I am facing continued challenges in sharing folders and subsites with non-licensed users. Simply put, I am struggling in making this process easy for the end-user, often paying clients who need to access documents in a secure folder or subsite easily.

I've reviewed this documentation and have attempted to share in each of the methods. For what its worth, the 3rd option identified there (sharing a link allowing folks to access anonymously) is not sufficient secure for some of my clients.

Example 1 - I've created a folder on my firm's main site for a small client, containing a collection of word documents.

Here is permissions for the library:

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I've shared through a link to a client. He cannot login with his existing Microsoft login and nowhere is he prompted to create a Microsoft account; below is what he gets:

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Any ideas?

1 Answer 1


I take it you're just sending over the link without inviting the user?

You can invite external users on every page within SharePoint Online by clicking on "Share". You can enter any email-adres, and invite this user to your site. If the user has a microsoft account, he can use this as his credentials from that point forward. If not he can create one immediately.

The user should see this when going to SharePoitn Online via the invite email

  • thanks. Let me retry with them (I thought I had hit the share button but wondering now if I just sent them a url). Dec 1, 2013 at 2:31
  • So my test client was able to access through the share function; however they are accessing the parent site and not the folder I thought I had invited them to (I had turned off inherited permissions). Will try to fix this on the backend because it is the exact opposite of what I want, but 1 question on "share" function - will it work at the folder or subsite level, or only at the parent site level? I thought I had hit the share function from folder, but the result is backwards. Dec 2, 2013 at 19:59
  • It should work fine for subsites. I found an article that explains how to give an external user rights to a library/list only. Dec 2, 2013 at 20:14
  • Anima, this seems to work now - thank you for your help! I will post simple steps shortly based on that documentation (because the users on this are folks I want to drive certain behavior for - using links in lieu of requiring emailed attachments - really want to minimize headaches for them. Do you see any issues with creating microsoft accounts on their behalf (in lieu of sharepoint user accounts or having them do so themselves)? Dec 2, 2013 at 20:44
  • I don't think that would be a problem. It might be interesting since you'd have a certain degree of control over the created accounts. Dec 2, 2013 at 21:34

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