Can't add members to private channels

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Brass Contributor

After creating a team and adding private channels, I can't add members to private channels consistently. Sometimes I can; sometimes I can't. Also having issues adding guests to teams.

95 Replies
Hi @Cathy_McK

Thanks for raising this issue. A few questions

- Is this consistent across users?
- Is this issue occurring in the web app ( as well as the desktop app

Look forward to hearing from you

Best, Chris

Hi @Christopher Hoard 


I have the same issue here. I was able to add our regular Office 365 users, but not guests. The guests were added before to the team. At least one of the guests already had access to the team itself and could browse the "General" channel but I cannot assign him to a private channel inside of the team. The name cannot be found in the add member dialog.


Both tested under the desktop app and the web app.


Best regards,

Uwe Mayer

@Christopher Hoard I too am unable to add anyone whatsoever in Microsoft Teams. I can add people with the free version but in the regular version when I go to a channel or team, the option to "add" is shaded out. I've included an attachment. 


I have tried on the app in Win 10, my ipad and iphone and on the web. It's not working for me at all.

@Christopher Hoard also, I've tried to add several people and no matter what email address I use the "add" option stays shaded and their email address is never verified. In the free version, I don't have this problem. I can add anyone with their email.

Hi @Uwe_Mayer

A few more questions -

- Are you the owner of the team? Or simply a member of the team?
- Can you do it in the mobile app?
- Can you check the Office 365 associated with the group and ensure that the Let Group Owners add people switch is still on (
- Can you create a completely new team and new private channel and add a guest to the team and then the channel or does the same occur

Let me know

Best, Chris

Have you turned on Guest access in the Teams Admin Centre?

Best, Chris

@Christopher Hoard where is the admin center?

Login as the admin to > admin > access the Teams Admin Centre on the left nav > In the Teams Admin Centre Org Wide Settings > Guest Access. If that is off turn it on. Note this can take 24 hours to update.

Best, Chris

Hi @Christopher Hoard,


sorry for the delay. Regarding your questions:

- I am the owner of the team

- It is working in the mobile app!

- All switches are on.

- As I tried this feature with a completely new team and channel on last Friday I think, this question is answered.


Best regards,


Thanks for confirming @Uwe_Mayer

@Cathy_McK can you confirmed the actions above resolved it?

Best, Chris

We are also experiencing this.

Trying to add a guest to a private channel and their name is not appearing when trying to add them.

Removed the user from the whole team and re-added them and it worked.

It seems to be an issue, possibly because the user was added before the private channel was created?

@Andrew Silcock 


I am experiencing this same issue.

Both desktop and web versions fail to add a guest to a private channel.

Yet, the mobile version (at least on Android) can see and add the guest to the private channel.

Seems to me that this is a bug.

best response confirmed by Therese_Solimeno (Moderator)
Hi @Andrew Silcock

Whilst the workarounds for this issue are

1.) To add via the mobile app (IoS/Android)
2.) Completely remove and re-add user to the team

It does look like a bug. I have raised it here

I have also raised it internally with the Microsoft engineering team. Hopefully they will verify and fix soon

Hope that answers your question

Best, Chris

@Christopher Hoard 


Just a heads up that I came across this conversation because I had the same problems.  I added two new guests to a Team - successfully, but when I tried to add these guests to a private Channel, it would not let me (when I typed the name, it would say (UNDEFINED) underneath their names).  


I could not do this on the desktop, nor on the web app... but I was able to do it with no problem at all on the mobile app.


Hopefully this info helps troubleshoot the bug.

Thanks @DaniJo75 - the Teams team are aware of the bug and it has been logged. Hopefully we should see the solution soon, and in the meantime we can use the mobile workaround

Best, Chris

@Christopher Hoard -I've had the same issue since December and I just found this post. I've also up voted your UserVoice bug listing. 

Interesting addition from my experience also, if you wait between 24-36 hours from initially adding the Guest user to the team, then you are able to eventually add them into the Channel. Before that time period (using the desktop client) the newly added Guest name simply isn't resolvable from the list when typing their name. Although as the inconsistency suggests, some users can be added immediately. 


I did follow your workaround today for a new user we were having issues with and the Mobile app was able to complete the action as you suggested. 


regards, Courtenay.

@Christopher Hoard  can you please provide an update on the bug fix. This is affecting our company and need to find a solution.



Hi @mattpickard

Microsoft are still working on it - I can confirm they have picked it up.

In the meantime vote on the uservoice above and use the Mobile App workaround to do this. This has been confirmed by all I know to resolve it, whilst Microsoft continues to work on the fix. No timeframe given

Best, Chris

I experienced this as well.
I used the following  work-around:
In the desktop app, I removed the (guest) members - added them back - then I was able to add them to the private channel. 

Hopefully this gets corrected so it works the first time!! 
@Christopher Hoard - I voted on your user voice post as well.