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© 2020 Amanda Sterner

amanda@amandasterner.com

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The new file experience in Microsoft Teams

Updated: Feb 11

Have you noticed there’s a new file experience in Microsoft Teams? This was announced last year and finally it’s here!


Previously we had a more limited file experience in Microsoft Teams which has been a bit limited. One of the superpowers with Microsoft Teams is the combination of talking and files from SharePoint so it’s been sad to miss all of those SharePoint aspects in Microsoft Teams.


But wheeee here it is, let’s have a look at what you can do with the new file experience. Remember that what I write about below applies to files in a team in Microsoft Teams.


New menu options

We have a couple of new menu options:


Sync – I would say I work with all my files in a synced manner 9 out of 10, I prefer the full function of the desktop app. Before you create a sync between your team and your local computer trough SharePoint but now you can do it in Microsoft Teams as well.


Download – If you click this the full library will be downloaded in a zip file. Handy if you need to save everything from a team quickly, maybe for closing the team or needing a copy somewhere else.


Views – Now we’ll finally have views just as in SharePoint! More about views bellow.


Views in Microsoft Teams

Views is a way of organizing the files that are in the library based on different filters, sorting and groupings. For example, you could decide to have a view that doesn’t show folders to give you an overview of all content or sorted on who created the file. The sky is the limit, sort of, as long as the available metadata is there.


All Documents is the standard view and is added as a default, you could make changes to it or create a new one. In the image below I’ve added All documents (no folders) which show all files but without the folders and Owners which shows all files sorted on Owners where Owner is a metadata column I added myself.

As you can see both filters, sorting and grouping is shown (in the image below my own view Owner is showing, whichs groups by owner).

Both public and private views will be visible here. If you’ve done a fantastic filtering in any of the views you can now also create a view based on that – just as you can in SharePoint.

You can also change the default view of the library, but I noticed it takes a few hours to get this change to show for everyone 😊. It seems like changing the default view only works in the desktop app and not in the mobile app och browser.


Pinning a file

Another thing that’s been made available is the possible to pin a file in the top. I use this feature regularly to mark files I think are extra important to pay attention to at the moment.


To pin a file, you mark it (and remember you can only mark one at a time) and in the top you’ll get option Pin to top

The same pins will also be shown in SharePoint and you can actually have different pinned files in different views.


Check out a file

I’m not a huge fan of checking out files but I understand that sometimes there’s a need to have a file in a team but make sure no-one makes any changes while I’m editing. By clicking , More and Check out you will check out the file

Other people will see if the file is checked out and who checked it out.

When you’re ready to let other edit the file again you follow the same steps but click Check in or Discard check-out.


What is missing? And what can we expect to see soon?

This is a great start, but there are a few things I miss that would make it even better 😊.


  • Being able to add new metadata columns right there in Microsoft Teams so I don’t have to open SharePoint. When I read this roadmap item from Microsoft it seems like this will be available but I can’t see it yet 🙄🤔 I guess it’s a gradual rollout 😶

  • Being able to see the information pane for the file with all the metadata fields and information

  • Being able to update the metadata the same ways as we can in SharePoint


As time passes, we get more and more of the SharePoint feeling inside Microsoft Teams which I’m a huge fan of.


When can you expect to see this in your Microsoft Teams?

Microsoft will start to rollout this now.