Microsoft Teams​

See the UWSP Handbook (Chapter 9, Section 2) for current UWSP policy on the retention of meeting recordings made (e.g. via Microsoft Teams or Zoom) for the purpose of generating written meeting minutes.

Microsoft Teams is the perfect solution for large and small group communication within a department, and for working on group projects.  

Do you regularly lose time searching for the right email thread or looking for lost files?  Use Team Channels to keep all of your conversations and files dedicated to a topic or project all in one place. Would you like your work group to use a Wiki or co-author a survey in Microsoft Forms?  Add these apps to your Team channel for easy access!

Teams can be created as either Public or Private.  Teams are Private by default.  This means that people from outside of your Team need your approval to join.

Teams can also be set to Public so that anyone within your organization can search for and join your Team.

Check out this quick overview of Teams!

 Important getting started tips

  • Select good Team and Channel names with the intent that you will not be changing the names.  When Teams and Channels are created and named, matching SharePoint folders are created in the background. Renaming Teams and Channels can cause a name mismatch with the background SharePoint folder structure.

  • Keep your Team and Channel names short. Microsoft provides powerful search tools in Teams, however the full Team and Channel path that is returned with each search result may not fully display due to team/channel name length.  Keeping team and channel names short and unique makes it much easier to see the complete team and channel path in your returned search results so that you can find what you need.

 What Team type should I use?

Teams for personal use, including committees and workgroups

For the most versatile and simple Team type, select Other.

The Team type, Other, is the most simple and versatile team type - great for committee and group work. add a OneNote tab for easy team collaboration and note taking.

Department Team Sites

Information Technology offers IT-Supported Department Team Sites for long-term file storage of department shared files (DFS shares).  Learn more about the benefits of having an IT-Supported Department Team Site created for your department.

 Will my Team expire?

All Teams expire after 365 days of inactivity unless renewed.

WIll I know if my Team is going to expire?

Team Owners receive three renewal notices prior to a Team's expiration: at 30 days, 15 days, and one day prior to your Team being removed due to inactivity.  It is strongly recommended that you share the responsibility of Team management including ensuring your Team is not removed due to inactivity by assigning multiple Owners to your team.

To renew an inactive Team for another 365 days:

Visit a channel in your Team or upload/open a file within your Team. It's that simple. Actions such as visiting a channel or opening a file within your Team is considered Team "activity" and resets the expiration to a new 365 days.


Renew via your Team Settings. To do this, click the Ellipses(...) to the right of your Team name and select Manage team.

Select the Settings tab and click Renew now at the bottom of the Settings list.

 How do I create a Team?

    Teams best practice - creating numerous teams requires a lot of maintenance.  Instead, create more channels within a Team.  Consider starting with one Team, then add channels named for specific work groups and projects.  If the intent is to create a Team for long-term file storage of department shared files (DFS shares), make sure to contact the Service Desk to request a Department team Site for your department.
    1. To create a Team, click Join or create a Team at the bottom left of the Teams screen.  

    2. Click Create team.

    3. Select a Team type. For example, click Staff to create a team for your department work.

    4. Give your new Team a descriptive Name and optional DescriptionYour Team defaults to "Private". This means that people from outside of your team need an invitation from you or another team owner to join.

    5. Click Next.

    6. Add your team members.  

      1. Search by name or your department's Distribution group, then click Add.  

      2. Once added, you can change membership from Member to Owner if needed.

      You can also return to your team and add more members once you have completed your team setup.

    7. Click Close. Your Team displays at the left.

    Note:  You are the owner of this Team.  It is a good practice to add at least one additional Team Owner.

    Each Team contains one channel, named General, by default. 

    • Use the General channel for all team communications. 

    • Create additional channels for member groups working on specific projects and topics.

     Add Team members

    Note: Only a Team Owner can add members.

    To add team members after the Team is created:

    1. Click the Ellipses (...) to the right of your Team.  

    2. Select Add member from the fly-out list.

    3. Begin typing the name of the person or distribution group.  

    4. Select them from the list that displays and click Add.

    5. To the right of the added name specify whether they should be added as a team Member or Owner.

    6. Click Close.

    You can also Use a Team Code (see "Invite people to join my team using a Team Code" below)

     Add more channels

    By default, when a Team is created, a channel named General is also created.  Use this channel for all-member communications.

    To add additional channels for group and project work:

    1. To the right of your Team, click the Ellipses (...) to access the More options fly out menu.

    2. Select Add Channel.

      • Give your channel a short but meaningful Name and an optional Description.

      • Place a check next to "Automatically show this channel in everyone’s channel list" to let Team members immediately see the channel. If this option is not checked, the channel will still be available to team members from the hidden channels list in the list of channels.

