Office 365 SharePoint Online access by an external user

This blog post covers the process you need to follow to accept an invitation to a SharePoint online site when you are an external user, e.g. being invited to your customer portal that we (The Full Circle) provide to our contracted services customers.






You will only need to do the steps below once.  

Stage 1: Email notification

1. You will receive and email inviting you to access the site.


2. Click on the link to “Go To <your site>”

Stage 2: Creating a “Microsoft account”

This stage is where you could become stuck…
Most people have a or email address, either currently or from back in the day. While these email addresses will work straight away as they are a ‘Microsoft account’, the association will then to be made to your private & personal email address – not ideal from a business point of view!
We recommend you click on the “Creation a Microsoft account” link and create a Microsoft Account associated to your business email address.

1. Click on “Create a Microsoft account” link.


2. Fill in the form that loads.

Important note: The “Username” field should be your business email address, not one of your private email addresses


3. You will get an email a few moments later with a verification link. Click on the link


4. Sign in with your email address (aka “Username”) and the password you filled in on the form in step 2.


5. You will see a confirmation message saying the verification is complete.


Stage 3: Signing in

1. Now that you have a working “Microsoft account”, go back to the original invitation email and click on the “Go To <your site>” link.

2. Click on “Microsoft account” sign in option.


3. You should be automatically logged in and the SharePoint site will load. Tadaah!



Potential issues

  • Your business email address might already be a Microsoft Account in which case the Microsoft Account sign up form will tell you. No worries, just click on the “Go To <your site>” link again and login with that email address (aka Username) and the password.
    (you might find you need to reset your password if you have forgotten it, it isn’t your PC login password after all! Winking smile)
  • You might see this error after filling in the Microsoft Account sign up form. Don’t worry, check your mailbox for the sign up verification email and proceed regardless – it has really worked, we promise.


Senior consultant and company director at The Full Circle. Passionate about automation scripting, end user experience and cloud technology.