Teams Real Simple with Pictures – Controlling who can edit documents in a Channel

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Written: 14/07/2019 | Updated: N/A

Document collaboration and co-authoring (when we work at the same time) is one of the core functionalities of Teams. We have the ability to do this seamlessly whether it is our Word Documents, or Excel Spreadsheets, or PowerPoint presentations, knowing that they are stored in a single place and are accessible from anywhere on any device. However, there may be times where there is a single owner for the Teams documents or we simply need to create documents for viewing purposes only, limiting other members of our team from making changes. Controlling documents in channels and who can edit them is very straightforward, and many issues resulting from unauthorized changes can be easily prevented


  • To prevent documents in a channel from being edited
  • To ensure that changes to documents are controlled


The following is required

  • Teams licence
  • SharePoint licence

Usually both are within an Office 365 licence. The user needs to be an owner of the Team


1.) In the Teams client, select the Channel and go to Files. There may or may not be files already present


2.) Select Open in SharePoint. This will open the underlying SharePoint site where the document is housed



3.) Select Documents on the left menu, select the channel folder the document is housed in (in this case General), right click on the folder, select Details then Manage Access. This shows a list of permissions on the channel folder



4.) Change the permissions on the document for Team Members from Can Edit to Can View. Visually, this will be shown by a change in the image from a Pencil to what looks like an Eye



5.) Our work here is done. Logging into the Teams site as a member of the Team who does not have the permissions results in not being able to edit the document



Owners can continue to upload files and collaborate as they wish, whilst members will only be able to view documents. With View permissions on the Channel Team members will also not be able to add new documents. If there is a case in the future where a Team Member needs to edit documents in the Channel then either unique permissions can be added in SharePoint for that Team Member via Advanced Settings in order to make them an Owner on the channel folder or their Team permissions can be upped from a Team Member to a Team Owner.

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