Getting more out of Microsoft Teams: Everything about SharePoint, OneDrive, and storing files in Teams

Arif Bacchus

One of the core purposes of Microsoft Teams is collaboration. Often this is done through chats and video calls. However, there’s also an under-the-hood layer to Teams that handles all the pictures, files, and other content you send in a chat or channel.

Indeed, since Teams is a Microsoft product, anytime you share a file or document in a channel or chat, it goes to either Microsoft SharePoint or Microsoft OneDrive. As we continue our new series which explains how you can get more out of Microsoft 365 today we’ll dive deeper into how both SharePoint and OneDrive work in Teams.  Here’s a look at everything you need to know.

SharePoint in Teams

When Microsoft Teams is set up by an IT Administrator, all Teams channels will automatically get something that’s known as a SharePoint Team site. SharePoint is a secure place to store, organize, share, and access information from any device. Think of it as an Office whiteboard, where anyone is free to stick notices, or draw and leave objects for the entire office to see.

For you, the end-user, SharePoint is where files can be stored so everyone in the channel can access shared items. It’s great for collaborating on notebooks in OneNote, collaborating on a Word Document, or to to look for a file that was shared in a channel earlier. Basically, if you upload an image or put a file in a public and organization-wide channel, this is where it will go for everyone to see.

At any time, you can get to the specific SharePoint for a Teams channel by clicking on the bar that runs along the top of the channel, and choose Files. You should then see a list of everything that was shared on this channel. You also can upload more, if you want, by clicking the New button. Additionally, you can manually open a folder or a file in SharePoint Online. Just right-click it, and then choose Open in SharePoint. This will take you to your web browser.

OneDrive in Teams

Microsoft Teams Onedrive

While SharePoint in Teams is for group collaboration, OneDrive in Teams is all about privacy. In Teams, OneDrive is for personal files or documents that only you are working on. As Microsoft notes, you can think of it as a personal or cloud version of the My Documents folder on your PC.

This is a bit more private when compared to SharePoint, as only you will have access to stuff uploaded in OneDrive, as long as you don’t share the link. So, in Teams itself, any file you share in a private chat, or in a group chat will go to OneDrive. The files you share in OneDrive in Teams are always in sync, and just like SharePoint, will always be available for viewing. The difference, though, is that the files are private, and are for your own viewing.

At any time, you can access OneDrive in Teams by clicking on the Files button in the sidebar of Microsoft Teams. From there, you should see an option that says Cloud storage. Once you click that, you’ll see OneDrive under that. From there, you’ll have a list of all your personal documents. You also should see two folders for Microsoft Teams Chat Files and Microsoft Teams Data. In these two folders, you’ll find your Teams data (as we described above.)

Teams has everything you need!

As you can tell, with both OneDrive and SharePoint, Teams has everything you need to be your hub for collaboration. We’ve just started our series and will continue to dive deeper into how you can get organized, set up, and up and running with Microsoft 365. Keep tuned in the weeks ahead, and let us know if you have any suggestions by dropping us a comment below.