The following guide is for when someone outside the org receives an email invite for access to a SharePoint site. Couple things to note before we get into the step by step:
- The following may change slightly over time. Over the past year or two, some minor specifics of the guest (someone outside the org) sign in process has changed. So in a year or two, the process might differ a little. So it's important to bear in mind that while a single screenshot might change, the overall process and concepts involved should not. Also please keep in mind that the guide below is for a guest access who doesn't already have any type of Microsoft account. If you already have some type of Microsoft account (and you might have a gmail account and not even realize it's signed up for Microsoft in the past), your sign in experience may differ a little than the following.
- Always keep the original email invite to SharePoint somewhere specific or uniquely marked in your own Inbox. The reason is you might have to come back to it to access that SharePoint folder again, and the original email invite with the sharing link is always a far more reliable way to open SharePoint than simply booking marking the site in your web browser.
- If you encounter any issues, the very first troubleshooting step you should take is to copy the link from the original sharing email into a brand new, InPrivate Edge web browser session. The reason for Edge is that is what Microsoft says SharePoint is optimized for. You can even install Edge on a Mac or Linux computer. If you still experience issues after that, you should contact your IT support group for further support. If they can't resolve the issue, you can ask that whomever shared this link with you contact the help desk -- please note though that our troubleshooting is mostly limited to testing with a brand new, outside the org test account to verify that the sharing system is working as intended.
- While the number of steps below may seem a little involved, please keep in mind that once you have completed the initial set up , future sign ins should usually go quicker. The second important factor is that due to org policies and past data leaks for other organizations around the world that have suffered catastrophic results, the management team for this org has implemented security around its SharePoint sites to try to prevent unauthorized access. Also keep in mind that some of these security features are hard-coded by Microsoft and can't be changed.
Now unto the step by step initial guest sign in process:
Click Open on the email with the sharing link:
Create a password for your new guest account, feel free to show password if needed, and click next:
Enter your DOB:
It'll ask for a code, so go back to your Inbox:
Open the email with the code in your Inbox:
Copy the code:
Paste the code in, and we recommend you uncheck the marketing box to avoid those types of emails, then click Next:
Here's a part that might look different. In some way, you'll probably be asked to prove your a human:
So solve the puzzles, etc:
Read through the terms and if you agree please click Accept (this is required for access to SharePoint):
The following, while looking like a major error message, simply means that Microsoft hasn't had time to create your new Microsoft account yet. So please ignore this message and wait about give minutes, then go back to your Inbox (you might not see this message either):
After you've waited 5-10 minutes or so, back in your Inbox, open the original email with the SharePoint sharing link, and click Open:
You should see a new message, click next:
Now you will set up MFA, to do so, 1) please install the Microsoft Authenticator App on your smart phone if it's not installed already. Searching in the Play or Apple store for "Microsoft Authenticator" should bring up the correct app to install, and its author will be Microsoft. If you installed that app on your phone, then back to your computer, click Next:
Moving from your computer to your phone, open the Microsoft Authenticator App, and tap the plus sign in the top right:
Still on your phone and in the Microsoft Authenticator App, choose Work or school account:
Still on your phone in the MS App, choose Scan QR code:
Back on your computer, there should be a QR code. If not, you might need to click Next until a QR code appears, scan that QR code with your phone, then on your computer click Next and a number like this will pop up on your computer:
Enter that number on your phone in the MS Auth. App to confirm:
Back on your computer, click Next:
Back on your computer, click Done:
At this point, your Edge web browser should redirect you to the SharePoint site or folder that you've been given access to: