Moving files between private and non-private channels inside the same Team

New Contributor

Inside a Microsoft Teams Team with some channels and private channels, I would like to move a folder and its content from a channel to a private channel.

Until now I din't find any solution, and only one official page on private channels ( but without any mention to file transfer.

I was not able to move my folder in SharePoint either, where files associated to channels and private channels seem to exist in distinct and not communicating environments.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

21 Replies
best response confirmed by maclura (New Contributor)

Hi @maclura,

In the new file experience, you can move files in Teams between a private channel and a standard channel and vice versa. However, currently you cannot move folders, so if you need to move a folder or folder structure then recreate it in the destination channel and move the files into the required folder.

You may or may not have the new file experience currently as it is rolling out globally. See Microsoft 365 Roadmap


Blog to move files in the new file experience is here

If you don't have the new experience yet, you may need to wait a little longer. If you can't wait you could always look at a workaround to sync the Teams to the local desktop and move them that way.

Hope that answers your question

Best, Chris

Hi@Christopher Hoard ,


I confirm you fully answered to my question. Thank you.

Your suggested workaround does work as well, but only through SharePoint for folder structures.

I look forward to the new file experience in Teams!


Best, Doriano

@Christopher Hoard  I know this is an older post. But I am trying to figure out if FOLDERS and not just files can be moved as well. If FOLDERS can not be moved this seems like clear deficiency and oversight. 



Bad news, at the time of this post you cannot move folders within teams, only files. 


Good news, you can do this within SharePoint . 


Open the SharePoint site containing the folder you want to move.  Use the circle to the left to select the folder(s) you are trying to move. Then use either Move to’ button, opening the move wizard on the right side of the screen.   Then, click on 'Browse Sites'.   Here comes the annoying part... Next, keep clicking on either ‘show more button until you see the private channel show up in the list.  It will look something like team name – private channel name . Click on that Team, then you can choose a destination within the private channel document library.


Basically, a Private Channel is its own SharePoint site.   Meaning there is a separate document library for all private channels.  You can see the different URLs, when you open the private channel in SharePoint next to the standard channel.  I guess it was Microsoft's answer to keeping things secure. 


This worked for me. I hope it helps you and others out as well.


All the best,


Yes @Eirikr, as I mentioned above, the solution is through Sharepoint. But my lesson learned is that a private channel inside a Teams site is not a good design. A Teams site offers a good flexibility only if all channels share the same permissions. Otherwise you will have to do what I had to do: create a new Teams group and move all the private channel files and folders structures there.

Best, Doriano

At this point I just want to backtrack and abandon Teams for storing files altogether. I am attempting to move things from a private folder to onedrive and can't seem to do that. Am I doing something wrong. I can't possibly work this poorly. I am open to it being user error, but it doesn't seem like it. It's as if the software developers don't attempt to use their own product. 

Any experience of moving a OneNote from a standard channel to a private channel?

@t0ta81 When stored in SharePoint a OneNote isn't really a file, it looks like one but it's actually a special case (it's actually a folder that contains lots of files). This is why you can't simply copy between one site and another.


The best method to move OneNote is to open both notebooks in the client then copy whole sections from one to the other.

@Steven Collier Thanks for the info and guidance. That did the trick.


Is there a way to move a private file to a public folder in Teams through Sharepoint? I have been trying to move something for months and it got deleted. Its been a stressful time... LOL! I finally got it back, but still have no way of moving it to the public folder. Is this possible and could you possibly explain how this works? I am hesitant on trying again because of what happened last time, but I need to move it so others can access it. It has a link from Forms, so I can't just copy and paste it and its just been a real pain. Thanks for any help you can provide!


I migrated files with a folder structure, using pre-connected network folders in OneDrive. After that, they appeared as links in my Explorer.


In the Teams application choose the Files tab. Then click on "Open in Sharepoint". On opened page choose "Add the link to OneDrive". Repeat it for another channel. After that use Explorer to move folders.


Yes, in Teams select Files > OneDrive > File > ... > Move. You can move it into a folder in a Teams channel

Best, Chris

@Christopher Hoard Thanks so much for taking time to help me! I tried this, but I got an error message saying that the file was locked, so I couldn't move it. Is there a way to unlock it?

I just tried it again, and it breaks the link to the Office Form that I need to be included with the excel.
Hi @Katybug,

Did you create the Form and Excel in OneDrive itself? So the two are linked together? Basically created Forms for Excel in OneDrive?

Best, Chris
Hey! So I went to Forms and started a new one. I had the form filled out and then clicked the Open Excel option. Its all in OneDrive if I am correct in my thinking.
Ok. This one is a bit difficult because it's hard to say without looking on a Teams call or something where the form was created. However from your description and actions it sounds like this form has been created through OneDrive because when you do that the excel is also housed in your OneDrive. Basically, if you try to move that into SharePoint it's going to break the form. Do you have the opportunity to start the form again or do you absolutely need to move it into SharePoint with existing data? If you can go into the Forms app at and select a group (corresponding to the Team) and create a new form there: all people should have access. If you absolutely must use existing data then I'll look into it further and see if you can migrate one created in OneDrive into SharePoint

Best, Chris
I really appreciate your help. The form is so huge and complicated that I would absolutely want to find another way around this. If you have the time and can figure this out, then I would love it. Thank you again!!!
Ok I have tested it. I can do it but I do not know the outcome on a massive list.


1.) Do not touch the existing excel in your OneDrive, close it if you have it open
2.) Go to
3.) Find the form, if you have used it recently it should be visible on the page
4.) Hover over the form, select three dots (...) and then select Move
5.) Choose a destination SharePoint Site corresponding to the team, select Move
6.) Under My Groups select the group/destination you moved it too
7.) Open the form and open in excel - this is needed to create the excel in the SharePoint site
8.) Go back to the form, select share, and get a new URL because the old one won't work anymore

This is a high risk operation because
1.) This is a one way operation, when moving a personal form to a group form you can't move it back
2.) I used a form with like 10 responses. It worked and the new excel in SharePoint was populated with all 10 responses. I don't know if this has a limit, or if it cuts off after so many, in addition, you could have a situation where some are not moved so you have to be prepared for that
3.) It breaks the existing URL of the form and you need to share the new URL. If you try to use the old URL it will no submit and will appear to be broken

So, this isn't without risk, and of course I have to put a disclaimer on it that if anything goes wrong this has been tested in principle in part not replicating all the factors and at the size of the form you have. I would recommend creating a form via OneDrive (New > Forms for Excel) and having submitted 10-20 responses to the form, trying this move yourself before you do the one in your production environment, just to get a feel for it, get sign off and set expectations in your organisation

Hope that it works out for you

Best, Chris