Microsoft Teams FAQ

  1. What is the difference between a Team and a Channel?

    A team is a collection of people, conversations, files, and tools – all in one place. Teams are made up of channels, which are the conversations you have with your teammates. Each channel is dedicated to a department, project, or topic.

    Channels are where the work actually gets done - where text, audio, and video conversations open to the whole team happen, where files are shared, and where apps are added.

    While channel conversations are public, chats are just between you and someone else (or a group of people). Think of them like instant messages in Skype for Business or other messaging apps.

  2. When creating a new Team is there a recommended naming convention?

    We generally recommend keeping Team names concise and descriptive. For departmental Teams we recommend the following practices:

    • Prepend the Major Administrative Unit (MAU) your department is associated with (e.g. UAA, UAF, UAS, SW).
    • Prepend the abbreviation of the major unit your department is associated with (e.g. COENG, CAS).
    • Use a short but descriptive text associated with the team (e.g. Deans Office).
    • Avoid the use of spaces in the name. We suggest using the underscore character (i.e. '_') instead.
    • Avoid the use of special characters (e.g. #, $, &). We recommend sticking to the standard alpha-numeric characters (e.g. a-z, A-Z, 0-9).

    Some examples:

    • UAA_COENG_Deans_Office
    • UAA_CAS_Deans_Office
    • UAA_AdminSrvcs_Human_Resources

    By following these recommendations individuals that are members of more than one Team associated with a department will find the Teams sorted together in the list of Teams. Additionally, by keeping the names relatively short it will make scanning through the list of names on mobile devices less challenging with the limited screen real estate.

  3. Is there a limit to the number of people that can be in a Team.

    Yes. Each team can support up to 5,000 members.

  4. Is there a limit to the number of people that can participate in a meeting, or call?

    Yes. Each meeting can support up to 250 members.

  5. Is there a limit to the number of people that can participate in a group chat?

    Yes. Each group chat session can support up to 100 members.

  6. How many channels can each team have?

    Each team can have a maximum of 200 channels, including channels deleted within the last 30 days.

    Channels deleted within the last 30 days still count towards the channel limit as they can still be restored. After 30 days, a deleted channel and its content are permanently deleted at which time the channel no longer counts towards the 200 channels per team limit.

  7. When creating a Team which type should I select?

    Microsoft frequently updates templates available to select from when creating new Teams. All Teams are fundamentally the same, the differences between the various templates are a result of which features are enabled by default and how the team is configured. Currently there are four templates available. An overview is listed below so you can select the most applicable template for your goals.

    A recommendation is that most departmental/organizational teams would be well suited with the Staff Members template.

      Classes PLCs Staff Members Anyone
    Description Teachers students collaboration group projects, assignments, and more. Educators collaborating within a professional learning in community. Staff leaders and staff members collaborating on school administration and development. Students and school employees collaborating in interest groups and clubs.
    Team owners & team members Teachers are team owners and add students as team members. Educators form the team and other educators join the team. Staff leaders are team owners and add staff members as team members. Any combination of students and school staff can form a team and add members.
    Permissions Teachers moderate student conversations and who can post where. Students only have write permission in certain areas. Educators share equal read-write permissions. Staff leaders control posting settings. Staff members only have write permission in certain areas. Team members share equal read-write permissions unless the team owner(s) alter the settings.
    • Class Notebook
    • Assignments
    • Conversations
    • Files
    • Video and audio calls
    • Chat (if enabled)
    • Pinning new tabs with documents or sites like Microsoft Forms
    • OneNote notebook
    • Conversations
    • Files
    • Meetings
    • Video and audio calls
    • Chat (if enabled)
    • Pinning new tabs with documents or sites
    • Staff Notebook
    • Conversations
    • Files
    • Meetings
    • Video and audio calls
    • Chat (if enabled)
    • Pinning new tabs with documents or sites
    • OneNote notebook
    • Conversations
    • Files
    • Meetings
    • Video and audio calls
    • Chat (if enabled)
    • Pinning new tabs with documents or sites
    Educational goals
    • Assign, track, and review student work
    • Export grades
    • Collaborate and communicate in the classroom
    • Make announcements
    • Administer quizzes and polls
    • Work in student groups
    • Share and organize rich content
    • Invite virtual experts into the classroom
    • Collaborate in professional learning communities
    • Communicate
    • Make announcements
    • Share work
    • Organize virtual or face-to-face meetings
    • Work in smaller groups
    • Share and organize content
    • Oversee professional development, staff, and administrative goals
    • Communicate
    • Make announcements
    • Share content and progress reports
    • Work in smaller groups
    • Organize virtual or face-to-face meetings
    • Collaborate and communicate with team members
    • Make announcements
    • Share content
    • Organize virtual or face-to-face meetings
    • Work in smaller groups
  8. How do I create a Team for my group?

