Overview of Teams and Channels

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Channels & Teams

A team is a group of people with shared areas of work. You might have a team for different departments in your organisation, different areas of the business and a company-wide team.

Within a team you have channels. Channels are built around team events, such as different parts of a department. You hold meetings and chat in channels. There are two types of channels – standard (which everyone has access to) and private (where you need permission from the team owner to see).

At the top of each channel you can add links to regularly used files, apps and services.

Adding tabs

Click the + sign next to the channel tabs

Pin & Unpin channels

If you are a member of a lot of teams, you might find it easier if you pin the channels you use most regularly.

  • To pin a channel, choose one to pin and then select More channels > Pin.

  • To unpin a channel, choose one to unpin and then select More channels > Unpin, and to see what else you can do.

Private Channels

If you want to have a private conversation with some members of your team, you can create private channels. This is a good option if you need to regularly talk to the same people privately.

In private channels, individuals must be added specifically to participate. Any files or documents shared in a private channel can only be viewed by those with access to the channel. These files live on a separate SharePoint site.

Create a private channel

  1. Go to a team you want to create a channel for, select More options > Add channel.

  2. Give it a name and description.

  3. Under Privacy, select the down arrow and choose Private – Accessible only to a specific group of people within the team.

  4. Select Next.

  5. Type in the names of who you’d like to invite including guests. They must already be members or guests of a team to be added to a private channel.

  6. Select Add.

    People you’ve added will see it appear in their channel list with a lock next to the name. And to see everyone that’s been added to a private channel, select the Open people pane.

Show and Hide Channels

To hide a channel from your list, select More options Hide. To show a hidden channel click hidden channels > Show.

Customize channel notifications

  1. Select More optionsChannel notifications.

  2. Choose the settings you want such as new post notifications or channel mentions.

  3. Select Save. Notifications appear based on your preferred settings.

Working in Channels

Any conversations in channels can be seen and searched for by the entire team. You can participate in conversations, like or save important ones, mention specific people so they see your message, and even edit a file that’s been added to the conversation.

Reply to a message

  • Select Reply, add your response, and press Enter.

Like or save a message

  • Hover over a message and choose one of the emojis.

  • Hover over a message and click the 3 dots. Select Save this message.

Start a new conversation in a channel

  • Enter your message in the Type a new message box, and press Enter.

Get someone’s attention in the channel

  • Type @ in front of a team member’s name while you’re creating a message to include them in the conversation. The person will receive an @mention notice. You can @mention a team or channel, if your admin enables it.

See where you’ve been mentioned

  • Look for the circle on the left next to Teams and Activity to see the number of times your name has been mentioned in a conversation. 

Co-edit a file

  1. If a document has been uploaded to a conversation or Files, select the file to open it. 

  2. This will open the document in Teams. If you would like to open it in the original desktop app, click Open in Desktop App.

  3. Select Conversation to continue the conversation while viewing or co-editing the file.