Microsoft Teams – External Access vs. Guest Access

One question I get asked frequently is what is the difference between External Access and Guest Access within Microsoft Teams. Both provide you the ability to communicate with folks external from your organization. External Access is focused on the ability to Chat, Video, and Screen share from Teams Client to Teams Client. Guest Access is focused on allowing someone to be part of a Microsoft Team you have created within your tenant, allowing them to collaborate and communicate on the various conversations and data you have shared within the Team and various channels.

For more details on Microsoft Teams External Access please check out this link:

For more details on Microsoft Teams Guest Access please check out the following links. The first link highlights the core elements of guest access. The second link highlights the various permissions and capabilities that a guest user will have within the Microsoft Team tha t you have invited the user to.

As well see my brief video on the differences between External Access and Guest Access within the Microsoft Teams client.

See the following table for a comparison of external and guest access features.

External Access……………..Guest Access…………..
User can chat with someone in another companyYesYes
User can call someone in another companyYesYes
User can see if someone from another company is available for call or chatYesYes1
User can search for users across external tenantsYes2No
User can share filesNoYes
User can access Teams resourcesNoYes
User can be added to a group chatNoYes
User can be added to a meetingYesYes
Additional users can be added to a chat with an external userNo3N/A
User is identified as an external partyYesYes
Presence is displayedYesYes
Out of office message is shownNoYes
Individual user can be blockedNoNo
@mentions are supportedNoYes
Make private callsYesYes
Allow IP videoYesYes
Screen sharing modeNoYes
Allow meet nowNoYes
Edit sent messagesNoYes
Can delete sent messagesNoYes
Use Giphy in conversationNoYes
Use memes in conversationNoYes
Use stickers in conversationNoYes
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