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I would like to know what's the main differences between External access Vs Guest access in Microsoft Teams?

I just want to add external users to my teams with their email address, so which one I should use guest access or external access or both?


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Microsoft Teams: External access Vs Guest access

  • A guest user is someone who isn't an employee, student, or member of your organization.
  • An external user is a team user from an entire external domain who can find, call, chat, and set up meetings with your organization users in Teams.

Below is a detailed comparison between External access Vs Guest access:

External access in Microsoft Teams

  1. External access gives access permission to an entire domain.
  2. External access is turned on by default.
  3. You can find, call, and chat with users in other domains.
  4. Also, External users in other domains can find, call, chat, and set up meetings with you.
  5. External users don't have access permission to your team resources such as files, teams, and channels as well as the organization's teams.
  6. Use External access if you want to communicate with users outside your organization or with users who are still using Skype for Business.
  7. External users can't share files in Teams.
  8. External users can't be added to a group chat in Teams.
  9. External users can't allow meet now.

Guest access in Microsoft Teams

  1. Guest access gives access permission to an individual to a Team.
  2. Guest access in Teams is an org-wide setting that turned off by default, Check how to configure guest access for Teams for general use at Unable to add a guest to Microsoft Teams

    After February 2021, guest access in Microsoft Teams will be turned on by default for new customers & existing customers who haven't configured this setting.

  3. You can add users to Teams, as guests, using their email address regardless of their domain.
  4. Guest users have access to many resources in Teams such as files, teams, and channels.
  5. Guest access users can't search for users across external tenants.
  6. Guests are added to your organization’s Active Directory.
  7. Guest access users can be blocked.
  8. Guest access users can show Out of office message.
  9. Guest access users can view the phone number for dial-in meeting participants.
  10. Guest access users can allow meet now.
  11. Guest access users can be added to a group chat.
  12. Guest access users can share files.

Which access I should use guest access or external access or both in Teams?

You can use both external access and guest access if you want, there is no conflict to use both.
But in your case, you should use Guest access to be able to add users to your teams with their email addresses regardless of their domain.

For additional details about the comparison between External access and Guest access in Teams, Please check
- Compare external and guest access
- Comparison of team member and guest capabilities

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