Adding Users to an Office 365 Group

This is more confusing than it should be, frankly. I’ve had to explain this to clients multiple times, so a blog post is in order! This stuff changes over time, so if you’re reading this post in the future, some screen details and actions may have changed. Actually, I hope they have changed, because this is too confusing!

There are two different ways you can add/change users, one for internal users (people in your tenant) and one for external users (people not in your tenant). For all of this, you must have the right permissions to take the actions I outline. I live in SharePoint most days, so these instructions are SharePoint-centric.

Internal Users

On the home page of the site, click on the ‘x members’ link in the upper right.

This opens a panel which shows the current Group

If you click on the Add members button, you can add people in your tenant by typing in their name or email address.

If you’d like to change someone’s permissions or remove
them, you can do that from the Group membership panel:

Maybe you noticed the text in the Add members panel above? I know most people don’t!

Add colleagues to this group. To add guests, go to Outlook.

External Users

As noted in the message above, to add guests – what we usually call external users – you need to click on the link above or go to Outlook: and that’s Outlook Online.

External users can only be set up as Guests. The process here is a little different – and unfortunately a little clunkier.

When you click on Add members, you’ll see a link to go
to Outlook
to add guests.

Clicking on that link takes you to Outlook Online (sometimes called OWA = Outlook Web Access). You may not be aware, but this is also a way for you to check email just in the browser. There’s a link on this page to Add members. Yes, it says members, but you can also add guests here. (You have to click on the icon, not the text.)

You can add either type of user here. For external users,
you add them using their email address.

Be sure to click Save when you are done.

If you don’t think this makes much sense – it doesn’t really. I think the reason we have to go over to Outlook may be because Office 365 Groups were originally an Exchange team idea. But I’m not totally sure. In any case, it’s a hard one to explain.

from Marc D Anderson’s Blog