External Sharing in Microsoft Teams

Episodes in the Microsoft 365 External Sharing Series

  1. External Sharing in Microsoft 365
  2. External Sharing in SharePoint Online
  3. External Sharing in Microsoft Teams
  4. External Sharing in Microsoft 365: The Rest

Tenant-Level Settings

Teams Admin Center

There are many layers of security which acts like a filter or funnel. When it comes to things like guests or external sharing, it’s important to know that at the tenant level, the tenant admin or teams admin has to turn a couple of switches on or off. The most common factor is differentiating between external users and guest users.

External Users

External access is less than you think that it is. It consists of chatting, or what was previously Skype for Business, with someone who is using Microsoft 365 in their tenant. This feature consists of either on or off for Skype for Business. The other feature is to allow lists or block lists of domain that can or can’t chat with your organization.

Guests Users

The main idea here is that internal users can change what guest users can and can’t do with many different options. Guests have many more privileges than external users.

Team-Level Settings

Behind a team, there is always a Microsoft 365 Group. The Microsoft 365 Group consists of Owners, Members, and Visitors. Only Owners and Members will have access to your Microsoft Team. Guests cannot be an Owner of a Microsoft Team.

Sharing the SharePoint Site

You can choose to share that SharePoint site only without adding someone to the Microsoft 365 Group. If the admin level does not allow external sharing in Teams, it’s not necessarily blocking you from externally sharing your SharePoint site that’s associated with your team because if you’re an Owner you are also a site collection admin.

Channel-Level: Private Channel

The most important thing to know about these private channels is that it is reduced permissions, not expanded permissions. Someone has to be part of that main Microsoft Team before you can add them as a member into that private channel. The private channel will then come with its own SharePoint site so that it’s not going to be dropping those files into the other SharePoint site associated with the Microsoft 365 Group that is backing that original Microsoft Team that you made.

Channel-Level: Shared Channel (Teams Connect)

This feature will be coming out in November. The idea here is expanding permissions. This will allow you to share out one channel to new Teams Members. The most anticipated feature is that this shared channel will appear in your own tenant and not require you to switch tenants to access shared channels.

Common Challenges

Editing or Deleting Messages

The Microsoft tenant has their team settings so that a guest user cannot edit or delete a message they post in a channel or a chat. For example, if you have typos and want to edit your message, you are unable to. If you accidentally hit return before you finished your message, you can’t edit so you have to create a new message. In a worst-case scenario, if you accidentally paste your password in the chat window, you can’t delete it. In order to get rid of a message, you have to track down an internal employee to delete that message.

Searching in Teams

Another challenge is presented when you search in Teams by the team name, it will only show you the general channel and you cannot click on the Team name to go to it. If you have a hundred teams with the same channel name, you will have to scroll through them in the left nav in the order that they were made to be able to locate your Team. To help overcome this, be really thoughtful about your channel naming by keeping it more unique.

Visitors in Team

You cannot have Visitors in Teams (read only) because the intention of Teams is for you all to be collaborating. If you have a team member who needs to be informed on a project, you may consider sharing the SharePoint site with them only.

How are you externally sharing content? Continue the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #AskSympraxis and mention @SympraxisC.