    Creating a new team is super simple and you can do it anytime! Before proceeding make sure you already have the Microsoft Teams app installed, and you're signed in with your UA email address. Then follow the steps below.

    Look before you leap

    • Before creating a team, search to see if a Team or Group for that purpose already exists. In the case of private Teams you should ask around your office/team to see if someone else already beat you to Teams!

    Create a team

    1. Select Join or create a team.
    2. Select Create team to create a new team.
    3. Give the team a name and add a short description if you like.
    4. Be default, your team is Private, meaning you'll have to add the people or groups you want to add to the team. Select Public if you want anyone in the University of Alaska system to be able to find and join the team.
    5. Add members. You can add people, or groups. If you need to add people from outside your organization, use their email address to invite them as guests. Add a friendly display name for them too.
    6. When you're done adding members, select Add then select Close.

    Create a channel

    By default, every team gets a General channel, which is a good channel to use for announcements and information the whole team needs. To add more:

    1. Select ellipse (...) More options next to the team name.
    2. Select Add channel.
    3. Enter a name and description for the channel.
    4. Select Automatically favorite this channel for the whole team if you want this channel to be automatically visible in everyone's list.
    5. Select Add.

    Customize and manage your team

    1. Select ellipse (...) More options next to the team name.
    2. Select Manage team to find Members, Channels, Settings, and Apps for your team all in one place.
    3. Select Settings > Team picture to add a team picture and give your team some personality.
  9. When would I make a Team public?
    Most teams are best suited for the default private security setting as you collaborate with others around the university on specific topics. However, individuals participating in Users' Group, clubs, interest groups, or other similar types of communities that are open to any interested parties would be perfect candidates for a public team. This will allow interested individuals to quickly discover and join the community.
  10. How can I add or remove people to my Team?

    Adding or removing individuals is simple.

    1. Select ellipse (...) more options next to the team name.
    2. Select Manage team to display current Members, and easily add new members.
    3. Select Add member.
    4. In the Add members to <Your Team Name> dialog window start typing names, or UA Usernames to find the individuals you wan to add to the team. You can also add people outside your organization as guests by typing their email addresses.
    5. After you entered all the new team members, select Add.
    6. By default all individuals are added with the Member role. In most cases this is desired role type.
    7. Select Close.
  11. If I add someone from outside of the University as a member to a Team what should they except?

    You can add anyone from outside of the University of Alaska as a guest to any Team. This means the guest will have full access to team chats, meetings and files. All guests in Teams are covered by the same compliance and auditing protection that are applied to team members using a University identity.

    When you add a guest's email address to a team they will receive a welcome email message with information about the team and what to expect now that they're a member. If the guest doesn't yet have a Microsoft Account associated with their email address, they will be directed to create one for free.

    Once the individual accepts the invitation, guests can participate in chats, join meetings, collaborate on documents, and more. Teams with guests will be identified with text and icons throughout the Teams UI to give all members a clear indication that there are guests in that team.

  12. In the Team membership list why are some people listed as Owner and others as Member?

     Within Microsoft Teams there are two roles: Owner and Member. By default the person that creates a new team is granted the Owner status. It's recommend to have at least a few owners to help manage the team; this will also prevent orphaned groups if the sole owner leaves the organization.

    The table below shows the difference in permissions between an owner and a member.

      Team Owner Team Member
    Create team Yes No
    Leave team Yes Yes
    Edit team name/description Yes No
    Delete team Yes No
    Add channel Yes Yes*
    Edit channel name/description Yes Yes*
    Delete channel Yes Yes*
    Add members Yes** No
    Add tabs Yes Yes*
    Add connectors Yes Yes*
    Add bots Yes Yes*

    * These items can be turned off by an owner at a team level, in which case members would not have access to that.

