Teams allows for instant text messaging, voice and video calling, file storing, sharing, and collaborative editing, and more.
It is currently used across campus as a communication tool as well for virtual support (advising, tutoring, etc.) and virtual engagement (student centers and orgs).
It can also provide a virtual classroom for both synchronous and asynchronous instruction as well as a space for collaborative student projects and student group work.
To download the Teams desktop app:
2. Install the app and then launch it
3. Sign in with your campus credentials
The best help resource for Teams is in the app itself, so that should be your first destination.
To access the Teams help, click on the Help tab and click on Training. From there you can either search for topics or simply browse through the videos.
In Teams you can communicate either through a Chat or in a Team.
Chat is primarily for 1v1 or small group communications where everyone needs to be aware of all that is said. Everyone in the chat will get notified for every message and included in every video and/or audio call (think of Chat as a group text message).
A Team is a virtual workspace better suited for established groups (e.g. a department, a committee, a student org) and for virtual classrooms. It can have a single channel (if Teams is a house, channels are the rooms) or multiple channels.
You can instantly message anyone on campus using the Chat tool.
Once you’ve selected New chat and entered the person’s name, compose your message in the box and select Send . This starts the chat.
Use a group chat when you need to talk to a small group of people. Start one the same way you start a one-on-one chat: select New chat at the top of your chat list. Select the down arrow to the far right of the To field and type a name for the chat in the Group name field. Next, type the names of the people you’d like to add in the To field.
There are lots of formatting options for messages.
To open your formatting options, select Format beneath the box where you type your message. In this expanded view, select the text you want to format, then choose an option like B, I, or U to bold, italicize, or underline the text.
There are also options for highlighting, font size, lists, and more. Check out More options for additional formatting options, and the buttons below the box for attaching a file or inserting fun stuff like emoji.
Useful Tip: if you want to add a second line of text in the same message, click Shift+Enter.
When you go to any channel in Teams the very first tab is Posts. Think of this as one big group chat. Everyone who has access to the channel can see the messages on the Posts tab.
You can start a NEW Teams channel conversation by using the chat box at the bottom of the screen (similar to a chat).
Note: Teams is currently rolling out a new way to start Teams channel conversations. Instead of a chat box, you will see a New Conversation button instead. Clicking this button will reveal the chat box.
The other important thing to know about messages in a channel is that replies to a channel message stay attached to the original message. This way, the whole thread of the conversation can be easily followed by anyone reading it. This is the beauty of threaded conversations!
To reply to a channel message, be sure to use the little Reply link underneath the message.
To draw attention to a message you are sending, you can use @ and a person's name (the name will pop-up once you start typing and you can select it), @channel (notifies everyone in the channel, and @Team (notifies eveyone in the Team). Using @ is a great way of ensuring those who need to read a message get notified.
Microsoft Teams offers different ways to access, receive, and manage notifications. These settings include how, when, and where your notifications appear, custom settings for channels and chat, appearance and sounds, turning off specific messages, and so on.
To manage your notifications, select Settings and more in the top right of Teams, then select Settings > Notifications.
Choose the Edit button next to the category to customize how you receive notifications for that category.
Select Edit next to Chat, then choose Only show in feed for a specific category. All notifications for that type of activity will be sent to Activity , which you can find at the top left corner of Teams.
Note: The app will still flash on desktop taskbar when notifications arrive, but no pop-up will show on your desktop.
Select Banner and feed to receive notifications as both a desktop notification and as an alert in Activity .
Choose whether or not a message preview shows on desktop by turning the toggle on for Show message preview.
Note: In Windows, notification banners will show in the bottom right of your screen. In macOS, they show in the top right.
In a channel conversation, go to the top right corner of the original message and select More options > Turn off notifications.
As with muting a chat, turning off notifications to a channel conversation will stop updates for that specific conversation.
Note: You'll still receive notifications if someone directly @mentions you.
The latest team update is currently rolling out to everyone and is bringing a new video experience.
This new experience ushers in some big changes:
2. Meeting and call controls are now pinned at the top right of the window instead of hovering in the middle of the screen.
3. Together Mode and 49-people Large Gallery mode will appear as options (click on Using Video in Team Channels for more on these new features)
If your meeting and call controls aren't pinned at the top of your meeting window, follow these instructions to turn on the new meeting experience.
a. Right-click or Cmd-click the Teams icon in the Windows task bar or Mac System Tray.
b. Select Quit.
c. Start Teams again like you normally would.
You can start a voice call or video call from a Chat window. This is an excellent replacement for calling someone's cell phone because as long as they have the Teams app on their phone, you can call them without needing to know their cell number.
You can make one-on-one or group calls with anyone directly from a chat without having to host a team meeting.
Go to your chat list, and click New chat to start a new conversation.
Type the name or names into the To field at the top of your new chat.
Then click Video call or Audio call to start a call.
Note: If a group chat includes more than 20 people, calling buttons will be disabled.
To turn on your video before a meeting, just select Turn camera on right before you join.
You might want to turn your video on and off over the course of a meeting—if you'd prefer people only see you while you're talking, for example. Go to the meeting controls anytime during the meeting and tap Turn camera on .
If you want to change what appears behind you in your video, you can either blur your background, or replace it entirely with any image you want.
When you're setting up your audio and video before a meeting, choose Background effects (right next to the mic switch). You'll see your background options on the right.
For more details about customizing your background, see Change your background for a Teams meeting.
When you join a Teams meeting, you'll see the video streams of up to nine other people on your screen at the same time. This is the default Gallery view.
If you're using Teams on the web, you'll only be able to see one video stream at a time (the video of whoever's speaking). For the best Teams experience, use the desktop or mobile app.
You have several different video layouts to choose from, depending on the size of the meeting and the number of people you'd like to see on your screen at once.
Select More options in the meeting controls, and pick the one you want:
The default view when you join a meeting. If there are more than nine others in attendance, Teams will prioritize the people who have their video turned on, as well as those that are speaking the most.
People that haven't turned on their video show as profile pics instead (or their initials if they haven't added one).
Enables you to see the videos of up to 49 other people at once. This option is available when at least ten people have their cameras turned on.
Note: If no one is sharing video, Large gallery won't be selectable in the menu.
Lets you feel like you're in the same shared space with everyone in the meeting. For now, there's one auditorium-style space, but more options are on the way. This mode. currently used by the NBA, is only available when more than 5 people are in the meeting.
Together mode is available when at least five people are in the meeting. More seats will be automatically added to the virtual auditorium as more people join.
Available when content is being shared. This is the view to choose when you'd like to pay close attention to the content without the distraction of seeing people's video windows.
To pin someone's video to your view regardless of who's talking, select More options in their video feed (next to their name) and choose Pin.
Teams crops some videos to make them fit your screen better. If you want a different view of a particular video—for example, if someone’s cropped out of the video or it only shows part of their face—select More options in their video feed, and then Fit to frame to see the entire video.
Select Fill frame to see a closer, cropped view.
You can now Raise your Hand in meetings to ask a question or comment. In the Participants panel, you can see who has raised their hand in the order they have raised it.
During a meeting, you can raise a virtual hand to let people know you want to contribute without interrupting the conversation.
Just select Raise your hand in the meeting controls.
Everyone in the meeting will see that you've got your hand up.
Meeting presenters will also receive a notification that your hand is raised, and they can lower your hand once you've had a chance to talk.
Select Show participants to see a list of everyone in attendance. Anyone who's raised their hand will have an icon next to their name. When multiple people raise their hands, they'll be listed in the order in which they raised them.
To share your screen in a meeting, select Share content in your meeting controls. Then, choose to present your entire desktop, a window, a PowerPoint file, or a whiteboard.
Note: If you're using Teams on the web, you'll only be able to share your screen if you're using Google Chrome or the latest version of Microsoft Edge.
|Share your...||If you want to...||Great when...|
Show your entire screen, including notifications and other desktop activity
You need to seamlessly share multiple windows
Show just one window, and no notifications or other desktop activity
You only need to show one thing and want to keep the rest of your screen to yourself
Present a PowerPoint file others can interact with
You need to share a presentation and want others to be able to move through it at their own pace
Collaborate with others in real time
You want to sketch with others and have your notes attached to the meeting
When you're done sharing, go to your meeting controls and select Stop sharing.
Teams meetings are best when you join them from the Teams app or Teams on the web, and there's a bunch of ways to do that—read on for details about joining by link, from your calendar, and more.
All you need to join a Teams meeting is a link found in your email invitation.
Select Join Microsoft Teams Meeting in your meeting invite to be taken to a page where you can choose to either join on the web or download the desktop app. If you already have the Teams app, the meeting will open there automatically.
If you don’t have a Teams account and the organizer has allowed it, you may have the option to enter your name to join the meeting as a guest. If you do have a Teams account, select Sign in to join with access to the meeting chat and more. Then, depending on the organizer’s settings, you may join the meeting right away or go to the lobby where people in the meeting can admit you.
Select Calendar on the left side of the app to see your meetings. Find the meeting you want, and then select Join.
If someone starts the meeting, you'll get a notification with a Join button you can use to join the meeting.
If a meeting takes place in a channel, you’ll see an invitation to join, relevant content, and who’s in the meeting right in the channel. Just select Join.
When you start recording a meeting, you also turn on live transcriptions (if your IT admin allows transcriptions).
Start or join the meeting.
Go to the meeting controls and select More actions > Start recording.
Everyone in the meeting gets notified that recording and transcription have started.
You can't make multiple recordings of the same meeting at the same time. If one person starts recording a meeting, that recording will be stored on the cloud and available to all participants.
Meeting participants have the option of viewing the transcription during the meeting. For details, see view live transcription.
Go to the meeting controls and select More actions .
Choose one of the following:
Stop recording: Stops the recording and live transcription.
Stop transcription: Stops just the live transcription. The recording continues until you select Stop recording.
Recordings are available in different places depending on the type of meeting.
The recording is processed and saved to SharePoint if it was a channel meeting or OneDrive if it was any other type of meeting.
The meeting recording shows up in the meeting chat or channel conversation (if you’re meeting in a channel). The recording doesn't expire.
Note: For now, guests and external attendees can view the recording only if it's explicitly shared with them.
Anyone who meets the following criteria can start or stop a recording, even if the meeting organizer isn't present.
Has one of the following licenses: Office 365 Enterprise E1, E3, E5, F3, A1, A3, A5, M365 Business, Business Premium, or Business Essentials.
Has recording enabled by an IT admin.
Isn't a guest or from another organization.
Type of user
Can start recording?
Can stop recording?
Person from same org
Person from another org or company
Recording continues even if the person who started the recording has left the meeting.
The recording stops automatically once everyone leaves the meeting.
If someone forgets to leave the meeting, the recording automatically ends after four hours.
If one of the participants has a policy for compliance recording, the meeting will be recorded according to the policy even if that participant is from another org or company.
Starting August 15th, Microsoft is changing the location of Microsoft Teams meeting recordings.
From that day on, your Teams meeting recordings will be saved on Sharepoint and Onedrive rather than on Stream (like they used to). The recordings still play through a new version of Stream.
Start the meeting.
In the meeting controls, select Breakout rooms .
Select the number of rooms you want (50 is the max), and whether you want Teams to
assign all the people to rooms (Automatically) or whether you want to choose who will join each room yourself (Manually).
Note: This menu is the only time you can have people automatically assigned to breakout rooms. You won't be able to change this option once you create the breakout rooms.
Select Create Rooms.
If you have chosen Automatically, participants will be randomly assigned to breakout rooms as soon as you open the rooms.
If you have chosen to assign them Manually, then follow these steps.
Select Assign participants.
Choose the people who will share a breakout room by first selecting the check boxes
next to their names.
Select Assign and then select a room for those people with the checkmark next to their name.
Repeat steps 2 and 3 until everyone has been assigned to a room.
You can rename each room so the name reflects the names of the users, its purpose, etc.
Hover your cursor next to the room, select More options , and then select Rename room.
Enter the new name and select Rename room.
Tip: If during the meeting you decide you want your breakout rooms to look and operate differently, you can Recreate breakout rooms from scratch for details.
Select Add room in the Breakout rooms pane.
Point to the room, select More options , and then Delete room.
During a meeting, you can return to the beginning of the breakout rooms process to reconfigure the rooms and assignments.
Select More options at the top of the Breakout rooms pane and then select Recreate rooms.
Follow the instructions above to create new breakout rooms and assign people to them.
By default, meeting participants are moved to their assigned rooms as soon as you open the room, but you can turn off this setting; see Turn off automatic entry to breakout rooms.
To open all the rooms at the same time, select Start rooms.
To open a single room, select More options next to the room and then Open room.
You can open and close breakout rooms more than once during a meeting.
By default, participants are automatically moved into breakout rooms when they're opened. When you turn off this option, participants receive a message asking them to join a breakout room. They select Join room (Join on a mobile device) before being moved.
Select More options at the top of the Breakout rooms pane and then select Rooms settings.
Switch the toggle next to Automatically move people into opened rooms to off.
When you close the breakout rooms, the participants return to the main meeting.
Select More options next to the room, and then Close room.
Select Close rooms.
You'll know rooms have successfully closed when their status changes to Closed.
When everyone is back from their breakout rooms and you're ready to meet as a larger group again, select Resume.
Note: Breakout rooms remain open until the organizer manually closes them, so they can be reused later in the meeting.
As meeting organizer, you can join any of the breakout rooms, contribute to any of the room chats, and send announcements to everyone.
Select More options next to the room and then Join room.
To leave a room, select Return.
You may want to send announcements to give time updates, for example, or share discussion prompts.
Select More options at the top of the Breakout rooms pane and then select Make an announcement.
Enter your announcement and select Send.
Participants will receive a notification in their meeting chat to check for your announcement.
Each breakout room has its own chat, and all of the chats are available in your main Teams Chat list.
Here you can chat with the members of any breakout room.
Once you’ve joined a breakout room, you can also select Chat in the room to chat with the people there.
Note: When the breakout room closes, the room chat ends and cannot be continued. However, you'll still be able to view the chat history and any shared files.
By default, this setting is off. Turning it on gives participants the option to leave their breakout rooms and return to the original meeting to rejoin the larger discussion.
Select More options at the top of the Breakout rooms pane and then select Rooms settings.
Switch the toggle next to Participants can return to the main meeting to on.
Note: Currently, participants can be moved only when breakout rooms are closed.
Expand the list of participants under a breakout room.
Point to someone‘s name and select the check box that appears.
Select More options and then the breakout room you want to move that person to.
There are several ways to schedule a meeting in Teams:
Select Schedule a meeting in a chat (below the box where you type a new message) to book a meeting with the people in the chat.
Go to Calendar on the left side of the app and select New meeting in the top right corner.
Select a range of time in the calendar. A scheduling form will pop open.
The scheduling form is where you'll give your meeting a title, invite people, and add meeting details. Use the Scheduling Assistant to find a time that works for everyone.
Once you're done filling out the details, select Save. This will close the scheduling form and send an invite to everyone's Outlook inbox.
Select New meeting.
Type the name of a channel where it says Add channel (under the time and date fields).
Channels can't be edited or added once the invite is sent. You'll need to send a new invite with the updated channel.
When you have a meeting in a channel, everyone in the team will be able to see it and join it in that channel.
This feature isn't available in private channels.
You can schedule recurring meetings on Teams.
You can set custom frequency by using the Custom button.
Microsoft Teams includes the Outlook add-in, which lets you create new Teams meetings directly from Outlook. It also lets people view, accept, or join meetings in either app.
Note: Currently, you can schedule Teams meetings from Outlook, but not choose a channel to have them in.
To schedule a meeting in the Outlook desktop app:
In the Meeting Window:
Add your invitees to the Required or Optional field(s)—you can even invite entire contact groups (formerly known as distribution lists).
Add your meeting subject, location, start time, and end time.
Create your message.
Then click Send.
The email invitation sent will include a link for attendees to directly join the meeting.
In Teams video meetings you can assign who will be a presenter and who an attendee.
To choose who will be an attendee and who a presenter during a meeting:
2. Click on the Ellipsis and click on Manage permissions
3. The permissions menu will open on a separate screen
On this screen, you can:
You can select everyone, specific people, or only you as the presenter.
Note: Anyone who is not set as a presenter becomes an Attendee
During a meeting, you can take a variety of actions like muting participants, removing them from a meeting, or changing their roles.
If any participant is placed in the lobby, you will see a red notification on the participants tab.
Important: Members of our community will always bypass the lobby UNLESS they are not using the Teams desktop app and haven't signed into Teams on their browser.
To manage the lobby:
Teams lets you invite people outside your organization, including those who don't have a Teams license. You'll need their full email address to invite them.
