Frequently asked questions about Microsoft Teams – Admin Help

Microsoft Teams is the chat-based workspace in Office 365. It's the hub for team chats, calls, meetings, and messages. Microsoft Teams is extensible and customizable, and it's secured and standards-compliant to make sure your company's most sensitive collaborations are private.

This article answers frequently asked questions about Microsoft Teams administration. For more admin information, see Administrator settings for Microsoft Teams.

Note: Admins can direct end users to go to https://teams.microsoft.com/downloads to get the desktop apps. To access the web client, users can go to https://teams.microsoft.com. For mobile apps, go to the relevant mobile store for Google Play, Apple App Store, and Microsoft Store.

Microsoft Teams and Office 365

Microsoft Teams is built upon Office 365 Groups and provides a new way to access shared assets for an Office 365 Group. Microsoft Teams is the best solution for persistent chat among group/team members.

Office 365 Groups is a service that provides cross-application membership for a set of shared team assets, like a SharePoint site or a Power BI dashboard, so that the team can collaborate effectively and securely.

Yes. There are two types of privacy settings with Office 365 groups, public and private. Both group types can be enabled for Microsoft Teams; however, there is a slight difference between the types when it comes to self-service:

  • With public groups, users can search for and then join a public group by themselves without the team owner’s approval.

  • Private groups aren't searchable. Users can't join a private group unless a team owner adds them as a member.

When creating a new team in Microsoft Teams, an owner of an existing private Office 365 Group has an option to use the membership in the Office 365 Group to create the team. Users can add their existing SharePoint and OneNote files by adding a tab for SharePoint and merging OneNote files.

For more details, see Enhancing Office 365 Groups.

Yammer groups can't be activated into Microsoft Teams. However, you can add a Yammer feed as a connector to a channel in Microsoft Teams.

The group email conversation remains in Microsoft Outlook. In Microsoft Teams, Office 365 Group members can use chat to communicate in a separate service within Teams.

You can add email distribution lists as members of a team. But, if you later add more members to the distribution list, those members are not automatically added to the team. You must add the new members separately or add the distribution list to the team again. (If you add the distribution list again, deduplication makes sure members are added only once.)

You can add mail-enabled security groups as members of a team. But, if you later add more members to the security group, those members are not automatically added to the team. You must add the new members separately or re-add the security group to the team. (If you re-add the security group, deduplication makes sure members are added only once.)

There are no changes in the Groups node.

Microsoft Teams administration

By default, Microsoft Teams is enabled for all eligible Office 365 commercial suite users with the appropriate license assignment. For Office 365 Education suite users, Teams is off by default, All settings are tenant-wide and affect everyone in the organization who has an active license for Microsoft Teams.

As an administrator for your organization, you can turn on or turn off Microsoft Teams for your organization and you can allow or block what content sources can be used in Teams. See Administrator settings for Microsoft Teams for more details. You can turn on or turn off Teams for individual users. To manage per-user licenses for Microsoft Teams, see Turn on or turn off Microsoft Teams licenses.

If you want to allow guest users from outside your organization in Microsoft Teams, see Guest access in Microsoft Teams.

Microsoft Teams is available in the following Office 365 commercial suites: Office 365 Business Essentials, Office 365 Business Premium, and Office 365 Enterprise E1, E3, and E5 plans. Microsoft Teamsis also available to existing Office 365 Enterprise E4 customers who purchased E4 before its retirement.

Microsoft Teams is available in all Office 365 Education suite licensing: Office 365 Education, Office 365 Education Plus, and Office 365 Education E5, as well as existing customers who purchased E3 prior to its retirement.

Microsoft Teams is available in all Office 365 Education suite licensing: Office 365 Education, Office 365 Education Plus, and Office 365 Education E5, as well as existing customers who purchased E3 prior to its retirement. For more information, see Get started for Microsoft Teams in Office 365 Education.

Microsoft Teams isn't available to Government customers at this time. We have started investing engineering work to ensure future readiness for Government customers.

Microsoft Teams is available only as part of Office 365 commercial and education suites. For details, see "How does my Office 365 subscription and license work with Microsoft Teams?" earlier in this article.

Microsoft Teams supports the web client on Microsoft Edge 12+, Internet Explorer 11+, Firefox 47.0+, and Chrome 51.0+. Users who try to open the Microsoft Teams web client on Safari are directed to download the desktop client. Safari support may be added at a later time.

Viewing Microsoft Teams on the web works at any screen resolution. Creating and editing teams in Microsoft Teams requires a screen width of 600 pixels or wider. Microsoft Teams on the web is view-only on screens less than 600 pixels wide.

