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Error sending emails to external users in SharePoint online (2013 experience)

By Stefan Feenstra   /     Oct 03, 2013  /     Office 365  /     0 Comment

In our Office 365 environment I tried to create a SharePoint Designer workflow to send an email to external users. The following error message is displayed in the workflow history: “HTTP BadRequest https://[tenant][sitecoll]/_vti_bin/client.svc/sp.utilities.utility.SendEmail”Unable to send emails external users

I created a new workflow and selected as platform type “SharePoint 2013 workflow”.

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It seems like in the new SharePoint Online 2013 workflow engine it is not possible anymore to send messages to unknown e-mail addresses. Microsoft suggested the following workaround: add the users as contact in Exchange. This has the following disadvantage: it takes +/- 3 days to show up in SharePoint.

Add contact in Exchange

Another workaround I found out is to recreate the workflow and select as platform type “SharePoint 2010 workflow” .

Unable to send emails external users

Add the email action to the workflow. And publish the new workflow to SharePoint.

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Start the workflow in SharePoint and now you will receive the email message.

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