox%2C%20etc.).%20Is%20this%20correct%3F%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3E%26nbsp%3B%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3EThe%20problem%20that's%20occurring%20is%20that%20existing%20%22guest%22%20users%20(ie%3A%20they%20appear%20in%20the%20Guest%20Users%20in%20our%20tenant)%20are%20being%20presented%20with%20our%20tenant's%20sign-in%20dialog.%20If%20they%26nbsp%3B%3CEM%3Edo%3C%2FEM%3Ehave%20a%20MS%20account%2C%20they%20can%20sign%20in%20with%20that%20successfully.%20However%2C%20if%20they%26nbsp%3B%3CEM%3Edo%26nbsp%3B%3CSTRONG%3Enot%3C%2FSTRONG%3E%3C%2FEM%3Ehave%20a%20MS%20account%2C%20they%20just%20get%20a%20message%20that%20their%20account%20can't%20be%20found.%20They%20are%20not%20given%20the%20opportunity%2Fprompt%2Flink%20to%20create%20a%20MS%20account.%26nbsp%3B%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3E%26nbsp%3B%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3EPreviously%2C%20one%20user%20in%20our%20org%20had%20shared%20a%20whole%20mess%20of%20folders%20and%20files%20with%20these%20external%20users%20from%20their%20OneDrive%2C%20which%20explains%20why%20they%20exist%20as%20Guests%20in%20our%20tenant.%20I've%20convinced%20them%20that%20SharePoint%20is%20more%20appropriate%20for%20this%20because%20the%20content%20is%20%22default%20shared%22%20to%20that%20group.%20That%20is%2C%20rather%20than%20sharing%20individual%20links%20as%20they%20do%20now%2C%20the%20external%20folks%20could%20simply%20go%20to%20the%20SharePoint%20site.%20Unfortunately%2C%20the%20sign-in%20issues%20this%20is%20presenting%20are%20making%20the%20transition%20difficult%20and%20I'm%20trying%20to%20make%20sure%20that%20I%20fully%20understand%20how%20this%20is%26nbsp%3B%3CEM%3Esupposed%3C%2FEM%3Eto%20work.%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3E%26nbsp%3B%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3EFWIW%2C%20for%20the%20%22External%20sharing%22%20settings%20of%20the%20SP%20Site%2C%20I've%20tried%20both%20%22New%20and%20existing%20guests%22%20and%20%22Anyone%22.%20The%20behavior%20seems%20to%20be%20the%20same%20regardless.%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3E%26nbsp%3B%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3E--%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3EChad%20Kealey%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3EDrexel%20University%20IT%3C%2FP%3E%3C%2FLINGO-BODY%3E%3CLINGO-LABS%20id%3D%22lingo-labs-752194%22%20slang%3D%22en-US%22%3E%3CLINGO-LABEL%3EPermissions%3C%2FLINGO-LABEL%3E%3CLINGO-LABEL%3ESharePoint%20Online%3C%2FLINGO-LABEL%3E%3C%2FLINGO-LABS%3E%3CLINGO-SUB%20id%3D%22lingo-sub-752231%22%20slang%3D%22en-US%22%3ERe%3A%20Do%20%22External%22%20users%20need%20a%20MS%20Account%20to%20access%20a%20SharePoint%20Site%20to%20which%20they've%20bee%3C%2FLINGO-SUB%3E%3CLINGO-BODY%20id%3D%22lingo-body-752231%22%20slang%3D%22en-US%22%3EYou%E2%80%99ve%20always%20had%20to%20have%20some%20kind%20of%20authentication%20for%20access%20SharePoint%20sites%20so%20yes%20they%20do%20need%20an%20account.%20Last%20time%20I%20checked%20on%20the%20sign%20in%20screen%20is%20a%20link%20under%20the%20login%20to%20create%20a%20new%20one.%20%3CBR%20%2F%3E%3CBR%20%2F%3EYour%20only%20non%20link%20option%20would%20be%20sharing%20files%20and%20using%20anyone%20links%20and%20you%20can%20now%20password%20them%20but%20this%20would%20only%20work%20for%20files%20and%20folders.