Access or set your Microsoft Teams default download folder

The other day, i got a question from a reader that mentioned that after downloading multiple files in Microsoft Teams, she couldn’t find those files using File Explorer on her Windows computer.

Where does MS Teams store files?

Microsoft Teams files are stored in public or private clouds or corporate servers, by default in dedicated SharePoint sites (for files shared in a team or channel), Office 365 (conversations, notebooks etc) and in OneDrive (for files shared in chats). You can also store your Files in other file storage services such as Dropbox, Google Drive and Box.

Obviously, there are cases in which you might want to download one, multiple or all files from a Team for backup, or sharing with others with no access to your Team.

In today’s post we’ll try to answer some common questions related to file downloads in Teams, let’s get started:

Microsoft Teams default downloads location

Where does Teams save your downloaded files locally? As of today, Teams downloads either single or multiple files to your default Windows operating system Downloads folder, which you can easily find in your computer File Explorer. Typically that is the Downloads folder, that is by default pinned in the File Explorer quick access.

Form Microsoft Teams it’s quite easy to open the Downloads Folder:

  • Go the your left hands side App Bar.
  • Hit the Files Icon.
  • From the left hand side, hit the Downloads view
  • Hit the prominent Open Downloads Folder button as shown below.
  • That will open the Downloads folder.

How to change Teams download folder location?

You are able to change your Teams download folder location by following these steps:

  • Open your Microsoft Teams app
  • Hit your profile icon.
  • Hit Manage account
  • From the left hand sidebar, select the Files tab.
  • In the Downloads section, hit the Change button.
  • Use the File Explorer dialog to pick an alternative location in your computer, OneDrive or other path that you might have mapped in File Explorer.
  • Hit OK
  • Close the Settings dialog in Teams.

Note: You are now able to have Teams prompt you for your preferred destination folder every time you download a file. You can set this also from Files >> Downloads section in the Microsoft Teams settings.

Change Default Windows downloading folder

You can however change the downloads folder location from the File Explorer. This will apply for all your Windows apps, not only Teams.

  • Hit the Magnifying Glass in your Windows Task bar.
  • Type File Explorer.
  • In the Quick access section right click your Downloads entry.
  • Hit Properties.
  • Then hit Location and change to other folder in your computer.
  • Hit Move…
  • and then OK.

Downloading multiple files in Microsoft Teams

When you download multiple files, those are zipped by the default to a zipped file named OneDrive+<the download date>. Those would also go by default into your default download folder.

Chat download locations

Files and images shared in one to one conversation threads, are stored in the OneDrive of the person who share the files. Shared files in Group chats are stored in the Channel folder on SharePoint site of the Team. You can easily access those files from Teams, or directly through SharePoint.

Find a file in Teams for download

Often times, colleagues share with us folders or files in Teams so we can later download them for offline use, but sometimes, it’s very hard to find those files.

So the question is how to easily find files in Teams:

  • First off, you can use the very handy Teams Search bar, just go ahead and type part of your file name and hit Enter.
  • Another alternative is to type the /files command in the Search bar to view your recent files.
  • A third alternative is to hit the Files button from your Teams left hand side Apps bar. From there you can easily browse through your Recent files, or quickly lookup for files stored in your OneDrive or other Microsoft Teams location, or other connected cloud storage drive.

You might as well look into our more complete tutorial on finding files in Teams.