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How to create Microsoft Teams private channels

Microsoft Teams organizes conversations into Channels. Channels can be created for any type of conversation. There are no rules around what it can and cannot be created for but there is a limit of 200 channels per team. The General channel is a default channel that’s created for all teams and this channel automatically includes every member of a team.

A Microsoft Teams channel doesn’t always have to include every member of a team. Its audience can be limited however, to do that, the channel must be private.

Microsoft Teams private channel

A Microsoft Teams channel can be a standard channel that makes it visible to all members of a team or it can be a private channel that allows the audience of the channel to be limited. It still counts as a channel and will take away from the total 200 channels that are allowed.

Create Microsoft Teams private channel

To create a private channel in Microsoft Teams, you must have admin rights or you must be assigned a role that allows you to create channels.

  1. Open Microsoft Teams.
  2. Go to Teams from the column on the left.
  3. Click the more options button next to a team and select Add Channel.
  4. Open the Privacy dropdown and select ‘Private’.
  5. Click Next.

Microsoft Teams private channel

  1. Add people that you want to include in the channel.
  2. When you add a member, you can choose a role for the team member within the channel i.e., member or owner.
  3. Click Close.

Adding more members

Any time you want to add more members to a channel, you can.

  1. Open Microsoft Teams.
  2. Select Teams from the column on the left.
  3. Click the more options button next to the private channel.
  4. Select Add members.
  5. Add the members, select their role, and click Close.

Roles in Microsoft Teams channels

Members in a Microsoft Teams channel have roles. These roles are basic but they decide who can add more members to the channel.

Owner: the person who creates the channel is automatically made the owner of the channel. Other members that are added can be assigned this role. An owner can add more members.

Member: members in a channel will get all updates in the channel but they cannot change anything about it e.g., add more members or add tabs.

A role can be changed at any time by going to the Manage Channel option.


Private channels are a lot like a virtual private office. You can have meetings, share files, and add other app tabs. A private channel has a padlock icon next to its name to indicate that it’s private.

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