Set up and manage access requests

The access request feature allows people to request access to content that they do not currently have permission to see. As a site owner, you can configure the feature to send you mail when someone requests access to a site. You can then choose whether to approve or decline their request. If you approve the request, you can also specify the specific level of permission you’d like to assign to a user.

The access request feature also works together with the Share command for sites. If someone who is not a site owner for a site (that is, someone who does not have full control for a site) uses the Share command to invite other people to view a site, then that action will generate an access request for the site owner. The site owner can then approve or decline the request, or specify the permission level to be assigned to the new user.

Together, the Share command and the access request feature simplify the process of managing who has access to a site. Site users have the opportunity to invite other people to collaborate on sites, while site owners have the ultimate authority over who has access to these sites and what level of permissions users are assigned.

What do you want to do?


Set up access requests

Site owners can set up the access request feature so that it sends them an email when someone requests access to a site.

  1. Go to Settings Settings button > Site Settings.
  2. Under Users and Permissions, click Site Permissions.
  3. On the Permissions tab, click Access Request Settings.
  4. In the Access Request Settings dialog box, select the check box next to Allow access requests, and then type the email address of the person you want to make responsible for approving access requests.
  5. Click OK.

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Approve or decline access requests for a site

  1. Go to Settings Settings button > Site Settings.
  2. Under Users and Permissions, click Access requests and invitations.
  3. Under Pending Requests, find the request you want to update, click the ellipses . . . to open the menu.
  4. Under Permissions, select the permission level you’d like to assign the user (if you plan to approve the request). You can also optionally type a message to the person requesting access; this can be a useful way to document your decision.
  5. Click Approve or Decline.

 Tip    To view past requests, click Show History.

Manage invitations to external users (SharePoint Online only)

If you are a Microsoft Office 365 customer who is using SharePoint Online, then you can also use the Access Requests page to manage guest user invitations that have been issued to people who do not have licenses for your Office 365 subscription.

 Important    Only a user who is a Site Collection Administrator, Company Administrator, or a member of the default Site Owners group has permission to use the Access Requests page. However, if a user has been removed from the Site Owner group, and is later granted Full Control permission to the site, the user will be denied access to the Access Requests page. To resolve this situation, see "Access Denied" message when you view the "Access Requests" list in SharePoint Online.

Withdraw invitations

If you want to withdraw an invitation you have sent to an external user, you can revoke the invitation before it is accepted.

  1. Go to Settings Settings button > Site Settings.
  2. Under Users and Permissions, click Access requests and invitations.
  3. Under Guest User Invitations, find the person you would like to uninvite to the site, and click the ellipses . . . to open the menu.
  4. In the properties window, click Withdraw.

If the external user has already accepted an invitation, and you want to remove their access, you can do so by removing them from the SharePoint permissions group to which you assigned them. Your Office 365 admin or SharePoint Online admin may also remove them from the list of users for your environment.

Resend an expired invitation

By default, any invitations you send to external users will expire in 7 days. If an invitee does not accept the invitation within 7 days, and you still want that person to have access to your site, you might need to resend the invitation.

  1. Go to Settings Settings button > Site Settings.
  2. Under Users and Permissions, click Access requests and invitations.
  3. Under Guest User Invitations, find the invitation that you want to resend, and click the ellipses . . . to open the menu.
  4. Under Permission, confirm that the selected group is the permission group to which you’d like to add the person receiving the invitation. If you want to select a group that is different from the one in the original invitation, you can do that here.
  5. Click Resend.

Related tasks

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Applies to:
SharePoint admin center, SharePoint Foundation 2013, SharePoint Online Enterprise (E1), SharePoint Online Enterprise (E3 & E4), SharePoint Online Midsized Business, SharePoint Online Small Business, SharePoint Server 2013 Enterprise, SharePoint Server 2013 Standard