I need to have test user accounts to test a custom solution I built on O365 tenant, the tenant I have is only licensed for 1 account, but I would like to have test users to test my work that includes workflows and some components, how do I do that in O365?

2 Answers 2


You could use an external user, which you don't have to pay for. An external user...:

  • can use Office Web Apps for viewing and editing documents. If your plan includes Office Pro Plus, they will not have the licenses to install the desktop version of Office on their own computers.
  • inherit the use rights of the Office 365 customer who is inviting them to collaborate on a site. That is, if an organization purchases an E3 Enterprise plan, and builds a site that uses enterprise features, the external user is granted rights to use and/or view the enterprise features within the site collection they are invited to.
  • can perform tasks on a site consistent with the permission level that they are assigned. For example, if you add an external user to the Members group, they will have Edit permissions and they will be able to add, edit and delete lists; they will also be able to view, add, update and delete list items and documents.
  • will be able to see other types of content on sites. For example, they can navigate to different subsites within the site collection to which they were invited. They will also be able to do things like view site feeds.

But External users can't...:

  • create their own personal sites (what used to be referred to as My Sites). This means that they do not have their own SkyDrive Pro document library.
  • see the company-wide newsfeed. They also cannot edit their own profile, change their photo, or see aggregated tasks. External users do not add quota to the overall tenant storage pool (this is determined by licensed users only).
  • be an administrator for a site collection. However, you can designate an external user as a designer for your Public Website. This restriction also does not apply to scenarios where you have hired a partner to help you manage Office 365.
  • By default, access the Search Center and will not be able to execute searches against “everything” (cross site collection search)

Reference: Understanding External Users in SharePoint Online.

Follow the steps mention in my other answer to enable external sharing.


Is this an MSDN Developer subscription? If you are only testing SharePoint functionality and not the wider Office 365 platform stuff, you can still create new users and just not assign them a licence.

Go to your Office 365 Admin settings, expand Users -> Active users, and create the user as you normally would. If you have no licenses to assign, the UI will tell you that, but it will still allow you to create those users and put them into SharePoint.

You could create external users as well as Benny suggested, but they will also not have the Office 365 functionality available to them either.

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  • The Problem with this and external Users is that the Performance of the sharepoint can decrease. If you got hundrets of external user Otto the site wich is licensed and Provisionen for only one licence, it will take the ressources for all Users and it will reich the limitations. I had this Problem with my tenant at the Last Time.
    – Sascha
    Jan 4, 2015 at 13:35
  • No one should ever need that many test users. If anyone has that many users on a dev tenant they are obviously not using it for testing. Jan 4, 2015 at 15:33

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