Is it possible to disable the Files tab from the Chat Window in Teams

Iron Contributor

Through Microsoft teams, our plan is to encourage our staff teams to go to their Teams location or Channel locations to manage their files. We do not want them to unintentionally associate group chat documents, to someones individual OneDrive account. 


How can we disable or hide the Files tab from the Chat section in Teams?





21 Replies

@kensleylewis I don't think this is a good idea, people will just email files to each other and you'll lose the benefit. You are unlikely to have a team or channel for every interaction that happens in your business, there's always adhoc things that sit outside this structure.

Chats, even group chats are clearly perceived by users as fairly temporary structures, teams are longer lived, I've never seen it come up that information is lost in group chats. To be honest I don't really see very many real group chats at all, that happens in the teams.


In simple terms I think the answer would be to prevent them sharing files in OneDrive, then the feature in Teams will not work. There is no specific control to disable sharing in chat, you can turn it off entirely in a Messaging Policy.

@StevenC365thanks for the quick feedback.  I clearly see your recommendations based on what you have research, but we don't want to disable sharing in the Chat.  Sharing has its benefits for us. I was simply inquiring on a way to disable or hide the Files tab itself within the Chat window.


I respect your analysis, but just speaking as one business professional to another, you haven't worked or collected UI testing data from my national staff headquarters. I'm speaking on behalf of how my staff operates, and how they can mature in a UI experience in managing files through Teams.


Again thanks for the feedback!

Ah, I see that many of my brothers in arms have requested for a similar setup but have been rejected...


Removing them from Teams I agree with. But from chat, not so much. They do need to improve the tab thou and allow better management (It should be the Shared view in onedrive IMO). Bummer that it was rejected, since not every channel needs files. Or ideally if we have to have one, at least let it be customized locations.
This is affecting many MS business customers that use both Sharepoint as their intranet and Teams as their collaboration hub. With the Teams channel File tab still being an ad-hoc file storage/sharing solution, it disrupts the bridge between SPO and Teams in terms of file collaboration.

I have resubmitted this request to MS via the Teams UserVoice forum. I'm hoping it gains more attention as it's a dire need for our organization.

My Teams UserVoice submission:

@kensleylewis This is a definitely required feature. In many cases we don't use a team as we need to avoid that users fragment their document repositories. In other words, there is already a file repository that shall be used.

@mlauff Adding this on the topic 


How SharePoint and OneDrive interact with Microsoft Teams - Microsoft Teams | Microsoft Docs


"If users aren't assigned SharePoint licenses, they don't have OneDrive storage in Microsoft 365. File sharing works in standard channels, but users won't be able to share files in chats without OneDrive storage in Microsoft 365."

@mlauff I totally agree with this.  Microsoft REALLY needs to add this feature.  I've been NOT using Teams for YEARS because of the complication it's going to cause as it instantly gives users another place to squirrel away files and NOT put them in the file server project folders.

We can't move away from our file server right now due to information/document tracking software that is tied to our file server and does not tie to other cloud storage silos like OneDrive or Sharepoint.


C'mon Microsoft, let me turn that tab off and you'll have a new Teams customer.

Hello, so in other words you don't want to use OneDrive and SharePoint which is the platform for file sharing in M365? At least not now? As Teams is kind of an interface on top of SharePoint, there's no new file location being used. It's still the same SharePoint library under the surface. When sharing files in 1:1 (or to many) chats they will end up in the respective sharing user's OneDrive location, and when sharing files in a Team conversation they will end up in the corresponding SharePoint library.

If you remove the default permissions for the members in Teams and give them "read" for example they cannot upload (i.e. share) anything. If you don't give the users SPO licenses they cannot access the OneDrive storage (i.e. not share files personally).

Would obviously be easier to simply have the option to create a channel without the tab, but..
I can vouch that the simplicity of posting files in teams chat by dozens or hundreds of users that have little experience building collaboration environments and those same users building up file volumes in Teams channel file tabs is a growing monster. Users are abandoning the use of sharepoint pages altogether and we admins sit and watch the garbage pile grow…burying documents and files that are important with it. Now we are stuck fixing a problem created by the tool that doesn’t provide the features to keep it organized, clean, or connected to SP in a usable way. It kind of amazes me anyone could design a structure that is so prone to build up of dozens of old chats and files and duplicates the content hosting features of the foundation back end up, in the new front end. Like a peanut butter and jelly and peanut butter sandwich. Yes the goo starts oozing all over the place. It’s crazy! I don’t know how that design could have launched and no one saw those file tabs would collect immense stale and ill-placed data. And give us no way to manage it or steer users from Teams back into the Sharepoint proper libraries. It’s doesn’t do it. It recreates an imposter again on top. Teams need admin controls and proper hooks to established SP pages in the channel and chat areas instead of these junk file folders.
Agree. I was googling “how do I hide MS Teams file tabs” … disappointed but not surprised it hasn’t been fixed. There are no admin features. The site and channel creation capabilities add an infinite number of alternate realities. One constructed for order and governance in existing Sharepoints and the Teams layer that puts the same users and content into chaos.