In the meeting invitation, go to Add required attendees. If anyone is an optional attendee, select Optional instead.
Type the person's full email address (ex: Joe@example.com).
Select Invite. They'll receive an email with a link to the meeting, and they do not need a Teams account to join.
You’ve got a few search and filtering options to help you find messages, people, files, and other information shared in Teams.
NOTE: Currently Teams search locates only files in team channels, not in 1:1 chats
Search for group chats by the chat name (if it has one) or search by the name of the chat participants.
Use Ctrl+F (cmd+F on macOS) to search messages within a particular chat or channel in Teams.
Select the area you want to search—say, the chat you were having or the General channel within a team.
Type Ctrl+F followed by your search terms, then press Enter. All the search results from within that chat or channel will be displayed.
Select any one of the available results and Teams will scroll to the location of that particular message.
Teams filters allow you to easily narrow your search and locate your files/chats/people faster.
For example, if you select Messages, you can then filter by who the message is from, whether it was a chat or a team message, date range, and more.
Faculty and Staff can create one or multiple Teams, which provides groups with a collaboration space (chat, voice/video calls, file sharing, etc.). When you create a Team, it automatically creates a SharePoint site with the same name as the Team.
There are four types of Teams one can create. If you want to create a virtual classroom, then select the Class team type. If you want a Team where every member has equal permissions (e.g. creating new channels), then select Professional Learning Community (PLC) team type. And if you want a Team with a hierarchy (controlling Team setting etc.), then select Staff team type.
The Other Team is the easiest and most customizable of the rest, so it is recommended you use that type of Team for most purposes.
To get your team up and running in Microsoft Teams, create a team, add people, and add channels.
Select Teams > Join or create a team.
This is where you create your own team, or discover existing ones.
Select Create a new team, and then select Build a team from scratch or select Create from... to build an all-new team or create from an existing group respectively.
Select Private if you'd like people to request permission to join, or select Public if anyone in your org can join.
Give the team a name and add a short description if you'd like.
You can add people, groups, or even entire contact groups.
If you need to add people from outside your organization, use their email address to invite them as guests. Add a friendly display name for them too.
When you're done adding members, select Add and then Close.
By default, every team gets a General channel, which is a good channel to use for announcements and information the whole team needs. To add more channels:
Select More options... next to the team name.
Select Add channel.
Enter a name and description for your channel.
You can build a channel around a topic, project, department name, or whatever you like.
Select Automatically show this channel in everyone's channel list if you want this channel to be automatically visible in everyone's channel list.
Select More options... next to the team name.
Select Manage team to find Members, Channels, Settings, and Apps for your team all in one place.
Select Settings > Team picture to add a team picture and give your team some personality.
When you share files in a Chat, the file is uploaded to OneDrive, which makes collaboration easy.
When you share files in a Team, they instead go to SharePoint.
In both instances, you can edit Office files on Teams or in the online and desktop Office apps, with options to collaborate with others in real-time.
As your team works together you'll undoubtedly have files that you'll want to share and collaborate on. Teams makes it easy to share files and work on them together. If working in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or Visio files your colleagues can even view, edit, and collaborate on them, right within Teams.
Each channel has its own file folder where you can share files for that specific channel. To access that folder go to the channel and select the Files tab above the conversation window.
In the library you can upload existing files or create new ones.
Note: When you upload a file, it creates a copy in Teams.
There are two primary ways to upload existing files into your library. Both methods start by going to the files folder for your channel and both methods, by default, upload copies of your files to the channel file folder.
Drag and drop - Using your mouse, drag the file from where it's currently located and drop it on the Teams window among the files.
Upload - Select Upload,then select the file (or files) you'd like to upload, and select Open.
Any files you upload will be accessible by any member of your team. And just like in SharePoint, you can pin specific files to the top of your list for easy access.
To create a Word, PowerPoint, or Excel document in Teams:
The new file will open in Teams so you can begin editing it in the app itself.
As soon as it's created your new file will be available for your team members to edit as well.
Note: If you'd prefer to work in the desktop version of the app, select Open in Desktop App at the top of the app, in the middle of the ribbon.
Files uploaded and shared to a team are accessible to every member of the Team. In Office for the web, Office for Android or iOS, or the latest applications from Microsoft 365, you and your team members can co-edit Word, PowerPoint, or Excel documents. No need to check files out or worry about if one of your colleagues has the document open. Just open the file you need to edit and if other team members are editing it too your changes will be seamlessly merged as you work.
