Frequently asked questions

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General

Microsoft Teams is a messaging app for teams where all conversations, meetings, files, and notes can be accessed by everyone on the team. It's a place for collaboration and work to happen in the open.

Here's why you should use it:

  • It makes communicating one-on-one and with groups a snap.

  • Collaboration happens in real time.

  • Everything your team cares about (all your files, docs, contact info, and more) is in once place.

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. If you want some help videos, check out the Videos tab at the top of the T-Bot chat.

Channels 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, some are for areas of interest. 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 have the option of following (or, favoriting) it. 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 star icon 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, 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.

Everyone on a team that's following a specific channel will be able to see if that channel is active thanks to the bold channel name, but they will only get notifications if they're specifically @mentioned within that channel. If you get @mentioned in a channel you're not following, you'll get a notification in your Activity feed.

Got a question? You can ask T-Bot anything about the app. If you’d rather browse on your own, feel free to look through all our help content by clicking the Help tab at the top of your chat with T-Bot. Your other option is to click your profile picture on the left side of the app and then select Help . That will direct you to all our help articles and some quick instructional videos. There are also tabs for FAQs and Release Notes.

There are a bunch of ways to integrate your own services and apps into Microsoft Teams. You can integrate a custom tab or custom connector, you can use an incoming webhook, and you can sideload a bot. To learn more, click https://aka.ms/microsoftteamsplatform.

You have a lot of great options when it comes to integrating external apps and services with Microsoft Teams. Here's everything you can do:

  • Add a connector: When you add a connector to a channel, it will send updates and information directly to that channel. There are a ton of available connectors. You can get automatic updates from your favorite services like Trello, JIRA, Twitter, RSS feeds, Asana, and more. If you want to add a connector, go to a channel, click the more icon next to the channel name, then select Connectors. To build your own connector, click https://dev.office.com/microsoft-teams.

  • Chat with a bot: You can chat with a bot one-on-one or add one to a team to get quick answers, updates, and assistance. To find out which of your favorite services are available as bots, click into the search bar at the top of the app and then select Discover bots from the dropdown. Interested in building a custom bot? Click https://dev.office.com/microsoft-teams

  • Start a new tab: Tabs are a great way to surface content and functionality from external services within your channels. You can pin the content, tools, plans, and dashboards your team needs to be able to reference quickly and communicate about. To see what you can do with tabs, click the add (+) icon at the top of a channel and then select the type of tab you want to add from the tab gallery. To build your own custom tab, click https://dev.office.com/microsoft-teams.

Team channels are conversations that everyone on the team can see. Private chats are only visible to those people in the chat.

This Private conversations and calling video shows how you can use Chat for private conversations. A transcript of the video narration and procedural information accompany the video.

For more information, see Get the best messaging experience.

You can perform some pretty detailed searches in Microsoft Teams. Start by typing a name, keyword, or phrase into the search bar at the top of the app. We'll generate suggestions based on your recent conversations, favorite channels, or people within your organization.

Once you've entered a search term, you can filter your results to show just Messages, People, or Files. If you're searching within your Messages or Files, you can make your search even more specific by clicking the filter icon The filter icon. that appears above your initial search results to start filtering.

This is a screenshot showing different kinds of searches.

The Microsoft Teams app works in the following desktop browsers:

  • Internet Explorer 11

  • Microsoft Edge 12

  • The latest version of Chrome

  • The latest version of Firefox

Got a suggestion? We’d love to hear it. On your desktop app, click on the Feedback light bulb at the bottom left-hand corner of your screen and tell us what you think!

This screenshot shows how to provide feedback.

Please let your IT admin know if the app keeps crashing. Your admin can work with us to fix the problem!

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 press Cmd + Q to quit.

For all operating systems, once you log out of Microsoft Teams, you'll need to enter your credentials again to launch the app again.

Your desktop app will automatically update (so you don’t have to). If you want, you can still check for available updates by clicking your profile picture on the left side of the app and then and then Check for updates.

Your web app will always be up-to-date.

