In this guide, we will discover: How to Add an External (Guest) User in Azure Active Directory – Easy Beginners Guide 2023
So, let’s begin!
Have you added an external (guest) user to Azure Active Directory only to discover that the user is having all sorts of problems? You may experience this because there is a right way to add guest users to Azure AD.
By Victor Ashiedu | Updated April 7, 2023 | 6 minutes read
This guide will show two simple but accurate steps to add a new guest user to your Azure AD tenant.
Before you invite an external user to your Azure AD tenant, you must add a mail contact for the user in Exchange Online. After that, you can invite the user to join Azure AD.
Inviting a user without first creating a contact causes all sorts of problems. One of the problems you may notice is that other users will not be able to add the external user’s calendar to their calendar.
As I mentioned in my introduction, the right approach to adding an external user to Azure AD is to create a mail contact for the user before inviting the user.
Follow the steps below to do this.
Suppose you have already invited a user with some problems, open Azure AD and delete the user. Then, one the User -> Manager section, click “Deleted user (preview)” and delete the user permanently. Give it about delete minutes before proceeding with the steps below.
- Open the Exchange Online Admin Center and sign in with an admin account.
- Next, navigate to Recipients -> Contacts.
- Then, on the Contacts page, click “Add mail contact.”
- When the Set up the basic information opens, complete the form – see screenshot below – and click Next.
Make the alias the FirstNameLastName. Also, enter the email address of the user you will invite from Azure AD (next section).
- Then, if you wish to enter the optional information, expand the sections and enter the data. When you finish, click Next.
- Finally, review the user’s data and click Create.
Add the External User to Azure Active Directory
After adding a mail contact for the user, follow the steps in this section to invite the external user to join your Azure AD.
- Open the User node in Azure AD by clicking this link – portal.azure.com – then sign in with a user with the appropriate permission.
- Then, click the + New User icon and select Invite external user.
- Finally, enter the user’s email (required) and any other information you wish to include and click Invite.
Microsoft Azure will send an email to the user. The user should open the email, click the “accept invitation” link, and then follow the wizard to complete the signup process.
Frequently Asked Questions
Allow external users to your Azure AD by inviting them to join your tenant. First, create a contact for the external user in Exchange Online.
Then, from the Users -> All Users node of the Azure Active Directory portal, click +New user and select Invite external user.
Once you have invited an external user, you can manage the users from Azure Active Directory -> Users -> All Users. Click on the external user you want to manage.
You can invite external users to your Azure AD tenant if you’re a Global Administrator, Project Collection Administrator, or Project Administrator.
A guest is an external user outside the Azure AD tenant, while a member is a user that belongs to the Azure AD tenant.
No. An external (or guest) user can perform specific tasks and access certain resources in Azure AD without needing any license.
My Final Thoughts
The feature of Azure AD that allows you to invite external users offers a much-needed opportunity for businesses to collaborate with stakeholders outside their organizations.
However, there is the right and the wrong way to add guest users to your Azure AD organization.
To work as expected, you must first add a mail contact for the external user in Exchange Online. Then, invite the external user to join your Azure Active Directory from the Azure AD portal.
Following these two simple steps, the user you invite to join your Azure AD tenant should work as expected.
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