Team Channels

Tags ms-teams

You can use channels to organise your team's content (i.e. conversations, files, etc.) or to divide your team members into smaller sub-teams. There are three types of channels:

  • standard channels - visible and accessible to all team members
  • private channels - visible and accessible only to selected team members
  • shared channels - visible and accessible to selected people both inside and outside the team

Private channels are recommended for the following scenarios:

  • A subset of people in a team want a focused space to collaborate without having to create a separate team.

  • A subset of people in a team want a private channel to discuss sensitive information, such as budgets, resourcing, strategic positioning, and so on.

The following table highlights differences between these three types of channels.

Features Standard channel Private channel Shared channel
People can be added to the channel without adding them to the team. No No Yes
Channel membership can be limited to a subset of the team. No 1) Yes Yes
Channel can be shared directly with other teams. No No Yes
Channel can be shared directly with its parent team. N/A No Yes
Guests can participate in the channel. Yes Yes No
External participants (B2B Direct Connect) can participate in the channel. No No Yes
Moderation Yes No No
Breakout rooms Yes No No
Copy link to channel Yes No No
Each channel has a dedicated SharePoint site. No Yes 2) Yes 2)
Scheduled meetings Yes No Yes
Planner Yes No No
Bots, connectors, and messaging extensions Yes No No
Supported in class teams Yes Yes No
Tags Yes No No
Analytics Yes Yes No

1) Standard channel membership list is inherited from the parent team.

2) Each private or shared channel has its own SharePoint site. The separate site is to ensure access to channel files is restricted to only members of the shared channel. These sites are created with a document library by default, and can be easily enhanced to a full-featured site through the site management interface.

Membership to the site owner and member groups are kept in sync with the membership of the private or shared channel. Site permissions for a channel site can't be managed independently through SharePoint.

Files, folders, and OneNote notebooks in a channel can be shared with people outside the channel by using standard SharePoint file sharing.

If a user is granted access to a file, folder, or notebook in a private or shared channel through SharePoint, removing the user from the team or shared channel won't remove the user's access to the file, folder, or notebook.

If an existing notebook is added as a tab to a private or shared channel, access to the private or shared channel isn't changed and the notebook retains its existing permissions.

Creating Channels

By default, any team owner or team member can create a new channel. Team owners can restrict the channel creation in their team settings (best practice). This can be handy when team owners want to retain full control of their team activity.

Once created, a channel cannot be converted to a different type.

Each team can contain up to 200 standard channels and up to 30 private channels. This includes deleted channels which can be restored and are lingering for 30 days after deletion and cannot be permanently removed prior to this. For example, if you reached 30 private channels in a team and then deleted some of them to make room for new channels, you will not be able to create another private channel until the 30-day retention period for deleted channels expires.

Up to 250 people can be added to each private channel.

Channel names must be 50 characters or less and cannot contain any of these characters:
~ # % & * { } + / \ : < > ? | ' " , ..

The person who creates a private or shared channel automatically becomes the channel owner. Only the private or shared channel owner can directly add or remove people from it and to designate other members of the channel as co-owners.

  • A private channel owner can add any team member to a private channel they created, including guests, as long as they are already a member of the main team. See: Known Issue: Can't add a person to a private channel.
  • A shared channel owner can add anyone from the organization or people outside your organization to a shared channel. Guests (external people with Azure Active Directory guest accounts) cannot be added to a shared channel.

Recovering Deleted Channels

When a channel is deleted accidentally or by purpose, it can be recovered within 30 days. This must be done by a team owner of the team that contained the deleted channel via the Teams client. To recover a deleted channel in the Teams client, follow these steps:

  1. In Teams client, select Teams, and then the team that contained the channel.
  2. Select the Channels tab from the top pane.
  3. Open the Deleted row by selecting it.
  4. Select Restore right from the channel you need to restore.

Additional Resources


Article ID: 146229
Sun 8/28/22 9:42 AM
Sun 8/28/22 1:37 PM

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