File sharing over a chat application tends to clutter things. Files are being shared together with messages so you end up having a very long disorganized conversation thread.
Going back to find a file is tedious and often, they will get lost in a conversation. To make it easier to find shared files, Microsoft Teams adds a dedicated Files tab to every single channel that’s created under each team. This tab will list all the files that have been shared over it, making it easier to find, view, and edit them.
Microsoft Teams files are not visible
Microsoft Teams has a dedicated Files tab for each channel, and it has a main Files tab that you can access from the column on the left. The main Files tab will show you every single file, from all teams, and all channels. It is an easy way to look for files.
If one of these tabs, either the main Files tab or the Files tab in a channel are empty even though files have been sent over Microsoft Teams, try the fixes below to get the tab to populate.
1. Check Sharepoint folder
When you share a file over Microsoft Teams, it is uploaded to a folder on your Sharepoint website. If a file is moved to a different folder, it will no longer appear in the Files tab of the thread it was originally shared over. All you have to do is move the file back.
- Visit the Sharepoint website for Microsoft Teams.
- Go to the Documents tab, and select the channel the file was shared over.
- If the file isn’t there, check other channel folders.
- Once you find the file, select it, and click the more options button.
- Select ‘Move to’ from the context menu.
- Select the channel you want to move the file to.
Note: Files should NOT be saved to the root of Documents. They will not appear in Microsoft Teams.
2. Check Sharepoint folder name
When you create a new channel for a team, a folder of the same name is created in Sharepoint. If you later edit the name of the channel, or of the Sharepoint folder, the files shared over it will disappear. To fix it, make sure the name of the folder in Sharepoint matches the name of the channel in Microsoft Teams.
- Open Microsoft Teams.
- Note down the name of the channel with the empty Files tab.
- Access your Sharepoint website in your browser.
- Select the team the channel has been created under.
- Go to its Documents.
- Look for the folder that has the file in it.
- Match the name of the folder with the team name. If the names aren’t the same, rename the folder.
3. Shared item limit
Although Microsoft Teams gives users quite a bit of storage space, there seems to be a limit of 5000 items. If you’ve shared more than 5000 items (files or folders), the additional items will not appear. Consider trimming your library down. You can read more details here about Sharepoint limits, and understand how they apply to your license type.
4. Microsoft Teams Education – Android app
There is one exception to files not showing in the Files tab. If you’re using a Microsoft Teams education license, and you’ve shared assignments to a classroom, the Android app may not show the Class Materials folder. If that’s the case, update to the latest version of Microsoft Teams on the Android device. This is a new feature that was rolled out first for iOS and later for Android.
Microsoft Teams file sharing – Conclusion
Files not appearing in the Files tab more often than not has to do with your Sharepoint website’s directory structure. As a rule of thumb, you should not rename channels or Sharepoint folders for a channel once it is actively being used. The connection between the two is static and can cause all sorts of problems when it comes to viewing and editing files.