Single sign on (SSO) is a process that lets Microsoft Teams know that you've already entered your credentials (like your work email and password) elsewhere, and you shouldn't be required to enter them again in order to start the app. The experience will vary depending on a couple factors, like if you're working in Windows or on a Mac. It will also vary depending on whether your company has enabled single-factor authentication or multi-factor authentication (multi-factor authentication usually involves verifying your credentials via your phone, by providing a unique code or entering a PIN number or presenting your thumbprint). So, here's a rundown of each SSO scenario

For Windows users:

  • If you're already signed in to other Office applications through your Office 365 Enterprise account, when you start Microsoft Teams you'll be taken straight to the app; there won't be any need to enter your credentials.

  • If you're not signed in to your Office 365 Enterprise account anywhere else, when you start Microsoft Teams, you'll be asked to provide either single- or multi-factor authentication. Whether you complete SFA (single-factor) or MFA (multi-factor) depends entirely on what your company has decided they'd like the process to entail.

  • >If you're signed in to a domain-joined machine, when you start Microsoft Teams, you might be asked to go through one more authentication step, depending on whether your company opted to require MFA or if your machine already requires MFA to sign in. If your machine already requires MFA to sign in, when you open up Microsoft Teams, the app will automatically start.

For Mac users:

When you start Microsoft Teams, your machine won't be able to pull your credentials from your Office 365 Enterprise account or any of your other Office applications. Instead, you'll see a prompt asking you for SFA or MFA (again, depending on your company's settings). Once you enter your credentials, you won't be required to provide them again; from that point on, Microsoft Teams will automatically start whenever you're working on the same machine.

There's no way to switch user accounts once you've completed SSO if you're using a domain-joined machine (i.e., if your tenant has enabled Kerberos). But if you're not working on a domain-joined machine, you'll be able to switch accounts!

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. Once you log out of Microsoft Teams, you'll need to enter your credentials again to launch the app again.

SSO is available for every organization that uses Microsoft Teams, so if you're not able to complete the SSO process, there might be something wrong with your domain or your company's Office 365 Enterprise account. Your best bet is to get in touch with your IT admin for more information and next steps.

For more information, see Why am I having trouble signing in to Microsoft Teams?

We have an awesome website! Check it out to learn more about Microsoft Teams.

To send someone an email from Microsoft Teams, hover over their profile picture until their contact card appears. Click on the envelope icon at the bottom left of the card to send an email

If you haven’t already chosen an email app to use with Microsoft Teams, you’ll see a prompt asking you to choose one.

T-bot chat queries and responses currently support the following languages:

English (US)

French

German

Spanish

You can uninstall Microsoft Teams the same way you uninstall other apps on your computer:

Windows

Quit Microsoft Teams by right-clicking the Teams icon in the task bar and choosing Quit. Open the Control Panel and select Uninstall a program, then select Microsoft Teams. With Microsoft Teams highlighted, click Uninstall.

Mac

Quit Microsoft Teams by right-clicking the Teams app in the dock, then holding down OPTION and clicking Force Quit. Open the Application Folder, select Microsoft Teams, and move it to the Trash.

As of right now, there's no way to create tasks, to-do lists, or reminders in Microsoft Teams. Don't worry, though, that's coming soon!

In the meantime, if you want to keep track of an important message, click the bookmark icon next to the message. That way, you can find it later on in your Saved messages (just click your profile picture then select Saved).

To meet your legal, regulatory and content security needs, Microsoft Teams offers the following Information Protection capabilities through the Office 365 Security & Compliance Center:

Capability

Description

Archive

Any content stored in any Teams-related workload needs to be preserved immutably according to the enterprise corporate policy.

Compliance content search

Any content stored in any workload can be search through rich filtering capabilities. All content can be exported to a specific container for compliance and litigation support​.

eDiscovery

Rich eDiscovery in-place capabilities including case management, preservation, search, analysis and export are available to help our customers simplify the eDiscovery process and quickly identify relevant data while decreasing cost and risk.

Legal hold

When any team or individual is put on in-place hold or litigation hold, the hold is placed on both the primary and the archive messages (not including edits or deletes).

Audit log search

All Team activities and business events must be captured and available for customer search and export.

Exchange online protection

Email messages that are sent to a channel are filtered for spam, malware, malicious links, spoofing, and phishing via Exchange Online Protection and Advanced Threat Protection for Office 365.

Conditional access

We ensure that access to Microsoft Teams is restricted to devices that are compliant with your IT admin or corporate organization set policies and security rules. This includes MDM and MAM support with Intune for iOS and Android.

To visit the Office 365 Security & Compliance Center, click here.

