Says I have hit the Channel Limit But I haven't

Christian Long

I am trying to create a new channel but I am getting a notification that I am out of channels.  The team was showing only that I had like 103 channels and 1 inactive.  I haven't deleted any channels in the past 14 days and certainly no where near 96 of them.  What gives and how do I fix?

23 Replies
I believe its 21 days! Does that make any difference? Try create s channel with the webclient IR vice versa! Try with another member of the team?

Also theres been some service degradations lately and lots of strange things going on! Might be something to do with it as well

@adam deltingernah - its been sometime.  I don't know if I every hit the limit.  I haven't deleted that many period.  I have been using it for some time so it is possible.  I just deleted a couple to see if that help even though I know there is a soft delete time period.  Right now it says I have 94 active and 13 deleted.  Something is certainly up.  I have tried from my PC, Android, and Web.  I also had a coworker try and the same notice.  This just brought my workflow to a grinding halt...

Earlier today we had emails not showing up in channels so maybe the whole system just needs a burb.

Make sure you don't have the SHow for Team checked, this is limited to 10 channels and it words similar to reaching maximum channels. If you want to show(favorite) it for the Team, then just uncheck one in channel settings and then create your channel.

@Chris WebbI was hoping that was it, but the box isn't checked.  The message is "This Team already has the max number of channels."


When they first changed it so the channels could be deleted and the names would be released after a certain length of time I tried recreating a channel with the same name of one that had been deleted months prior and I would get the error that the name was already taken even though that channel was nowhere to be found.  I've had this Team for years now.  I'm not sure how long but I did jump in pretty early on.  I'm wondering if the fact that it was created so long ago means I have some embedded but deleted channels.

Either way, I am in a bind here.  I have so many functions tied to this Team for my team that I cannot simply create another one without days of work and major disruption and confusion.

Your best bet will be a support ticket then if you haven’t gone that route yet.

It’s possible similar to chats that they take the limit at time of creation so you might be at the 120 limit it was before. Not sure if they can make that change back end or not but just a hunch of what it possibly could be. Cause group chats created before the increase still could only grow to the limit when it was created.

@Chris Webb 


Thanks!  I have done that now with out IT department and I bet that is the case.  I may be in a bind for a couple weeks until the ones I just deleted clear out.  I would just reuse channels but the channels are what drive my folder structure in SharePoint and they do not take kindly to being renamed (unless that has been fixed).

Na not fixed yet. Have you gone in and deleted them from the deleted section? Pretty sure you can perma delete ones to force them to go away.
Within the App I only see an option to Restore but not delete. I had read some other posts requesting the feature but I haven't seen it implemented. One of the channels deleted was 6/27 so that is 15 days ago. The rest were deleted yesterday. Right now I have 94 active and 13 deleted.
Where? Not from Teams

Just an update guys - our IT company has been working with MS to no avail. I had thought maybe it had to do with the Planner plans I had associated with the deleted channels that hadn't been deleted so I deleted some and I had a channel become available.   Our IT company created a test channel and it worked but I think it was because there was one channel I deleted more than 21 days ago because that test channel was the only one that could be created (which wasted an available channel...).  So, right now I am sitting at 60 active and 47 deleted.  The good news is 11 of them are sitting at 20 days deleted and the rest (except for that test channel) are at 19 days so we will see if I get some channels tomorrow.  I haven't gotten any further from IT or MS.  They just keep asking for logs and haven't confirmed that my Team is grandfathered to the 100 channel limit (looks more like 107) but it is certainly looking that way.

BTW - deleting Planner plans is a pain...  You have to find the plan from the Hub, click into it, then click on the … then click Plan Settings, then click Delete Plan, then click the box, then click OK.  Leave Plan is right next to Plan Settings and if you accidentally do that, you also leave the Team.  If you do that, then you have hunt down another Team admin to add you back to the Team and make you and Admin again, reconfigure yourself, refollow in your inbox, reconfigure your configure your calendar, etc, etc, etc...

