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Tom Arbuthnot
MVP
 
One to watch out for as an admin. Previously “Private” Microsoft Teams did not appear in the Add Team / Suggested Teams / Search here:

image

 

image

Starting March 23, 2018, private teams will be searchable in Microsoft Teams. I think this makes sense, as it makes them more discoverable and Teams sprawl is 100% real. If a user requests to join a private team, the team owner will receive a notification and can approve or deny the request directly in Teams.

However, it might be worth checking that there are no private teams in your tenant with names or descriptions that people do not want to be public. If there is a Team called “Secret Management Buyout of Contso”, now might be a good time to rename that Team Smile

 

If you wish to hide a private team or group, Office 365 admins can use the Set-UnifiedGroup PowerShell cmdlet to hide specific groups or teams (in Outlook, Outlook Web App, and Microsoft Teams). Specifically, use the HiddenFromAddressListsEnabled parameter, which you can apply to individual groups.

 

Interested in your thoughts on this change

39 Replies
Mmm...I have definitively to test this :) and I think this is a must have feature that finally is coming to Teams
I like it. However, I think it should be a different setting to disable the Team from showing up because I don't want Office 365 group e-mails being used for Teams. So if I hide that e-mail they won't be able to search for Teams, so that alone I think needs reconsidered.

Thanks for sharing this. I dont see a problem with this as long as there is a way to keep private teams private.

 

BTW - are these advisories only available to certain groups or MVP's? I did not see this on the roadmap or release notes.

 

Thanks!

It's on our Office 365 admin message center, it's for everyone.
@Deleted wrote:
It's on our Office 365 admin message center, it's for everyone.

 

ahh looked everywhere but there, thank you! 


 

I know this stretches just outside of Teams so please point me to the right place if it cannot be answered.

Private Teams are becoming discoverable in the Teams UI, however I assume that this means that Teams group sites will not be discoverable in SharePoint Online as they will still be security trimmed based on SharePoint permissions?

 

I will test this when it comes out next week but if there is any prior knowledge then this would be good to know. Thanks in advance.

Pretty sure they pulled this change and it’s not happening. Even if it does it will not affect Sharepoint sites they us their own security not group security so you won’t see then listed.
Just as I thought so thanks for the response.
Solution

Yep.. We pulled the change for the time-being.

HiddenFromAddress.png

Is it possible to disable private group chats all together for an organization?

@Simeon Grigorovich Yes, you can set a messaging policy to disable -AllowUserChat either by powershell ...

 

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/powershell/module/skype/set-csteamsmessagingpolicy?view=skype-ps

 

… or through the new Teams Admin Portal at https://admin.teams.microsoft.com

@Steven Collier thanks for inadvertently helping me. Interestingly the Teams Admin Portal is now available to me via the URL but not yet via the Admin Center. Good to have access to this at last! 🙌🏻
yeah, I noticved my admin center earlier this week was working via URL as well, but not yet showing on Teams saettings page.

Ironic that they are afraid of finding really private Teams with this new feature: they are still always visible in the "Discover" option of Office Groups on Outlook Online!

I agree that Teams need to be discoverable in Teams, but hidden as O365 Groups. These are two different modes of visibility.

We are still not able to search for private MS teams, Believe it has been rolled out to all tenants?

And there is nothing we need to setup/configure so as to get private ms teams to be searchable?

We are still not able to search for private MS teams, Believe it has been rolled out to all tenants?

And there is nothing we need to setup/configure so as to get private ms teams to be searchable?

Highlighted

Hi Devendra - If you scroll up to Sam Cosby's post, you'll see the info about the change having been pulled. Private teams are not searchable in Teams.

I think it's terrible. A Team is 'private' for a reason. 

I don't, however, the way they were going to do it was a bad idea :P. This at a minimum should be private by default, with the ability to turn a flag on IN THE UI, to display the team to request to join via Search/Add Team screen.

The problem with not being able to see private teams is that you will get many duplicated and orphaned teams, as it is not possible to know what teams are already created. You then for example may get 10 HR teams.  Additionally, Let's say I am a "team owner" and there are other members of the organisations that want to be part of my team, or has an interest that I have not been able to identify. Having the team as discoverable would enable them to know that this team exists and request to join, thereby increasing collaboration which I believe is the purpose of the tool. 

Not sure of the purpose really "secret" teams (it is only a team name after all), but it could be an idea to have a third state as "Hidden", or similar.

Yeah, easy solution is put a setting in the Team settings to make it "Discover-able". Also the Team search needs to be wildcard, the exact match stuff is worthless.

Hello @Tom Arbuthnot,

 

Any update on this? I checked on the M365 roadmap website but there's no mention of any ability to expose Private teams in some way as far as I know.

 

Is there something planned to address this need?

 

I'm currently in the process of designing a Logic App that will query the Graph API in order to feed a SharePoint list and emulate a Teams Dictionary of some sort but I would like to know whether it is worth going that far if there's something released in the next couple of weeks.