    ** After adding a member to a team, an Owner can also promote a Member to Owner status. It is also possible for an Owner to demote their own status to a Member.

  13. What level of security and compliance does Microsoft Teams support?

    Microsoft Teams has a broad set of global compliance and data protection requirements, which includes ISO 27001, ISO 27018, SSAE16, SOC1 Type I & II, SOC2 Type I & II, HIPAA, FERPA, GLBA and EU Model Clauses (EUMC). Microsoft Teams also enforces encryption of data in transit and at rest. Additionally, data at rest is stored in data centers located within North America.

  14. Can a Team be archived?

    If a team has become inactive, yet you want to keep it around for reference or possibly reactivate it sometime in the future you can archive the team. The conversations and files in the archived team become read-only once it is archived. Members will still be able to search through it for stuff they need-they can even keep it as a favorite. Only team owners can archive and restore teams.

    All of the team activity is frozen once the team is archived. No one will be able to start new conversations or reply to posts in a channel, add or remove channels, edit teams settings, or add apps. A team owner will still be able to add or remove members, update roles, and delete, renew, or restore an archived team.

    How-to Archive a Team

    1. Login to Teams.
    2. Select the Teams icon on the left to see the list of your teams.
    3. At the bottom of the list, select Manage.
    4. In the Active list, find the name of the team you want to archive, then select ellipse (...) More options > Archive team.
    5. To prevent people from editing the content in the SharePoint site and the Wiki tab associated with the team, select Make the SharePoint site read-only for team members. (Team owners will still be able to edit this content.)

    How-to Restore a Team

    1. Login to Teams.
    2. Select the Teams icon on the left to see the list of your teams.
    3. At the bottom of the list, select Manage.
    4. In the Archived list, find the name of the team you want to restore, and select ellipse (...) More Options > Restore team.
  15. Can a Channel be archived?

    If a channel has become inactive you are not currently able to archive it. This is a feature that has been submitted to Microsoft by many organizations around the world and they are aware of the need. There is currently no eta on when, or if, if this feature will become available.

  16. Can a Team be deleted?

    Yes, if you want to delete a team (and you're the team owner), you can.

    Before doing so be aware of a few things:

    • Deleting a team removes the team mailbox and calendar from Exchange
    • The corresponding SharePoint site, and all its files will also be deleted.
    • Any OneNote notebook, Planner plan, PowerBI workspace, or Stream group affiliated with the team will also be deleted.
    • You will be able to restore any team you deleted for up to 30 days. After this 30 day period it is no longer recoverable.

    NOTE: We generally recommend that no-longer used teams be archived instead of being deleted. This allows content to be accessed/recovered at some time in the future if desired.

    How-to Delete a Team

    1. Login to Teams.
    2. Select the Team name, and then click More options (...), then click Delete the Team.
    3. At the Delete "team name" team dialog window, read and understand the following notice:
      Are you sure you want to delete the team "team name"? All channels, chats, files, and the Office 365 Group for this team will be deleted.
      Remember this also deletes the underpinning SharePoint site which is where most of the content is stored. If you're sure, select the checkbox next to I understand that everything will be deleted, and then click Delete Team.

    How-to Restore a Team

    • One of the Team's owners must contact the UAA IT Technical Support Center to request that your Team be restored. Please make sure to provide the following information:
      • The Name of the Team (e.g. UAA Demonstration Team)
      • The date the Team was deleted.

    Please be aware that once IT Services begins the restoration process, it will require replication between the various Office 365 services, which can take up to 24 hours to fulfill.

  17. Can a Channel be deleted?

    If a channel has become inactive, and is no longer in use it is possible to delete the channel.

    Before doing so be aware of a few things:

    • Keep in mind that once you delete a channel, you also lose its entire conversation history.
    • OneNote sections associated with that channel will still show up on your team's SharePoint site.
    • You are able to restore any channel you deleted up to 21 days after the date you deleted it. After this 21 days it is no longer recoverable.
    • Anyone who is a member of the team can do this by default; however, there is a setting that restricts deleting and restoring channels to team owners only.

    How-to Delete a Channel

    1. Login to Teams.
    2. Select the Teams icon on the left to see the list of your teams.
    3. Expand the desired team.
    4. Go to the desired channel name and click ellipse (...) More Options then click Delete this channel.

