Microsoft Teams: File Sharing With External Users
This article describes how to leverage Microsoft Teams to share files with users external to the organization for business collaboration.
- Within Microsoft Teams, go to the Teams tab on the left navigation:
- Next, click on Join or create a team at the bottom of your list of Teams:
- Within that page, click on Create team:
- Teams will ask you to create a team type. Choose the type that seems relevant to you, or select other:
- Teams will then ask you to fill out the name of the Team and the Description. Keep the Team privacy set to Private. Once you're done, click Next:
- Click Skip on the next page where it asks you to add members:
- Once your Teams Site (the Teams Site is the Team itself) is created, you'll be taken to the default General Channel (Teams Channels are something like sub-sites of the Team); every new Team comes with the General channel by default. You should see the channel's default Posts and Files tabs automatically created. Click on the Files tab:
- Once you're in Files on your newly created Team, you'll notice there's no file folders initially; this means you're in the root folder of the General channel's documents tree.
- Each new channel you create in your Team will get its own root folder for that channel. When you share the General channel's root folder, for example, the external user will see the folder called "General" in "Documents" (in this example, the root folder is named after the Test Team's "General" channel).
- You can create sub-folders in the channel's root folder and get very granular with your sharing, or you can share the root folder directly.
- In this example, we're sharing the root folder to keep things simple by clicking Share:
- From the Share window, you can enter your external users' email addresses - the email address can be a @gmail.com account, another Microsoft account if they're a part of another organization, etc.
If you want external users to modify/add/remove files from this shared folder, set the permission drop-down to Can edit. Once you're done, click send:
- You'll see this dialogue if the send was successful. If it's not successful, close the share dialogue and try again, making sure email addresses were entered correctly:
- After you've shared the folder, this is what the external user should see shortly - an email from Microsoft saying they have access to the folder you shared with them. This is what a user will see in Outlook, for example:
- When the external user clicks the Open link in their email, they'll be taken to a web page in their browser where they'll have to verify their identity with a code. The external user will click Send code to do this:
- Back in the external user's inbox, they'll see a new email shortly (sometimes there's a delay that can take a few minutes) with their verification code.
Note: if a code needs to be resent, the end user should ensure they're entering the latest code; all old codes will become invalid and will no longer work if a code is resent.
- Back on the web site, the end user can enter the code from the verification email they received. The end user might want to ensure they are kept signed in if they're on a private computer:
- Once the external user is through the verification phase, the original email with the Open link will always take them to the folder that was shared with them in their web browser. They will want to bookmark this page if they will be collaborating with this teams site frequently: