Tag Archives: Search

How to find a public team in Microsoft Teams

In Microsoft Office 365, under MS Teams, there are 3 team types:

  • Private team
  • Public team
  • Org-wide team

Private team: you can only join the team if you are invited or know the team code.
You cannot see team name or description or content until you are team member (details).

Public team: you can join the public team if you wish. You can see public team name and description, but from MS Teams (desktop or web application) you cannot see public team content until you are team member.

Org-wide team: you join the team automatically (details)

From Teams – you can click on “Join or create a team” and you should be able to see some public teams (but not all):

See how Microsoft describes it – Find and Join a team

But what if you are looking for a specific public team not in the list…

Scenario 1

You know exact team name or at least some first letters.
Solution: You are lucky. Just start typing team name in search bar at top right and hit “enter”- you will see shortened list of public teams matching your search criteria:

NB: do not use wildcards, it will not work:

NB: do not use top search bar, it will not work:

Scenario 2

You know (or guess) something about the team, like

  • part of the team name
  • part of the team description
  • some keywords from team content files

Unfortunately, in this case both great Microsoft technologies – Search and Team – fail. You will not be able to find a public team:

Solution: use SharePoint search
SharePoint site is created once a team is created.

For public teams – SharePoint site has “Everyone except external users” by default in “Members” group:

which means literally “Everyone except external users” has access to the site with “Edit” permissions.

SharePoint search is security-trimmed, i.e. you will see the site content in search results only if you do have access to the site. So just go to the SharePoint or SharePoint search center and search for what you know or guess about the team:

You can use all the power of SharePoint search (wildcards, refiners, keyword query language KQL etc)

Once you found something – you can go to the SharePoint site:

Now from the site – look at the site name and hover the mouse over the site name – you’ll see pop-up window.
Now you know exact team name – and you can search for the team under Teams,
or, if you are so lucky you see “Join” button – just join the team.click site title or hove over the site title:

One moment – you cannot see team’s chat messages in SharePoint, as chats are kept in Azure. But you can search for chat content after you joint the team.

Somehow both – SharePoint Search and Teams Search are not working against site/team description. Hopefully this bug will be addressed.

You can also search for site Url in teams.
When you create a team – Office 365 generates a short team name (removes spaces and adds numbers if the team name is not unique; e.g. if the team name “Test” you might have “test381” as a short name, but if the team name is “This Is My Unique Team” – short name might be “ThisIsMyUniqueTeam”).
After you can change team name and/or SharePoint site name.
Team search under MS teams work for both names – short name initially assigned (kept as site specific Url) and new team name. But only starting with the beginning of the string.

SPO: Description, Owner fields are not searchable


You have a list (or a document library) in SharePoint Online.
You can search through the list but some fields like “Description”, “Owner”, “AssignedTo”, “Created”, “CreatedBy” are not searchable.


This is frustrating, but expected behavior. Check Microsoft’s “Overview of crawled and managed properties in SharePoint Server“. You see some pre-created managed properties do not have “Searchable” option enabled.


(The following is still not finished:)


I have created a new SPO site test78, a new list Test11 and created (not added from existing) a custom field “Description” to the list:

I also created “Description2” column the same way. No data is added to the list so far.

Search schema looks like:

for Description managed property:


Notice that “Description” managed property is not searchable and “ows_Description” crawled property is mapped to “Description” managed property.

Searching for “ows_Description” crawled property gives me:

and that’s OK, as we have no data in the list so “ows_Description2” crawled property does not exist.

Now let me add some data to the list:

and wait a few minutes while continues crawl grabs data.

You can see:

Title and Description2 are searchable, but we are not able to search through “Description” field content.


Actually this is by design.
Microsoft: “The index only includes content and metadata from the managed properties”.
(? Maybe Microsoft tries to protect their resources from overloading or) maybe they protect us from irrelevant results, but by default list column “Description” is mapped to non-searchable managed property.

“Searchable” means: “…The content of this managed property is included in the full-text index.” I.e. if the property is not searchable – “The content of this managed property is not included in the full-text index.” => that’s by design.

But the property is queryable!
Queryable “Enables querying against the specific managed property”. E.e.
“Description:Descr1*” query should work. And it works:

“Description2:Descr*” query should not work as we did not map Description2 property to any managed properties, so we can find content via full-text search but cannot find under managed property:


Option #1.
Use queries like “Description:TextToSearch” (check also SharePoint KQL).

Option #2.
Do not use name “Description”.
Choose something else like “Short Description” or “Case Description”

Option #3.
Use existing site column “Description” from group:Custom Columns. It’s “single line of text” though. Note: “SharePoint Server Standard Site Collection features” must be activated.

The thing is it’s internal name is “CategoryDescription” and display name is “Description”. So if you add this column to the list – the content will be searchable:

Option #4
Create a new site column, name it e.g. “DescriptionSrchblClmn”.
Add this column to the list from existing site columns.
Rename it to “Description”.

Option #5 (under testing… TBU)
Change default mapping.
e.g. unmap “ows_Description” crawled property from “Description” managed property. This should be enough, as “ows_Description” crawled property has “Include in full-text index” option ON:

NB: if you unmap “ows_Description” crawled property from “Description” managed property, it’ll affect other site lists.

Option #6.
In addition to option #5 you can create your own managed property (e.g. “DescriptionSearchable”), make it searchable and map it to “ows_Description” crawled property.

Remember: if you made a change in search schema, run “Reindex site” under Site Settings -> “Search and Offline Availability”. It’s like on-prem “Full crawl” but works at web level.



Microsoft: Manage the search schema in SharePoint
Microsoft: Keyword Query Language (KQL) syntax reference
Vladilen: Search for a crawled property name with wildcards
Microsoft: Overview of crawled and managed properties in SharePoint Server


Search schema: Search for a crawled property name wildcard


If you are managing SharePoint search, specifically if you are customizing SharePoint search schema, especially in SharePoint Online (Office 365) – you know how slow it works and how tiresome it is to “Search for a crawled property name”.


Recently I found out that wildcard works. No, even two wildcards work

In this example I need crawled property started from ows and contains doc and type:

SharePoint search through crawled properties