Create a SharePoint document library for each Teams Channel (instead of a folder)

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Occasional Contributor

When creating a new Team, a SharePoint Online Team Site is created with a single document library. When a new channel is created within the team, a corresponding folder is created within the document library for the channel files.

 

Instead of having a folder created for each channel, is it possible to have a document library created for each channel?


We recently implemented SharePoint Online in our organisation, migrating from a file share with a mess of nested folders. We invested significant time and effort to use metadata and views instead of folders in document libraries in an effort to avoid recreating nested folders structures in SharePoint Online.

 

We soon need to replace Skype for Business with Teams, introducing the option of folders into our SharePoint Online environment which we’d previously disabled. 


I’m not advocating against folders in Teams or SharePoint, but it would be great to have the option of either a folder or document library created for each Team channel for organisations who will use a mix of Teams and SharePoint Online for their work.

7 Replies
Hi!

No unfortunately You Cant change the location or prevent the default behaviour of the files tab! What You can do is add the library/ies you have as a SharePoint library tab in the channels or add them as cloud storage within the files tab!
They will then be added as a shortcut folder in the files tab

Adam

@adam deltinger 

 

Thanks Adam. 

I think this would be a great feature - for each new channel, create either a new folder  or new document library.


There are manual workarounds as you suggest, but this requires ongoing training and governance, and ultimately leads to inconsistent business practices. 

Given each Team has a dedicated SharePoint Team site, it seems odd to use a single document library and rely on folders for organising files. Perhaps not for small use cases with few documents, but for larger projects involving thousands of documents this feels like a big step backwards.

 

Ideally you’d have an option to cover both scenarios.



 

 

Go to https://microsoftteams.uservoice.com/
And search for this feature! I’d guess there are a few of them.

Adam
I dont normally recommend using the default document library for formal team document management. Reason being is all files uploaded or images shared in the channel are just dumped in their respective folder, which leads to a mess.

I have been recommending that migrated files are stored in other document libraries.

Word of caution on meta data based tagging, users are used to folders and can find information this way. Search is good enough that it can find files in most cases. I would only look to use meat data tagging where there is a specific use case that is not working in folders and only to supplement the folders unless very structured data.

@Ryan_McConville This is certainly something you could do if you pre-provisioned the relevant Channels for a new Team.  Sure you would still have the folders in the default library but you can also create a library for each Channel.  You could then configure a tab in each Channel to show the relevant library.  It would require some though on how to implement, but if every Team was the same it should be possible.

@Ryan_McConville , FYI based on the limited information I know about teams and the way creating a team is handled in the sharepoint universe.  Anytime you create a team that will create a separate document library associated with that team.  By default all the files are stored under the root folder unless you chose to create a channel.  When a  channel is created in teams then SharePoint will have created a matching folder under the document library and with the first channel added will create a General Folder that will have any of the files you had added to the document library prior to creating your first channel.  The piece of information that you might find useful is that instead of creating a regular channel at all you may want to try creating Private Channels.  Each private channel will have its own document library not associated with the document library or root team directory.  You would have to add all members of the team to that channel for them to have complete access but your file structure could remain flat within the context of that channel if you wanted all the files dumped in by channel.  Good luck.