Microsoft Teams: User Guide


MS Teams is an app to help you collaborate, communicate, and share files in a single area with a select group of people. You can manage access for the entire team and create channels or groups to allow sub-sets of employees to work and communicate on different topics.

A typical Team comes prepopulated with a single channel: General. Channels start with a few standard tabs:  

  • Posts: Text-based conversation can be sent within Channels and will show up under the Posts tab for each Channel.  
  • Files: Uploaded files are associated with each Channel and will show up under the Files tab. In a Team that was created using a Microsoft 365 group, these uploaded files will also be available in OneDrive in the Microsoft 365 group with a folder of the same name.  
  • Staff Notebook: Notebooks can be used and set up using OneNote, a digital notetaking app for all members of the Team to use and collaborate. 

Teams has the following limitations on the number of people who can participate: 

  • Private Chat: 100 people 
  • Meeting: 250 people 

Note for privacy: There is no way to suppress your personal information from other team members within a Team. Participants will see your email address and phone number if that information is viewable within the University of Tennessee online directory. 

Getting Started 

Log on to Microsoft 365 with your NetID and Password. And Select the Teams Icon 
Note: If you have not used Teams before, you may need to select All Apps

  1.  After you have opened Teams, Select the Teams icon on the left side of the Teams interface. Any Teams you are already a member of should now be visible to you.  
  2. Create a Team.  View detailed instructions within the OIT Knowledge Base.  


How can I create a Team? 

Anyone can create an MS Team. Use Teams to chat with co-workers, use shared files, hold video meetings, and more. For instructions on creating a Team, visit our article Microsoft Teams: Create a Team

What is a Teams Channel? 

Channel provides focused conversation and file sharing within a Team. Create Channels for different groups in your team based on projects or team functions. Learn how to create and use Channels.  

Each Channel is built around a topic like “Projects” or “Newsletter Articles” where you can have conversations about those topics and share related files. Perhaps you want a Channel where team members can ask questions, if so, create a channel called “Q&A.”

Each Channel has a Files tab associated with it.  When your Team was created, Microsoft also created a Group in the background. Documents saved to the Files tab within a specific Channel will be associated only with that Channel. 

What is the Chat option in Teams? 

The Chat option, available within the Teams app, is used when chatting with different members of your team or staff from anywhere within the University of Tennessee. For information on creating a chat with one person, visit our article Microsoft Teams: Set up a Chat, Phone, or Video Meeting with One Person.

Pin a Chat: If you have Chats that you to return to frequently, pin them to the top of your Chat list. This will prevent them from getting buried among the various Chats you might have with your co-workers. Learn how to pin a chat from our knowledge base article.  

Re-name a Chat: Title each Chat to provide context for your various conversations. Do you have three people you usually communicate with regarding administrative tasks? Re-name your Chat with those three people “Administrative Tasks.” To rename a Chat, check out our OIT Knowledge Base article.  

Can Chat messages be sent at a scheduled time? 

Yes, if you need to send a chat to someone in Teams, but it is not during normal work hours or they are out of the office, you can schedule the chat to send to them at a specific time. 
Note - you cannot schedule a Channel message to send during a specific time, only chats.

For instructions on sending scheduled chats, visit our article Microsoft Teams: Send a Teams Chat at a Scheduled Time

What are @Mentions? 

In a fast-paced academic environment, timely communication is essential. @mentions allow you to grab the attention of specific individuals or groups, ensuring essential messages are noticed promptly. Whether it's reaching out to fellow students, faculty members, or administrators, @mentions streamline communication and enhance responsiveness. For more information on using @mentions, visit our article Microsoft Teams: Using @Mentions in Chats and Posts.

Can files be shared through Teams? 

Yes, you can use Teams to share files with your co-workers or fellow students. Check out this five-minute video for sharing files in Teams

Or see our instructions for uploading files to your channel

What are Announcements in Teams? 

An announcement gives you a better way for people to see your post in chat. Use an announcement to notify students that an assignment has been posted or for an announcement that all employees need to know about. For additional information, visit our article Microsoft Teams: Create an Announcement for Everyone

How can I schedule a meeting in Teams? 

Meetings can be scheduled in Teams, and instructions can be found in our article Microsoft Teams: Scheduling Meetings

Can I share my screen, take notes, and record during a Teams meeting? 

Yes, you can share your screen, record, and use OneNote to take notes during a meeting. For additional information, visit our article Microsoft Teams: Meeting Tips to Screen Share, Record, & Take Notes

Can Teams be used for Project Management? 

Yes, Microsoft Teams is a powerful collaboration platform that can be used for a variety of purposes, including project management. For additional information, visit our article Microsoft Teams: Project Management

Can deleted Teams channels be restored? 

Yes, any admin of a Team can restore a deleted Channel. Please note that deleted teams are only recoverable for 30 days. For instructions, visit our article Microsoft Teams: Restore a Deleted Channel

What is Microsoft Loop in Teams? 

Loop is a new feature in Microsoft Teams that allows users to create, share, and collaborate on content in real-time. Loop components are reusable blocks of content that can be embedded in Teams chat, emails, and documents. This makes it easy for teams to collaborate on projects and share ideas without switching between different apps. For more information, visit our article Microsoft Teams: Using Microsoft Loop

What is the "Update" app in Teams? 

Updates in Teams is a ready-to-use application designed to facilitate seamless communication and task management within the higher education setting. With this app, faculty, staff, and students can effortlessly create, submit, and review updates, check-ins, and reports in the flow of their daily work in Teams. In the dynamic landscape of higher education, where timely communication and streamlined workflows are crucial, Updates in Teams is a valuable tool. It empowers the academic community to stay organized, collaborate seamlessly, and effectively manage their tasks and responsibilities, ultimately contributing to a more productive and cohesive environment. For more information, visit our article Microsoft Teams: Using the "Update" app in Microsoft Teams



Article ID: 146841
Mon 8/14/23 1:39 PM
Fri 8/18/23 2:22 PM
Microsoft 365
Microsoft Teams