Microsoft Teams provides localized language support for T-Bot and help content. New languages are being added all the time. For the most current list of supported languages, see Microsoft Teams supported languages for help content.

For the full Microsoft Teams experience, every user should be enabled for Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, and Office 365 Group creation. Users' Exchange mailboxes can be hosted online or on-premises. Users hosted on Exchange Online or Exchange Dedicated vNext can use all the features of Microsoft Teams. They can create and join teams and channels, create and view meetings, modify user profile pictures, add and configure connectors, tabs, and bots, and they can chat and call.

Users hosted on Exchange Online Dedicated – Legacy or Exchange on-premises must be synchronized to Azure Active Directory for Office 365. They can create and join teams and channels, add and configure tabs and bots, and chat and call. However, they can’t modify user profile pictures, create and view meetings, or add and configure connectors. They can receive messages from connectors configured by other users.

The following table provides information for users with Exchange Online hosted in various environments.

Actions supported:

User's mailbox is hosted in:

Create teams

Join teams

Create channels

Create and view meetings

Modify user profile picture

Add and configure connectors

Add and configure tabs

Add and configure bots

Exchange Online

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Exchange Online Dedicated vNext

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Exchange Online Dedicated – Legacy (Sync to Azure AD required)

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

No

Yes

Yes

Exchange on-premises (Sync to Azure AD required)

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes*

No

No

Yes

Yes

*Exchange 2016 CU3 and above supported

Additional information:

  • Microsoft Teams doesn't support SharePoint on-premises.

  • SharePoint Online is required to share and store files in team conversations.

  • OneDrive for Business is required to share and store files in private chats.

  • If users aren't assigned and enabled with SharePoint Online licenses, they don't have OneDrive for Business storage in Office 365. File sharing will continue to work in Channels, but users are unable to share files in Chats without OneDrive for Business storage in Office 365.

  • Users must be enabled for Office 365 Group creation to create teams in Microsoft Teams.

  • In Microsoft Teams, security and compliance features like eDiscovery, Content Search, archiving, and legal hold work best in Exchange Online and SharePoint Online environments. For channel conversations, messages are journaled to the group mailbox in Exchange Online, where they're available for eDiscovery. If SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business (using work or school account) are enabled across the organization and for users, these compliance features are available for all files within Teams as well.

    Important: Users who participate in conversations that are part of the Chat list in Microsoft Teams must have an Exchange Online (cloud-based) mailbox in order for an admin to search chat conversations. That's because conversations that are part of the Chat list are stored in the cloud-based mailboxes of the chat participants. If a chat participant doesn't have an Exchange Online mailbox, the admin won't be able to search or place a hold on chat conversations. For example, in an Exchange hybrid deployment, users with on-premises mailboxes might be able to participate in conversations that are part of the Chat list in Microsoft Teams. However, in this case, content from these conversations isn't searchable and can't be placed on hold because the users don't have cloud-based mailboxes. For more details about Content Searches and Microsoft Teams, see Microsoft Teams and Office 365 Groups.

Tip: For information about how to use Azure AD Connect to synchronize with Azure Active Directory, see Integrating your on-premises identities with Azure Active Directory.

Cloud storage options in Microsoft Teams currently include Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, and ShareFile. Users can upload and share files from cloud storage services in Microsoft Teams channels and chats. You can enable or disable specific cloud storage services for your organization in the Office 365 admin center.

The Meetings icon on the app bar is currently enabled only for users whose mailbox is on Office 365 multi-tenant and a select few dedicated users whose mailbox location can be discovered using Exchange auto discovery.

Yes. The same creation settings defined by Office 365 Groups apply to Microsoft Teams. For more information, see Manage Office 365 Group Creation.

You can't turn on Microsoft Teams for only part of an organization. Admins can turn on or turn off the Microsoft Teams license for individual users. To manage per-user licenses for Microsoft Teams, see Manage user access to Microsoft Teams licenses.

Yes, guest access in Microsoft Teams is available to all Office 365 commercial and education customers. Anyone with an Azure Active Directory account can be added as a guest in Teams. Office 365 users can add people from outside their organization to a team, so guests can participate in chats, join meetings, collaborate on documents, and more.

IT admins can quickly and easily view, add, or revoke a guest’s access to the host tenant. Guest user content and activities are under the same compliance and auditing protection as the rest of Office 365. To learn more about setting up and managing guest users from outside your organization in Microsoft Teams, see Guest access in Microsoft Teams.

