How can we make Microsoft Teams better?

Support for Private Channels

Looking for the ability to create a channel that only channel members can see. Private channels are available in slack. There is an admin for private channels who is the creator, and they are the ones who add/remove users.

Five types of public/privacy that is being asked for by users:

- Public-Open (visible anywhere including outside the org and anyone can join)
- Public-Invitation (visible anywhere including outside the org, must be invited)
- Company-Open (only visible inside the org and anyone in the org can join; outside the org must be invited)
- Company-Invitation (only visible inside the org, must be invited)
- Secret (invisible to everyone except existing members, must be invited)

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Angela Sze shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

We acknowledge the customer demand for Private Channels and have been hard at work on it. Private Channels is currently in preview with a select group of customers. We expect to release the feature to the public later this Fall, and will update here when we are starting to roll out to all customers. We appreciate all the feedback you have provided to us on this forum and thank you for your patience.

~Alex

1861 comments

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  • Robert Wander commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    It should be easy to hide a channel from 'guests accounts'. Perfect would be if Azure B2B accounts (tenant friendly) could be flagged as internal.

  • Roy F commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Proposed functionality:

    Private Channels are visible to team members, but only accessible to channel members.
    Secret Channels (if provided) are only visible and accessible to channel members.

    Team owners are also owners of all Private and Secret channels.
    Create content elsewhere if you want it hidden from one or more team owners.

    Owners of a channel may add/remove members and set channel ownership.
    Team owners cannot be removed from a channel or changed to just member.
    You can be a team member (not team owner) and a channel owner.

    Channel membership changes (add/delete/owner) are logged to the channel.

  • Mike commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Hi, I'd like to be able to restrict channels both a la carte and for access groups. Some channels hidden from guests would be a great start. Possibly Team public channels which anyone can access and private, invite-only channels, or just a separate ACL for each channel similar to sharepoint would be welcome.

  • Louis Esmeijer commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Welcome back, Suphatra!
    Help us out on this item before it's 2 years since this arrived on the list - Angela Sze placed this idea on 1st of November 2016.
    It's such an important feature!

  • Justin V. Conroy commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I would expect that with the Teams integration with SharePoint that would extend to Private Channels (i.e. private documents could be shared within the channel and not be seen by team members which are not part of the private channel).

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    It would be nice if when adding people to different channels, a picklist of existing members of the team/other channels came up and allowed you to select those people instead of having to search from them. There might be an incident where you want people to have access to a general channel and a specific private channel. Also the ability to remove users from all channels at once would be nice.

  • Pierre Trudel commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Glad to see you back Suphatra! We missed you.

    Would like to have a hint on how it will be implemented. Do the participant in a private channel need to be already part of the teams ? Will we be able to choose if the existence of a private channel is visible to non member of the private channel.

    Really hope you will get that clearance soon!

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Classroom teachers need to be able to create channels for students to work together on projects but not be interfered with by other students. They also need it to be able to differentiate instruction that is focused on specific students. Making it private is particularly important if the students have disabilities and their work needs to be distinct from other class members. Finally, some teachers would like to have multiple sections of the same course in one team but then have a channel for individual sections. This would avoid the need to create multiple assignments or add the same content multiple times for each section.
    Making some channels private to individual members of the team is a huge need in education. Thank you for working on this.

  • Robert commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    So an updated Summary:

    Feb 2017: Private Channels is on it’s way
    Mar 2017: Private Teams launched
    Apr 2017: OK, you still need Private Channels
    Jun 2017: Under review
    Sep 2017: It’s complicated
    Oct 2017: Lots of resources on this. Actively working on it. Top priority feature. Complicated, so probably not in the next month.
    Nov 2017: We are aiming for early next year (2018)
    Jan 2018: Actively being worked upon. Aiming for early this calendar year (2018)
    Feb 2018: Still aiming for early this calendar year (2018)
    Mar 2018: Still in the works
    Jun 2018: Still in the works. Working hard
    Aug 2018: Still actively being worked upon
    Sep 2018: Private channels is still actively in development, hoping for clearance to share details.

    So here is my Question:

    Why do you need clearance to share status of a feature that has been promised for more than 1.5 years?

    Are you going to do something big like merging Groups and Teams, thus really not delivering the promised feature without making us all migrate away from Teams (or to a new product that will be called Teams?

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Welcome back! I'm seeing the biggest reason companies aren't moving to Microsoft Teams is that lack of private channels within a Team. In order to secure resources and communications within even a department you have to create a different team. These additional teams make is difficult to manage for both the Admins and end users who are trying to remember which team they need to go to to perform tasks they have permissions in. Private channels within a team allow one team, for each department or project, and then resources and communications related to that department or project to be secured within a channel. This is a must have before at least four companies will migrate to Microsoft Teams. Please expedite this feature release so I can move more customers to Microsoft Teams.

    Thanks,

    Brian

  • Nate Gonser commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Will existing channels in a team be able to be converted to a private channel and team members added/removed from the now private channel?

  • Jerry Foster commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Welcome back Suphatra! Some questions about private channel features:

    Are there suggested best practices on how private channels should be used or when to use (and drawbacks if any)?

    Will private channels be visible to people who do not have access?

    How is access requested (through teams or outside/word of mouth)?

    What are the options to manage access (explicit, group)?

    What visual cues will exist to help participants remember they are private channel, especially when copying files between channels in the Teams interface?

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Suphatra, having the ability to privatize Team Channels will be a game changer in our ability to get our company departments to fully buy in to using the Teams as their primary collaboration tool. Without it adds so many extra groups and access control maintenance steps which we are being restrictive in trying to promote the tool to anyone else but our IT department. Can't wait for this feature to be realized and rolled out. Thank you,

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I think it does not make sense that teams allow users to be added to certain groups if they do not allow private channels for them, it is necessary that certain channels in the groups be private for one of the members of the group, if this is not the case I should create a Taems group for each task? Has no sense.

  • Nick Hurst commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    How will private channel permissions be handled? Will this be a new o365 group that gets created for the private channel?

    Where will files be stored for the new private channel? I'm hoping it won't be a totally separate SharePoint site, as that is going to get out of hand if a new site has to be created for each private channel.

    What limitations will the private channels have? For example can you still add a Planner to the private channel with the same permissions as the private channel?

  • Scott Whyte commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I need fine-grained control over access to channels: access to entire Teams is too broad, and multi-user chats are too ephemeral. Using teams as the control point is impractical; I have too many sets of users who need to communicate without having full access to all conversations that without private channels it translates into dozens of teams. No one will be able to figure out where to go. Ideally I have the minimum number of teams necessary, with each team having a potentially large number of channels, and I just point people at the team. The channels (and access) are self-evident.

    Even in a private team there are conversations that must be by invite only, and the invitees need to be both full team members and guests.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I'm very excited for this feature!! A question I have:
    I have the ability to navigate out to my SharePoint for all of my Teams and see a folder for every Channel, containing any documents or other content in that Channel. Would these be 'invisible' to non-Channel members who are accessing via SharePoint?

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