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Step by Step Guide to SharePoint External Sharing

Posted on May 18, 2016

FACT: SharePoint External Sharing is one of the most complicated features in SharePoint. For both end-users and administrators. Sure, you can easily share externally from your personal OneDrive or DropBox account, but with SharePoint, we are dealing with files, folders, and content that is not just yours. They belong to the organization and they reside in a common team site that is shared by many employees. Besides, in addition to files and folders, you can also share complete sites! And if everyone in the organization starts sharing externally, multiply that by # of sites, files, and folders and your IT and Compliance folks have a big matzo ball on their hands managing all this. Not to mention that at the moment, the whole external sharing mechanism is not so easy for an average user…

October 2020 Update: Please reference this newer article on how to share a SharePoint site externally. It contains newer instructions than those reflected in the slide deck below.

SharePoint External Sharing Instructions

I am happy to share this Step-by-Step Guide on SharePoint External Sharing. It explains in plain English what you can and can not do with External Sharing. It also talks about how to properly setup and manage external sharing. The following topics are covered:

  1. External Sharing defined
  2. How to Share a Site
  3. How to Share a Document or Folder
  4. External User Experience
  5. External Sharing Administration
  6. How to Configure External Sharing
  7. How to Remove External Users


About Me

I’m Greg Zelfond, a U.S. based SharePoint consultant, and I provide affordable out-of-the-box SharePoint consulting, training, and configuration assistance to small and medium-sized businesses all over the world.

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