SharePoint External Partner Help - Minnesota Dept. of Health

SharePoint External Partner Help

This page is for partners who have been invited to work on an external MDH SharePoint site.

Step 1: Get Invited

Talk to your MDH program to get an invitation to MDH's SharePoint site.

Step 2: Follow the Link

Follow the link in the invitation. You should see a login screen with a Minnesota lake and trees. Enter your email. Next you'll be taken to a different screen based on the type of login you are using.

SharePoint login showing Minnesota lake and trees.

Login Screen: Option 1 - Microsoft Account

Microsoft login showing Santa Monica pier login picture.

If you see this picture of the Pacific Coast Highway at the Santa Monica pier, then you will be logging in with a Microsoft Account. You may have one already or may need to create one, associated with your work email. If you know you don't have one, click the link to create one. If you think you have one, try logging in with those credentials, or login directly to Microsoft to check/change your account. Note that Microsoft uses 2-factor authentication, so you will likely need to request a code to be texted to an email or phone device. If one device doesn't work, try having it sent to a different device. Once you're certain of your credentials, come back to this login screen.

Login screen: Option 2 - Full O365 Implementation

Microsoft login showing island and ocean.

If your agency has fully implemented Office 365 (O365), then your login will show islands and ocean. You should be able to login with your work email and your regular work password.

Login screen: Option 3 - More than one type of login

Microsoft login showing Minnesota lake and trees and option of two kinds of accounts.

If your work email is associated with both types of accounts, you will see the Minnesota lake and trees, and you will get a choice of accounts to use when you login. Be aware that your password will likey differ for each type of account. If you cannot login with either option, try:

  • Use a different browser. Copy the login link to a browser you have not been using, which will not have any "memory" or cache related to these logins.
  • Edit your Microsoft account such that it is no longer associated with your work email. To do that, login directly to Microsoft, find your email, add another email address, make it primary, then remove your work email. When you're done, still login using a different browser to avoid cache issues.

Step 3: Get more help

If you are unable to sign into SharePoint at this point, contact your MDH program for additional direction/assistance. Please provide:

  • The type of account you chose
  • The email you used
  • The error messages you received


"I used to be able to login, but now I can't"

Your agency may have completed an O365 migration - ask them! If so, you now have two accounts (Microsoft and Organizational), both using your work email. When you try to login, SharePoint gets confused. You need to remove your work email from your Microsoft account.


  1. Clear your cache in Internet Explorer (if that's the browser you are using). This one-minute video How to Clear Cache in Internet Explorer (Youtube: 1 minute) has clear instructions to deeply clean your cache.
  2. Login with a different browser. If that doesn't work, then:
  3. Go to Login to Microsoft, and sign in. Click on Your Info across the top. Click on the Contact Info tab. Look for Email: These email addresses are associated with your Microsoft account. Click on Manage this email address. Authenticate your email by receiving a code to a phone or email. Add a new email (you can create one, or use a personal email). Make that email primary. Remove your work email.

It still probably won't work using the same browser. Copy the URL of your SharePoint site to a different browser. Eventually, your primary browser cache will empty, and it will work too.

"I have a Microsoft account, but I still can't sign in to MDH's SharePoint site"

  • Go to Login to Microsoft, and sign in. Once you're successfully signed in, close your tab and browser.
  • Click on the SharePoint link that came in your invitation email from MDH, and sign in with the email address and password that you just used to sign in to your Microsoft account. Note that the email address you use for your Microsoft account must be the same address that MDH uses to send you an MDH SharePoint email invitation.

“I know that my organization is on O365, but when I try to sign in using the organizational link in the invite, it isn’t working.”

Check with your IT to make sure you are using the correct email for your O365 account. Other users have discovered that the email they use day-to-day ( isn’t the one used for O365 ( Let us know if this is the case for you and we will withdraw the original invite and send another one using the correct email.

"Which browser is best?"

If you are getting errors, sometimes it's worth trying a different browser. There is not a preferred browser for this version of SharePoint. If one doesn't work, try another!

“I deleted my invitation email, and I don’t know how to find my site again.”

You should use the invitation email link only the first time that you visit a particular MDH SharePoint site. Ask the site owner for a direct link to the site, and bookmark it for future use.

"I logged in once, but now when I use the link in my invitation email, I can’t sign in."

You should only use the invitation link the first time that you visit a particular MDH SharePoint site. If you did not bookmark the site, ask the site owner for a direct link to the site.

"I got several email invitations to MDH's SharePoint site. Do I need to click on all of them?"

Typically, you will receive only one invitation to a particular site. If you receive more than one email invitation, each is likely an invitation to a separate SharePoint site. Click on each email invitation link to accept each one.

"I can log in, but I can't edit documents"

Be sure that you are opening the documents in Word or Excel. Click ... then ... to see the full menu of choices. Choose Open in Word/Excel, not the Online version. You may be prompted for your login credential again - enter them exactly the same as you did the first time. If the document still will not open in Word or Excel, you are not alone.

It's likely that you have an older version of Office. An upgrade may help or it may be a security setting issue (and we don't know which one). Consider downloading it, working on the downloaded copy and then uploading the document to SharePoint when you are finished.

  • Download: Click the set of three dots (...) just to the right of the document’s name, then select the dots at the bottom of the pop-up box to see the full menu for your document. Choose “download.” Save it to your computer. Use a new folder each time you download to make sure your computer does not rename the file by adding a 1 or 2 at the end of the name.
  • Edit the document on your computer.
  • Go back to SharePoint. Click “Upload” at the top of the screen. Browse for the edited document on your computer. Be sure it has exactly the same name as the version on SharePoint. Hit “OK” to upload.

Your document should save as a new version of the original, not as a new document.

Updated Tuesday, August 21, 2018 at 08:34AM