    3. Click Add. Your new channel displays below the General channel in your Team.


    Why would you not check "Automatically show this channel in everyone’s channel list"?

    Team owners can select up to 10 channels to display automatically in a Team. Typically the team owner will check "Automatically show this channel in everyone’s channel list" for the most important channels that team members should attend to regularly. Channels where this option is not checked are still available to team members from the hidden channels list.  See "How many channels can a Team have?" below.

     Add members to a channel

    Standard Channels:  Standard channels can be accessed by all team members. You will not see an option to add members to a Standard channel.

     Channel posts and replies

    Type your message, or Post, into the conversation box at the bottom of the channel. To apply formatting, add an attachment, or perform other actions, locate the feature by mousing over the icons below.

    To direct your post to a specific Team member, type "@" and then the person's name, followed by your post text. 

    Click the Post icon at the lower-right, or press Enter on your keyboard to let your Team members read your post.


    Replying to a Post:  make sure to click Reply below the post when replying. Your reply will be associated with that specific conversation thread and topic.  Do not Reply by creating a new post in the Start a new conversation box. This begins a new conversation.

    Watch for the following text:

    • See more: Click See more to view a complete post.

    • x replies from: Teams collapses lengthy threads for ease of scrolling. Click x replies from to view replies that are not displaying.

     Easily join an online Teams meeting

    The easiest way to join an online Teams meeting is to watch for your Outlook meeting Reminder.

    • When the Outlook meeting Reminder displays, click the Join Online button to join your meeting.  

    • You can also access the online meeting through the link in your calendar invitation.

    Note: The Join Online button only displays in Outlook meeting reminders for meetings scheduled through Teams.


    Click Meet Now to join your online meeting.

     Schedule a Teams meeting through Outlook

    Scheduling a Teams online meeting through Outlook is like scheduling your other Outlook meetings except that a Microsoft Teams video link is included.  Your recipients receive a meeting invitation in their inbox that they can accept/decline just like other Outlook meeting requests.

    A Teams meeting scheduled through Outlook is not associated with a Teams channel.  If the video meeting is recorded or Teams notes are taken, a group in Teams Chat is created for all meeting attendees.  The recording and notes are made available here.

    See "Easily join an online Teams meeting" for a quick tip!

    From your Outlook Desktop app calendar,

    1. Click New Teams Meeting on the Home tab.
    3. An Outlook meeting invitation opens.  A Microsoft Teams online meeting link is included in the message box. 

    4. Add your attendees, a meeting time and any other meeting information, then SendYour Teams online meeting will be added to your attendees' and your calendars.

    From your Outlook web app calendar,

    In a New Event meeting, move the Teams Meeting slider to the right.


     Sync Teams channel files to your local computer

    Are you and your team members collaborating on an important document in Teams?  No need to access your channel in Teams each time you make an edit. 

    You can easily sync your group's Team channel Files with your OneDrive for Business sync client, then read/edit the files from your local Windows File Explorer. All sharing permissions are included in the file sync so you and your group can continue to collaborate.

    From Files within your channel, click Sync.

    Close the Gettng ready to sync... box that opens.

    Open your Windows File Explorer.  At the left a new UWSP sync client displays containing a sync folder named for the Team and channel. Open this folder to access your channel files.

     Can Teams be used for file storage

    IT-supported Department Team Sites are intended for long-term file storage. 

    Department Team Sites can
    replace the shared file drives (DFS) that have historically been used for file storage within a department.

    All other Team sites are subject to a one-year inactivity Office 365 Group expiration policy put in place to automatically clean up unused Teams.

    See the section, "Sync channel files to your OneDrive for Business Sync Client".

     Access channel files from your UWSP Office 365 portal

    Files available to you through Teams channels are also available from your Office 365 OneDrive cloud portal.

    Log into your UWSP Office 365 portal.

    Open OneDrive.

    At the left under Shared Libraries, click to select the team where your channel files are located.

    Click the Documents folder. The Documents folder contains a folder for each channel that contains one or more files.

    A folder displays for each channel storing one or more files. Select the channel folder to access it's files.

    Note: your Team will not display in the Shared Libraries list unless at least one file is stored in at least one channel within that team.  Channel folders are only created for team channels that contain files.

    ​But wait! There's more!

    The above information gives you a good overview of Teams to help you get started. Here are also some excellent support videos and resources from Microsoft.

    Are you looking for some specific answers to questions?  Maybe questions like, "How do I know if a Team member has posted to a channel?", and "How do I find an earlier post?"?

