Teams is much more than chat and meetings. Because Teams is built with SharePoint on the backend, it's a powerful portal for managing files--once you get comfortable with a few key features.
Where are Teams Files Really Stored?
When you upload a file from your computer to Teams, it goes into the "Files" tab of whatever channel you uploaded it to.
Every Team has a modern SharePoint site associated with it where channel documents are stored. Every channel in a Team gets its own document library in the Team's SharePoint site.
Files shared in a private or group chat are stored in your OneDrive for Business folder and are only shared with the people in that conversation.
Why is this important? There are a few cool functions you can perform from the Files tab in Teams that allow you to print, share, or collaborate on docs in realtime without ever leaving the Teams platform.
Editing a File in Teams
If you have a Word doc in the Files of a general channel in Teams, you can click on the three dots to expand a menu of action options for that file.
When you select "Edit in Teams" you not only have the ability to make changes to your doc and save it--if you select the "Start a Conversation" tab at the top of the page, it will open a right sidebar chat column that will allow you to have a conversation with everyone who has access to that document.
You also have the options to “Open in Word Online” and "Open in Word", then print or share the document from there.
These integrations in Teams should reduce the need to download a copy of the document to your local machine in order to print it out or email it as an attachment. Keeping the document in a shared storage location such as Teams allows everyone to collaborate without creating multiple copies.
It's more convenient to work on docs in the open--benefitting from the messaging, notes, access, and collaboration with others that Teams allows.
Opening a File in Sharepoint from Teams
If you select "Open in SharePoint" from the document options in Teams, you'll have additional ways to manage your document:
- Find and open previous versions of a document using the document history features.
- Sync to OneDrive for Business using the OneDrive sync client to view the Teams document libraries in File Explorer.
- View and Manage who has access to your document.
- Create a Flow or set up an alert based on specific actions (for example: set a Flow to "Request permission in Teams when an item is created.")
Files in Teams Works Great on Mobile Too
Teams is a great place to manage files from your mobile device as well. If you go into a channel's files from your Teams mobile app, you have the option to "open" or "send a copy" to someone.
However, with Teams iOS integration, if you open a file from Teams on your iPhone, and tap the share icon in the bottom left of your screen--you'll access all of the iOS share options for your file as well.
If you want to edit a file on your mobile device, you can open it in your Word app to make changes. Any edits you make will be auto-saved to Teams.
Opening and sharing files from the Teams app is fast and easy. If your important docs are in Teams Files, you have the peace of mind that you'll be able to access them anywhere.
Teams Improves File Workflows
Bringing file conversations into a Teams channel should eliminate the need to send links to files in Outlook or create confusing duplicate copies. When used to its full potential, Teams streamlines the workflow of how files are stored, shared and managed.
Did you know that PTG offers affordable Ready, Set, Go, Teams training for your entire office? Find out more.
Thank you to PTG IT Engineer, Matt Snider, for contributing to this article.