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Microsoft Teams: Working in "Teams": Collaborate on Files

Microsoft Teams

Share and Collaborate on Files

Work on files together

Working in Microsoft Teams lets you work on files together at the same time. Also, messages about the document stay with it and will show up in your team conversations.

1. Your files library

Each channel has its own file folder where you can share files for that specific channel. To access that folder, go to the channel and select the Files tab above the conversation window.  You can upload existing files or create new ones. When you upload a file, it creates a copy in Teams.

files tab

Note: Make sure to use the Files tab at the top of the channel conversation window instead of the “Files” button on the left side of the app. That button gives you access to ALL of your cloud files, rather than just the files for a specific channel.

2. Upload existing files

There are two primary ways to upload existing files into your channel. Any files you upload will be accessible by any member of your Team. And just like in SharePoint, you can pin specific files to the top of your list for easy access.

  1. Drag and drop - Using your mouse, drag the file from where it's currently located and drop it on the Teams window among the files. 
  2. Upload - Select Upload, then select the file (or files) you'd like to upload and select Open.

files and upload tabs


3. Create a file

To create a Word, PowerPoint, or Excel document in Teams, select New, then select the kind of file you'd like to create. The new file will open in Teams so you can begin editing it, and if you'd prefer to work in the desktop version of the app, select More options to the left of the Close button on the ribbon.

As soon as it's created, your new file will be available for your team members to edit as well.

choose the application you want to use to create a file


4. Collaborate on the files

Files stored in your Team's file library are accessible to every member of the Team. No need to check files out or worry about if one of your colleagues has the document open. Just open the file you need to edit, and if other team members are editing it too, your changes will merge in real-time as you work.

Edit the file. Colored flags show who else is working on it with you.


5. Share with people outside your Team

If the file is a Word, Excel, PowerPoint, the easiest way to share is to open the file with the appropriate Office for the web or desktop app and select Share towards the top right corner of the window. That will open the Share dialog box where you can enter the aliases or email addresses of people you want to share with.

share button in Excel

If you want to share with people outside your organization, you may have to click the permissions drop-down (right above where you add the people you want to share with) and select that Specific People can access the file.

link settings


6. Upload and share files in Channels

Option 1:

Anywhere in Teams, look for the paperclip icon to Attach a file.

attach file button

Option 2:

  1. Go to the Files tab.
  2. Select Upload.

file and upload tabs

  1. Select single or multiple files from the device computer or OneDrive for Business account.
  2. Select Open.

list of files to attach


7. Find and filter files in Channels


Filter files to find documents that have been created or edited in your channels, or downloaded to your computer.

Select Files and choose a filter:

  1. Recent: Recent files you've viewed or edited.

recent files list

  1. Microsoft Teams: Files created or edited across your channels.

Microsoft Teams Files

  1. Downloads: Files you've downloaded from Teams. Select Open Downloads Folder to find them.

downloads list

  1. OneDrive is connected by default.

OneDrive Files List

8. Understanding Files and Locations

OneDrive for Business: Your personal files

Teams:  Files that are shared and collaborated on by multiple people

SharePoint:  Shared documents with entire departments or organization-wide

productivity features of office 365