Frequently Asked Questions about Microsoft Teams
- What is Microsoft Teams and why would I use it?
- What are teams?
- How do I create a team?
- What’s a channel?
- What’s the difference between team channels and private chats?
- What is T-Bot? What does it do?
- Can I still make one-on-one calls?
- What are team meetings?
- How can I schedule a meeting/group call with Teams?
- Which browsers are supported?
- Is Microsoft Teams only accessible from my browser?
- How do I log out of Microsoft Teams?
- What can a team owner do?
- How do I send a private message?
- Can I send a message to someone on Skype for Business from Microsoft Teams?
- Can I send group messages to Skype for Business users?
- Is chatting with Skype for Business users in Microsoft Teams any different?
- How do I know which conversations include me?
- Is there a phone call-in option for audio and video chat and meetings?
- How can I manage and share files with my team?
- How can I hold a class including students as members using Teams?
Microsoft Teams FAQ
Microsoft Teams is a messaging app for teams where all conversations, meetings, files, and notes can be accessed by everyone, all in one place. It’s a place for collaboration and work to happen in the open. Microsoft Team’s interface is reminiscent of social media chat clients, like Facebook or Google Hangouts.
Teams are collections of people, content, and tools that center around different projects and jobs within an organization. In Microsoft Teams, team members can have conversations and share files, notes, and more.
Step-by-step instructions for creating a team and adding members can be found in this document: Create a Microsoft Team >
Channels are great because they allow teammates to have focused conversations about specific topics. Every team has its own set of channels (starting with the General channel), and the members of that team get to decide what they want the rest of their channels to focus on. Some channels are devoted to specific projects, initiatives, and locations. Some are for different areas of interest, updates, or discussion topics. Some channels are just for fun! Every channel belonging to a team is completely public to all the team members, so everyone can feel free to join in a channel conversation.
If you spot a channel that looks interesting or is relevant to you, you’ve got the option of following (or, favoriting) it. FYI, you’ll always have the General channel for every team favorited and there’s no way to remove it from your favorites, either.
To favorite a channel, just click the next to a channel name. That way, it will stay visible in your teams list. You’ll also be able to see if there’s recent activity in your favorite channel because its name will appear in bold text. If someone @mentions you in one of your favorite channels, you’ll see a red number count next to the channel name that tells you the number of @mentions you received.
You won’t be able to see the team channels that you don’t favorite by default, but if you ever want to take a look at all the other channels belonging to a team, just click on the text that appears at the bottom of your current favorites telling you how many more channels belong to that team. That will open up a list of all the channels you haven’t favorited. If you see a channel that looks interesting, you’ve got the option of favoriting it from there.
Team channels are places where everyone on the team can have open conversations. Private chats are only visible to those people in the chat.
T-Bot is a useful bot that’s here to help you learn how to use Microsoft Teams! Ask a question or type a keyword or phrase into a chat with T-Bot, and it will find the answer for you.
You can make direct calls and group calls without having to host a meeting. These are private and won’t appear in any team conversation. Click to start a new conversation, and then choose or to start a video or audio call.
Full directions on starting a call with teams
Team meetings are a quick and easy way for people in a channel to go from a conversation to an impromptu meeting.
Anyone from the team can join. Team meetings include audio, video, and screen sharing. You always have a meeting space, and you’ll never need a room or projector.
To start a team meeting, click in a new conversation. You can also keep the context of the current conversation by clicking in an existing conversation:
These directions explain how to schedule a meeting (or group call) in Teams.
Scheduling a Meeting/Call with Teams
The Microsoft Teams app works in the the following desktop browsers:
- Internet Explorer 11
- Microsoft Edge
- The latest version of Chrome
- The latest version of Firefox
- Safari is not currently supported
The Microsoft Teams app can be downloaded for Windows, Mac, Android, & iOS here.
- To log out of Microsoft Teams, click on your profile picture at the bottom left corner of the app, then select Log out. You can also right-click the app icon as it appears in your task bar then select Log out. For Mac users, instead of right-clicking on the Microsoft Teams icon in your dock, you’ll head to the app menu bar at the top of your screen, click Microsoft Teams, then select Quit Microsoft Teams. You can also just press Cmd + Q.
- For all operating systems, once you log out of Microsoft Teams, you’ll need to enter your credentials again to launch the app again.
Team owners can add and remove members. They have the ability to edit or delete a team, and to change the team picture. They can also
- Set team members’ permissions for channels, tabs, and connectors.
- Control @[team name] mentions that will notify everyone on the team.
- Allow @[channel name] mentions, which will notify members who’ve favorited the channel.
- Allow usage of GIFs, stickers, and memes.
To loop someone into a private conversation, just click the Add people button at the top right corner of your screen. Then, type the name of the person you’d like to add and press Enter!
Great news, everyone! You can use Microsoft Teams to chat with someone who’s using Skype for Business. Simply start a one-on-one chat with the person you’d like to talk to, and they’ll get your message in Skype for Business. In the chat, you’ll have the opportunity to invite them to join you and the rest of the world in Microsoft Teams.
Remember: If the person you’re chatting with has ever used Microsoft Teams, your messages will always be sent there. Otherwise, if messages aren’t getting to or from Skype for Business, check with your IT administrator.
Unfortunately, group messages can’t be sent to people using Skype for Business. However, whenever someone invites you to a group conversation from Skype for Business, you’ll get a notification in Microsoft Teams! Then, you can join the conversation back in Skype for Business.
Chatting with someone on Skype for Business from within Microsoft Teams is pretty cool, but you’ll be missing out on fun things like emoji, file attachments, and tabs. Also, your conversation history won’t be saved, so if you update, refresh, or open up Microsoft Teams on a different platform (like mobile), you won’t be able to view your old messages.
If you’re worried about knowing when someone in a conversation needs your attention, just keep an eye on your Activity feed. There, you’ll get a notification whenever someone:
- @mentions you (you’ll also see your @mentions in the conversation, where you can spot them easily).
- @mentions teams and channels you belong to.
- Replies to conversations you’re part of.
- Replies to your replies.
You’ll also see a number next to the name of a channel whenever someone @mentions you there.
You can use teams for video and audio meetings, including a phone call-in option. Licenses are available on request to add phone conferencing to your account to host Teams meetings with call-in access as well as audio and video. Create a service desk ticket to request the call-in option.
Request Teams Audio Phone Conferencing >
You can use teams to upload files, edit them collaboratively and share them with each other internally to the university. This document show you how to: Manage and Share Files in Microsoft Teams >
Because students are in the Panthermail email system, instead of the Office 365 Faculty and Staff email system, to add students to a course created in Teams, you must enter their full student email address. More directions for using Teams for class are available in this document: Using Teams to Hold a Class with Student Team Members
If you have questions, or need technical assistance, contact the IIT Technology Service Desk at firstname.lastname@example.org or 404-413-HELP (404-413-4357).