Admins create a work or school account to give a member of an organization access to Microsoft cloud services such as Microsoft Azure, Windows Intune, and Office 365. A work or school account can take the form of a user’s organizational email address, such as username@orgname.com. They used to be known as “organizational accounts.”

Microsoft account is the new name for Windows Live ID. A Microsoft account is an email address and password to sign in to services like Outlook.com, OneDrive, Windows Phone, or Xbox LIVE. If you use an email address and password to sign in to these or other services, you already have a Microsoft account—but you can also sign up for a new one at any time.

Note: Guests to Microsoft Teams need a work or school account for Office 365.

Teams and channels

Teams are collections of people, content, and tools surrounding different projects and jobs within an organization. Team members can share conversations, files, notes, and more.

Keep team conversations organized in specific channels. You can dedicate channels to specific topics, projects, disciplines—whatever you like!

This screenshot shows a team and channels.

Team owners can add and remove users. They have the ability to edit or delete a team, or 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 have favorited the channel.

  • Allow usage of GIFs, stickers, and memes.

Only team members can see team files. To share files with anyone outside your team, choose Open in SharePoint and then share the files you want from the SharePoint site

Messaging

To send a private message, first click the new chat icon next to your search bar to start a new conversation. Type in the name of the person or people you want to chat with. Then, compose your message and press Enter.

This screenshot shows the To field for a message.

To loop someone into a private conversation, click the add people icon (in the upper right corner), and type in a name.

A screenshot of a private chat.

When you add someone new to a conversation, they won't be able to see what was said before they joined.

To see all them messages you've sent click Activity and select My activity from the Feed menu to see all the messages you've sent, the channels they're in, and when you sent them.

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 message, 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 messaging 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. People who use Microsoft Teams and also have an on-premises Skype for Business account can’t currently send messages to or receive them from Skype for Business users.

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.

Being able to chat 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.

To send someone an email from Microsoft Teams, hover over their profile picture until their contact card appears. Click on the envelope icon at the bottom left of the card to send an email

If you haven’t already chosen an email app to use with Microsoft Teams, you’ll see a prompt asking you to choose one.

To see who’s on a group chat, hover over the number of participants to show a list of everyone’s names

This screen shot shows how to determine who is in chat.

Microsoft Teams will let you delete individual messages sent in the past 24 hours, but you can’t turn off your whole chat history.

Tracking my conversations and managing notifications

For more information, watch this video Productive conversations, which shows how you can use conversations in your team channels to be more productive. A transcript of the video narration and procedural information accompany the video.

You'll know you have unread messages and unseen activity in a channel because its name will appear bold. If you favorite the channel, it'll stay visible in your list (and be really easy to see when it's bold).

This screenshot shows bolded team channels.

You'll also receive notifications when someone @mentions you or replies to a conversation you're in, so that's another way you'll know a channel is active.

This screenshot shows  activity and mentions.

If you're worried about knowing whether a conversation is going on that needs your attention, rest assured: All your notifications will appear in your Activity feed, so you'll never miss a thing. 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.

This screenshot show a team channel.

You'll also see a number next to the bolded channel name, which lets you know you were mentioned in that channel.

This screenshot notifications for activity and mentions.

There are lots of things you can do to stay up-to-date. You can:

  • Arrange your teams in an order that makes sense to you, putting the busiest teams at the top of your list.

  • Favorite the channels you use the most. This way, they'll stay visible in your team list, and you'll see when new messages have been posted.

    A screenshot of a bolded or favorited channel.

  • @mention people so they @mention you. You'll see you've been @mentioned in your notifications. Also, a red circle with a number in it will appear next to the channel name.

    A screenshot of a notification on a channel.

  • And watch the Activity button. That lets you know whenever you've got notifications.

    A screenshot with an activity notification.

For more information, see Get the Best Messaging Experience.

Meetings and calling

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 the meet now icon The meeting icon. in a new conversation.

The video meeting icon.

You can also keep the context of the current conversation by clicking the meet now icon in an existing conversation.

This screen show shows the meet now icon

Team meetings are open meetings, so anyone on the team can join. When you start a meeting in a particular channel, the whole team will be able to see that a meeting is happening and join from that channel.

This screenshot shows how to join meeting in a conversation.

You can have up to 50 people in the same video call.

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