 

So, any update? :)

 

Thanks in advance,

This feature was redrawn! To many complaints about security

Is there any way for a person to request access to a private team since they can't find it via searching?  The only way is for them to find someone who's on the team, which they can't tell, and have them added?  That's the main reason I want to be able to search for private teams is so people can request access to join them.

 

All it needs to do is show the name and show private like it does for Public teams.

Thanks. But it should be on the Roadmap type information sharing site as not everyone is O365 Admins as in most companies there are dedicated resources who only look after the operational aspect of O365 and not necessarily worry about all these details. Thx

@Deleted wrote:
I don't, however, the way they were going to do it was a bad idea :P. This at a minimum should be private by default, with the ability to turn a flag on IN THE UI, to display the team to request to join via Search/Add Team screen.

Currently, a team can be Private, Public, or Org-Wide.  How about a Semi-Private team?  A semi-private team would be discover-able by Search, the user could request to join, but an owner would have to approved the request. 

So private would not show up in search but semi-private would?  What's the point of having it not show up in search if all you can see is the name?  I'd want all teams to show up in search.  For Public ones you could see the name, who's in it, etc and click to instantly join.  For private ones you'd just see the name and an option to request access.


@Mike Boehm wrote:

So private would not show up in search but semi-private would?  What's the point of having it not show up in search if all you can see is the name?  I'd want all teams to show up in search.  For Public ones you could see the name, who's in it, etc and click to instantly join.  For private ones you'd just see the name and an option to request access.


The point is that the reason Microsoft decided that Private teams should not show up in search is because too many users complained at the change in behavior.  Private = Hidden.  If the Semi-Private team shows up in search, there would also be a description (assuming the person who created the team entered a description).  Unlike Public team sites, the Semi-Private team site would require user to request that they become members (being approved by the owner).  This lets you have a team that may be of interest to others without just letting anyone join and unlike private teams, you would be able to see that this team exists.

 

The point is that Private teams as of a year ago were nixed from showing up in search results.  Unless someone tells me about it or I create a list (as an admin), I don't know what teams are out there.  Semi-private teams could be used to restrict access but let the fact that the team exists be public.  Maybe semi-public is a better term.  Not sure.

Whole lot easier to just add a general option checkbox for show in add team search results.

Add the option to admin center settings. And also powershell flag so you can edit in bulk.

This will cover all three use cases and all you have to update is search. Default it to off allow team owners to change or admin can automate them on if it’s decided by business to not have anything hidden etc.

@Chris Webb wrote:
Whole lot easier to just add a general option checkbox for show in add team search results.

This will cover all three use cases and all you have to update is search. 

Where does this add the option to request to join a team? 

I get what you're saying the difference between Semi-Private and Private would be.  I'm just wondering why you care if a team shows up in search or not as long as people can't join it without permission?  I can't think of a reason I'd need to have a team completely hidden from anyone.  If they can see the name, I don't care, as long as they can't join it without an owner approving the request.  I don't want any "Hidden" teams since then people create more teams to do the same thing because they didn't know it was there.


@Mike Boehm wrote:

I'm just wondering why you care if a team shows up in search or not as long as people can't join it without permission? 


Maybe someone creates a team like "Downsizing Plan" or "New CEO Search".  Well you say, why don't they just call the teams "Project DP" or "Search 2019", something cryptic?  If the teams were private (hidden), then you can name the teams something the makes sense.  If all teams show up in search results, then you would have to name them something cryptic.

I’m sure there are quiet a few reasons but I’ll give you a big one off the top of my head. Search for teams that already exist. They aren’t private enough to be super secret but you want them there so people can search before creating redundant teams which could still be private in content.

@Chris Webb wrote:
Search for teams that already exist. They aren’t private enough to be super secret but you want them there so people can search before creating redundant teams which could still be private in content.

These would be Public or Semi-Private teams, where you don't want redundancy.  If they are truly private teams, then redundancy is less of a concern since the private groups would never clutter up the search results.

Sure, but those things are pretty specific which means they'd probably be better suited to be Channels inside of the Executive Team. ;) But yes, people just need to know that all teams are searchable so they don't name them something they don't want people to see.
I like the Idea of private teams being visible but that joining is by request only. Public teams also visible can be joined without request. Perhaps a setting in the Team could be visible/not visible to give the hidden from search option.
The current situation where people cant join private teams without being specifically invited causes real issues. duplicate teams, silos of information, a complete lack of collaboration in what is supposed to be a collaboration tool.
Even if, as administrator, I provide employees with a list of the teams, they still have no way to request to join those teams.
The inability to see and request to join teams is pushing our employees to use alternative solutions for collaboration such as Slack.

I think the idea is having a Team available where a person can "request" to be a member.  This may be a group in which the person has interest.   The Onwer can decide / choose if they can be a member or not.  There definitely should be Private Teams and Public Teams.  But this is a good middle of the road  @Mike Boehm 

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