Private channel - sync to explorer doubles the site name

New Contributor

Hello everyone, I'm experiencing some odd behavior that I hope someone can explain.


While in the Teams app, I created a private channel called "Payroll" in a team called "EVG-Finance" and then clicked the Sync button on the Files tab.


The folder that is added to Windows Explorer is called "EVG-Finance - Payroll - Payroll"


Why does it duplicate Payroll and how can I make it stop??? 

22 Replies

This is because the folder name used when syncing a library is based on the SharePoint site name, followed by the library / folder name - as shown below, the SharePoint site name for the private channel includes the name of the Team, plus the name of the channel.



You could, in theory, change the title of the site used for the private channel - but that would have to be done before you sync the library - and I'm not sure it would be a supported change, due to the special nature of the sites created for private channels.


Probably worth raising a ticket with MS to ask if there are any other options.



as @Rob Ellis  mentioned he is right On the followings:

  1. EVG-Finance = this is main Teams/Office 365 group name 
  2. Payroll = this is the Url of the private Channel (EVG-Finance-Payroll) you can see it in explore as well while browsing the private channel site 
  3. Payroll = this one is a folder inside document library as every channels created in teams it creates a folder in document library

note: if you change the private channel name to different the url will stay as it was created at first as of Feb 2020

@Rob Ellis@PDostiyar   Thanks for your response! 


It doesn't matter how many private channels I create, when I sync them, they always show up with the double name.  See screenshot below: "EVG-IT - Management - Management"



The double name does not happen with standard channels.


Do you experience the same behavior when you sync private channels?  If so, I guess this is working as designed?

best response confirmed by joec55 (New Contributor)
Hi guys,

This is as designed. Private channels create separate site collections. In explorer, it is showing the name of the site collection not a duplication.

Example of standard channel

EVG-Finance (site collection) - General (Folder)

Example of private channel

EVG-Finance - Payroll (Site Collection) - Payroll (Folder)

Hope that makes sense. It is the way that Teams is architected. I can see how it’s confusing as part of the site collection is named the same as the folder and gives the impression when synced to explorer that it’s duplicated when it’s not.

Hope that answers your question. We all have the same :D

Best, Chris



Yes this is how it is Designed and Teams is structured so as @Christopher Hoard mentioned in his post in detail it is not a duplication but rather it is the Teams Structure for private channels.


I know sometimes it is hard to convince the end-users but as we could see tons of great functionality and features with Microsoft Teams we could simply ignore it.


also a quick tip we have been asking our end-users on using the files tab with each channel if that is a private or standard channel so this way they wouldn't leave MS Teams and it is a one-stop-shop for them.

@PDostiyar Do you know why the local syncrhonized SPO Site from a MS Teams Privat channels appear a locked in Windows explorer? No permissions to write, just read. Which is the sense of Sync then? 


How could I synchronize a SPO Site from a MS Teams Privat channel in Windows Explorer in order to use those folders to EDIT (write permissions)?

Here is quick tip,

First and foremost I would not sync and rather use the teams Files tab which gives you rich experience unless if you need to sync to local drive and windows explorer then you should be able to do it but have to be a member or owner of that private channels.

Please let me know if further informations are needed.


@PDostiyar Hello, Pervaiz. I am the owner of the O365 tenant, and also the owner of those Private Channels. We always use "Files" tab for uploading to "cloud-based" folders and MS Sharepoint Online to edit Metatada. 


The problem appears with "work in progress" folders, synchronized to Windows Explorer from MS Teams "Files" Tab (or SPO Synch option, doesn't matter) and locally the folders in the Local Onedrive for Business appear "locked" and "read only". 

@PDostiyar Why are you suggesting not to sync channels to Windows Explorer?  I was planning on having all my departments sync their respective folders to their local computers.  Should I not do that?


It's how they want to work.  I don't know a single user that would rather work inside of Teams than use Windows Explorer.  

@joec55Well, this is my personal suggestion but there might be different views on that, but personally I have found this useful for the Teams adoptions and users engagement as they always go to MS Teams > general or any other channels and that is the times they see the posts/conversations while checking for the folder/files in the File Tab.


but again there could be different cases and users' requirements or if people with minimum internet access, in that case, Sync and always keep on the device would be the best option but for the rest using MS Teams, the File tab will be highly recommended.

@Rob Ellis  @Christopher Hoard I get the architecture, but from a UX perspective, it's confusing and shows too much of the inner workings of the application, IMHO. 




It would be great for users if the names weren't so long. Especially in Explorer.

I can't find a Teams UserVoice on this one, looking for simplification. Has anyone come across one?






Found a UserVoice post for this here: -


And this one too which is related because the way private channels are created.


Like the say these private channels should just create a sub folder with appropriate permissions within the parent team. Then users can just have one sync folder the team folder and not multiple sync folders for every private channel.


I know the new way of working is to do everything in teams and sharepoint etc, but we sync folders for our users as they are used to working that way and too big learning curve for everyone just to switch. Also when working with other applications that need to save into those locations we need the sync so users can browse to those locations.


Really hope MS improve this area.





@a-yatesThanks for that.


I have voted them up. I agree that it isn't practical to move people from a file explorer sytle way of working to "all in teams" quickly.


It will be a long road and Microsoft should be taking the slower adoption curve from a large percentage of the  core userbase into consideration.

It doesn't work for us... we use so many photos, and Teams photo experience is a non starter.. we have to use file explorer to make it even possible to scroll through photos quickly.

1) Rename the existing private channel in Teams to say Payroll2
2) Sync it
3) Now the synced private channel shows up as Teams - Payroll
4) Rename the the existing private channel in Teams back to Payroll

@pba-Boston I tried this, it didn't change anything. Maybe I did it wrong. Was it supposed to remove the duplicate name?

@joec55 I have been working with users and frequently show them how to sync their document libraries and folders to their computer and make it available via Windows Explorer. This is because it means they don't have to change the way they work and they will adopt the use of Teams (or SharePoint) better this way.

As for the private channel issue . . . there are 2 ways around it. The first is that you never create any private channels. Instead, create a separate team for the users that would be using that private channel. That eliminates not only the sync issue, but also the issue of not being able to add tabs to the team channel for apps that require a M365 group - like a Planner board. The second option is to find a workaround and wait for the new Shared Channels to come along. They are currently slated to come out in the next couple of months (although I won't be surprised if it gets delayed a bit) and at that time we will be able to add members to channels that are not part of the team and they will be restricted to being able to only see that single channel. I know I have requests for this frequently. One may be able to utilize this new feature instead of a private channel.

I hope this helps.

@microsoft  Please resolve this issue. It makes syncing of private channels confusing for end users.

@Christopher HoardThis may be as designed but it is a terrible design. It looks like something is wrong and it takes up too much space.  MS should fix this.