Teams can have standard or private channels

Applies to: Microsoft Teams.


Standard channels are accessible to every team member in Teams. Many channels are standard channels. If you require a smaller, granular audience for a specific subject, you can deploy a private channel.

Let’s review each type in detail:

Standard channels

  • They’re available for all members and anything posted is discoverable by others.
  • Automatically, each team members can design standard channels. Tenant owners can adjust this permission and limit channel creation and permissions to particular roles.

Private channels

  • They’re strictly for discussions that are confined to only some members, so you have to be invited to join one to see it within a team.
  • Pre-emptively, any team owner or team member can make a private channel and append members. Guests are unable to design them. Your admin can edit this permission and limit private channel creation to specific roles.
  • Wikis, apps and bots, and scheduled channel meetings are unsupported, but we’re currently developing this!

Files that you distribute in a channel (on the Files tab) are retained 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 interact in a team’s private channel meeting or Meet now call, but there are some important conditions.

  • They’re only able to participate if a private channel member distributes them a link to take part in the meeting, or calls them amid the meeting to meet immediately.
  • During the meeting or call, they’ll gain temporary access to chat, files, whiteboard, notes, and the list of participants (those not in the Outlook invite), but not following this.

Create a channel

Once you need to design one, see Create channels in Teams.

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