%3C%2FLINGO-BODY%3E%3CLINGO-SUB%20id%3D%22lingo-sub-752463%22%20slang%3D%22en-US%22%3ERe%3A%20Do%20%22External%22%20users%20need%20a%20MS%20Account%20to%20access%20a%20SharePoint%20Site%20to%20which%20they've%20bee%3C%2FLINGO-SUB%3E%3CLINGO-BODY%20id%3D%22lingo-body-752463%22%20slang%3D%22en-US%22%3EThis%20is%20going%20to%20be%20solved%20with%20the%20Azure%20B2B%20integration%20when%20sharing%20any%20kind%20of%20SPO%20resource%2C%20also%20SPO%20sites...Azure%20B2B%20is%20currently%20in%20preview%2C%20so%20I%20recommend%20you%20to%20try%20it%3A%20%3CA%20href%3D%22https%3A%2F%2Ftechcommunity.microsoft.com%2Ft5%2FMicrosoft-OneDrive-Blog%2FOneDrive-Roadmap-Roundup-June-2019%2Fba-p%2F732018%22%20target%3D%22_blank%22%3Ehttps%3A%2F%2Ftechcommunity.microsoft.com%2Ft5%2FMicrosoft-OneDrive-Blog%2FOneDrive-Roadmap-Roundup-June-2019%2Fba-p%2F732018%3C%2FA%3E%3C%2FLINGO-BODY%3E%3CLINGO-SUB%20id%3D%22lingo-sub-752495%22%20slang%3D%22en-US%22%3ERe%3A%20Do%20%22External%22%20users%20need%20a%20MS%20Account%20to%20access%20a%20SharePoint%20Site%20to%20which%20they've%20bee%3C%2FLINGO-SUB%3E%3CLINGO-BODY%20id%3D%22lingo-body-752495%22%20slang%3D%22en-US%22%3EAll%2C%20your%20right%20I%20didn't%20notice%20the%20whole%20%22One%20time%20passcode%22%20for%20sites%20part%20that%20this%20will%20enable.%3C%2FLINGO-BODY%3E%3CLINGO-SUB%20id%3D%22lingo-sub-755276%22%20slang%3D%22en-US%22%3ERe%3A%20Do%20%22External%22%20users%20need%20a%20MS%20Account%20to%20access%20a%20SharePoint%20Site%20to%20which%20they've%20bee%3C%2FLINGO-SUB%3E%3CLINGO-BODY%20id%3D%22lingo-body-755276%22%20slang%3D%22en-US%22%3E%3CP%3EAs%20usual%2C%26nbsp%3B%3CA%20href%3D%22https%3A%2F%2Ftechcommunity.microsoft.com%2Ft5%2Fuser%2Fviewprofilepage%2Fuser-id%2F869%22%20target%3D%22_blank%22%3E%40Chris%20Webb%3C%2FA%3E%26nbsp%3B%26amp%3B%26nbsp%3B%3CA%20href%3D%22https%3A%2F%2Ftechcommunity.microsoft.com%2Ft5%2Fuser%2Fviewprofilepage%2Fuser-id%2F60%22%20target%3D%22_blank%22%3E%40Juan%20Carlos%20Gonz%C3%A1lez%20Mart%C3%ADn%3C%2FA%3E%26nbsp%3Bare%20correct%20%3A)%3C%2Fimg%3E%3C%2FP%3E%0A%3CP%3E%26nbsp%3B%3C%2FP%3E%0A%3CP%3EIf%20you%20share%20only%20the%20site%20with%20an%20external%20user%2C%20it%20should%20go%20through%20a%20legacy%20invitation%20flow%20where%20the%20recipient%20is%20asked%20to%20either%20pick%20a%20sign-in%20with%20either%20an%20AAD%2FM365%20account%20or%20an%20MSA%20account.%20Or%2C%20if%20they%20don't%20have%20either%2C%20they%20can%20create%20a%20new%20MSA%20account.%26nbsp%3B%3C%2FP%3E%0A%3CP%3E%26nbsp%3B%3C%2FP%3E%0A%3CP%3EAll%20that%20being%20said%2C%20the%20flow%20is%20definitely%20a%20little%20on%20the%20tough%20side%20for%20many%20end%20users%20which%20is%20why%20it%20is%20being%20replaced%20by%20the%20new%20Azure%20B2B%20integration%20flow%20which%20you%20can%20try%20out%20now%20via%20the%20preview%20(which%20Juan%20linked).%20Let%20me%20know%20if%20you%20have%20other%20questions!%3C%2FP%3E%0A%3CP%3E%26nbsp%3B%3C%2FP%3E%0A%3CP%3EStephen%20Rice%3C%2FP%3E%0A%3CP%3EOneDrive%20Program%20Manager%20II%3C%2FP%3E%3C%2FLINGO-BODY%3E%3CLINGO-SUB%20id%3D%22lingo-sub-1646221%22%20slang%3D%22en-US%22%3ERe%3A%20Do%20%22External%22%20users%20need%20a%20MS%20Account%20to%20access%20a%20SharePoint%20Site%20to%20which%20they've%20bee%3C%2FLINGO-SUB%3E%3CLINGO-BODY%20id%3D%22lingo-body-1646221%22%20slang%3D%22en-US%22%3EIt%20seems%20with%20B2B%20you%20still%20need%20to%20have%20a%20guest.%20Not%20very%20user%20friendly%20when%20you've%20gor%20a%20lot%20of%20external%20partners.%3CBR%20%2F%3E%3C%2FLINGO-BODY%3E
Regular Contributor

