Sharing Files to External Users in Microsoft 365 Using an Android Device

Last modified 9/20/2023

Illinois State University allows students, staff, and faculty to share files to external users. This means that you will be able to share a file with somebody that does NOT have an ISU email account. You can still set editing permissions for the shared file, just as you could with internal users. Below are steps on how to share files with external users, as well as other tips about this new feature.


For live collaboration, the external user must have a Microsoft Office account with their email account and must ALSO have a Microsoft Office license. If they do not have a Microsoft account with a license for Office, they will only be able to access these documents on the web browser version and will NOT have the ability for live collaboration. If they do not have a Microsoft 365 account attached to their external email account, they would only be able to view the document you sent in a browser.

You can share virtually any type of document from the suite of apps in Microsoft 365 (Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, etc.). The instructions below work for all Microsoft 365 applications that allow document sharing, but you may notice the “Share” button appears in different areas of each application. They are usually at the top right corner of the screen. To share your document, follow these instructions:

  1. Save your document once you are finished with it by tapping the three dots button on the top right corner and tap "Save As."
  2. After saving and you are ready to share the document, tap the Share button. (Figure 1).

    Figure 1:
    Share button for Android Microsoft 365
  3. From there, tap the People in your organization with the link can view so that you can change who can see the document (Figure 2).

    Figure 2:
    People in Your Organization with Link can View image
  4. Next, tap Specific People, and then tap Apply (Figure 3).

    Figure 3:
    Choose specific people to share files option


    In this same area, you can also select the Allow Editing option, or you can specify if you want to block the ability to download the document by selecting the Block Download button.


  5. Here you are able to specify your recipient(s). 
    5a. In the Enter a name or email address field, type in the email address or name of the recipient.
    5b. You will get a warning that the User is Outside of your Organization. This is a normal security notice. 
    5c. When you are ready after adding the recipient, tap Send to send the document to them (See Figure 4). 

    Figure 4:
    Sending the shared document image

The file is now sent to your external collaborator. As a reminder the user must have a Microsoft 365 account attached to their email in order for them to be able to receive and edit on an Android phone, they will be able to view the document without the account. We highly recommend using a laptop or desktop if you are wanting to edit the document correctly. Without a Microsoft 365 account the user will only be able to view the document in a browser on mobile and edit a document in a browser on a computer.

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