Microsoft Teams: What happens when...


Here is a post I wrote for the Microsoft ITOps Talk Blog. It’s a bit different than the usual, but I wanted to share a few findings that may help you in case you were wondering too!

Top 10 Things to Look Out For When Using Microsoft Teams

Use of Microsoft Teams has increased greatly as of late with many of us now working from home. I have recently received a lot of questions in terms of how to complete specific tasks in Microsoft Teams amidst my friends and colleagues and thought it might be of value to share with all of you as well. Here is a list of the top 10 things to look out for when using Microsoft Teams.

1- @mentioning someone not part of the Microsoft Teams Team

From my experience, security trimming within Microsoft 365 has always been working at its best. Therefore, if you try to @mention someone in a channel where the user is not part of that Team, permissions will not auto-magically change, and you simply won’t find a match for that user.

2- Changing a Microsoft Teams Team from Private to Public

From a Microsoft Teams perspective, the Team will now be available for users to join without requiring approval(s). They will become “Members” automatically if they decide to join.

And as we know, there is a close relationship between Teams and SharePoint. By changing the privacy settings, a built-in group called “Everyone except external users” will be added to the associated SharePoint site, and the user(s) will be able to access the content, with Edit permissions on the site.

Clicking on the “Conversations” tab in SharePoint (on the quick launch), the users will be added to the Microsoft 365 Group to join the fun!

3- Renaming a channel in Microsoft Teams

Well… in Microsoft Teams, you now have the name you were after. Good job! BUT, it’s another story in SharePoint. And it can get extremely messy.

Every channel in Teams is translated by a folder in the SharePoint world. Therefore, you’d think that renaming a channel will rename the (associated) folder in SharePoint? Nope. It will not. At least at this point in time (Sept 2020). If you use the “Open in SharePoint” option, it will still work, but you’ll still see the old name.

Next, you try to rename the folder directly in SharePoint? Don’t do that! Because you’ll be faced with an error, and meanwhile, a folder has been RE-CREATED in SharePoint. With the old name!

Talking about confusing users…

4- Creating a Private channel in Microsoft Teams

This is a feature in Microsoft Teams that we have for a few months now. That’s when the Team permissions model is broken. You want to allow a different set of people but stay in the same context (the Team). You’ll get a lock icon, and everything is beautiful.

But from a SharePoint perspective, a NEW site is created: Sure thing, you’re breaking the permissions, so things must be separated in the best way possible. Furthermore, those “private” sites are not visible in the SharePoint Admin Center, but only by using PowerShell (as of Sept 2020).

5- Posting in multiple channels

Sometimes it’s useful to share information amongst the different Teams (you have access to) in the organization. By using the “Post in multiple channels” option, you avoid copy/paste, which could be time consuming.

By doing that, each Team you post into, will have its own thread of replies, and only changing the subject or the content of your post will be cascaded to the other channels.

6- Adding someone else in Microsoft Teams’ chats

Teams Chats are usually for conversing with a particular user, not the whole team. But sometimes, you may want another colleague to join the discussion.

Because you’re currently in a One-To-One chat situation, adding a colleague will automatically create a new chat group, separated from your current one-to-one.

Redirecting instead of recreating
If you’ve got a lot of chats going on, maybe you forgot you’ve already got a group chat with the same people you’re trying to add. If that’s the case, Microsoft Teams will automatically direct you to that group, and will not create a second group with the same people!

7- Sharing documents in Microsoft Teams’ chats

Compared to sharing in a channel, not much. The experience is the same. But the stored location is different! That’s right, files shared in Teams Chats aren’t going to SharePoint. Well… technically they are, but… Let’s not start confusing people.

Anyways, when sharing files in a chat (not a channel), the files are stored in your OneDrive For Business. If you look closely, there’s a folder called Microsoft Teams Chat Files. Inside are all the files shared in your chats, with the correct permissions given to appropriate users.

8- Sharing documents in Microsoft Teams’ chats (personal) and adding someone later…

In this scenario, we assume a minimum of 3 people are already chatting (as of Sept 2020), and then decide to add another participant to the conversation. At this point, you’ll be asked to enter the name of the other participant, and choose amongst the following:

– Don’t include chat history – Include history from the past number of days [number] – Include all chat history

Those options are self-explanatory, and you can choose differently when adding users.

9- Users share files in a Teams’ chat, then leave the chat…

If you leave the chat, you can’t add yourself back (even when you created the group), and only the remaining people can do so. The “Files” tab is empty BUT the files are still shared with the other participants. Your messages will persist and won’t be deleted.

Leave the organization: This is part of a wider Governance plan, as to what to do with OneDrive for Business files, emails, chats, etc… when a user is offboarded.

10- Users share files in a Teams’ chat then delete those files…

Here we’re talking about deleting the files from the “Microsoft Teams Chat Files” in your OneDrive for Business. Despite the file still being visible in the Teams Chat, the user you shared the document with, will face:

– Error message when clicking on the document, – Error “404 Not Found” when trying to open in the browser, – Error message “Sorry we ran into a problem, the file didn’t download” when trying to download it

Restoring the file from the Recycle Bin will resolve the problem, put the file back into the Microsoft Teams Chat Files folder, and restore the permissions.