Temporarily close a Microsoft Teams team, then restart it later without content or member list loss?

In Microsoft Teams, is there a way to temporarily close or disable or hide a Team from all its members and owners, and then bring it back a couple months later without losing any content and without having to readmit all the members one by one?

I “own” a Team with over a hundred members and hundreds of files and other items stored in it. For legal reasons we have to make it unavailable until after the Inauguration. One way I can do it is to write down who all the members are, then remove them all, then in a couple months I add them back into the Team one by one. I would like to avoid that because it’s a large number of people to add, but if that’s what I have to do, then that’s what I have to do.

However if there is a way to avoid that, I want to know about it before I go ripping everybody out.

We have an IT department that is supposed to be able to help with this sort of thing, but so far they’re just giving me the runaround. The biggest success I have been able to get is that they created a Team for me named [not applicable]. It’s just been a comedy of errors. Now I’m running out of time; we will be in some legal jeopardy soon, I only have 2 work days left now.


Wouldn’t it be easier to just move all the contents into an offline Folder on your desktop, then put it all back after the inauguration? That way the Team still exists with all its members, but there is nothing in it. Just a thought.

Not sure. There are different kinds of content, organized into subfolders. I’m kind of new at Teams. Can absolutely everything be grabbed en masse, copied, deleted, and returned, while maintaining this kind of organization?

You can delete a team and then restore it up to 30 days later. Unfortunately that doesn’t get you all the way to Inauguration Day. I’m not aware of a way to temporarily disable a team outside of that.

If I were in this position, I’d write a PowerShell script to list all members of the team. I’d then use that output to write two more scripts, one to remove all members and one to add them back. I’d assume this is something your IT department could easily do.

Don’t be so sure. They made me fill out a form, and the only form they have available is for requesting them to create a new Team. They said write [not applicable] in the space for the name of the Team, and write what I needed them to do in the space for the description. Then they created a new Team named [not applicable] for me and marked the job finished. That’s how I got the Team named [not applicable].

This was the IT department I had to ask to get a fixed IP address set aside on our LAN for special equipment. They told me to ping addresses until I found one that didn’t answer, and park my equipment on that.

So, I think I’m on my own…

I’ve not used Teams but I was a SharePoint dev & admin back in the day.

This might give you some hints:

It appears you can readily lock the team and underlying SharePoint site into a read-only mode. Making it disappear entirely may be harder. But I suggest that area of MSFT’s docs is near where you, or your useless IT shop, want to start looking.

Can you delete the team, restore it after business hours on day 29, then delete it again at 7.30 am the next morning, repeating as necessary to get past inauguration day?

Given that there isn’t a push-button way to do this, and given the incompetence of your IT team, my professional technical opinion is “you’re fucked.” Even if Napier’s way would work, I suspect your IT team would lose your data. Happened once to an account manager where I worked. New computer was incoming, so he had his old one backed up. Old computer took a dump, but it’s OK, new computer arrived a day later. Oops, someone overwrote the backup.

Or the guy in operations who I asked to keep a tape (yeah I’m old) for 2 years, so he wrote “Please save this tape for 2 years” on it. I asked him to put a new sticker on it that said “Please do not recycle until 12/31/<2 years from now>” Otherwise no one would know how long the tape had been around, and probably recycle it. I left before the 2 year mark, and I hope it was never needed.

I gave up, took screenshots of the Members list, and deleted each member one by one. I fooled around for a while hoping to find a way to export the list, or something else helpful like that, but never did.

I wonder if this is time I will ever get back…