Microsoft Teams: Creating Private Channels
Part of the value of Microsoft Teams is the ability to keep everything related to a project, topic, or department in one place. Suppose you create a team whose members include everyone in the accounting department with channels for each area, such as receivables, payables, and payroll. Everyone in accounting can access the information in these channels, making collaboration much easier. However, certain receivable accounts are highly sensitive, and only a few team members need to be aware of the customer details.
Rather than creating a separate team with customer-specific channels, you can add a private channel to the existing accounting department team. Using a private channel keeps all accounting-related data in one place but limits access to specific team members. If you haven’t created private channels in Microsoft Teams, here are the steps to following.
Creating a Private Channel
Any team member can create a private channel; however, system administrators can change permissions to restrict certain roles. When you create a private channel, only members and owners of the channel can access it. To understand who can view what in a private channel, see Private channels in Teams.
- Find the team you want to add the private channel to.
- Choose More Options.
- Select Add Channel.
- Enter a name for your channel—for example, Special Customer Accounts.
- Add a description for the channel—for example, special instructions for select accounts.
- Under Privacy on the next screen, select the down arrow to the right.
- Select Private. It should indicate that the channel is only accessible to a specific group of people within the team.
- Select Add. This adds a private channel to the team.
After creating the channel, you will want to add members.
Adding Members to a Private Channel
Creating the private channel makes you the owner. As a result, you can add or remove members and edit settings. To add members to a private channel, be sure they are a team member before attempting the following procedure.
- Find the private channel just created.
- Select More Options.
- Choose Add Members. A private channel can have up to 250 members.
- Assign roles to the members. For example, a private channel can have multiple owners.
- Select Done when you’ve finished adding members.
As the owner, you control who can create channels and delete them.
Managing a Private Channel
A private channel will have a lock next to the name. Across from the channel name is the More Options selection. From that menu, you can edit, delete, hide or leave a channel. However, deleting a channel will remove the entire conversation history. Once a channel is designated as private, it cannot be changed to a standard channel. Likewise, a standard channel cannot be made private.
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