Communicating with external users in Microsoft Teams - meetings

Communicating with external users in Microsoft Teams - meetings

It is often difficult to add external uses via Microsoft Teams .

In this blog I have added some practical scenarios with screenshots so you can collaborate with external parties.

Do you know any other scenarios? Then be sure to leave a comment below.

Technical activation: How to enable 'external access' for collaboration?
Problems with adding guests? I can't add anyone to a private channel?
User guide: How to add or invite guests in Teams?

Scenario 1: Direct chat

One-to-one chatting is very convenient. You can do this with Skype users (consumer version) and with Microsoft Teams users.

Via the phone button on the top right you can start Calling , or video calls.

If you are in a conversation with your contact, you can share your screen. You can also control your computer.

Scenario 1: Direct chat

Activation can be done via the Teams control panel or via this renewed blog.

Browseto: - Activate these 2 options (see screenshot)

Don't make it too difficult. Cooperation is key.

If you were to block this, users would find their way via WhatsApp and Facebook.

NOTE: If it has been decided within your organisation that you may not chat via Teams with external people, then you should look at Scenario 3.

Activation can be done via Teams control panel external access

Sometimes you see the members in a search and not the external users. In that case, press 'search external' as you can see in this second screenshot.


Scenario 2: Share a full Team

Tip: How can you create private, public or organisation-wide teams ?

Create a team using the screenshot below.

In this case, we choose a private team.

Scenario 2: Share an entire Microsoft Teams

Add the desired external users based on their e-mail address.

Add the desired external users based on their e-mail address.

Guest access

Allow guest access in Teams must be on. This is necessary to be able to add external participants.

Think also of governance.

Guest access Teams

The recipient sees in his MS teams an icon of the teams to which he has access.

icon of the teams in which he/she has access

Scenario 3: Group chat with internal and external colleagues simultaneously

Update 25 May 2021: It is only recently possible to add external people to the same chat group as internal colleagues. Starting a group chat with external and internal contacts in teams

This is always possible with other office 365 users if the external organisation allows it.

It will soon be possible to chat with external users who are not part of an Office 365 organisation and who have a personal account. (teams account not managed by an organisation)


Scenario 4: Set up a meeting with external users

A meeting can be a start to giving external users access to the chat. If you start a meeting, you can continue to type in the chat afterwards. Even if the meeting is over.

Why should you do this? Because you often start with a meeting. And sometimes you don't need more than chat.

How to start?

Create a test-meeting from your Teams client.

Invite external people and send your meeting invitation.

Scenario 3: Set up a meeting with external users

Start your online meeting

Come together at the online meeting

Start your online meeting
online Microsoft meeting Teams

This was done at the meeting

During the meeting, chatting

This is after your meeting

As you can see, the relationship is built and you can keep talking.

Useful for those IT departments that put limits on external cooperation.

after the meeting teams

Did you know that after you have finished the meeting you can always stay in dialogue with all participants. Add participants.

Did you know that from the previous meeting (if there is chat history) you can contact everyone again using these buttons.

Calling with Teams

Scenario 4: Meeting with non-team(s) users

Set up a test meeting from your Teams client.

Invite external people.

Send your meeting.

Start a meeting with Teams

Have your contact install the Microsoft Teams app from the PlayStore

or from the Apple Store. (free)

And check out these 3 easy-to-use steps 🙂

Guest access iPhone
Enter name as guest teams
lobby iPhone guest Microsoft Teams

Adding external people in group chat Teams

For the time being, it is not possible to add external users directly in the group chat. Microsoft did provide feedback on 27 April 2021 that this will change.



From now on, you can add externals in Microsoft teams !

Each scenario has advantages, sometimes you have to find the right one that works for your particular use-case.

If you chat 1-1, the context is often lost. This does have the advantage that you have direct communication.

Sharing a team is very practical when you work with more than 5 people. You can actively edit documents but also browse back to them later.

If you want to share your screen in a online meeting, scenario 4 is a great solution. Especially for users who are really clueless about technology. And even then it remains difficult. Sometimes it is not easy to install an app. And you have to take that into account.

Security / Security = really important. Blocking guest-access is out of date. People find their way to numerous platforms. Getting it under control via Teams is much more difficult. And that is the right choice. Still, if you decide to go for Teams you have the possibility to apply information protection and keep data on the right side despite the sharing. Like for example in this blog.

Start your video only when the Microsoft Teams meeting starts


You can disable incoming video to save bandwidth.


Mute your microphone when you are not speaking.


Choose a nice neutral spot or make your background blurry. (blur)

Try to use a headset and not the microphone of your laptop.

Also read

When is it best to create a public, private or organisation-wide team?
How do you prevent users from deleting channels, tabs & apps in Teams



Welcome to On this website you can read articles and experiences about Office 365 with focus on Microsoft Teams. Feel free to ask me a question and I will answer it in a blog post. Help others by giving feedback at the bottom of the articles. This blog is made in Dutch. The multilingual website is offered with best-effort machine translation.
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Nermeen Serry
Nermeen Serry
5 months ago

Hi Jasper for the advice. When I create a meeting the chat doesn't appear and the quest and once I leave the meeting, the guest doesn't have access to the chat

Would love to know your thoughts, please leave a comment.x
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