External Sharing Gets Easier with SharePoint Online Update

The second update to SharePoint Online (SPO) is being rolled out worldwide and with it comes an easier way to share documents with individuals outside your organization.

Before when you were collaborating with an external party, you had to establish an email address for them on your domain to give them access to your documents in SharePoint Online.  Now, an external user can use their own business email address to access one of your site collections (by invitation only, of course).

Here’s how it works:

  • The external user needs to associate their business email address with the Windows LiveID system. (Have them go to, select “Use existing email address:” and follow the instructions)
  • Then, you, as the SPO user, invite the external user to your external sharing site by using their primary email account.
  • The external user can then sign in with their primary user name and associated password.

In addition to simplifying external access, the SharePoint Online update includes increased scalability for enterprise organizations, recycle bin enhancements, and the ability to open PDFs from within SPO without downloading the documents. Learn more about these SPO enhancements here.