Teams can have standard or private channels

Standard channels are available to all team members in Teams. Most channels are standard channels. If you need a smaller, specific audience for a particular subject, you can use a private channel.

Let’s take a look at each type:


  • When you create a new team or private channel in Microsoft Teams, a team site in SharePoint gets automatically created. To edit the site description or classification for this team site, go to the corresponding channel’s settings in Microsoft Teams

  • Learn more about managing Microsoft Teams connected teams sites


Standard channels

  • They’re open for all members and anything posted is searchable by others.

  • By default, all members of a team can create standard channels. Tenant owners can change this permission and limit channel creation and permissions to certain roles.

Private channels

  • They’re for discussions that shouldn’t be open to all members, so you must be invited to join one to view it within a team.

  • By default, any team owner or team member can create a private channel and add members. Guests can't create them. Your admin can change this permission and limit private channel creation to certain roles.

  • Wikis, apps and bots, and scheduled channel meetings are not supported, but we’re working on it!

Files that you share in a channel (viewable on the Files tab) are stored in SharePoint. To learn more, see How SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business interact with Teams.

Note: Files shared in a private channel are only viewable by the members of the channel and are stored in a the separate SharePoint from the rest of the team's files.

Private channel meetings and calls

External guests can join a team's private channel meeting or Meet now call, but there are a few things to know.

  • They're only able to participate if a member of the private channel sends them a link to join the meeting, or calls them during the meeting to meet now.

  • During the meeting or call, they'll have temporary access to chat, files, whiteboard, notes, and the participants list (those not in the Outlook invite), but not after.

Create a channel

When you need to create one, see Create channels in Teams.

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