Overview of standard channels in Microsoft Teams

A Teams channel is a dedicated space within a team where members can engage in conversations, share files and collaborate on projects.

There are three types of channels in Teams that serve different purposes: standard, private and shared.

In this article, we focus on standard channels, compare them to private and shared channels, and explore use case scenarios for using standard channels.

What is a standard channel?

In Teams, a standard channel is visible and accessible to all team members. Standard channels provide spaces for team members to collaborate and communicate within your organization. Like private and shared channels, you can designate a standard channel to a specific subject, project or department. Conversations and shared files in a standard channel are also searchable within the channel and across the team.

What is a General channel?

Every team in Teams has a "General" channel. General channels are standard channels that permanently appear at the top of the channel list of a team. The General channel can be used as a space for announcements or conversation that doesn't fall into your other subject-specific channels.

How are SharePoint sites and Teams standard channels linked?

SharePoint sites let you create web pages and store files. When a SharePoint site is also used by Teams, it becomes a Teams-connected site.

All standard channels share the same SharePoint site. Each standard channel appears as a list of files that are in the channel. Viewing the Files tab of a team is the same as looking at a folder of the channel in the SharePoint site's document library.

Features of standard, private and shared channels

Channel type Who can view Use cases
Standard All members and invited guests of a team Group discussions, project updates, file sharing
Private Only team members and guests specifically added to the channel Sensitive information, restricted discussions
Shared Channel members, B2B direct connect users Cross-organizational projects, internal collaboration

Standard channel owner and member actions

The following table outlines what actions owners, members, and guests can do in standard channels.

Standard channel tasks Team owner Team member Guest
Create/Delete channel Yes Yes, if enabled by team owner Yes, if enabled by admin in Entra ID
Restore deleted channel Yes Yes, if enabled by team owner Yes, if enabled by admin in Entra ID
Add member to channel Yes Yes Yes, if enabled by admin in Entra ID
Edit channel name/description Yes Yes, if enabled by team owner Yes, if enabled by admin in Entra ID
Manage tabs and apps Yes Yes, if enabled by team owner Yes, if enabled by admin in Entra ID

Use case scenarios for standard channels

Standard channels are versatile and can be used in various scenarios to streamline team communication and collaboration. Here are some common use cases:

  • Project collaboration: Create a standard channel for each project to facilitate communication, file sharing, and collaboration among team members. Standard channels can be used as a shared workspace for teammates to work on projects together, share files, track progress and communicate in real-time.
  • Announcements and updates: Utilize the "General" channel or create a dedicated standard channel for announcements, updates and news to keep everyone informed.
  • Knowledge sharing: Establish a channel to share best practices, training materials and resources. A standard channel can also be a centralized knowledge base for procedural documentation and company policies such as role-specific procedures and best practices.
  • Social and networking: Encourage team bonding and camaraderie by creating standard channels to encourage nonbusiness related conversation subjects like hobbies, interests, or morale events.

Overview of teams and channels in Microsoft Teams

Private channels in Microsoft Teams

Shared channels in Microsoft Teams