    For answers to these and other questions, please see the following:

     About channel layout

    When you select a team channel at the left in Teams, the channel's Conversation pane displays in the work area at the right.  At the top of the channel's work area, tabs for additional tools display. These tools are specific to the channel.

    Two tabs display by default:

    Posts: click Posts to return to your Conversation pane if another tab is selected.

    Files: Files only displays those files and folders added to the channel.  Standard channel files are available to all team members.  

    Depending on the type of Team you have created, an additional notebook tab may display in the general tab, and a Notes tab will be available on all additional channels.

    For example, when you select a Staff team type to create your Team a Staff Notebook is available from the General tab of a Team.  All other channels have a Notes tab.  Channel Notes sync into the Staff Notebook.

    Click Staff Notebook for information and to help you get started.

    To add more tabs (e.g. a Wiki, a link to MS Forms, etc), click the plus (+) to the right of the tabs.

     Add an app

    Are you and your Team members creating a survey in Microsoft Forms, or are interested in using a Wiki for collaboration?  Increase your efficiency by adding these and other apps as tabs to your Team channels and chat.  Or add personal apps to the left of your Teams window.

    For more information on adding apps, see this Microsoft support document.

     Chat vs channel posts

    Posts that you create in a Standard channel can be read by all Team members. 

    Chat, located at the upper-left corner of Teams, allows you to correspond privately with one or several people who may or may not be in the same Team.

     Add someone to your chat contacts

    To chat with a new contact,

    1. In Teams Chat, click the New Chat icon to the left of Search.

    2. Begin typing your contact's name and select them from the Contacts list that displays.


      Your new contact adds to the Recent list in your Chat.

    To add your new contact as a favorite contact, 

    Right-click the contact and select Add to favorite contacts from the menu.


     Delete your chat or channel post

    To delete your chat message or channel post, mouse over the upper-right edge of the post or chat to display the Emoticon list.

    Click the More Options ellipses and select Delete.

     Bookmark chat and channel posts

    To Save chat and channel posts to return to later:

    Click within or mouse over the post to display the post's emoticon toolbar.

    To the right of the toolbar, click the More Options Ellipses and select Save this message.

    The post is now saved for you to easily find later.

    To find your saved posts:

    Click your profile at the upper-right in Teams.

    Select Saved from your profile menu.

    A list of your saved posts will display at the left in teams.

    To unsave a saved post and remove it from your Saved list:

    Click the Unsave this message icon at the right of a saved post.

     Set an 'out of office' to display in Teams messages

    Your Outlook Out of Office feature is great for letting folks who email you know when you're, well, out of the office. But what about people who are trying to connect with you in an MS Teams Chat or Channel post?

    When someone sends you a Chat message in Teams or @ mentions you in a Channel, you can let them know that you are unavailable, and when you will return, by setting your Profile Status Message.

    To set a status message:

    Click your profile pic at the upper-right in Teams and select Set status message.

    Type your message in the text box that opens.  Below the text box, place a check next to Show when people message me.

    Select the dropdown below Clear status message after and select when you will once again be available and want to clear the message. Select Custom from the list to enter a specific date and time for when the message should clear.


    Click Done.

    So what will a person see when they Chat or @ mention you?

    Sending you a Chat or @ message automatically displays your status message above the person's Type a new message box.

     Schedule a Teams meeting through Teams Chat

    See "Easily join an online Teams meeting"!

    To schedule an online meeting through Chat,

    1. Select the person from your Teams Chat list.

    2. In the Chat pane at the right, click the Schedule a meeting icon. The Schedule a meeting icon is located in the icon list below the new message box.


    4. In the New meeting box that opens, fill in your meeting detail. The person you selected in Chat is automatically added.  To add additional participants begin typing their names after the original chat member(s).

    5. To associate your online meeting with a Channel, click Add channel

    6. Click Send.


    Your meeting attendees will receive an Outlook meeting invitation in their email.

     Schedule a Teams meeting through Teams Calendar

    1. Select  your Teams Calendar. Your Teams Calendar is fully integrated with your Outlook calendar.


    3. At the Calendar's upper-right, click New meeting.


    5. In the New meeting box that opens, fill in your meeting detail. The person you selected is automatically added.  To add additional participants begin typing their names after the original chat member(s).

    6. To optionally associate your online meeting with a Channel, click Add channel

    7. Click Send.

    Your meeting attendees will receive an Outlook meeting invitation in their email.

    To join your meeting

    Click Join Online in your meeting reminder.


     Start a channel video chat

    If you are just about to post to a Teams channel and notice the team members in your channel are online, start a quick video chat instead with selected team members.

    From the icons below the conversation box, click Meet now.

    Click Meet now to start the video chat.

