Pin a Channel in Microsoft Teams

When Microsoft Teams was first launched, and many within the community recognized that there would be a proliferation of Teams and Channels on the platform, there were requests to “archive” both. The process of “archiving” is much more complicated than backing up a file share or even a SharePoint team site since Microsoft Teams is comprised of both SharePoint and Exchange workloads. Uploaded/shared content  is archived through SharePoint, and chat/meetings are archived through Exchange. While there is a legitimate conversation to be had around a simplified archival process from within the Teams admin console, what most people were actually requesting was a more streamlined navigation experience. In other words, they wanted to see only the Teams and Channels that were important.

Microsoft’s first steps in cleaning up this process was to automatically “hide” Teams that are less frequently used through an artificial intelligence (AI)-based feature. Of course, users could also “favorite” or “un-favorite” a Team or Channel to manually un-hide or hide, respectively, a Team or Channel. But even if you’re only a member of 2 or 3 Teams, you can still find yourself scrolling (annoyingly) through dozens (or more) Channels to find what you’re looking for. The reality is that active Teams users are often jumping between specific, active Channels within multiple Teams, scrolling and expanding to get to the right place.

Thankfully, we now have the ability to “pin” relevant channels to the left nav. I discussed this feature on the November 2019 Productivity Tips webinar when the feature became generally available, and you can jump to this specific tip in the video by clicking here.

Why Pinning Matters

I find that it is often the small, incremental feature improvement that has the biggest impact on the ways in which we work. For me, pinning Channels instantly solved my biggest aggrievement with Teams. While the issue was not impacting my use of Teams for client work, it was an annoyance that made me less-than-enthusiastic to participate in some of the community-related Teams, some of which had (have) become a hot mess of conversations that I hated having to wade through.

Pinning Channels is a clean and simple solution to help you stay organized, and you can now “pin” your most active Channels to the top of your left nav.

To pin a Channel, highlight the Channel and either right click on the Channel name, or select the ellipses (…), and then select Pin

Select a channel to pin in Microsoft Teams

Once pinned, you’ll immediately see a new Pinned section appear at the top of your left nav with the pinned Channel and the related Team name. Pin multiple Channels, and you’ll see a short list of favorites, providing you with easier navigation.

Pinned channels in Microsoft Teams

To remove a pinned Channel, simply reverse the process and select Unpin the channel. Out of sight, out of mind!

I hope you find this kind of tip helpful. I’m planning to go back through some of my favorite Productivity Tips and expand on some of the items that I shared. And if you enjoy this type of content, be sure to join Tom Duff (@duffbert) and I each month for our Office 365 Productivity Tips webinars during which we share 10 new tips in every episode. You can check out the series to-date in the top nav of my blog, or by clicking here.

Additional Resources

  • Show, hide, or pin a team or channel in Teams (Support.Office)
  • Get the most out of Microsoft Teams with these tips and tricks (OnMSFT)
  • Art of Pinning channels to the top and using channel notifications for effect (MyTeamsDay)
  • Best Microsoft Teams Features – 25 Hidden Gems We Use in 2020 (Mio)

Christian Buckley

Christian is a Microsoft Regional Director and Office Apps & Services MVP, and the Founder & CEO of CollabTalk LLC, an independent research and technical marketing services firm based in Lehi, Utah, through which he provides fractional-CMO for partners in the Microsoft ecosystem.