@PEGGYATA I hear you, anyone with a background in Knowledge Management and Information Architecture would see the issues with allowing unmanaged content to accumulate. However we lost already, users want immediate self-service teams, just to drop a file in chat, random sharing from OneDrives etc. In the past I surveyed users, they are clearly more satisfied with an open, uncontrolled service. My role was always to improve user satisfaction, to allow them to be happy like a pig in document mud.

Only in very specific industries documents have sufficient value that organisation beats immediacy, so unless you are engineering a plane, nuclear reactor, law firm etc. then it's simply not worth resisting unstructured collaboration.

@PEGGYATA Hi there, well I tend to disagree. You're not sharing multiple copies of files in all these places, you're using links to those files which live in SharePoint Online libraries and OneDrive. There's been plenty progress when it comes to file sharing in Teams and SharePoint/OneDrive for the file sharing and collaboration experience to be consistent.


These are the prompts.


From chats



From channel conversations



This is now the default file sharing prompt introduced all over in M365 where you're sharing links.



And when working on these files coming from a link you have the co-authoring feature instead of previous "check out" behavior which locked the file for others.


You should also make sure not all users can create groups, i.e. Teams using the AAD Directory settings. And when it comes to channel creation at least limit that to the team owner/owners.


And I haven't even mentioned the compliance features in Teams here as those are for controlling access and data loss etc.

Immediacy is a great quality...but mud is not something I would want for my shared files.
Thank you, yes I am aware of the co-authoring and the files not being duplicated. I am observing users however, commenting on the confusion arising from Teams files. They don't think about the back end or who can see it. They just post. It is sort of going against the grain of Teams to restrict how people use it. I am hoping MSFT starts fixing some of the missing features that would help shape it better.
Teams cross-tenant chats do not allow Files, so here's what I am going to try: Create a new Office 365 tenant with one user, and provision with the least expensive sku that supports Teams. Then, in my real tenant, invite that dummy user from the other tenant to any chat where I want to block files.
The Files tab in Teams saves a directory for each channel in:

A Document Library can be created at the same level:

Anything and everything posted in a channel is saved in the /ChannelName - if I post a gif, share an early draft, a few videos of an event - it’s all dumped in the one folder. Not a good spot to try and establish an organised filing system.
So the DocLibrary is where all the work is stored. Except, the files tab persists.

The work around is to either “Add Cloud Storage” (which allows SP Document Libraries) as a folder to Files tab, add a SharePoint Site as a new tab or add a Document Library as a new tab.
None of them allow you to specify a folder in that Document library. So a channel set up for an project whose files will be stored a few folders deep in the DocLibrary has to navigate to that library every. single. time. they want to access a document.
The Cloud Storage and SharePoint site options have a bug where, after you’ve navigated to your document and opened it, when you close it you get taken back to the root folder!!
So Document Library is the only legitimate option because it doesn’t send you back to the root folder after you close a document.
But the Files tab still persists.

So every time a new channel is created the user is expected to hook up the Document Library. We have multiple divisions working on multiple projects all the time. This is unlikely to happen.

If the Cloud Storage allowed me to specify a folder AND not send the user to the root when closing a document, it would have been perfect. If I could set a Cloud Storage folder for all new Channels within a Team, it would be heaven ;p

Totally agree,

Option to remove Files tab and Chat Windows is a must!

We use in our Business, SharePoint Online, with AD security groups, so they a centrally managed, and is the approved Document Storage location amongst other things.


Teams is a means to communicate to others in our business, but not to store data in the back-end.

It seems Microsoft are keen to have data sprawl all over the shop, Teams (Not to mention Private channels, at least these can be turned off) / M365 Groups which are more user managed, which users make whatever platform / repository they like, whit not though on any governance.

Not ideal for large corporations especially when looking for where XX document is located, duplication of documents, duplicate teams or similarly named  etc...
For now before we get stuck into DLP / Tagging and proper governance control on Teams, we set the default storage to be 10gb (looking to further reduce it) to prevent users storing documents...

So yes, there is a need to remove these tabs.