I have a site in SharePoint Online that I want to invite external users to access. I don't want to share specific files or folders, rather, I want them to be Members of the site. This is a standalone (NOT Group-connected) site. The audience for this site doesn't need the additional functions of a Group, they just want/need a SharePoint site. 

 

While I can't find specific documentation to support this, it seems that those external users need a Microsoft Account of some kind; either an O365 account or some other type (Live, Xbox, etc.). Is this correct?

 

The problem that's occurring is that existing "guest" users (ie: they appear in the Guest Users in our tenant) are being presented with our tenant's sign-in dialog. If they do have a MS account, they can sign in with that successfully. However, if they do not have a MS account, they just get a message that their account can't be found. They are not given the opportunity/prompt/link to create a MS account. 

 

Previously, one user in our org had shared a whole mess of folders and files with these external users from their OneDrive, which explains why they exist as Guests in our tenant. I've convinced them that SharePoint is more appropriate for this because the content is "default shared" to that group. That is, rather than sharing individual links as they do now, the external folks could simply go to the SharePoint site. Unfortunately, the sign-in issues this is presenting are making the transition difficult and I'm trying to make sure that I fully understand how this is supposed to work.

 

FWIW, for the "External sharing" settings of the SP Site, I've tried both "New and existing guests" and "Anyone". The behavior seems to be the same regardless.

 

--

Chad Kealey

Drexel University IT

5 Replies
You’ve always had to have some kind of authentication for access SharePoint sites so yes they do need an account. Last time I checked on the sign in screen is a link under the login to create a new one.

Your only non link option would be sharing files and using anyone links and you can now password them but this would only work for files and folders.
This is going to be solved with the Azure B2B integration when sharing any kind of SPO resource, also SPO sites...Azure B2B is currently in preview, so I recommend you to try it: https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Microsoft-OneDrive-Blog/OneDrive-Roadmap-Roundup-June-2019/ba...
All, your right I didn't notice the whole "One time passcode" for sites part that this will enable.

As usual, @Chris Webb & @Juan Carlos González Martín are correct :)

 

If you share only the site with an external user, it should go through a legacy invitation flow where the recipient is asked to either pick a sign-in with either an AAD/M365 account or an MSA account. Or, if they don't have either, they can create a new MSA account. 

 

All that being said, the flow is definitely a little on the tough side for many end users which is why it is being replaced by the new Azure B2B integration flow which you can try out now via the preview (which Juan linked). Let me know if you have other questions!

 

Stephen Rice

OneDrive Program Manager II

It seems with B2B you still need to have a guest. Not very user friendly when you've gor a lot of external partners.