department menu

Getting Started with Microsoft Stream


Microsoft Stream is part of the Microsoft Office 365 suite of tools. It is designed to be a way of sharing video content across an organization. Stream interface

The admin page for a MS Stream video

Why would you want to use Stream instead of, say, YouTube, GDrive, or some other media distribution method? Good question – it is important to understand Stream’s capabilities and limitations:


 Stream is part of the MS Office suite of tools. You need a campus login to access it. This includes viewing, so you won’t be able to share Stream videos outside of the campus community. 


  • You can upload video files to Stream and distribute links to people that need to view. 
  • Stream videos can only be viewed by others with campus credentials, so it cannot be used to share media content with the general public. 
  • Stream videos can be shared as links or embeds in Cougar Courses. 
  • Since Stream is integrated into the Office environment, videos can be shared via Teams and other apps. 
  • Only people authorized to see a video will be able to view it. Since Streams is designed for intra-company use, by default, when you upload a video, the permissions are set for the video to be visible to the whole company, i.e. all CSUSM people. If you want to specify permissions to specific users/groups, you can customize the video permissions. 
  • Stream videos can be viewed on mobile devices ( 


  • You can upload video files for distribution via Stream. Stream works with many standard file formats ( 
  • You can record the screen of your device along with audio narration, but you are limited to 15 minutes of recording. 

Other Features 

  • Speech-to-text – Stream uses AI to provide transcripts of your videos automatically. The transcript scrolls live as the video plays and is searchable. These transcripts are good, but not caption-quality for ADA. 
  • Captioning – Stream videos can be captioned for ADA. The process is manual at this point. 
  • Data Privacy - Note that your video content is in the Microsoft cloud, i.e. somewhere in Microsoft’s data centers off-site. Access is granted using the same robust user permissions used for email and other documents. 

 Microsoft page on "New" Stream features coming:

Getting Started 

If you log into Microsoft Office using your campus credentials, you will see your most commonly used apps in a bar on the left side of the screen.

Note for students: when you log in, remove the "cougars" from your username. So for example, if you are, when logging into Office 365, you would use

O365 app barYour screen may look different, it depends on which apps are turned on for you. If Stream is turned on for you, you will see it in your list of apps, as you can see to the left.

Online Help for Common Functions 

Working with existing videos 

Recording new things 

Advanced stuff