Guest access in Office 365 Groups

Guest access in Office 365 Groups enables you and your team to collaborate with people from outside your organization by granting them access to group conversations, files, calendar invitations, and the group notebook. Access can be granted to a guest—including partners, vendors, suppliers, or consultants—by any group owner.

How it works

Office 365 users can use Outlook on the web to add and manage guests in their Office 365 groups. Guests can have any email address, and the email account can be a work, personal, or school account.

Guest access is a tenant-level setting and is enabled by default. A tenant admin can manage the guests and their access to Office 365 group resources using PowerShell. See Allow external people guest access to Office 365 groups for instructions.

The guest experience

When a guest is invited to join a group, they receive a welcome email that includes a little information about the group and what they can expect now that they're a member.

Guests receive a welcome email

All of the guest member's interactions occur through their email inbox. They can't access the group site but can receive calendar invitations, participate in email conversations, and, if the tenant admin has enabled it, open shared files using a link or attachment.

All group emails and calendar invitations the guest receives will include a reminder to use "reply all" in responses to the group, along with links to view group files and leave or unsubscribe from the group. Here's an example:

All emails the guest receives from group members will have a footer with instructions and links

The following table summarizes what guests can and can't do.


Guest user allowed?

Create a group


Add/remove group members


Delete a group


Join a group

Yes, by invitation

Start a conversation


Reply to a conversation


Search for a conversation


@mention a person in the group


Pin/Favorite a group


Delete a conversation


"Like" messages


Manage meetings


View group calendar


Modify calendar events


Add a group calendar to a personal calendar


View and edit group files

Yes, if enabled by tenant admin

Access the group OneNote notebook

Yes, via link from group member

Browse groups


Frequently asked questions

Here are common questions about inviting guests to join an Office 365 group.

A guest is someone who is not an employee, student, or member of your organization. They don't have a school or work account with your organization.

No. Only people who are outside of your organization, such as partners or consultants, can be added as guests. You can invite people from within your organization to join as regular group members or subscribers.

If the external mail contact is listed in your company's global address list, you can't add them to the group. An example of this type of contact is a vendor company who regularly provides services to your organization.

Your tenant admin must enable the guest feature for the tenant before you can add guests. When you see the "contact your administrator message," it's likely that the guest feature has not yet been enabled. See Allow guest access to Office 365 Groups for more information.

Guest members cannot view messages that are protected with Information Rights Management (IRM).

You might get a non-delivery report when replying to a group message with an email address that's different from the one used when you joined or were added to the group. For example, if you joined the group as but try replying to a group message in your inbox from, you'll receive a non-delivery report.

No. You can only share Office 365 group files with guests who have been invited to join the group.

A modern attachment is a file stored on OneDrive for Business. One link goes to all recipients. Because the file is stored in the cloud, all recipients can read and edit the file without having to reconcile individual copies. See Smarter attachments for more information.

Modern attachments in an Office 365 group are only shared with members of the group. When a message with a modern attachment is forwarded to a guest member in the group, he or she will be able to access the attachment upon signing in with a username and password. If the message is forwarded to a user who isn't a member of the group, the user won't be able to open the attachment.

Yes. The guests won't receive a welcome mail but will have all the privileges of any other guest member. If you've not yet migrated your distribution lists, see Migrate distribution lists to Office 365 Groups for instructions. Distribution lists that contain guests can't be migrated.

See Also

Learn about Office 365 Groups

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