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How to create teams and channels in Microsoft Teams

Need to expand the scope of your organization’s Teams setup? Here’s how to create new team areas and additional channels in new and existing teams.

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With everyone working remotely, it’s understandable that collaboration software like Microsoft Teams is getting used a lot more than it used to. It’s good that software like Teams is available to help organizations get through the COVID-19 pandemic, but at the same time all that additional time in Teams means chat channels may be getting a bit crowded.

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Maybe you want to create a new team for extra-curricular conversations, or want to divide your Teams structure into specific groups for each department—however you want to do it, it’s a snap to create new teams in Teams.

SEE: Microsoft 365: A cheat sheet (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Along with creating teams, it’s also important to know how to add new channels, which can be great for creating private group workspaces for specific projects. That can be done in new and existing teams, provided you have the permissions to do so (the same goes for creating new teams).

If you’re not able to create teams or channels, check with your Microsoft Teams administrator to get permissions to do so, or to have them create it for you.

Adding a new team to Microsoft Teams

With Microsoft Teams open to the Teams tab, look to the bottom of the space where all of your teams and channels are listed, where you’ll find the Join or Create a Team button (Figure A). It’s here you can create teams, or join ones in your organization that are open to everyone but aren’t automatically joined when a new account is created.

Figure A


Where to find the create teams button.

Once you click that, you’ll see the option to create a new team (Figure B). 

Figure B


You can create teams from scratch, or you can import existing Microsoft 365 groups and teams, which should automatically populate similar configurations, like users and how new members can join. For the sake of this example we’re going to create one from scratch (Figure C).

Figure C


New teams can be created in one of three ways (Figure D): As private teams that users need permission to join, public teams that users can join at will but aren’t automatically assigned, and organization-wide groups that all users are automatically placed in. 

Figure D


The three types of teams you can create in Microsoft Teams.

Once you’ve chosen what type of team you want to create you’ll see a screen where you can name the team and give it a description (Figure E). Click Create when you’re done and that’s that: Your new team is ready to go.

Figure E


Naming and describing a new team.

Depending on the type of team you create, you may be asked to invite new members. Organization-wide teams won’t display this option because all members are automatically added.

Adding a new channel to a Teams team

In Figure F you can see how the new team I created looks in the Teams app, and I’ve already right-clicked on the three dots next to the team’s name to open its menu. From here you can create new channels.

Figure F


Where to find the option to create a new channel in Microsoft Teams.

Clicking on Add Channel brings up the window shown in Figure G, where you can create your channel and decide if you want its privacy settings to be different from the team it falls under.

Figure G


Naming describing, and setting privacy on a new channel.

Once your channel is created it will appear below General, which is automatically added to all newly created teams (Figure H). 

Figure H


How a new team and channel will appear in Microsoft Teams.

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