When you create a bot and register it with the Bot Framework, you can choose to publish it or not. If you don't publish it, the bot remains private. You can also require your users to log in before using the bot. Requiring login makes sure only employees of your organization can access the bot, even if the bot's application ID becomes known. See AuthBot on GitHub for a code example of how to authenticate users against your Active Directory using bots.

Currently the Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) connector requires project admin privileges. We are working with the VSTS team to change it to allow it to be used by users with team admin privileges.

When a new team is created, a new Office 365 Group is also created, including the associated group SharePoint site, mailbox, and OneNote notebook. If a team is activated on an existing group, the existing site, mailbox, and notebook are used in place.

For each new team, a single channel named General is also created, along with the associated SharePoint folder and OneNote notebook section.

Yes, Microsoft Teams team names appear in the Outlook global address book.

At this time, naming restrictions can't be applied. However, we expect naming restrictions to be available soon. The same support for naming restrictions that will be available for Office 365 Groups will apply to Microsoft Teams.

Yes, an administrator can turn off Microsoft Teams at any time via the Office 365 admin center. Be aware that users with active licenses for Microsoft Teams will continue to see the Teams app tile even if you turn off Teams. For details about how to remove licenses from users, see Manage user access to Microsoft Teams licenses.

Access from the Microsoft Teams client is blocked, but data available through other clients and services is still available, such as files via SharePoint and OneDrive. All data remains in place unless the teams are explicitly deleted.

The team continues to function as-is. All data remains and all existing users can continue to use the team. If the removed user was the only owner of the team, an IT admin can retake control of the team by going through the Office 365 admin center and adding themselves or someone else as the team owner. The team recognizes that change. Any connectors added to the team by the removed user do stop working. Scheduled meetings continue to work because they're on the group calendar.

No process is necessary. Files and conversations are retained.

You can edit or delete your chat messages during the first 24 hours after they are posted. In the upper-right corner of the chat message, click or tap the More options icon (), and then choose Edit or Delete.

You can use Office 365 PowerShell to assign and remove user licenses. For more details and examples, see Assign licenses to user accounts with Office 365 PowerShell and Remove licenses from user accounts with office 365 PowerShell.

You can create teams only within the Microsoft Teams app (Windows and Mac desktop app or web app).

Yes, like other apps in Office 365, Teams allows use of multi-factor authentication.

Important: If a tenant has a conditional access policy set on a cloud application or service other than Exchange Online or SharePoint Online (such as Power BI service), that same policy must also be also applied to either Exchange Online or SharePoint Online. If the policy is not applied, users will experience an interruption of service in using the other cloud application (such as Power BI) within Microsoft Teams. For more information about conditional access policies, see Conditional access in Azure Active Directory.

Microsoft Teams integration

Every channel in a team in Microsoft Teams includes a Files tab where users can upload, edit, and save files that are shared with the team. This tab uses SharePoint for storage – a SharePoint site document library for the whole team, and a folder per channel. Users can also add a document library from an existing SharePoint site to the view for any channel. Choose the “+” icon at the top of the page to add a SharePoint document library as a tab in a channel.

For advanced SharePoint functionality, team users can go to the relevant site in SharePoint, where they can manage files, apply workflow, review version history, and comply with document retention policies.

You can integrate a document library from an existing SharePoint site with a team by choosing the “+” icon at the top of the page to add the document library as a tab. You can select from a list of relevant sites or provide a link to the site or document library.

An important user benefit of Microsoft Teams is Office 365 integration, which includes file sharing through SharePoint. This makes it possible to find files in one place for teamwork, including chats, people, and everyday tools. If you don't have SharePoint enabled in your tenant, Microsoft Teams users are not always able to share files in teams. Users in private chat also can't share files because OneDrive for Business (which is tied to the SharePoint license) is required for that functionality.

Each channel in a team is provisioned with a SharePoint site. You can't delete this site, but you can add a document library from an existing SharePoint site to the view for a channel by choosing the “+” icon at the top of the page to add the document library as a tab.

Microsoft Teams client application

No, the banner notification is always shown to users.

The Microsoft Teams installation provides downloadable installers in 32-bit for Windows and 64-bit for Windows. We also provide a .dmg installation file for Mac computers. IT admins can choose their preferred method to distribute the installation files to machines in their organization.

To get the most recent desktop versions of Microsoft Teams, admins and users should go to https://teams.microsoft.com/downloads. For mobile apps, go to the relevant mobile store for Google Play, Apple App Store, and Microsoft Store.

Limits

The default maximum number of teams that an Office 365 tenant can have is currently 500,000.

A team can have 100 owners.

