Teams: #FightCorona – Files: Tab, Pin, Search and Move

This introductory blog series is intended for remote workers who have started using Teams due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Teams will be an essential tool in the battle to stay productive, to stay connected, and to fight corona as one global community. It is not intended for IT Pros which should refer to the Teams Real Simple with Pictures series, also on this site

Day 1: Desktop Client Orientation 101
Day 2: How do I join or create a team? Create a channel? Start a chat?
Day 3: How do I chat with others outside of my organisation?
Day 4: Rich chat features for effective conversations
Day 5: Mentions, Tags and Read Reciepts
Day 6: How can I set my availability? When is it right to chat and call?
Day 7: How can I schedule a meeting?
Day 8: How do I join a meeting?
Day 9: How do I turn the meeting lobby on or off?
Day 10: How do I add an agenda prior to the meeting?
Day 11: Rescheduling and cancelling meetings
Day 12: In The Meeting: How do I blur my background?
Day 13: In The Meeting: How do I mute or remove others?
Day 14: In The Meeting: Playing video with audio
Day 15: In The Meeting: Pinning Participants
Day 16: In The Meeting: Recording a Teams Meeting
Day 17: In The Meeting: Taking Control of a PowerPoint Presentation
Day 18: In The Meeting: Hard to hear? Use Live Captions
Day 19: Presenter and Attendee Meeting Roles
Day 20: How can I call other people?
Day 21: How can I forward calls?
Day 22: How can I configure Voicemail?
Day 23: Simultanuous Ring and Secondary Ringer
Day 24: Call Contacts, Speed Dial and Speed Dial Groups
Day 25: How do I hold, transfer, park or retrieve a call?
Day 26: Files – Create, Upload, Sync and Share
Day 27: Files – Tab, Pin, Search and Move
Day 28: Apps Part 1: What are Apps? How can I add them?
Day 29: Apps Part 2: Bots, Connectors and Custom Apps
Day 30: Everything else I think you should know.  Change is the most constant of all

Written: 12/04/2020 | Updated: N/A

Applies to:

The last blog looked at what you needed to know about files if you were using Teams for the very first time. How to create them. How to upload your existing files from your local machine. How to sync Teams files and personal files to your desktop and how to share files with others outside of your Team or outside of your organisation. This blog is all about accessing and finding files. In my experience, most people use certain files more than others. We don’t want to have to trawl through all our files in order to be able to find specific ones every time. It wastes time and effort and hammers productivity. A good file experience allows us to find them quickly, easily and have them to hand when we need them

We will look at

  • How to create a document tab in a Team
  • How to pin a file in a Team
  • How to search for a file
  • How to move a file to a Team from OneDrive and vice versa

NOTE: this refers to using Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents. Other types of files can be viewed within their corresponding app (I.e. PDF documents)


If there is a document that we use and collaborate on frequently, and want to also have  it visible within a Team channel at all times we can set it as a tab. Imagine scenarios where we have a word document which outlines our Teams working instructions, or an excel document which contains a list of customers and contacts we need to call over a period of time. We don’t want to have to rummage around the files tab or in folders of folders if we have hundreds of files in there

NOTE: the file must already be uploaded to the Team and within the files tab to do this

Select Teams from the app bar on the left


Select the Team, then the Channel, then Add Tab (+) 


Search for and select the WordExcel or PowerPoint app


Add a name for the Tab, select the file which is already in the Team and then Save


Our document is now set as a tab in the Team. We can easily locate and collaborate on it without having to search through the files tab



Pinning files are great for frequently accessed files, or to hold a file in place where you are intermittantly working on that file over a period of time. Like document tabs, they allow for speedy and easy access without having to search for the file

Select Teams from the app bar on the left


Select the Team, then the Channel, then Files


Select the file and then Pin to Top


The file is pinned and visibily stands out above the list of files


To unpin, simply select the pinned file, select Edit Pin and then Unpin



If we are having trouble locating the file, we can always search for it.

In the search bar at the top of the Teams client, enter the name of the file or a word in the file name. Select search for [File]


In the search results select Files. All the files that contain that word will be shown along with the Team and Channel they are located in


Another way is to use slash commands in the search bar. Adding /Files will display a list of recent files you have worked on, together with which Team and Channel they are located in


If you add a word after /Files it will further search for all files containing this word



Moving a file between your personal files in OneDrive and the Teams files in SharePoint is easy to do in Teams. We may be working on a document personally and then at some point are ready to push it into the team for others to collaborate. We can also move files from a Team into our personal files for scenarios like polishing them up

Select Files from the app bar on the left


Select OneDrive, then the file. Select move


Select Browse Teams and Channels then select the Team to move it to


Select the Channel to move it to


Select Move


The file has now been moved from OneDrive to the Team. It is no longer in OneDrive



The same method applies to moving a file between a Team and OneDrive. Select the file in the Team and select Move


Select OneDrive and then Move


The file has now been moved from the Team to OneDrive. It is no longer in the Team



You can also use the Move functionality to move files between Teams and channels without having to manually move the document. Moves can also work for a batch of files if you want to move several in one go

Our job here is done for today! I hope that you now understand

  • How to create a document tab in a Team
  • How to pin a file in a Team
  • How to search for a file
  • How to move a file to a Team from OneDrive and vice versa

Being able to access files easily is a key part of the files experience. The easier it is to find and access those which are needed the most, the better. Tabs, pinning, searching  and moving allow us to do that. Now, this is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what you can do with files – you can go on to learn all the cool stuff like versioning and check in and check out, custom views in Teams and surfacing metadata. You can also go on to learn how you use permissions to control who can access/edit/download files in a Team. In my experience of using files in Teams, it always comes back to the fundamentals of location, speed of access and organisation. This is why I have always been passionate about the files experience with Teams and especially since the new tighter experience with SharePoint came in this year. It is probably Teams’ most underappreciated feature

I hope you enjoyed this blog

Tomorrow’s blog is going to be: Apps Part 1: What are apps? How can I add them?


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