Learn about teams and channels

Applies to: Microsoft Teams.


A team is a set of people united to fulfil a major achievement done in your organisation. Often, it’s your whole organisation.

Teams are composed of channels, that is, the actual conversations you have with your teammates. Every channel is tailored to a distinct topic, department, or project.

Image of a list of channels in a team

For example, the Northwind Traders team has General, Marketing, Overview, and 35 more channels. All the conversations, meetings, files, and apps in the Marketing channel have to do with marketing, and everything in this channel is visible to everyone on the Northwind Traders team.

Channels are the place in which work truly gets completed—where text, audio, and video conversations open to the whole team happen, where files are shared, and where apps are added.

During channel conversations being public, chats are only between you and someone else (or a group of people). Consider them like instant messages in Skype for Business or other messaging apps.

FYI—If you’re working in Teams offline, or on a low-bandwidth network, you can toggle between chats and channels and still work. You’ll notice everything from the previous time we were able to sync to your network, and we’ll release messages in with bandwidth permitting. 

Note: If you’re a global administrator, consider creating an org-wide team that automatically adds everyone in your organisation.

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