A user can create 250 teams.

A global admin can create an unlimited number of teams.

A team owner can add 999 members to a team.

There can be 20 members in a private chat, including the user who created the chat.

The maximum number of people in a meeting is 80.

Privacy

No. Like OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online, customer data stays within the tenant.

As a customer of Office 365, you own and control your data. Microsoft does not use your data for anything other than providing you with the service that you have subscribed to. As a service provider, we do not scan your email, documents, or teams for advertising or for purposes that are not service-related. Check out more about our trust and security related information at the Office 365 Trust Center. Microsoft Teams follows the same guidance and principles as the Office 365 Trust Center.

Accessibility

Microsoft Teams supports screen readers, keyboard navigation, and high contrast. We'll have more to share on supported accessibility standards plans in the future.

For the best experience using Microsoft Teams with a screen reader, we recommend using the latest version of JAWS from Freedom Scientific with the Windows application. Microsoft Teams also provides a great experience for Windows 10 users with Microsoft Edge and Narrator.

Security, compliance, and data governance

Microsoft Teams relies heavily on Exchange Online andSharePoint Onlinefor core productivity scenarios such as meetings, calendars, and files. Conditional access policies set up for these cloud apps apply to Teams during the sign-in experience.

Microsoft Teams desktop clients for Windows and Mac support modern authentication, which brings sign-on based on the Azure Active Directory Authentication Library (ADAL) to Microsoft Office client applications across platforms. However, the ADAL component currently doesn't support device compliance for OS X clients. We plan to add this support in the future. For now, admins can configure device compliance policies only for the supported platforms which are Windows, Windows Phone, iOS, and Android.

For more information and guidance about Azure AD conditional access policies for the cloud services operating in your tenant, see Conditional access in Azure Active Directory.

Archiving, Content Search, eDiscovery, legal hold, and audit logs are available via the Office 365 Security & Compliance Center for chats and channel messages, OneNote content, OneDrive for Business files, and SharePoint content. For more information about these compliance features, see Security and Compliance in Office 365 for business - Admin Help. For more details about Content Searches and Microsoft Teams, see Microsoft Teams and Office 365 Groups. In this FAQ topic, see: What are the technical requirements for Microsoft Teams? How does Exchange hosting change what users can do in Teams?

Microsoft Teams also supports conditional access and mobile app management (MAM) policies set by admins through either Microsoft Intune or the Azure portal on devices that may or may not be managed by Intune mobile device management (MDM).

Searchable wiki content is stored in SharePoint Online. Wiki content is automatically saved in the Teams Wiki Data document library on the Team site in an .mht format for simple preservation and export.

Note: Wiki content storage via eDiscovery was released on June 22, 2017. For wiki pages that were saved or updated on that date or after, eDiscovery is available. Wiki pages last saved before that date aren't available for search.

Microsoft Teams retains all messages. Teams retains deleted messages for at least 7 days, and at most 30 days, before messages are permanently deleted.

Microsoft Teams is Tier C-compliant at launch. This includes the following standards: ISO 27001, ISO 27018, SSAE16 SOC 1 and SOC 2, HIPAA, and EU Model Clauses (EUMC).

Microsoft Teams also enforces team-wide and organization-wide two-factor authentication, single sign-on through Active Directory, and encryption of data in transit and at rest. Files are stored in SharePoint and are backed by SharePoint encryption. Notes are stored in OneNote and are backed by OneNote encryption.

Microsoft Teams also supports Cloud Security Alliance compliance.

Within the Microsoft compliance framework, Microsoft classifies Office 365 applications and services into four categories. Each category is defined by specific compliance commitments that must be met for an Office 365 service, or a related Microsoft service, to be listed in that category.

Services in compliance categories C and D that have industry-leading compliance commitments are enabled by default. Services in categories A and B come with controls to turn on or turn off these services for an entire organization. Details can be found in the Compliance Framework for Industry Standards and Regulations.

Data in Microsoft Teams resides in the region based on tenant affinity. Currently, Microsoft Teams supports the Americas, EMEA, and APAC regions. In the future, Microsoft Teams will provide GoLocal support, where data remains in country (not just in region). Stay tuned to the Office 365 Roadmap for updates.

More information

You can find release notes with T-Bot, a help bot that answers questions and provides help about Microsoft Teams through chat. To see release notes, tap or click Chat on the left side in the Microsoft Teams client (desktop or web app), and then, in the list of chats, choose T-Bot. At the top of the chat window, select the built-in tab Release Notes.

Release notes are also available at Release notes for Microsoft Teams.

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