Office 365 Groups: Let People Outside the Organization Email the Group

1 minute read

As a consultant, on a daily basis I’m working in multiple Office 365 tenants. In some of those tenants I have an account (license) with my own Sympraxis email, and in many others, I have an email address within the client organization’s domain.

Believe me, it all gets pretty confusing – if it weren’t for LastPass keeping track of my logins, I’d be doomed!

With all the Office 365 Groups goodness going on, it’s great to try to keep track of “Group conversations” in a central place. By including the email alias for a Group in email-based exchanges, we can save those conversations for posterity.

Given the complexity of my account setup across clients (let me know if you have suggestions on how to make that easier!), it’s really helpful for me to use my Sympraxis email account to centralize *my* conversation activity, at least.

To do this in a given Office 365 Group, you can change the Let people outside the organization email the group setting for the Group, as shown below. This allows me to be a member of the group with whatever account I have in that tenant, but also to email in with my Sympraxis account.

In theory, this opens up your Group conversation to “spam” or other unwanted outside emails. In practice, it’s probably not a problem, especially for a Group which has a relatively limited lifespan. You’ll probably want to consider which Groups really need this setting enabled.

In any case, it was a little tricky to find the setting after the Group was set up, so I figured I’d share.

  • If you’re in the SharePoint site for the Group, Go to Group conversations (link in the upper right)
  • This takes you to the Outlook-in-a-browser view of the Group
  • In the upper right of the screen, click on the ellipses (…)

  • Click on Edit group


Now, if I could only choose the color for the Group! I’m sure that setting is somewhere, too. Any ideas?



    • @Mike:

      I’m pretty sure we’ll be able to add external people to teams, but that’s sort of a different use case. The whole “federation” idea is too complicated for real people to figure out. That said, it’s the way we work these days.


  1. Managing multiple logins – I set up multiple users in Chrome and keep signed into each client in each user. Right click on the user in the title bar and switch easily to the client I need. I usually set the home page for each user to the email inbox or the SharePoint site in their tenant that I’m currently working on. Often it remembers the login sufficiently long enough not to need to sign in each time too. Plus it means you can login to multiple clients at once… but occasionally it does get confusing. :)


Have a thought or opinion?