Create new shared file storage using Teams, and sync it to your computers

Your company already has one or more shared file areas in Microsoft 365 which are accessible to people in your company through and File Explorer. You’ll know this as the SharePoint Site, the Team Site, or the Communication Site or just shared files.

You can create new shared folders, and you can specify who has access to them. For example, you might want a Management area with access only for company directors, or an Accounts area with access to directors and certain administration staff.

We’ll create these new shared folders using Microsoft Teams, because when you create a new team, a new shared file area is automatically created in the background. Teams will also allow you to communicate securely with the people in that team, instant message them, initiate video calls, meetings and so on, and access the files from within Teams as well as in File Explorer. You get a lot of useful extra features in addition to your shared files.


Create a new team

There’s a video which covers this brief section, or follow the step-by-step instructions below.

Open Teams and click the Join or create a team button in the bottom-left corner

Click Create a team.

Select Build a team from scratch.

Select Private.

Give your Team a name and an optional description then click the Create button. For the purposes of this example we’re going to call ours Accounts.

Next you want to add members to your Team. These will be the people who can access your new shared file storage, and you’ll be able to communicate securely amongst yourselves.

Start to type of the name of a member of staff and then click their name when it appears. You don’t need to yet, but you can also add people from outside the company at this stage by entering their full email address. They’ll receive an email welcoming them to the team with links on how to access it. Remember that these people will have access to all the files added to that team in the future, so be careful when adding external users.

When you’ve added everyone (and you can add more later) click Add and Close.

You’ll see your new team in the left-hand pane, and a General channel below it. Click on General and click the Files tab. This is where our new shared files and folders will be.

The people you added as members will see this in Teams on their computers and phones almost immediately, and they’ll receive an email notification. Later, you might want to add new channels to the team (such as Clients or Orders) as a way of breaking down and organising the information relating to the new team.


Sync the new shared folder to your PC

Next we’ll get the new file storage syncing with your PC using the OneDrive app, just like the main communications site already does. This makes it easier to use File Explorer access these files.

The other members of the new team will need to complete this step too.

In Teams, make sure you’re in the General channel of the new team you created (in our example, Accounts) and click the Files tab followed by the Sync button.

OneDrive on your computer will pop-up briefly, and you may be asked if you want to switch to OneDrive. Click Yes.

You’ll receive a notification that You are now syncing Your Team – General and you can see this folder in File Explorer under Your Company > Your Team – General.

Feel free to create new files and folders in there as you wish and they’ll be synced to your colleagues’ PCs. Similarly, anything you delete will be removed from their PCs too.

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