With Teams, you can create Virtual Student Drop-In spaces where students can seek support through chat, audio, or video calls. Advising and Tutoring Centers are already utilizing Teams in this manner.
If you wish to explore such a possibility for your area, please email email@example.com.
It's very easy to create a Classroom for your course. IITS can also create the classroom for you. If you're interested in running your class on Teams, email firstname.lastname@example.org for further support.
You can add students to your Classroom in multiple ways.
You can also provide students with a link or a code to the Classroom team. The link will allow you to approve who joins the course, but the code will add them to the Classroom without you having to approve each one.
The easiest way to have Office Hours through Teams is through the Chat tab. Either you or the student(s) can initiate a chat (text, video, or audio) and talk in private, since Chats (not Teams) are only visible to those who are participating.
Students can share documents with you in the chat, and you can even edit those documents together (see the Sharing Files guide on this page).
If you want to let your students know what times you are available to talk to them, you can set a status message, which will appear whenever someone tries to talk to you through Chat.
Start a conversation with one student or a group of students
Start a conversation with your instructor
Quick access to a chat
Pin a chat
Note: You can pin up to 15 chats.
Message your class
To create a message for your whole class, click Teams , then pick a class team and a channel.
Select the Posts tab.
Click the compose box, type your message, and click Send .
Use @ and the name of your class to notify everyone of your post. Example: @math123.
Start a conversation with one student or a group of students
At the top of the app, click New chat .
In the To field, type the name of the student(s) you'd like to message.
Type your message in the compose box and select Send .
Reply to a conversation
Posts in channels are threaded like social media posts. Reply under the original post to keep all the messages in a conversation organized together.
Find the conversation thread you want to reply to.
Click Reply, add your message, and click Send .
Use the Announcements feature to draw your students' attention to important posts.
Select Format to expand the Compose box.
Choose Announcement and Select a background color to customize an important post.
Add some fun with stickers and more
Click Sticker under the compose box to select from a range of custom Microsoft Education stickers.
Select Emoji for smiley faces and Giphy for animated GIFs.
The Classroom in Teams can easily be expanded through apps, and a useful app is Polly, which you can add to any Team. You can easily start a poll through Polly (including simply typing @polly question? answer 1, answer 2, answer 3, etc for a quick poll).
You can also create advanced polls, which can be anonymous.
Create channels within your class team to organize students to work together on group projects. You can create as many as 100 channels per team.
All students in the class team can view the team’s channels—notify the students you’d like to work in each one. Use the Files, Conversations, and Notes tabs in each channel to organize group collaboration.
Navigate to a class team and then select the More options icon next to the team name.
Select Add channel.
Name your new channel and add a description.
All team members automatically have access to all your team's channels. Use @mention in your new channel to invite students to participate.
There are several ways for students to collaborate within a channel.
Use the Conversations tab to discuss topics with each other and attach resources.
Interact with files. Create new files in the Files tab or upload files you’d like group members to work on from your computer or from SharePoint. Files attached in Conversations will also show up here.
Only teachers have permission to add attachments in class teams.
The Notes tab can be edited by multiple students at once. Use its tools to type, draw, or insert pictures and links. Students can add more pages to Notes with the Add a tab icon. Each channel’s Notes tab corresponds to a section in the Class Notebook Collaboration Space. Select Open In Desktop to launch OneNote and continue collaborating there.
Select the Add a tab icon in your tabs to add educational apps you use in class or to pin websites and other resources. Students can surf websites you pin here without opening their browsers. You can also pin important documents and PDFs for reference.
Mute students from commenting in class conversations. This means students will no
longer be able to see an inappropriate comment and that the muted students can no
longer post or reply in class conversations. You can un-mute students at any time.
Select More options on your team's tile.
Select Manage team.
Select the Members tab. You’ll see your students listed. Select the checkmark box under Mute students to prevent students from commenting or select the top checkbox to mute all students at once.
Note: Un-mute students by returning to settings and de-selecting the checkbox next to their names.
Navigate to the student message you want to mute.
Select More options next to the student’s post, then Mute this person.
To un-mute the student, follow the instructions above in your class team settings.