    How-to Restore a Channel

    1. Login to Teams.
    2. Select the Teams icon on the left to see the list of your teams.
    3. Go to the desired Team and click ellipse (...) then click Manage Team.
    4. Click the Channels tab, and expand the Deleted group.
    5. Find the desired channel to restore and click Restore.
    6. In the confirmation dialog box click Restore.
    7. The deleted channel is now recovered.
  18. What options for accessibility does Microsoft Teams support?

    Microsoft Teams supports various screen reader solutions to allow individuals to explore and navigate. Further details and information is available in the Microsoft Teams Accessibility Support pages covering Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Web platforms.

  19. What is the difference between Channel conversations vs. private chats in Teams?

    Channels are conversations that everyone on the team can see (it's all about working in the open). In private and group chats, only the people in the chat can see your messages.

  20. What are apps in Teams and why would I use them?

    Apps help you find content from your favorite services and share it right in Teams. Here's how:

    • Chat with a bot: Bots provide answers, updates, and assistance in a channel. You can chat with them to get help with task management, scheduling, and more.
    • Share content on a tab: Tabs help you share content and functionality from a service in a channel. Connect to services like Excel, SharePoint, Microsoft Forms, or a website of your choice.
    • Get updates from a connector: Connectors send updates and information directly to a channel. Get automatic updates from services like Twitter, RSS feeds, and GitHub.
    • Add rich content to your messages: These apps find content from different services and send it straight to a message. You can share things like weather reports, daily news, images, and videos with anyone you're talking to.
    • Get or make an app: Go to the Store to add a bot, tab, connector, or messaging app to Teams.

    If you're interested, you can even learn how-to build your own custom app.

  21. Can I use Planner in Teams?

    Good news for fans of organization and collaboration—Teams and Planner go hand in hand!

    To start using them together, add a Planner tab to Teams. Just click Add a tab + next to your tabs at the top of a channel. Select Planner, then do one of the following:

    • Click Create a new plan and type a name for the new Planner board.
    • Click Use an existing plan and select an existing Planner board from the menu.

    If you'd like to dive deeper into the details of managing your Planner tasks in teams, see Microsoft Teams: Using Planner to stay organized.

  22. Are there any keyboard shortcuts?

    Yes! Microsoft Teams offers many different keyboard shortcuts. To see a list of keyboard shortcuts open Microsoft Teams then press Alt-/ or Option-/. A list of shortcuts will be displayed for your current host operating system. If you want to see all available shortcuts scroll to the bottom of the dialog and click See shortcuts for all platforms.

  23. Can I map a Teams' file repository to the desktop of my Mac or Windows workstation?

    Yes! Using the OneDrive client for Mac, Windows, or mobile device you can synchronize either the full Team, or just specific Channels and access the files and folders with native applications on those devices.

    Review the Office 365 - Sync SharePoint Files with OneDrive Client knowledge base article for directions.

  24. What web browsers are currently supported?

    Accessing Microsoft Teams via a web browser is currently supported with the following browsers:

    • Microsoft Internet Explorer 11+
    • Microsoft Edge 12+
    • Google Chrome 51.0+
    • Mozilla Firefox 47.0+
  25. I have special requirements for managing my content. Should I customize the default Documents library?

    Use the default Document library of the Team site for "general use" file sharing. If you have need for more advanced enterprise content management capabilities, including metadata, records management, custom content types, etc., create separate, purpose-built document libraries on the team site.

    To reiterate: Don't alter the default Documents library in modern SharePoint Sites! Let Teams have that library.

  26. Since Teams is built upon SharePoint, can I require metadata on files that are uploaded?

    If your document management needs leans heavily towards the use of metadata we strongly recommend that you do not use the default Documents folder associated with any of the Channels within the team. Can you? Technically, yes. But don't. Here's why: You can't add or see metadata in the Teams files experience. Any documents you upload with required metadata will be "checked out" in SharePoint until you add the metadata in SharePoint and check them in.

    Instead we recommend creating a SharePoint library specificity for this purpose, than create a tab using the SharePoint tab connector for each document library in your team site.

