Microsoft Teams is a tool that allows lots of people to work together. It provides a single point of contact for everyone in an organization and it has tools that allow users to share and work on files together. The app has seen a surge in users this past year because it is so well equipped for remote, online work.
Microsoft Teams offers an excellent virtual space for working but keeping a virtual space organized so that conversations, files, and teams are all able to work in their own sandboxes is important. To accomplish this, Microsoft Teams has channels.
Microsoft Teams channels
Microsoft Teams channels are somewhat similar to groups. If you were to use an ordinary messaging app to communicate with a group of people, you’d create a group or several groups. The members in the group may overlap but the groups themselves will be segregated based on what they were created for.
With Microsoft Teams, everyone is included in a team but that doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone needs to be part of every single conversation that happens. This is where channels are used. A channel allows a different conversation to happen concurrently with others. The channel’s audience can be controlled and limited so that members who do not need to be a part of it aren’t included.
Create Microsoft Teams Channels
Users can create as many channels as they need in Microsoft Teams. A channel can have its own meeting, its own files tab, and its own members although the members will be a subset of the team.
The General Channel is an automatically created channel. Every Microsoft Teams team has a General channel and all team members are a part of it. This channel is normally reserved for general announcements that may be relevant to everyone.
Custom Microsoft Teams channels
Users, normally team admins, can create as many channels for a team as they want. To create a channel, follow the steps given below. We’ve listed steps for the desktop app but the same steps will work on the web version.
- Open Microsoft Teams.
- Go to the Teams tab.
- Select the team you want to create a channel for.
- Click the more options (three dots) button next to the team name.
- Select Add Channel.
- Give the channel a name and a description.
- Set the channel’s privacy. A public channel will include everyone in the team. A private channel will allow you to limit which team members are included in it.
- If you’ve selected a private channel, click Next and then add team members (you can add and edit them later if you want).
- To add members to a channel, click the more options (three dots) button next to it.
- Select Add members from the context menu.
- Enter the name or email address of the team member you want to add to the channel.
Channels are a great way to keep conversations sorted by topic. The files that you share over a channel are available only to those who are part of it. Each channel has its own file tab that allows you to browse the files that have been shared over it, channels have their own meetings, and you can set up tabs and configure apps for each channel individually. No setting from one channel is forced onto the other.