Teams Ceases Support for Wiki

Least Popular Standard Teams Component Goes in February 2023

I don’t know why this situation came about, but the Teams Wiki channel tab seems to stir strong emotions in many. Perhaps it’s a case of “I don’t know why Microsoft built this into Teams” or “OneNote is much better,” or even “I hate that the Wiki is a default channel tab along with Files and Posts.” Maybe it’s a combination of all three. In any case, the Wiki haters will be delighted with Message center notification MC399867 (July 12), which announces that Teams will no longer configure a wiki tab automatically during the creation of new standard channels after mid-August 2022. MC399867 mentions private channels but as far as I can see, new private channels don’t get a wiki upon creation and neither do shared channels.

Update: MC496248 (11 Jan 2023) announces that Microsoft will retire the Teams wiki in February 2023 and provide an app to migrate Wiki content to OneNote in “standard channels.” The migration app isn’t available yet. See this article for details of a PowerShell script to report Teams channels with wiki content.

Why Wiki and Not OneNote?

A lot of hot air and bluster is generated about the inadequacy of the Teams wiki and why Microsoft should have replaced it with OneNote everywhere. Although it’s fair to ask why tenants don’t have an option to switch off the wiki and replace it with OneNote (or not populate a channel tap for notetaking at all), it’s important to realize that the Teams wiki came about as a simple notetaking solution that was added at the start of the Teams journey when the development group was figuring out what Teams could deliver.

At that time, it seemed reasonable to include a tool that had no dependency other than SharePoint Online, and that’s what the Teams wiki is. The editor isn’t fantastic, it won’t support new advances such as Loop components which OneNote is supposed to do in the future, but it’s perfectly adequate for taking notes (Figure 1).

The Teams Wiki
Figure 1: The Teams Wiki

Experience since demonstrates that many Microsoft 365 customers prefer OneNote and don’t see the need to have another notetaking tool. But that’s the benefit of hindsight kicking in, and the change now being made opens up the possibility that Microsoft will allow customers to auto-provision a OneNote channel tab instead.

Not Dead Yet

Microsoft’s change to channel provisioning doesn’t mean that the Teams wiki is dead. You can still add a wiki as a tab after creating a new channel and there’s no impact on existing wiki tabs. They remain in place until a team owner decides to remove the wiki channel tab (Figure 2).

Removing a Teams Wiki
Figure 2: Removing a Teams Wiki

Update: I assume that after the deprecation of the Wiki, Microsoft will allow some time to team owners to migrate Wiki content to OneNote before finally removing all Wiki tabs. Microsoft hasn’t clarified if this will happen or the timeline for final removal.

The elements that make up a Teams wiki are stored in the Teams Wiki Data document library inside the team’s SharePoint Online site. Separate folders in the document library store the Wiki files for each channel. The files are pointers to hidden list items where the real wiki data exists. When you remove the wiki tab from a channel, Teams removes the wiki files but leaves the folder intact. After all, you might want to add the wiki tab back in the future.

Finding the Wikis

If you want to remove the Wiki tab from existing channels, you need to know which channels are Wiki-enabled. To solve this problem, I adapted some code written for an article exploring the performance difference between cmdlets from the Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Graph PowerShell SDK modules and added a check for channel tabs.

$TeamsChannelData = [System.Collections.Generic.List[Object]]::new() 
[array]$Teams = Get-MgGroup -Filter "resourceProvisioningOptions/Any(x:x eq 'Team')" -All 
ForEach ($Team in $Teams) {
   Write-Host "Processing team" $Team.DisplayName
   [array]$Channels = Get-MgTeamChannel -TeamId $Team.Id
    ForEach ($Channel in $Channels) {
    [array]$Tabs = Get-MgTeamChannelTab -ChannelId $Channel.Id -TeamId $Team.Id
    $ChannelHasWiki = $False
    If ($Tabs.DisplayName -Match "Wiki") { $ChannelHasWiki = $True }
     $ReportLine  = [PSCustomObject] @{  
         Team     = $Team.DisplayName 
         Channel  = $Channel.DisplayName
         Type     = $Channel.MembershipType
         Id       = $Channel.Id
         Created  = $Channel.CreatedDateTime
         HasWiki  = $ChannelHasWiki
         SPOUrl   = $Channel.AdditionalProperties['filesFolderWebUrl']
       $TeamsChannelData.Add($ReportLine) }
$AvgChannels = [math]::round(($TeamsChannelData.Count/$Teams.Count),2)
Write-Host ("{0} Teams found with {1} channels, an average of {2} channels per team" -f $Teams.Count, $TeamsChannelData.Count, $AvgChannels)
$TeamsChannelData | Out-GridView

After processing the teams in my tenant, I discovered that 120 out of 182 channels had a Wiki tab. Cleaning those up is probably a manual task because the possibility exists that some useful data might be in those files. Isn’t that something to look forward to?

Insight like this doesn’t come easily. You’ve got to know the technology and understand how to look behind the scenes. Benefit from the knowledge and experience of the Office 365 for IT Pros team by subscribing to the best eBook covering Office 365 and the wider Microsoft 365 ecosystem.

15 Replies to “Teams Ceases Support for Wiki”

  1. The auto-deployment of the tab aside, I believe there is a valid use case for a simple, plain text based doc tool. I just wish it saved content as markdown and not MHTL

    1. The most glaring weakness we’ve seen is the inability to search the Teams Wiki. Since the ability to search a wiki is just assumed for users, I’ve had to help more than one frustrated user after she put in the work to create a wiki that she intended to be a searchable resource for her team, only to find it had to be entirely removed and replaced with OneNote.

    2. Exactly. Decision to remove the feature, especially in existing channels, is utterly idiotic. One cannot shake the feeling that Redmond folks don’t believe that people use their tools for anything important. But yes, it could be much better than the bare bones it is now.

  2. Maybe not the best idea to use the display name to check if it is a wiki or not.

    Users can rename it to whatever they like, so it should likely check some kind of type of the channel instead. Also new channels can be added.

    1. Correct, but no matter the tab name the Document Library created within the SharePoint Site is called “Teams Wiki Data” So the script should search the MS Teams with a Document Library named “Teams Wiki Data” to be fully efficient.

  3. Is there any knowledge about the SharePoint Wiki Pages Library if this will also be gone in the future? If not I think this can still be referenced in MS Teams or?

  4. Wiki can create collapse section which that both onenote and Loop without this useful feature. It is very useful for my teams to do weekly/monthly updates.

  5. What about Wiki content in a Private channel? Anything easy for users or is it PowerShell and therefore admin??

      1. And that ruins things for Channels for an Production Operations org that has channels setup for each engineering team with a dedicated notes (wiki) page for each channel to capture information and links for all information related to that engineering teams product…. I’ll now have to migrate all our processes from Teams to Slack since this totally destroys one of the best part of Teams part of the application I was working on getting sign off to make Teams our de-facto process client.

      2. I’m afraid you’ll have to take this point up with Microsoft. Complaining here isn’t going to do much. Seeing that you work for SAP, you might talk to some of the subject matter experts that I know who work at SAP (like Ingo). They might be able to help channel your concerns to the right place.

  6. Well This just screwed over an entire team who had dedicated information links and information dedicated to each channels subject that was a direct collaboration between the operations team and each channels specific engineering team. Also ruined other collaboration team wikis we used for on boarding new hires.

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