Microsoft Teams External Sharing of Files & Folders

Microsoft Teams: Windows Application

You are in Microsoft Teams (Team site) and you would like to share a folder (or files) within a Channel, with an External User?

This article applies to Public and Private Microsoft Team sites.

Q. What is the difference between Public and Private "Team sites"?
A. Public and Private in Microsoft Teams and Office 365 Groups determine whether the team or groups is “discoverable” within your organization.

Q: What are Microsoft Teams?
A: Please see the link for an "Introducing Microsoft Teams—the chat-based workspace in Office 365":

Q: What is a Channel?
A: From the perspective of Files, it is a folder located within the "Team site's" default Documents library

SharePoint Admin – Locating the Microsoft Team site

Modern SharePoint Admin Center

The first thing you need to do is get the URL for the Team Site.

Microsoft has made this easier for SharePoint Admin, simply go to the new SharePoint Admin Center -> Site Management

Next, select your “Team site”; from the information panel you review properties such as:

Modern SP Admin Center Site Panel
  • “Sharing status” with the option to change
  • “Site” URL

The “Sharing status” options are as follows:

  • Anyone – Users can create shareable links that don’t require sign-in.
  • New and existing external users – External users must sign in.
  • Existing external users – Only users already in your organization’s directory.
  • Only people in the current organization – No external sharing allowed.
Modern SharePoint Admin: Site External Sharing

For this example, “New and existing external users” had already been set by default (when the team was created).

Having clicked Save or Cancel click on the “Site” URL to open the “Team site” in a new tab or window.

Microsoft Team Owner

If external sharing has not been enabled and you do not have access to the SharePoint Admin Center, you will need to ask your friendly SP Admin for help before attempting the next steps.

Get the Team site URL

If external sharing has been enabled and you do not have access to the SharePoint Admin Center, then you can figure out the Team site’s URL like this:

Sharing Folders (Channels)

Now that we have the “Team site” open, we only want to share one folder within the Documents library (the same can be done for files).

External Sharing Action #1

Navigate to Documents and click on the “Show actions” menu to the right of the folder to share:

  • Click “Share”
  • Change “Only people in Organisation with the link can view and edit” to “Specific people”
  • Click “Apply”
  • Enter the external email address and option message
  • Click “Send”
External Sharing Action #2
External Sharing Action #3
External Sharing Action #4
External Sharing Action #5

External User’s Experience

Your external user will receive an email inviting them to open the folder (e.g. Channel B).

Email Invite to Microsoft Teams Folder

When clicking on the folder name, a new browser window will open, asking the User to:

  • “Send Code” to their email address – click Send
  • “Enter code” (Account verification code) received – click Verify
Microsoft Teams Folder

The “External User” now has access, (to that folder only).

Final Word

If the External User finds their way to the Documents library, they will only be able to see file(s) and folder(s) they have been given access.