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Guest access in Microsoft Teams

With guest access, you can provide access to teams, documents in channels, resources, chats, and applications to people outside your organization, while maintaining control over your corporate data. Anyone with a business or consumer email account, such as Outlook, Gmail, or others, can participate as a guest in Teams. If you haven't set up guest access yet, go through the steps in the Collaborate with guests in a team.

Note

If you just want to find, call, chat, and set up meetings with people in other Microsoft 365 organizations, use external access.

When you invite a guest to Teams, a guest account is created for them in Microsoft Entra ID and they are covered by the same compliance and auditing protection as other Microsoft 365 users. With Microsoft Entra B2B collaboration, you can enforce conditional access and multifactor authentication (MFA) policies for B2B users. These policies can be enforced at the organization, app, or individual user level, the same way that they are enabled for people inside your organization. For more information, see Authentication and Conditional Access for External Identities. Guest access is subject to Microsoft Entra ID and Microsoft 365 service limits.

In Teams, guests are clearly identified. A guest's name includes the label (Guest), and a channel includes an icon to indicate that there are guests on the team. For more details, see What the guest experience is like.

Guests can leave the team at any time from within Teams. For details, see How do I leave a team?. (Leaving the team doesn't remove the guest account from your organization's directory. This must be done by a Microsoft 365 global admin or a Microsoft Entra admin.)

The guest experience has limitations by design. For a full list of what a guest can and can't do in Teams, see Guest experience in Microsoft Teams.

Note

Shared channels offer an alternative to guest access, allowing you to invite people outside your organization without requiring a guest account in Microsoft Entra ID. To compare guest access with shared channels, see Plan external collaboration.

Guest invitation process

Team owners can add guests to a team in the Teams client. To learn more, read Add guests to a team.

Global Administrators or Teams Administrators can also add guests to a team in the Teams admin center.

Guests you have already added via Microsoft Entra B2B, Microsoft 365 Groups, or SharePoint are ready to go. Team owners can add those guests to their teams. If you add a guest directly to the Microsoft 365 group associated with a team, the guest will get access to the team but the Microsoft 365 group doesn't generate an invitation email to the guest, so someone on the team should notify the guest.

After a guest has been added to a team, it can take up to 12 hours for them to have access.

You can delegate the ability to add guests to specific people in your organization by assigning the Guest Inviter role. For more information, see Limit who can invite guests.

The guest invitation process works as follows:

  1. A team owner adds a guest to a team.
  2. The guest receives a welcome email from the team owner, with information about the team and what to expect now that they've been added.
  3. The guest accepts the invitation. Guests who have a work or school account in Microsoft Entra ID can accept the invitation and authenticate directly. Other users are sent a one-time pass code to validate their identity (One-time passcode authentication required).
  4. After accepting the invitation, the guest can participate in teams and channels, receive and respond to channel messages, access files in channels, participate in chats, join meetings, collaborate on documents, and more.

Set up guest access

Guest access in Teams is an organization-wide setting. You can control guest access to individual teams by using sensitivity labels.

Guest access in Teams requires configuring other settings in Microsoft 365, including settings in Microsoft Entra ID, Microsoft 365 Groups, and SharePoint. If you're ready to start inviting guests to teams, read one of the following:

See Set up secure collaboration with Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams for overall information about secure collaboration using Teams.

Licensing for guest access

Guest access can be used with all Microsoft 365 Business Standard, Microsoft 365 Enterprise, and Microsoft 365 Education subscriptions. No additional Microsoft 365 license is necessary. The billing model for Microsoft Entra External ID applies to guests in Microsoft 365. Only people from outside your organization can be invited as guests.

Guests are subject to Microsoft 365 or Office 365 and Microsoft Entra ID service limits.

Diagnosing issues with Guest Access

To troubleshoot issues with inviting guests in Teams, administrators can run a diagnostic tool in the Microsoft 365 admin center to validate that guest access is correctly configured for use in Teams.

  1. Select Run Tests below to populate the diagnostic in the Microsoft 365 admin center.

  2. The test results tell you if the tenant is configured correctly for guest access. If the tenant isn't configured correctly, the diagnostic provides information on what steps to take to address issues with the configuration.

Tracking guests in your organization

You can track guest additions in Microsoft Entra ID or the Microsoft 365 security center. Adding a guest in Teams is audited and logged as a Microsoft Entra group administration activity "Added member to group". For more details, see Auditing and reporting a B2B collaboration user and Search the audit log.

Guest access reviews

You can use Microsoft Entra ID to create an access review for users who are in groups or teams or have been assigned to an application. Creating recurring access reviews can save you time. If you need to routinely review users who have access to an application, a team, or a group, you can define the frequency of those reviews.

You can perform a guest access review yourself, ask guests to review their own access, or ask an application owner or business decision maker to perform the access review. Reviews are done in Microsoft Entra ID. For more information, see Manage guest access with Microsoft Entra access reviews.

Collaborating with people outside your organization

Block guests from a specific Microsoft 365 group or Microsoft Teams team

Create a secure guest sharing environment

Configure Teams with three tiers of protection

Use guest access and external access to collaborate with people outside your organization