Office 365: Where do the Microsoft Teams channel conversations and files get saved?

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In my previous article we have seen what is Microsoft Teams, how to create team in Microsoft Teams?, what is channel and how to add channel in Microsoft Teams,
and SharePoint vs Microsoft Teams – understanding the differences.

In this article, we will learn the below when we do the conversation over the Microsoft Teams channel:

  • Where does the Microsoft Teams channel conversation gets saved?
  • Where does the Microsoft Teams file gets saved?

Where does the Microsoft Teams channel conversation gets saved?

As far as storage is concerned with Microsoft Teams – the conversations get saved in exchange and files in SharePoint.

Microsoft Teams channel conversations are stored in an Azure instance for the chat service and also in the group mailbox which gets created automatically when we create a team in Microsoft Teams as a hidden folder for compliance reasons! This folder is not meant to be accessed by users! So while we try to search this folder from group mail box – we cannot find it. We can search this folder via eDiscovery and content search for compliance reasons.

  • Team channel conversations are stored in azure and copied to the same folder on the attached group mailbox (hidden) similar to chats.
  • Files in chats get saved to the uploaders or chat starter’s MIcrosoft Teams Chat Files (Upload) or inplace share from OneDrive.
  • The Outlook link is to the Office 365 group inbox which is basically a shared e-mail inbox with group membership.

Lets verify “SharePoint Migration Team”(which we have created in the Microsoft Teams) – folder does not exists under the group mail box “Folders” as we have discussed this will be located here as a hidden folder due to the compliance reasons.

Microsoft Teams Channel Conversations
Microsoft Teams Channel Conversations

Where do the Microsoft Teams channel files get saved?

Files in Teams are stored in default documents library in the attached SharePoint site.

We have attached a file in the team channel – as highlighted below- lets see where does this file gets stored in SharePoint?

Microsoft Teams Channel File
Microsoft Teams Channel File

Now lets login to the SharePoint Migration Team site which got created automatically thru the Microsoft Teams.

Here, we can see now that the file which was uploaded in the Team Channel is available under the default document library “Documents” ->SharePoint Migration Team – Channel (Team channel name).

Microsoft Teams Channel File - SharePoint
Microsoft Teams Channel File – SharePoint

Is there any connection between Microsoft Teams and OneDrive?

By now we know what is Microsoft Teams – lets understand now what is OneDrive.

OneDrive is essentially an online folder system for file storage – it is a Microsoft’s file hosting and synchronization service operated as part of Office Online services. We will use this to secure individual corporate file storage and sharing. This file system is individual oriented – so we should only keep personal files in OneDrive – it does not mean we cannot keep business or corporate files, we can – but we should ensure to share those files with the team otherwise files will be stuck in a personal folder which will create lots of business issue if that person leaves the company.  We can say this is equivalent to my site in SharePoint on-premise.

This is my OneDrive site – here we can see that the team “SharePoint Migration Team” which we have created in Microsoft Teams – we can see that team site under the “Teams & Sites” menu.

Microsoft Teams - OneDrive
Microsoft Teams – OneDrive

File storage in Microsoft Teams:

Files that we share in a channel are stored in the particular team’s SharePoint folder which can be found in the Files tab at the top of each channel.

Files that we share in a private or group chat are stored in your OneDrive for Business folder and are only shared with the people in that conversation. These will be found in the Files tab at the top of a chat.

Note:

The OneDrive files you see in Teams are OneDrive for Business files associated with your Office 365 account—not your personal OneDrive. Teams can’t currently connect to your personal OneDrive.

SharePoint vs Teams vs OneDrive vs Groups

By now we have a fair idea about SharePoint, Microsoft Teams, OneDrive and Office 365 Groups. In order to run the business – when we should use which one. I would say each one of these has its own needs, scopes in the business – so one cannot be replaced by another one.

Lets brief about each one of them.

  • SharePoint: Share documents with entire departments or organization wide.
  • Teams: Communication channel to collaborate on documents with internal and external teams(projects teams).
  • OneDrive: Personal file management system.
  • Groups: It is a group mail box to Share the conversations.

Scenario –  when to use which one?

It all depends on the business needs.

If we do not need much conversations, planner, notebook – only need to deal with files or documents management then we can go with SharePoint site. This becomes practical – if just couple of people are handling these files, then SharePoint site would be optimal choice otherwise recommended to go with Microsoft Teams.

Definitely we should never use OneDrive for group collaboration – as discussed OneDrive is for personal needs, if we store business files in someone’s OneDrive and that person leaves the company, those files would be lost unless we have moved them somewhere else.

If this is a dedicated group of people that have conversations/collaborations with each other, in this scenario we can go with a Group.

Summary:

Thus, in this article we have learned the below concepts with respect to Microsoft Teams:

  • Where is Microsoft teams chat stored.
  • Where is conversation history\team chat gets stored.
  • How does Microsoft teams conversation history and outlook connected each other.
  • Microsoft teams chat history location.
  • Where is Microsoft teams data stored.
  • Where is teams conversation history stored in outlook and Azure.
  • SharePoint vs Teams vs OneDrive vs Groups.
  • File storage in Microsoft Teams.

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