    In the People pane that displays at the right, right-click a team member name and select Ask to join to invite team members to meet.

     Direct a channel post to an individual(s)

    To ensure that a team member notices your channel post you can "@" ("at") mention them.  Team indicators then let the team member know a new post needs their attention.

    To direct a post to a team member,

    Type "@" (no quotes) and begin typing the person's name.

    Select their name from the Suggestions list that opens, then complete and post your message.

    Finding posts when you are "@" mentioned

    When you are "@" mentioned, or have received a reply to one of your existing posts, Teams will display a pop up message at the lower-right corner of your screen. The Teams Task bar icon will also indicate that you have a new post directed to you.


    On the Teams left sidebar, an "@" symbol at the right of the Teams icon indicates that you have been "@" mentioned.

    The fastest way to locate new and recent posts directed to your attention is to click the Activity indicator at the left in Teams and select your new post from your recent activity Feed.

    When viewing posts where you have been "@" mentioned, your name will be formatted in bold, red font within the post.  An @ icon displays to the right of the post indicating the post is meant for your attention.

     Record Team meetings

    From within your meeting, click the More actions Ellipses on the calling bar.

    1. Select Start recording to begin recording the meeting.

    2. To stop recording, click the More actions Ellipses and select Stop recording.

     Where can I find my recorded meetings?

    Please note: Teams recordings are no longer saved by default to Microsoft Stream.

    The location of your Teams meeting recording depends on:

    • how the meeting was created, and,

    • who clicks Record in the meeting.

    Be patient if you are unable to immediately find your recording.  Meeting recordings can take considerable time to render and will become available depending on recording length.

    Finding meeting recordings

    If the Teams meeting was a scheduled meeting and not associated with a channel:

    The meeting recording saves to a Recordings folder in the OneDrive of the person who clicks Record.

    If you are the meeting organizer you may want to ensure that you click record.

    All meeting participants can access a link to the automatically shared recording by opening the original meeting invite from within the Teams Calendar.

    If a channel is associated to the Teams meeting:

    If a channel is associated with a meeting, the meeting recording is saved to a Recordings folder in the Files tab of the channel. 

    A link to the recording is also made available in a channel Post.

    For more detailed information on where recordings are saved based on who clicked Record and who has access (including how external users and guests are handled), see the Permissions and Storage section in the middle of this Microsoft Documentation page.

     How will I know when there is Team activity?

    Teams provides a number of ways to let you know when there is a new chat or channel post as well as when channel activity is directed to you.

    When Teams is open, the Teams icon on your taskbar will indicate when you have new Chat messages and channel posts that @ mention or Reply to you.

    From within Teams, indicators along the left show you that you have new chat messages and channel posts where you are @ mentioned individually or as part of a group.


    Note: Activity maintains a list of the most recent channel posts where you are @ mentioned.  Use Activity to help find your way back to a post.

    In your teams and channels list, select a bolded channel to see new messages posted for you and your team members.

     Find most recent activity

    Looking for your most recent channel posts?  Click your Activity indicator at the top-left in Teams.


    Posts directed to you individually, or where you are a member of a group will list in order of when posted.  An easy way to find your way back to a recent post that you read.

    Can't find what you're looking for?  Filter your Activity to narrow your search.

    Click the Filter funnel at the right of your Activity Feed.

    Click the More options ellipses to open a list of filter options.

     View and manage Team membership

    To see all members and modify their permissions, click the Ellipses (...) to the right of your Team name then click Manage Team.

     Can I add someone to help manage my Team?

    Yes, add them as Owner.  See Add Team members above.

     How do I add a large group of people to my team?

    No need to add each person manually.
    Use a Distribution List: If you are adding all members of a group such as your department employees for example, a best practice is to use the group's Outlook Distribution List.  A Distribution List's membership automatically updates.  To add a Distribution List to your Team click the Ellipses (...) to the right of the Team and select Add Members from the fly-out menu.  Search for the Distribution List just as you do individual members.
    Use a Team Code:  If the people you would like to invite into your Team aren't in a nice and tidy Distribution List, send them a Team Code.  To use a Team Code, click the Ellipses (...) to the right of the Team and select Manage team.  Select the Settings tab and click Team Code.  Click Generate.  Send the generated code in an email.

     Join a team With a Team Code

    Click Join or create a team at the lower-left of the Teams screen.  Paste the Team Code into the Join a team with a code box.

     What is the difference between a Team Owner and a Team Member?

    Microsoft provides a list of Owner versus Member permissions.

     How many Channels can a Team have?

    There is a 200 standard channels per team limit.

    Need help?  Contact the IT Service Desk!