What Can Teams Do?
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.
Downloading and Logging Into Teams
The best help resource for Teams is in the app itself, so that should be your first
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.
Communicating Using Teams—Basics
Chat versus a Team
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.
How to message in a Chat
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.
Formatting Your Message
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
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.
How to message in a Team channel (NEW)
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.
Starting a New Conversation
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.
Replying to a post
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.
Drawing attention to a 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.
Notifications (know when people are messaging)
There are multiple ways to access and manage notifications. To further customize your
notification settings, select your profile picture at the top, right corner of Teams,
then select Settings > Notifications. From there you can fine-tune what notifications you receive and where those notifications
In Activity on the left side of Teams, select More options on a notification. From the menu, you can mark a notification as read or unread. You
can also turn on or off notifications for a specific channel if you want.
Stop email notifications
Click on your profile picture in the top right of the app, then select Settings > Notifications.
Now you can set type of notifications you want for each type of activity on Teams.
If you don't want any emails, just make sure all activity types are set otherwise.
Use the dropdown menus to stop email notifications.
Keep notifications in the app
Select Only show in feed. This means all notifications will be sent to your activity feed, which you can find
at the top left corner of Teams.
The app will still show notifications on your desktop taskbar, but no pop-up will
Get notified in app and on desktop
Select Banner and feed and you’ll receive notifications as both a desktop notification and as an alert in
your activity feed.
On Windows, notification banners will show in the bottom right of your screen. On
macOS, they show in the top right.
Turn off notifications for specific conversations
Go to the beginning of a conversation in a channel, then go to the top right corner
of the message and select More options > Turn off notifications.
Just like muting a chat, turning off notifications to a channel conversation will
stop you from receiving updates for that specific conversation.
You'll still receive notifications if someone directly mentions you.
Turn off notifications to mute a channel conversation.
Choose your channel notifications
Go to a channel that shows in your teams list and select More options > Channel notifications. From there, you can choose what activity you get notifications for, and where they
By default, channel mentions are turned off and all new posts will only show in Activity.
Teams Video & Audio Meetings
Starting and Joining a Video Call Using the New Video Experience (Updated Sept. 17)
New Video Call Experience Starting in September (NEW)
The latest team update is currently rolling out to everyone and is bringing a new
This new experience ushers in some big changes:
- Video calls in Teams will now open in their own screen separate from the main Teams window, allowing you to more easily use Teams while
being on a video calls.
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)
Start a voice call or video call in a Chat
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.
Using Video in a Team Channel
Before a meeting
To turn on your video before a meeting, just select Turn camera on right before you join.
During a meeting
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 .
Change your video background
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.
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.
New Video Experience Layouts
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).
1. Large gallery
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.
2. Together mode
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
Additional Video Options
Pin someone's video
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.
Reframe a video
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.
Raising your Hand
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.
Sharing your Screen
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.
||If you want to...
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.
Joining a Video Call
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.
Join by link
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.
Join from calendar (faculty & staff only)
Select Calendar on the left side of the app to see your meetings. Find the meeting you want, and then
Join a meeting that has just started
If someone starts the meeting, you'll get a notification with a Join button you can
use to join the meeting.
Join in a channel
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.
Scheduling a Video Call on Teams and Outlook
Scheduling a video meeting in Teams (faculty & staff only)
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.
Make it a channel meeting
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.
Make it a recurring meeting
You can schedule recurring meetings on Teams.
- Click on Does not repeat
- Select appropriate frequency
You can set custom frequency by using the Custom button.
- To schedule a meeting to take place several times a week every week, select Week
- You will see a list of the days of the week
- Select the appropriate days.
- Click Save
Scheduling a video meeting in Teams using Outlook (faculty & staff only)
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
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:
- Open Outlook and switch to the calendar view
- Click New Teams Meeting at the top of the view.
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
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.
Managing meeting participants
Managing Participant Roles During a Meeting (Presenter vs Attendee)
Attendees vs Presenters (Meeting Roles)
In Teams video meetings you can assign who will be a presenter and who an attendee.
- Presenters can take all kinds of actions during and before a meeting: present, mute or remove participants, change participants roles (from presenter to
attendee or back), and more.
- Attendees can only speak and share video as well as use the chat.
Changing Meeting Roles
To choose who will be an attendee and who a presenter during a meeting:
- Click the Participants tab
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:
|Set Lobby Settings
|Currently for all Teams meetings any non-CSUSM users are automatically placed in the
lobby and cannot access the meeting unless the organizers allow them.
You can select everyone, specific people, or only you as the presenter.
Note: Anyone who is not set as a presenter becomes an Attendee
Managing Participants During a Meeting
During a meeting, you can take a variety of actions like muting participants, removing
them from a meeting, or changing their roles.
- Click the Participants tab
- Click on the ... next to a participants name
- Select the appropriate action
Managing Meeting Lobby
If any participant is placed in the lobby, you will see a red notification on the
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:
- Click the Participants tab
- Click the checkmark or cross next to the user placed in the lobby
Inviting people outside our organization
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.
Searching for Chats and Documents
Using Teams Search Bar
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
- Start any search from the search box at the top of the app.
- When you type a word or name, Teams will start to make suggestions.
- Either click on one of the suggested items, or press Enter to get a full list of results.
- You'll see a list of search results on the left side of the app.
- Select one of the items to get a full view of the item.
Search for one-on-one or group chats
- Type the person’s name in the command box at the top of the app.
- You’ll see their name and any group chats listed.
- Select their name to go to your one-on-one chat with them, or select a group chat
to pick up where you left off.
Search for group chats by the chat name (if it has one) or search by the name of the
Search for messages
- Start typing a keyword into the command box at the top of the app and press Enter.
- You’ll see a list of results that include the keyword.
Search your current window with Ctrl+F
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
Using Teams Filters
Teams filters allow you to easily narrow your search and locate your files/chats/people
- After you’ve entered your search terms into the search box, first use the Messages, People, and Files tabs above your results to refine your search.
- A second tier of filters appears after you make your initial selection, allowing you
to get more granular results.
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.
Creating & Managing a Team
Creating a Team (faculty & staff only)
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
Create a team
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.
Creating Team Channels
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
Select Automatically show this channel in everyone's channel list if you want this channel to be automatically visible in everyone's channel list.
Managing your Team
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.
Sharing Files and Co-Editing—QuickGuide
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
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.
Your files library
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.
Upload existing files
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.
Create a file
To create a Word, PowerPoint, or Excel document in Teams:
- Select New
- Select the kind of file you'd like to create.
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
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.
Co-edit a file
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.
Using Teams for Virtual Student Drop-Ins
Virtual Student Drop-Ins
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Using Teams for Virtual Instruction—Quick Guide (In addition to the Guides above)
Creating and managing a Classroom
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 email@example.com for further support.
Teams allows you to manage every aspect of the classroom (adding student assistants, creating channels for group projects, and more), and
the Settings tab gives you even more customization options.
You can add students to your Classroom in multiple ways.
One way is to simply use the Add Member menu. If you want your class pre-loaded with your students, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Office Hours through Teams
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
- 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 .
- Click Video call or Audio call to start a call.
Start a conversation with your instructor
- At the top of the app, click New chat .
- In the To field, type the name of your instructor.
- Type your message in the compose box and select Send .
- Click Video call or Audio call to start a call.
Quick access to a chat
Pin a chat
- To pin a chat, select More options > Pin. The chat appears in the Pinned list at the top of your chat list.
- To unpin a chat, select More options > Unpin.
Note: You can pin up to 15 chats.