Hrmm. I just deleted several more channels and made sure to delete the Plans associated with them. I tried adding a channel and I could add one. Just one though. So now I have a combined 108 and cannot add any more.

Well, thats no good.  Now I have 55 active and 41 deleted channels and still cannot add any new channels.  I am at a real loss here and now my workflow is about crippled.  We just switched IT companies to complicate this further.

Alright guys, now I am getting some real conflicting information...

Our IT company is being told that the 200 channel limit is LIFETIME from their Microsoft developers...  But this https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoftteams/limits-specifications-teams very clear says otherwise.  Can anyone confirm one way or the other?  That link also says 30 days...

Why is there no clear information here?  Can anyone from MS speak up?

Do you have any retention policies applied to channel conversations? - that might keep 'deleted' channels hanging around for more than 30 days.
Trying to get confirmation, but so far consensus has been 30 days after delete should free them up. Do you have a support ticket number that I might be able to pass on? Also please let us know if it's under any kind of retention policies.
Also, how old is this Team? Would there be a chance for a lot of channels to have at one point been deleted before May 2018?

@Chris Webband @Rob Ellis is the retention policy something I can look up?


The Team was created shortly after Teams was made available so it is really old but the majority of these channels have not been deleted before May '18.


I have asked IT for the ticket number.  The odd thing here is their MS developer is flat out telling them it is a lifetime limit of 200.  Pretty frustrating.

30 days will be Monday or so.  I guess we will find out then.  I think I might be grandfathered at a lower limit and just had a big batch delete less than 30 days ago.  At least that is what I am hoping.  I can work with what I know.  Not knowing is the bigger issue.  Having to create a new Team, new Flows with new triggers, new syncs, new calendars, and then all of the personnel issues (team member confusion) PIA does not sound fun.  I'm hoping 30 it is.

I've had product Team people tell me that it's not 200 lifetime and that deleting should remove after 30 days and you should be able to create more. There was apparently a bug with it not long ago that's been recently fixed so hopefully that's the case too. I asked about the before May 08 because any channels deleted prior to that time will count to your total regardless. Anyway, hopefully Monday you are good, if not let me know and maybe we can get someone to check into it.

Well, I guess I am cooked.  I deleted a batch July 11th for sure so it has been more than 30 days and no joy.  My ticket number is 15380242.  I have 55 active and 7 deleted right now.


I guess it is just time to stop fighting it - unless you see something in that ticket that gives pause.

Today I can add channels...  There is no sense to any of this.

Odd. Well hopefully you can add many more lol....

@Chris Webb 


I just wanted to post back that our IT had received this message back from MS Engineering:

"Post- hard delete* (i.e. after 30 days) you can create a channel with same name and also do not count against 200 limit. The SP folder associated with the channel is not deleted as a part of channel delete. If a new channel is created with same name, Files will get associated with the same SP folder.


*Note that only channels that were deleted post-May 2018 gets permanently deleted (hard-deleted). Channels deleted prior to that will stay in deleted state (but not visible under delete folder in Teams UI), these will be hard deleted in future.


Also channel count limit is updated in https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoftteams/limits-specifications-teams


In this case it seems channel are deleted before May 2018 hence not hard delete still counts towards 200 and they won't be visible under delete folder also."

So, I think several of my deletes were probably pre May 2018 and it just took a while for my post May 2018s to drop off.  I have no idea how many channels I can really have or not, but at least I have an explanation that makes sense - and it jives with initial thoughts.

If there was some way to print or copy conversational history and/or move channels to other Teams then I know I could work within my reduced channel limitations.  Archiving would be nice but I bet when that feature comes out it would still count against the channel limit.  A simple screen print of the entire channel conversation feed would be great.  There has to be a hack or a bot out there somewhere yeah?

Move channels is on the roadmap, no idea when thou. You can mine move data via graph, or export messages etc. But you can only do it under a single identity, so everything will get posted by that user doing the graph imports.
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