University of Southampton


How do I invite external (non-Southampton) collaborators to my SharePoint site?

The instructions below take you through the process of adding people who do not have accounts with the University to your SharePoint Team Site (note that this does not apply to SharePoint Communication sites or to teams in Teams)

Login to Office 365 and go to your site.

Click the members link on the right, then click the go to outlook link to add non-Southampton people.


Once in Outlook use the Add members link and enter the email address of each external person (one at a time) – this is the email address their invite will be sent to


Once saved the new members will be listed as part of the Outlook group which controls access to your SharePoint site, at this point invites will be emailed out automatically to the external people

Below is an example of the invite an external person will receive. We recommend emailing people separately to warn them that the invite is coming (as it can end up in junk/spam folders), and advise them to click the "Read Group Files" link in the email (the email with ease function is not something we generally advise as the Teams product is better suited to group communication).

Once the external person click the "Read Group Files" link they'll be prompted to login with their Microsoft credentials associated with their email address (for many educational organisations this will be the same as their normal login). If they don't have a Microsoft login associated with their email address they'll automatically be prompted to create a password. Some organisations require multi-factor authentication, this means they may need a phone as well as a password to login, especially if they're on a computer they've not used recently.

After logging in they'll be prompted to allow the University to access their email address and the photo they have configured for their Microsoft account (these are necessary to enable them to collaborate with us).

Once past the authentication and permission prompt they will then be presented with the Documents in your team site. Note that they do not see the homepage by default so you should send a separate email pointing out the address of the homepage or any other points of interest in your site to ensure they access them (especially if the individual is unfamiliar with SharePoint or Office 365).

Additional resources to help you make the most of SharePoint Online

Attached files:

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