Can't create channel as it says channel already exists

Brendan Byrne
Occasional Contributor

When trying to create a channel I get "Another Channel already has that name. Try a different one" but a channel of that name doesn't exist (See below)




What may have caused this is - I created a channel a few days ago but I spelt it wrong. I then renamed the channel to the correct spelling but it didn't change the link to the folder in the document library, so I deleted the channel. Now when I try create the new channel with the correct spelling it won't let me.

22 Replies

Could it be that you have a group with the same name?

I'm having the same issue. I have deleted a channel and am trying to add it back with the same name.


I don't get prompted when typing the channel name, but after clicking "Add" I get a "Another channel already has that name. Try a different one."


This is a huge oversight, any workaround?


From my understanding this is working as intended for now because of the way the security and compliance features work. Once a Team or Channel is created, that name is forever taken right now for tracking and audit purposes. Different Teams can have the same Channel name, but no two Teams can have the same name and no two Channels can have the same name within a team, even after deletion.

I had this problem but I caused it myself. I created a channel then deleted it. When I tried to add it again, it said the channel already existed.

I can understand "for now," but this is a serious oversight in regards to corporate environments where naming conventions are so important.


a bug, not a feature.



Strict policy on the Team name (which is also the Office 365 Group name) I understand. But Channel? Every team is going to be somewhat unique. Even if you start them with a template, they are going to diverge onto their own path relatively quickly. If you keep things so locked down that they can't make their Teams experience at least somewhat their own, I would be concerned you'll begin to see low adoption and retention.


I'm sitting on a little over 30k users and we're probably a little more free than I'd like, but we'll be instituting some sort of automated inactivity governance solution that offers easy ways to harvest and archive data and then either locks the team into read-only or straight up deletes it, potentially depending on its data classification level via something like Azure Information Protection. Everyone always says they need all those ancient SharePoint sites we all still have laying around and have been migrating from version to version over the years, but if you go look at the usage stats the only people that go in there is the search crawl/index.


Hint hint Microsoft, don't make me custom develop this solution please! :)

Please fix this.


So.... if someone randomly creates a 'Microsoft' channel by misstake then deleted it..... this means that nobody can use the term 'Microsoft' ever again ??? This is absurd.

agreed – huge bug imo.

Totally agree. Please fix this issue ASAP! 

Agree. Please fix urgently. Creating massive usability issues!

I ran into this today. Is this going to be fixed? There is no way I'm rolling out Teams to any user without this being fixed.

Does the folder in the Document library still exist? Are there any assets left related to that channel? 


I've had a similar issue where I initially created a Channel using its acronym and renamed it to its full title. Just tried creating another Channel using the acronym again and Teams successfully added one. 



Just to clarify with team naming it seems something may have been updated because I am able to create 2 teams with the same name, and I confirmed that someone else can create a team with the same name.

Uhhhhh... that is not a good idea, at all :) Hold please, this one merits a chat...

Reproduced this myself, and logged the concern with Microsoft.


The Teams seem to be different on the backend, but having 2+ Teams with the exact same display name is going to be wildly confusing to users IMO. Imagine 2+ Public Teams with the same exact name. Which do you choose to join? If you choose both, how do you remember which is which?

This issue seems to be on-going. Does anyone know whether there are plans to issue a fix? I notice it is documented as a known bug with no work-around. It is going to have significant implications for user adoption which is why I don't think we can proceed with Teams until it's sorted.

Which specific problem, there's quite a lot discussed here in an old thread, much of it no longer relevant.


If you trying to recreate a channel that was previously deleted, you can now see the old channel under Manage Team ... Channels and restore it. You still can't use the same name, as that would break the restoration option.

Thanks for the reply Steven. I will provide some further details...


We have just begun testing Teams and created some channels. A decision was taken to rename a channel. All seemed to be working at this point until we clicked on the Files tab and realised the underlying SharePoint directory holds onto the original name.


Anyway, fair enough, perhaps there is a good reason for this (struggling to think of one at this point), so we renamed the SharePoint directory to match the new Channel name. This appeared to work until we clicked on the Files tab again - it regenerates the original SharePoint Directory! Back to square one.


Ok, so next step. We deleted the channel, removed all trace of it from SharePoint, emptied the Recycle bin. We then attempted to re-create the channel with the same name only to be warned another channel already has that name...


Am I missing something here? Do I have to warn users when they are creating channels they are set in stone and can never be changed if they want to preserve naming integrity between Teams and SharePoint? Does anyone know why there isn't a unique ID assigned to each Channel to avoid this issue?

Well, there are various limitations, we've not had this cause us an issue at my org but it would seem you've pretty much found all of them :)


Firstly it's a known issue that you can't reuse a previous name, it's listed in the known issues at https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoftteams/known-issues. You can however restore a deleted channel from the Manage Teams ... Channels page of the team.


I don't think you should mess with the folders in SharePoint either, you can see it doesn't like it.

Thanks for the link. I am wondering whether, as it's a known issue, this means there will be a fix at some point?


Also, while it may be best to just leave the SharePoint setup for Teams ticking along in the background, the fact the SharePoint directory name is surfaced through the Files tab of a channel in Teams leads to a very counter-intuitive user experience if the channel is renamed.


Come on Microsoft, let's get this sorted...

Manage Team > Channels > Deleted 


There is an option in here to restore a deleted Team 



@Luke Wilcockafter faffing about for ages I have realised you can do this!


Say you have newchannel and it is linked to thisisnotthesharepointfolderIwantgrr

In your case go to Manage Team and make sure you undelete newchannel.

Then rename the newchannel to oldchannel.

Now go recreate newchannel. Click on Files. Voila it creates SharePoint folder newchannel and links it as required.

You can now delete oldchannel safely.