Troubleshooting Sharing with External Users in SharePoint


This article describes how to troubleshoot a common error while attempting to share a file or folder with external users (non-Virginia Tech) in SharePoint. The error encountered might be a message saying, "Your organization’s policies don’t allow you to share with these users". In addition, when you attempt to share a file or folder from your SharePoint Site in link settings the “Anyone with the link” option is grayed out.



Sharing options can be set in SharePoint at a variety of levels:

  • Office 365 Admin settings
  • Organizational level settings
  • Specific site settings

In addition, the site you create will have an impact on sharing as different sites have different default sharing levels. A Team Site will allow you to share file or folders externally. But a Communication Site will not allow you to share externally be default. 


There are a few things that you can do.

If you have a Team Site, ensure that your permissions are set for sharing externally by going to the Site Settings and clicking on Site permissions.

If you have a Communication Site, you can make a new Team Site and transfer the information to that site or submit a 4Help ticket at to get an Office 365 admin to enable external sharing for the site.

Additional Information

Additional information about sharing with external users can be found at Sharing a Document Library with External Users (