SharePoint Online Access Denied Error

Many of us have experienced the scenario where despite removing the user from O365 Users list as well as SharePoint User profile, the user will still appear in the “Add User/Share with” dialog box in the SharePoint online site.


On a given SharePoint tenant, a user/external user might have been added previously and granted access. Specifically, in external user scenario, the user linked a wrong MS account while signing in.  This makes the account not usable on a given SharePoint Tenant. You must remove that user from your tenant before you can re-share the Site/List/Item again with the given External user. In order to do this, you remove the user from following two places:

  • O365 External users list
  • SharePoint User Profiles

When you try to share the Site/List/Item again and you then add that email address in the “Shared With” dialog box it will show the old user as a reference. Therefore, it is still trying to use the old user mapping instead of sending the email to the user as a new user.


There is a hidden “User Information List” in each site collection of the SharePoint Tenant. The user gets added to the list once that user has access the site. When you remove the user from O365 and SharePoint User profile list it does not remove that user from “User Information List” as well. You must manually remove the user from that list before re-sharing the Site/List/Item. The User Information List is only visible and accessible to Site Collection Administrators. To browse the list, append the following at the end of the site “/_catalogs/users/simple.aspx”.

Once you browse to the List filter the list to find the user to be removed and click on the name of the user. It will open the users View Items form. Click on “Delete user from Site Collection.”

Now if you try to Re-Share the Site/List/Item you will not get the old users auto-complete option and the user is completely removed from the tenant.  You can now re-share the Site/List/Item with the user.

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By | 2018-06-04T15:12:28+00:00 June 6th, 2018|Collaboration|1 Comment

About the Author:

Shraddha Shah, Sr SharePoint Developer at Peters & Associates focused on developing SharePoint solutions for clients. Work with clients to understand their requirements, challenges and providing solutions in SharePoint. She has spent over 13 years in the IT and Software fields having experience in web development and SharePoint applications. Shraddha holds a M.S. in Computer Science from New York Institute of Technology, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering.

One Comment

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