Sharing content is quite common and there are multiple ways to do sharing. In SharePoint we have option to share content within team members, with the members of organization and also with external users.

External users are not part of the organization but content can be shared with them and there are multiple ways. You can share content/ documents with anonymous users which do not require authentication and can also share content with external users but they need authentication on the system. Or there is another way of external sharing where you can share the content to any specific organization(s), this is required in scenarios where you need to share content with customers or vendors or any other business partners.

How to do External Sharing?

In this blog, I am taking going to explain you that how to share document to external users using SharePoint Admin center and Power Shell. External sharing can be enabled at the SharePoint Admin Center level and can also be managed at the site collection level but for Site collection level is dependent on SharePoint Admin center.

SharePoint Admin Center:

Go to SharePoint Admin Center and expand Policies form left navigation pane and click on Sharing. You will see the options for External Sharing on the page. Change the sharing settings as per your organization policy. You can also restrict the external Sharing to specific domains and can also can also setup the default sharing options for all site collections.

External Sharing setting for Site Collection

Site collection external sharing setting is dependent on SharePoint Admin Center sharing policy. If external sharing is disabled then you can not change the external sharing at site collection level.

Go to Active sites, select the site collection for viewing details and click on Policies.

You can see the edit button under External Sharing, click on it and you will get the options change the external sharing settings.

Now questions comes in mind that why you need this at site collection level?  There are scenarios where you might need to share the site with specific vender or partner OR you want to disable external sharing for a site collection where you could have some secure content.

External Sharing using PowerShell

You can setup the external sharing SharePoint Admin Center and site level using powershell. You have seen four options available for external sharing in above section. Similar options available in PowerShell

Connect-SPOService -Url

#1 - ExternalUserAndGuestSharing – sets the permission level to Anyone
#2 - ExternalUserSharingOnly – sets the permission level to New and Existing guests
#3 - ExistingExternalUserSharingOnly – sets the permission level to Existing guests
#4 - Disabled – sets the permission level to Only people in your organization

#For Tenant level
Set-SPOTenant -SharingCapability <PermissionLevel>

Set-SPOTenant -SharingCapability ExternalUserSharingOnly

#For site level
Set-SPOSite -Identity <site collection url> -SharingCapability <PermissionLevel> 

$siteCollection = “”  
Set-SPOSite -Identity $siteCollection -SharingCapability Disabled 

Adnan is six time Microsoft MVP (Since 2015) with over 16 years of extensive experience with major expertise on SharePoint, SharePoint based development, Microsoft 365, Microsoft Teams, .Net Platform and Microsoft BI. He is currently working Sr Microsoft Consultant at Olive + Goose. He is MCT Regional Lead for Pakistan Chapter since 2012. He is working on SharePoint for past 12 years and worked on different intranet/intranet solutions for private & govt. sector majorly in United states and Gulf region and have experience of working with multiple Fortune 500 companies. He is a trainer, technology evangelist and also speaks in community forums.

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