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5️⃣ scenarios to communicate with remote users in Microsoft Teams

It can sometimes be difficult to add external users to Microsoft Teams. In this article, I provide some practical examples with screenshots to show how to collaborate with external parties. If you know of any other scenarios, be sure to let us know by leaving a comment via the comments at the bottom of this article.

Technical activation: How to enable 'external access' to collaborate?
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: Instant chat with other Microsoft Teams users

1 on 1 chatting is convenient. You can do this with Skype users(consumer version) and with Microsoft Teams users.

Through the phone button at the top right you can launch Calling , or video calls.

If you are in a conversation with your contact you can share your screen. Also you can give control on your computer.

You can use this function for internal and external contacts.

Scenario 1: Direct chat

Activation can be done through the Teams Control Panel or through this updated blog.

Browse To: https://admin.teams.microsoft.com/company-wide-settings/external-communications - Activate these 2 options (see screenshot)

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

If you were to block this, users do find their way through WhatsApp and Facebook.

NOTE: If it has been decided within your organization that you are not allowed to chat via Teams with external people then it is best to look at Scenario 3.

Activation can be done through the Teams Control panel external access

Sometimes you see the members in a search and not the external users. Then in search press 'search external' as you see in this 2nd screenshot.

Scenario 2: Sharing an entire Team

Tip: How can you create private, public or organization-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 remote users based on their e-mail address.

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

Guest access

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


Also consider governance.

Guest access Teams

The recipient will see an icon of the teams in which they have access in their MS teams .

icon of the teams in which he/she has access

Scenario 3: Group chat with internal and external colleagues simultaneously

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

This can always be done with other office 365 users if the external organization also allows it.

Chatting with external users who are not part of a Office 365 organization and with a personal account will soon be possible. (teams account not managed by an organization)

Scenario 4: Set up a Teams-meeting with external users

A meeting can be a start to give external users access to the chat. If you start a meeting, you can continue typing in the chat afterwards. Even though the meeting has ended.

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

How to get started.

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

Meet at online meeting

Start your online meeting
online Microsoft meeting Teams

This is during the meeting

During the meeting, chat

This is after your meeting

As you can see in the relationship built. and can keep talking.

Useful for the IT-Departments that put limitations on external collaboration.

after the meeting teams

Did you know that after you finish 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 5: Meeting with non-team(s) users

Create 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

Add external people in group chat in Teams

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


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

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

When you chat 1-1 the context is often lost. This does have the advantage of direct communication.

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

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

Security / Security = really important. Guest-access blocking 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. Yet if you decide to go for Teams because then you have the possibility to apply information protection and keep data on the right side despite sharing. Like for example in this blog.

Don't start your video until 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 place or blur your background (blur).

Try using a headset and not your laptop microphone.

Also read

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

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Nermeen Serry
Nermeen Serry
2 years 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