As part of the M365 Voice podcast, we’ll often answer questions from listeners about the Microsoft 365 platform. We recently received a great question from a listen about “Can I upload files directly from SharePoint to Teams?”. We answered the question from several perspectives, and eventually ended up in a discussion about where data is actually stored in Microsoft Teams. We wanted to follow up that session with a blog to share a helpful table with everyone that itemizes the various types of data stored in Teams, share where that data is actually stored and categorize each data type by some of the compliance capabilities that are supported.
During our podcast, we answered the question “Can I upload files directly from SharePoint to Teams?” from from at least 2 different perspectives – they were:
- Can and how would I migrate files from SharePoint on-premises to Microsoft Teams?
- Can I move files from SharePoint Online to Microsoft Teams?
You can listen to this podcast episode here for the full discussion:
The second perspective, led us to a fairly in depth discussion about “where my data in Microsoft Teams is actually stored”. We had a helpful visual aid during this pod cast to illustrate all the different data types in Teams, where that data is stored, and (because I’m a security and compliance geek) which retention and eDiscovery capabilities are supported for each data types.
I’d like to share that table here in case it’s helpful to others. Please keep in mind, this table is up to date as of now (Nov 2021). As Microsoft continues to build out and evolve the Microsoft Teams platform, more data may be added and some of this might change.
Microsoft Teams Data and Microsoft 365 Records Management & Compliance Capabilities
The following table presents a detailed view of the different types of data that Microsoft Teams can work with or store, where that data is stored, and the Microsoft 365 records management, legal hold and eDiscovery capabilities that are supported. There were several sources on the internet that helped fill in this table, and in particular a good friend of ours, Habib Mankal (@HabibMankal on Twitter), helped to fill in some important blanks.
|Teams Data Item||Stored in Teams Azure Substrate (Underlying Service)||Additional Storage Location & Notes||Retention Policies||Retention Labels||Legal Hold||eDiscovery/ Advanced eDiscovery|
|Channel conversations||Yes||A process also saves a copy in hidden Exchange group mailbox for compliance purposes. |
– Code snippets, recorded voice memos from the Teams mobile client, thumbnails, announcement images, and reactions from others in the form of emoticons are not retained when using Retention Policies for Teams.
– Channel names, feed notifications, reactions (likes, hearts, etc.) are not eDiscoverable.
– When a user or group is placed on hold, all message copies will be retained. For example, if a user posted a message in a channel and then modified the message, in a hold scenario, both copies of the message are retained. Without the legal hold in-place, only the latest message is retained.
|Files Stored in a Channel (Files tab)||Reference to file||A SharePoint site is created for each team. A document library is created for each channel and files are stored here This includes any files stored in the Files tab, including Office Files, PDFs, OneNote notebooks, etc.||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Files shared during channel conversations||Reference to file||A SharePoint site is created for each team. A document library is created for each channel and files are stored here||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Emails sent to channels||Reference to email||Any emails sent to the channel email are stored in a folder called “Email Messages” within the channels document library||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|1:1 chat messages||Yes||In a hidden folder within user mailbox, only accessible via eDiscovery; each user maintains separate copy of chat transcript||Yes||No||Yes||Yes|
|Group chat messages (1:N Chat)||Yes||In a hidden folder within user mailbox, only accessible via eDiscovery; each user maintains separate copy of chat transcript||Yes||No||Yes||Yes|
|Files shared during 1:1 and group chats||Reference to file||Users’ OneDrive for Business, in a folder called “Microsoft Teams Chat Files”||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Images shared during chats||Yes||Stored in separate media store on Azure||No||No||No||No|
|Meeting recordings||Reference to meeting recording||– If a meeting is booked through a Team’s channel, and therefore the Team’s M365 Group is the organizer, then the meeting recording is stored in the SharePoint site associated with the Team.|
– If a meeting is booked by a person, through their Outlook calendar so that the person is the organizer, then the meeting recording is stored in the OneDrive for Business site of the user that clicked record.
|Yes||Yes||Yes||No (recording files may be found, but eDiscovery cannot index within recordings)|
|Files shared during a meeting chat||Yes||– If a meeting is booked through a Team’s channel, and therefore the Team’s M365 Group is the organizer, then the shared file is stored in the SharePoint site associated with the Team.|
– If a meeting is booked by a person, through their Outlook calendar, then the file is stored in the OneDrive for Business site of the user that shared the file, in a folder called “Microsoft Teams Chat Files”
|Chat during a meeting||Yes||Hidden folder within users’ mailboxes, only accessible via eDiscovery; each user maintains separate copy of chat transcript||Yes||No||Yes||Yes|
|Voicemail messages||Reference to voicemail message||In user’s mailbox, this includes transcript of voicemail||Yes||No||Yes||Yes|
|Notes in Wiki||Yes||User’s OneDrive for Business, in a folder called “Wiki” within the “Microsoft Teams Data” folder||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Tabs||Yes||Varies by type of tab; a tab that includes information from a third party will store the data directly in the system used by that party and only present a view of it||Depends on the Tab||Depends on the Tab||Depends on the Tab||Depends on the Tab|
|Call detail records (meeting metadata)||Yes||Hidden folder within user mailbox; a record is generated for each call and meeting in Teams. For each call or meeting, the following is captured: |
– Meeting or call start and end time, and duration
– Call/Meeting join and leave events for each participant
– VoIP join/calls
– PSTN join/dial-in events
– Anonymous join
– Federated user join
– Guest user join
– Calls to voicemail
– Missed or unanswered calls
– Call transfers (represented as two separate calls)
|Private Channel Conversations||Yes||Private channel conversations are stored in user mailboxes, not in a group mailbox of a Team.||Yes (must be applied to the user mailbox)||No||Yes (through user mailbox)||Yes (through user mailbox)|
|Private Channel Files||Yes||Stored in a dedicated SharePoint site for the Private Channel; this is a different SharePoint site from the Team’s site.||Yes||Yes||Yes (PowerShell is required here)||Yes (PowerShell is required here)|