Create private channel in a team

Catalin Prata



I created a team in MSTeams and I want to create a few channels there but some of them with restricted access for some of the team members. Do we have this feature in MSTeams? If yes, how can I do that? If no, do you plan to add this? 


Thanks a lot!

106 Replies
AFAIK, the concept of private channel does not exist
Hi Catalin, this concept is something that we are working on in Microsoft Teams. Thanks for the feedback
Mmm...thanks for the info...Do you have any ETA for testing this feature?
@Elaine Ansell When is this feature planned to roll out for testing? Also, is there a set time for updates? Every week, every other week etc.

Bryan, we don't have timing for this feature.  We are rolling out updates regularly, weekly, bi-weekly as updates and bug fixes are made.  You can see the updates via the Release Notes tab in the Tbot-- accessible via Settings>Help

@Elaine Ansell It is dissapointing you have still not added this important feature and have now launched the product. Please advise on timeline?

Are there any plans at least to introduce this feature?

Go vote everyone. The more votes it gets, the higher this goes on the backlog:

Hi Robert, we agree that it's an important feature and are working on delivering this. As you may have seen in our GA announcement yesterday, we've delivered over 100 features since our Preview began and are continuing to deliver new features. We don't have a timeline to share, unfortunately.

Thanks for the Update @Elaine Ansell. I will advise my Change Control Board there is not any timeline to be shared and we will put teams on backburner until next update to see if it is added. 

Hello @Elaine Ansell - Suphatra Rufo over at uservoice posted a couple of days that you will not implement this feature - at least thats my interpretation of her proposed workaround, not adressing the initial issue.


Is this correct? As you stated some months ago that you where working on the Feature - some clarification would be appreciated as we where kind of relying on this Feature being added when planning out our Groups & Teams Structure.

@Johannes Lauter wrote:

Hello @Elaine Ansell - Suphatra Rufo over at uservoice posted a couple of days that you will not implement this feature - at least thats my interpretation of her proposed workaround, not adressing the initial issue.


Is this correct? As you stated some months ago that you where working on the Feature - some clarification would be appreciated as we where kind of relying on this Feature being added when planning out our Groups & Teams Structure.

We have the same need in that we have been waiting on the availability of Private Channels to fully roll-out MS Teams in our organisation. Although a clear communication regarding the status of the feature would be good, the ETA of the feature woulld be much better received and appreciated.

Hi everyone, it looks like there was some confusion around this. Let me see if I can help clear up.


We originally reviewed and planned to do this feature -- Private Channels -- but in the workflow, it became Private/Public Teams. So, we have pulled Private Channels back and are encouraging people to try the Private/Public Teams feature instead. We'd like to see how people engage with the product in this way, and collect the feedback as it happens.


As you guys know, we highly value user feedback and integrate much of it into the product. This is another area that is no different. If you want to see private channels, and have ideas/visions for it, please continue to post in UserVoice. I regularly triage this area and bring it to engineering, and they do a great job listening. You can add your voice to the thread here:


Also, please try out the Public/Private teams feature and provide us feedback on how this is working for you (or not). This will really help us. New ideas for the feature should be created into new UserVoice items that can be upvoted by others.


Thank you -- and hope everyone is having a great Monday!




Interesting to see you have this feature on your plans but you decided not to go ahead: May I ask the reason? I can understand why this scenario of having public and private channels is necessary but I can also understand the effort required to develop it taking into account Teams building blocks

The fact of the matter is my Slack users wont even consider teams without a private channels feature. Also, it was the number one item asked about by end users when demoing teams. My change control board wont approve use of the product without it. They don't want to have to have 2 teams for each dept., Management vs. end users. We have over 40 departments, having 2 teams for each department becomes cumbersome and hard to manage. They will continue to ignore the product and just use our old Sharepoint sites. does not seem to be the case for this feature ^-^ 2000 votes and still not being considered

Hello Suphatra,


Thanks for your response. It is valuable in the sense that it gives me the opportunity to clarify my position regarding this particular feature of Microsoft Teams. I must say that I was very excited to learn that MS was launching and did eventually launch a service with such potential. The defined utility for our organisation was unquestionable with its integration, security and collaborative mechanisms ... to name a few. However, although I understand that the service is being developed, I am confounded by the response of MS regarding this feature. I assure you that we are not confused regarding our need for Private Channels and we are currently using the service. It is from this experience together with our experience with Slack that we have placed a high priority on the aforementioned feature. Indeed, the lack of it breaks the workflow within our teams and makes the process of our engagements laborious.


