What is an external user or domain?

By default, only users with either a Google Account or a Microsoft account on your AODocs domain can access AODocs through your domain.

As an AODocs super administrator, you can extend access to external users or domains using allowlists. Learn more: 

External users

A user account is considered as "external" if it is not on the domain where AODocs is installed.

As an external Google user, you can use the following accounts:

As an external Microsoft user, you can use the following accounts:

  • Azure Active Directory account
  • Microsoft personal account, either Outlook or Hotmail, such as outlook.com or hotmail.com

Note: AODocs Content Services licenses are required for Microsoft users to collaborate on your AODocs domain. Contact our sales team at sales@aodocs.com to learn more.

Learn more:

External Google domains

A Google domain can manage different domain names (primary, secondary and alias domains). The primary and secondary are, by definition, different. Users from the same Google domain can be user1@primaryDomain.com and user2@secondaryDomain.com. Even with different domain names, they will both be internal users of the Google domain primaryDomain.com.

Access AODocs libraries using Google Drive storage as an external Google user

When you access AODocs libraries using Google Drive storage as an external Google user, there are some differences in the way you can use Google Drive.  

Add files as an external user

Google Drive doesn't let you transfer ownership of files between different Google domains (learn more: Make someone else the owner of your file), so a certain number of limitations apply for external users adding content to AODocs:

  • When an external user adds files to a library via the AODocs user interface, AODocs makes a copy of the files instead of changing the ownership. As a result, the original file remains in the external user's My Drive and the copy is added to the AODocs library, owned by the AODocs storage account. Copying Google documents, spreadsheets and presentations resets the document revision history, so the file added to AODocs doesn't have the revision history of the original file. 
  • When an external user uploads a file from their local disk, the uploaded file is added to the external user's My Drive. AODocs can't transfer ownership of the uploaded file (see previous bullet point), so the uploaded file is copied to AODocs and the original file stays in the user's My Drive folder.
  • Creating new Google files (Google documents, spreadsheets, presentations) in the AODocs user interface is slower for external users than for regular users because AODocs needs to do more permission manipulations.

Note: Currently, when importing external files to an AODocs library, the files are added to the library but don't keep the original permissions of the file.

Use AODocs from Google Drive as an external user

External Google users can use AODocs from Google Drive but some limitations exist.

Learn more: AODocs Smartbar multi-domain usage.

Was this article helpful? 3 out of 4 found this helpful
If you didn’t find what you were looking for, don’t hesitate to leave a comment!
Have more questions? Submit a request


  • This is a common issue for us and I often have to explain this to users.
    I recommend that external users do not create folders in our libraries.
    Could you say more about what happens to Folder in this article?

    Comment actions Permalink
  • Hi John, external users are able to create folders in libraries, but they don’t have the option to import a whole folder from Google Drive. Is this what you are referring to?

    Comment actions Permalink
  • Yes, we have many problems when an external person creates a folder in our libraries.
    Sometimes it is copied to our domain and sometimes it isn't. If the folder is copied to our domain the external user could add documents to their copy of the folder. There is then two folders that are being updated.
    I would rather have a way of preventing external users from creating folders in our libraries.

    Comment actions Permalink

Please sign in to leave a comment.