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Microsoft Teams - Shared Channels

What are shared channels?

Shared channels in Microsoft Teams are a new way to invite people who are not members of a team into a specific channel. Shared channels may be a good option if you want to collaborate with a group of people who are all members of different teams. For example, employees from HR, Communications, and OIT, all working on different aspects of the same project could use a shared channel to collaborate in an existing Team instead of creating a new one. Some things to note about shared channels include: 

  • Only users who are owners or members of the shared channel can access the channel.
  • People not invited to the channel will not see the channel.
  • Shared channels can't be converted to standard or private channels and vice versa.
  • Only channel owners can invite new users, but there can be multiple co-owners of a shared channel
Teams Shared Channels example screenshot

Creating a shared channel

By default, any team owner can create a shared channel in the main Team settings. Whoever creates a shared channel becomes the channel owner, and the channel owner is the only person who can share the channel with others. A channel owner can add anyone from the organization to a shared channel they create.

Team owners can see the names of all shared channels in their team and can also delete any shared channel in the team. (A deleted shared channel can be restored within 30 days after deletion). At this point, a shared channel can only be shared with people at CU Boulder.

Teams Shared Channel user's view

New members can see all conversations (even old conversations) and access any files in the shared channel, but will not see any other content in the overall Team (see screenshot at right). 

Sharing channels with others in your organization

A shared channel can be shared with individual people or with entire teams. These people and teams must be part of your organization. 

  • When a user creates a shared channel, they can choose if they want to share it with the team to which it is connected.
  • When users share a channel with a team, they choose the team owner rather than the team itself. The team owner can then specify any team that they own to be shared and the shared channel owner can approve or deny the connection.
  • If a shared channel is shared with an entire team, people are added and removed from the shared channel as they are added and removed from the team.

Sharing channels with people outside CU Boulder

Sharing channels with users outside of CU Boulder is a new feature and will be rolling out in late 2023.  For more details, visit the Shared Channels with others outside of CU Boulder page

Shared channel owner lifecycle 

A shared channel owner can't be removed from the channel through the Teams client if they are the last owner of one or more shared channels.  

If a shared channel owner leaves your organization, a member of the shared channel from your organization is automatically promoted to be the shared channel owner. A shared channel owner can promote any member of the channel from your organization to be a co-owner.  

Channel owner settings  

Each shared channel has its own settings that the channel owner can manage, including the ability to add and remove members, add tabs, and @mentioning for the entire channel. When a shared channel is created, it inherits settings from the parent team, but going forward its settings can be changed independently of the parent team settings.  

The shared channel owner can click Manage channel, and then use the Members and Settings tabs to add or remove members and edit settings.

Help resources