SharePoint Site with external users immediately logging them out

Copper Contributor

Hello,

 

In 2022 we created a SharePoint site "Portal" for internal & external users. Sometimes external users would have issues signing in. However, now external users are able to sign in, but are getting kicked out. It's like SharePoint logs them out after about 2-3 seconds. They are guest users in the tenant added through the SharePoint site and not invited as a guest user in Azure.

 

Please any help, suggestions, articles, etc. would be greatly appreciated. Thank You

2 Replies

@AyP-7600 

I had this happen with one user (we are the guests on someone else's site) and in my case it was a simple fix.

The clock on the user's workstation was off by about half an hour so I think that got them flagged as "idle" for long enough to be logged out. Syncing the time cleared it.

Props to Edge for saying it was an idle-out which chrome didn't.

To begin with, the immediate logout issue for external users could stem from various causes. One potential area to examine is the authentication provider settings. Head over to the SharePoint admin center > Policies > Authentication Providers and validate that the configurations align with your scenario (cloud or on-premises users). Simultaneously, it's crucial to confirm that external sharing is appropriately enabled for your SharePoint site. Navigate to the site > Sharing > External Sharing and ensure the settings match your requirements (anyone, guest link, existing guests, etc.).

Another aspect to investigate revolves around user session management policies or configurations that might be forcibly logging out external users. Inspect the relevant policies in the SharePoint admin center and Azure Active Directory (AAD). Moreover, don't overlook the external users' network and firewall settings as potential hindrances. Corporate firewalls or proxy configurations could sometimes interfere with the SharePoint site's connectivity.

Alternatively, suggest that external users attempt accessing the site using different browsers or incognito/private browsing modes. Browser caching or compatibility issues may contribute to the immediate logout behavior. If the external users were recently added, delays in user profile synchronization could potentially cause authentication hiccups. Ensure their profiles have been correctly synchronized.

While you're at it, reconfirm that the external users possess the appropriate licenses and permissions for the SharePoint site. Furthermore, review the SharePoint and AAD audit logs for any relevant entries or error messages that could shed light on the root cause. Enabling monitoring and logging could also capture more granular information. As an interim workaround, you could grant external users temporary access via anonymous guest links or direct file sharing links until the underlying issue is resolved. However, if none of those avenues bear fruit, the next logical step would be to open a support case with Microsoft. Provide them with comprehensive details, logs, and any error messages encountered for further analysis and guidance.