Linking the files tab of a Teams channel to a different SharePoint site?


We have an issue in our organisation where the link between SharePoint sites and Teams is becoming tricky to manage. I'll try my best to explain.


Whenever we deploy a SharePoint site for a team or department, we have particular site collections that they go into, just to keep things neatly organised.


The problem we're facing is that I might create a site for, say, HR, that sits in our HR site collection. When I want to create a HR Teams channel, creating the Team automatically creates and attaches a SharePoint site to that channel. However, this site is not the one we want HR to use and is stored in the wrong site collection. In other words, I create the Teams channel, Teams automatically creates an empty SharePoint site for the Teams documents to be stored in, but we've already got another HR site setup which is in its correct site collection.


I'd like to be able to make the 'files' tab of the channel link to the correct HR site, not the default one the channel creates for you. I know you can easily add a new tab and select the right document library, but then any files you attach within Teams just direct to the files tab which is still connected to the wrong site.


Does anyone know how I can do this? Or, is there a way I can create the Teams channel from the HR site itself so that it doesn't automatically deploy an additional site?





12 Replies
best response confirmed by Chris Webb (MVP)
It’s not possible to link the files tab to any other library than the teams teamsite and the corresponding channel folder in that root library! What you can do is setup a sharepoint library tab in a channel going to any library you like! Or set that library as cloud storage in the standard files tab, making that library a folder in the files tab

I came across  your post today when I searched for "associating" folders with Team Files. What happend to us was that the original team file was :facepalm: Renamed or altered in some way, and vanished fron the File tab, although the original is still available by going "open in SharePoint" I tried to fix this but failed, the only thing was to  move the original  file contents back into the new folder.

Im not sure but there may be a sort of solution here to your problem buried somewhere in all this as I   noticed I can alter the permissions  in the original folder, everyone can easily reach it from Teams but only those with permissions can view edit etc. Although not a ideal solution maybe you could show users how to access using open in SharePoint.   I tried adding a Tab to reach the old file it but I cannot make it work.               @Toby McDaid 

@GAScott  I ran into a very similar issue today: when I had renamed a SharePoint documents folder, its link to the Teams "Files" tab was broken. Here is how I changed the name after all. 



I had originally created a new Team team called "MIS", the name of our business unit. Within the new team I had created a new channel called "MIS management meetings". This resulted neatly in the creation of a SharePoint site "MIS" and a folder "MIS management meetings" within the "Documents" section of the SharePoint site. 


Then, wanting to drop the "MIS" bit from the name, I renamed the Teams channel from "MIS management meetings" to "Management meetings", and all was fine.


But when I renamed the SharePoint folder from "MIS management meetings" to just "Management meetings", the "Files" tab in Teams showed up empty.


There seems to be no way in Teams to point the channel "Files" tab towards a new folder name. In other words, it seems impossible to access the metadata for the "File" tab and type a new path. 


On helpdesk fora, two other options are given: to select "Add cloud storage", or to add a new tab linking to SharePoint site. These were not what I wanted. I wanted to simply keep one single "Files" tab but redirect it to the new folder. Neither did I want to keep the old original folder name. 


What I did to solve the problem:

1. I temporarily renamed the SharePoint folder as well as the channel to their old name "MIS management meetings". This restored the content of the channel "Files" tab.  

2. I created a new empty folder on SharePoint called "Management meetings"

3. In Teams, I created a new channel called "Management meetings". This creation led to the automatic detection of the SharePoint folder, which correctly showed up as the "Files" tab.

4. In SharePoint, I moved all documents from "MIS Management meetings" to "Management meetings". As a result, the subfolders and files now showed up in the "Files" tab of the new channel "Management meetings".

5. I deleted the old channel "MIS Management meetings", accepting the loss of a few conversations within it. (Luckily we had run into this issue quickly so nothing much valuable was lost). 


The best solution would be that Teams admins could simply open the metadata for the channel "Files" tab and point it towards a different folder.


Hi ,


I am also having same requirement /issue ,can any one tell if there is any solution to this.

No, its always pointingbtobthe same location! You have to add a tab to get other locations but the files tab is stuck to the default library - channel folder

@adam deltinger  How can we simply get a link to the Files tab of a channel such that when a user clicks the link it opens a window to the linked channel Files tab view?


Nevermind - Found it under "Share Link"

@NickVanMaele Having the exact same issue, seems like folder renaming is not possible ? Even worse, it is possible but breaks the system without warning. I use the sync function , then renamed the channel and the local folder, same issue as you describe.

@adam deltinger 

Thanks, Adam. That was super helpful. It solved a closely related problem of mine. I wanted to be able to pin documents from another Sharepoint site to the tab of a Channel. Being a novice to Teams, I almost overlooked your answer because you explained it so quickly. 

For anyone who wants/needs to do the same, go into the Files tab of your Channel and click "Add Cloud Storage". From there you need to add the relevant Sharepoint folder. Once you've added that Sharepoint folder to your Channel you can access any files in that folder through the Files tab of that Channel. From there, simply navigate to the file that you want to pin to the tab, click the ellipses (the three dots) next to the file and select "Make this a tab".

This has solved so many of our file sharing issues in Teams.

Thanks again, Adam.



I tried this, but did not see a way to set it to a specific subfolder.  It only showed the parent folder of the library.  Even if I copy/pasted the exact subfolder URL via the "use a SharePoint link" option it still reverted to showing the parent folder.  Is it not possible to mount a subfolder from another library?

@Brian_Klish_work did you get anywhere with linking a library subfolder?  That's exactly what I need to do, but can't find a way.

@MarvinTheAndroidWe find that it is actually easy enough to add a tab to the channel bar that connects to the SharePoint App and bootstrap that connection from a link we generate in SP.  The Files tab then serves as some sort of sandbox for the channel users to play in and our Archive tab takes them into the corporate archive.


This works VERY WELL for reading the corporate archive.  It does not work so well for populating the Archive from the sandbox.  There is a problem with the file dialogue which is pretty impotent compared to its Windows brethren.  When you right click on a file in the sandbox to move it to the Archive, navigation starts in the channel folder you are in and there is no ready way to find into the Archive.


Room to facilitate such rapid navigation essentially exists in the left rail.  In Windows explorer, you can pin favourite locations, libraries etc to your heart's content.  On Teams, this rail only offers connected cloud storages, eg OneDrive.


We are currently exploring the option to contract cloud storage from a 3rd party provider just for the purpose of hosting the corporate archive so that it may appear as a shortcut in that rail.  (Insane, I know.)


If I had one request to the Teams developers, then please provide a facility to pin favourite (link) locations to the file dialogue.