I hope that Microsoft reconsiders their position and, yes, after careful consideration, we believe that this is a mandatory feature. Hope that cleared the air a bit.





Hi again everyone, THANK YOU for the responses and extra context. Remember to post everything to UserVoice because I don't collate the feedback on Microsoft Tech Community, ONLY on UserVoice.

I also want to note that I have heard this feedback (the need from private channels) every time I onboard a Microsoft internal team to Teams, so I really get it and agree with you guys! The more info and votes you give me, the more I can bring to the table with engineering.

As always, thanks for your help in making this product better and better.


I'll have to agree with everyone starting to pile on to this, we want private channels not just private teams. :)


Private channels help keep things organized without creating a lot of sprawl and duplication of work and content. Right now as others have said I'd have to have a Team for my whole team, and then a completely separate Team for the leadership members of that same team.


In doing so, I've ended up with two different file storage systems, two different Planner boards, two different team sites and calendars, etc etc etc. Some of these you can "hack" around potentially to do some permissions granting, but others simply won't cross over at all. Take Planner for example, say the Change team members of my larger team are using Planner to track their tasks. The completely separate leadership Team has no way to add that Planner board to their tabs since it cannot cross the boundary between two separate Teams. If these were separate channels however, the leadership team could simply pin the Change team's planner board and keep tabs on things without having to bounce around all over the place or potentially recreate that Planner board in a 2nd location and manually keep it in sync.


This concept of unique permissions is fairly pervasive in Office 365, and VERY well understood by this community. Maybe more of an engineering challenge since you're pushing the permissions trimming down to the Channel level where it sits at the Team level for now, but there is certainly value in doing so.


Happy to go through a requirements session on this with the team @Suphatra Rufo to help them generate some user stories. Let me know :)

I'd like to echo David's comments.  Same issue for my needs at my organization.  Having to create a seperate MS Team for just my leadership team duplicates my documentation, which is a barrier to working effectively.  

I didn't know Private Channels was "a thing." I've had little exposure to Slack, so I didn't know this is a feature.


I'm just wondering how the "Files" folder for this private channel will lock out non-private members if everyone who is a member of the Team/O365Group all have access to the Document Library from SharePoint itself.


If Teams app created new Doc Libraries within the Site for each channel, I can see how they can have unique permissions.

I actually don't like the fact that Teams creates separate folders for each channel in the SharePoint Doc Library. It defeats the purpose of using metadata columns, and weaning people off of using subfolders to organize files. If documents are going to the site's main Doc Library, then the Teams app should create a channel column, and populate it with tags for each channel created.

But since we have channel doc folders, it'd be nice if site/library columns would be visible in Teams app so they get the full power of using metadata for organization/sorting.

I would agree in that this would greatly help minimize the amount Teams. A big user complaint is being part of too many Teams and not knowing where to work on what. This negates one of the HUGE benefits of using Teams: having that one stop shop for everything and not having to click around to all different apps and sites to do work. I have been giving governance advice that if content's permissions need to be trimmed then it has to be a new Team not a Channel, but I have been really trying to have users avoid creating new Teams unless there is an absolute business need.

well, that wouldn't work for Microsoft Teams education. I can't add all of my students to separate private groups... Please, consider adding the feature!

Any advance on this? Cant wait to see provate channel up and running!

Is there any update to this? 

I get a little puzzled when people ask for a private channel within the Team. What is the point? A 'Team' is already either a public or private space. If there is going to be a separate channel with a separate set of collaboration resources, then... just create another private Team. And if it is just for people to have a back-channel... then jump over to Chat and have a separate, private, group discussion. I think the product can already satisfy the objective - it's just how the user goes about managing the product to achieve the requirement.
Still no news in regards of private channels for Microsoft Teams
What you are advising would imply to have more than 1 Group for the same purpose what in terms of governance can be a complete mess....think also about scenarios where you have external users in your Team and it's required to have specific channels where external users cannot see what's happening because those channels are aimed to organizational users discussing about some stuff that should not be seen by external users

This is insane.  What a basic function.   I pushed for teams over slack.  Looking like I will regret this choice.

