Comparison of Document Library Capabilities in Teams & SharePoint

Every Microsoft Team has an associated SharePoint site that provides the storage for files associated with that team. The Default Documents library in that site is exposed in the Files tab of each Teams channel, where each channel has an associated folder in the library.

Every member of the team has access to this library content. There may very well be a requirement for additional libraries to be added to the SharePoint site – maybe to support unique access requirements. Private channels of course can provide for this but it seems overkill to create one simply to provision a private file space.


The end result is that we can have three very different set of capabilities when it comes to working with files in Teams – namely ..

1 – Access the files directly in the SharePoint site (Open in SharePoint menu item) – this obviously offers the richest experience.

2 – Access files in the Files tab of the Team – offers a subset of file management capabilities.

3 – Access files when added as an additional document library tab to the Team – offers an even smaller subset of file management features.

For my own sanity I thought it worth while documenting this. In addition your clients are going to question why these different capabilities exist – a tricky conversation. We should see increased parity going forward between the Files tab & SharePoint. I’m not so sure that additional document libraries will receive as much attention in this regard.

In my experience the one that causes most pain is the inability to share a file from Teams directly. Having to “Open in SharePoint” is a jarring user experience as there’s an entire UI shift. This is however on the roadmap, thankfully.


Comparison of Document Library ..



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