Microsoft Teams – Usage Statistics and Archiving

There is a lot of focus on teams at the moment from Microsoft and the IT industry as a whole and rightly so in my opinion.

In case you didn’t know when you create a Microsoft Team, you get the following items:

  • A new Office 365 group
  • A SharePoint Online site and document library to store team files
  • An Exchange Online shared mailbox and calendar
  • A OneNote notebook

Microsoft has a great PDF showing the logical structure of a Team here

With all these different parts being deployed ever time a user creates a team you can see why many IT admins, switch Teams creation off for all users or my preferred approach which is to create an approval workflow using flow and azure functions to contain the Teams sprawl.

Microsoft Team Analytics

Inside the Microsoft teams, desktop application there is a little feature many users and administrators don’t even know is there and that is the analytics on all the teams you are in and the ability to archive and delete a team.

This screen gives you the ability to check the statistics such as active users vs inactive users, people, guest, messages and type (Public or Private) for up to the last 28 days.

Check statistics

To check the statistics, all you have to do to check is:

  1. Click the Manage Teams ⚙ on the bottom left of the Teams Application
  2. Press analytics at the top of the screen
  3. You will now see all the teams you are a member of an overview.

The overview screen will also give you access to more data by clicking into any one of your teams.

Teams dashboard

you can now use this information to decide whether certain users need to be removed or if the team can be archived or deleted.

How to Archive teams and Delete Teams – User-Driven

Archiving a Microsoft Team places the team and all its content in read-only mode.

  1. Click the Manage Teams ⚙ on the bottom left of the Teams Application
  2. Find the Team you want to archive and press the ellipsis
  3. Select the Archive Team.
Archive Team

How to Archive Teams and Delete Teams – Administrator Driven

The Teams administration centre has similar reports

Admin centre reports

Many admins are utilising PowerShell scripts to be able to get an overview of which teams are in use and potentially can be deleted/archived.

If you want some automation to the management of Teams, Group expiration is available but this is only currently in the Azure AD P1 SKU meaning an additional cost if you want automatic group expiration and the ability to block certain offensive words and enforce a naming policy.

To be able to archive and delete teams in the Admin portal you have to do the following:

  1. Go to the Teams Admin centre
  2. Click Teams
  3. Click Manage Teams
  4. Select Team
  5. Select Archive

The Team will now be placed in Read-only mode, and I recommend you contact the team owner to let them know this will be happening before putting the team in read-only.

If Communicated well to the end-users this will allow the user to take some of the ownership of the teams and lighten the load of the IT Admin trying to figure out what is and isn’t in use.