How to Lock a File in Microsoft Teams

Written by Tanja Microsoft Office (365) / Teams

- 5 min read
Key Points

You can choose between three methods to lock a file in Microsoft Teams:

  • By checking out the file
  • By making a separate folder in SharePoint
  • By editing SharePoint user permissions

Did you know that you can restrict access to specific Microsoft Teams files?

We can all agree that privacy is very important when using any platform, especially when you use it for business. Sadly, we are witnesses to data files being compromised daily.

That being said, the privacy of your data and files can also be compromised on Microsoft Teams as every MT member in a team can read or write a file and make changes to it.

However, you can change that and protect the privacy of your MT files by blocking them.

Stay here to learn how to do it - we share three different variants on how you can do it.

Bonus read: How to remove Microsoft Teams profile picture?

Why do users lock files in Microsoft Teams?

Microsoft Teams users want to lock files in MT because any team member can view and edit them whenever they are in a team chat where files are shared. Sometimes, there is information that they simply don’t want to reveal, so restricting others from accessing those files is the best option.

How to lock files in Microsoft Teams

Users who want to lock files in Microsoft Teams and restrict access to specific files can do that by editing the access permissions in SharePoint or OneDrive. By doing so, they will lock those files and prevent other members from being able to edit them.

By checking out the file

You can prevent all team members from editing a file by using the ‘Check out’ option, as long as that particular file is checked out to you.

  1. Open Microsoft Teams as usual and log in to your account there.
  2. Click on 'Files'.

Files option - Microsoft Teams

SharePoint edit permissions

  1. Click on the three dots and then click on 'More'.

More option - MT

More - MT options

  1. Choose the option 'Check Out'.

Check out option

And that is all you need to do. Now, the file you chose has been checked out to your account, and you will be the only one who can edit it.

By making a separate SharePoint folder

You can also lock your MT files by creating a separate SharePoint folder where you will store all the files you want to close. This way, you can manage the access permissions for those files and lock them for specific user categories.

  1. Open SharePoint.
  2. Click on ‘New’ and then click on ‘Folder’.

New > Folder - SharePoint options

  1. You can name this folder, for example, ‘Locked Files’.
  2. Select that folder you just made and click on the three dots.
  3. From the menu, choose and click on ‘Manage access’.

Three dots > Manage access - SharePoint options

  1. To lock the files for a specific user category, click on the down arrow and click on the ‘Can view’ option.

Can view option - Microsoft Teams

Now, that user category will be the only one that can view those files (they cannot edit nor share them, just see them).

By editing SharePoint user permissions

Quick Note: It might be that an organization manages your Microsoft Teams account; in this case, you’ll need to contact your IT department. Otherwise, you won’t be able to edit SharePoint settings because you are not authorized to do so.

  1. Open SharePoint and log in.
  2. Choose the option ‘Site permissions’.
  3. Click on ‘Documents’.
  4. Click on the ‘gear’ (Settings) icon.
  5. Navigate to 'Library settings'.

Library settings - SharePoint options

  1. Find the option ‘Permissions and Management’.
  2. Choose the option ‘Permissions for this document library’.
  3. Choose ‘Members group’ and ‘Stop Inheriting Permissions’.
  4. Choose the option ‘Edit User Permissions’.
  5. Change the permission type from ‘Edit’ to ‘Read’ and click on ‘Save’.

Edit Permissions - SharePoint options

You can also explore other things on MT, like how to increase the font size.

Or, if you are facing issues like your Microsoft Teams arrows not working, we can show you how to fix that.