It's something that's coming, see UserVoice ->

In the meantime, Slack users generally find that if they create a conversation in Chat with multiple parties, give it a name etc. then it pretty much replicates what they are used to, I think the development that's coming will be akin to allowing you to attach this conversation to an existing Team.

If we create a team for a project the team could have members from multiple companies. We may want to have a channel for content that subcontractors should not be able to see, i.e contractual docs and discussions. Currently this content must be kept somewhere else which  is not optimal if you want all of the project content in one place

It's not the same purpose if the privacy is entirely different?

I think you are correct, this depends on how you use and implement teams. Of course I could be completely wrong, so apologies if I am, as I am very new to MS Teams and Office 365. Say for example, a creative agency has multiple teams. Accounting can be a team, Marketing can be a team, and Projects can be a team. Each having there own SharePoint site and file share - because from what I understand these technologies are all interrelated with one another. Now, the Projects team consists of 12 employees each working on different design projects. Or, some working on the same project in a small group, say 3 out of the 12 employees. Wouldn’t it make more organizational sense to create a new channel within the projects team and provide access to the 3 individuals only? In the current setup, you’d have to make every project a team. Does every single project (even smaller jobs) need an entire new team and/or a SharePoint site just because you have different designers working on different projects? Though smaller jobs would still need access to a SharePoint but not a whole new one. Also, it is my understanding that MS limits the number of teams to 250 (I think), I imagine if each project was a team, a medium sized agency would be maxed out quickly. Unless I’ve got this entire MS Teams thing wrong, which I totally could have it all wrong! Having private channels makes sense to me.

That's the best use case example I've seen on this topic thus far...
Andre, each office 365 tenant can have upto 500,000 Teams, the limit of 250 is how many Teams each user can be owner.
Good to know, thank you.

Consider this:  you have a Business Development Team.  Within that team, each opportunity that comes along is put in it's own "channel".  Not all BD team members work on every opportunity, hence the need for permissions at the channel level.


Sure, you could create Private Teams, but then "Teams" takes on another meaning.  In this context, it's really "Sub-Teams", since the Team is always "Business Development".  So.. you could have an "Opportunity 1" private team, and an "Opportunity 2" private team - you get the idea.  Also, while everyone on the "Business Development" Team needs access to all channels, not everyone in a channel needs access to all channels.  For example, a developer who works on 1 opportunity doesn't need access to all opportunities, but a Business Development Team member does.


It's simply a matter of organizational heirarchy and preference.

The other things to think about are persistence and friction.

If a BD opportunity lasts "a long time", you may want a Team. If it's just exploratory, maybe not.

And if you make it too hard for someone to request a new team (as a business process), then that limits your ability to create fluid, flexible modes of communication.

I'm not sure that MS Teams is intended to be used as a replacement for a CRM system.  Even if you could have private channels to support your intended structure, think of how many channels you'd end up having under a single team if every single opportunity was a new channel.  That usage scenario would end up giving providing you more headaches than benefits, I'm betting.

on the flip side, the Dev may not "need" access to every opportunity, but does it hurt anything if they do have access to everything? they may be curious, see something, have a good idea and help get a win. Opening things up can lead to unexpected benefits while keeping things private has its own benefits,  These best approach for these scenarios will never be clear cut and will vary a lot from organization to organization

When external users are available now,,, it is crucial to have private channels within a same project / Team... It is about privacy between internal and external users.
Pls bring to live this feature ASAP.!!!!
We need to revisit what a "team" means, if some people in the team don't have access to the team's (shared) information. That's not a technology issue!

For those interested, I've written a longer piece about why we don't have private channels already here



This possibility is real need.

Currently, I can't push users to move to TEAMS due to this HUGE lack.


When this option is planned to be implemented ?

Elaine, private channels would be a great feature for us too. 


I work in a public enterprise, and we are working on a partnership with a private company. Obviously it would be great to have them involved in conversations on some aspects of the project, but not in others (such as legal discussions around negotiations for an MoU, etc.).

That's not really reasonable in all teams, though - there are discussions (such as around budget, for example) which aren't always shared.
🤦🏻‍♀️ How can it not have a private channel...

It's been a year since this was brought up, how is it not a thing now? So I need to create an entirely new team for private channels?

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