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Whether it’s because you need to work offline or you just prefer working from your file system, syncing files from Microsoft Teams to your hard drive is quick and easy. Here’s how to do it.

In order to sync your Microsoft Teams files, you need to have OneDrive installed. If you’re already logged in to Teams with a Microsoft account—even with a free account—then you’ll already have OneDrive access, even if you don’t use it.

In the background, OneDrive is a SharePoint site, and Microsoft Teams stores all of your files in dedicated SharePoint sites. To sync Teams files to your device, you need a client on your device to handle communication with the SharePoint site behind your Team.

To sync your Microsoft Teams files, go to the “Files” tab in a channel in your Team and click “Sync.”

The "Sync" option in the Files tab.

Teams will attempt to connect to the OneDrive client on your device.

The panel showing Teams is connecting to OneDrive.

If you don’t already have the OneDrive client installed, click on the “Get the Latest Version of OneDrive” link and follow the instructions to install it on your computer.

Once the OneDrive client is installed (or if it already was), Teams will ask you to sign in to your Microsoft account.

The OneDrive sign in button.

If you’ve set up two-factor authentication on your Office 365 account (which we strongly recommend doing), you’ll have to approve the sign-in using your authenticator app or SMS code.

The Office MFA approval page.

By default, your files will be synced in Users\[username]\[organization name]\[Team - Channel]. Click “Change Location” if you want to change where they’re stored, then select “Next.”

The option to change the sync location, and the "Next" button.

There are three pages of information about sharing and where your files are, so click “Next” to go through them. On the “Get the Mobile App” page, select “Later.”

The "Later" button.

Now click “Open My OneDrive Folder.”

The "Open my OneDrive folder" button.

The file explorer window will open. You’ll find your synced Microsoft Teams files in a folder named after the team and channel.

The synced folder in OneDrive.

Any changes you make on your device will be automatically synced back to Teams, and vice versa. Additionally, any changes anyone else makes to the files in Teams will be automatically synced to your device. If you are working offline, the sync will happen when you go back online.

The sync process syncs one channel at a time, so if you want to sync files from another channel, you’ll have to run through this process again.

If you delete synced documents from OneDrive, then they will be deleted from Teams as well. To avoid this—or if you no longer need to work on the files—you need to stop syncing the folder. To do this, open the OneDrive app, select “Help & Settings,” then choose “Settings.”

The OneDrive "Settings" menu option.

In the “Account” tab, find the channel you’re syncing, click “Stop sync,” and select “OK.”

The "Stop sync" option in the OneDrive settings.

Click “Stop Sync” on the confirmation window that pops up.

The "Stop syncing" confirmation dialogue.

Any changes you make to the files will no longer be synced to Microsoft Teams, and changes to the files in the client will no longer be synced to the files on your computer. This means that you can delete the files from the file explorer on your machine and they won’t be deleted from Teams.

Profile Photo for Rob Woodgate Rob Woodgate
Rob Woodgate is a writer and IT consultant with nearly 20 years of experience across the private and public sectors. He's also worked as a trainer, technical support person, delivery manager, system administrator, and in other roles that involve getting people and technology to work together.
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