  27. Does Teams track changes to files stored in its document library?

    Yes! Every time a file is modified SharePoint makes note of the change in its version history. File versioning is a quick and simple way to give your team a little 'buffer' when working collaboratively. Versioning allows a Team owner to roll back any changes and restore a previous version of the document. Currently File Versioning is set to store the last 25 versions of a file automatically, this may change in the future depending on space available.

    Currently the version history is not visible within the Teams app; however, you can easily view the version history with the following steps.

    1. Open the desired Team Channel and select the file.
    2. Click the ellipse (...) button and select Open in SharePoint.
    3. Browse to the file to review.
    4. Click once on the file to select (click just next to the name if having trouble).
    5. Click more options ... from the tool bar, and select Version history.
      Microsoft SharePoint Online More Options menu
    6. Click the small drop down arrow next to the file name and select view, restore or delete.
      Microsoft SharePoint Online file version history menu
  28. Is it possible to be notified if a file, or folder, I'm interested in is changed?

    Yes! You can set a personal alert whenever the contents of a file or folder is altered, making it simple to stay up-to-date with any new changes or information. Tracking options are a personal setting and need to be applied for each Team member as desired.

    1. Open the required Team Channel and select the desired file or folder.
    2. Click the ellipse (...) button and select Open in SharePoint.
    3. Click once on the file or folder name to select.
    4. Click more options (...) from the tool bar, select Alert me. This will open an options panel.
    5. Choose the changes to be tracked and preferred notification alerts. Please note that there are slightly different options available for files and folders.
      Options available for files:
      Microsoft SharePoint Online Alert Me File Options
      Options available for folders:
      Microsoft SharePoint Online Alert Me Folder Options
    6. Click Ok to save your alert and exit.
  29. Is it possible to restrict a file so no one else is able to edit it?

    Yes. Restricting a file and requiring 'check out' before editing, ensures only one person is able to edit a file at a time. While this reduces collaboration it ensures there is only one current copy of the file. This may be useful for individuals traveling where they will be offline for an extended period; however, they want to be able to make revisions to a file without fear of generating editing conflicts with their fellow Team members.

    1. Open the desired Team Channel and select the file.
    2. Click Open in SharePoint.
    3. Browse to the required file, and click once on the file to select it (click just to the left of the name if having trouble).
    4. Click more options ... from the tool bar, and select Check out.
      Microsoft SharePoint Online More Options Menu Check Out
      The document is now checked out and no one else is able to edit, until the file is checked back in.
      When a document is checked out, a green arrow is displayed on the document icon.Microsoft SharePoint File Checkout Icon
    5. After changes are complete, the file can be Checked in following the same process (steps 1 - 4), or can be discarded (deleting changes).
    6. To complete the check in select Check in from more options ... menu.
      Microsoft SharePoint Online More Options Check In file
    7. When checking a document back in, comments discussing the changes can be added. Enter your desired comments, if any, then click Check in.
      Microsoft SharePoint Online Check In file comment dialog
  30. After I upload a file how long will it be before it appears in search results?

    SharePoint Online, which is the underpinning technology for Microsoft Teams and OneDrive for Business, targets between 15 minutes and an hour for the time between a file upload and availability in search results (also know as index freshness). In cases of heavy environment use, this time can increase to six hours.

    It is possible to request a particular list or library to be reindex. This can be done in the List Settings -> Advanced Settings, then click Reindex Document Library.

  31. What file types are supported for content searches?

    SharePoint Online can search (also know as crawl) a wide variety of file formats. The search engine can only conduct content searches if it supports the file format, and the file extension has been included in the Manage File Types page.

    The following table shows all currently supported file formats that content searches are supported for. Please note that content searching is not enabled by default for all supported file types.

    File Format File Extension Content Search Enabled by Default
    Email message .eml, .nws Yes
    HTML .ascx, .asp, .aspx, .htm, .html Yes
    HTML .css, .hta, .htw, .htx, .jhtml, .stm No
    MHTML .mht, .mhtml Yes
    Microsoft Excel .xlb, .xlc, .xls, .xlsb, .xlsm, .xlsx, .xlt Yes
    Microsoft OneNote .one


    Microsoft PowerPoint .pot, .ppa, .pps


    Microsoft PowerPoint .ppt, .pptm, .pptx


    Microsoft Publisher .pub


    Microsoft Word .doc, .docm, .docx, .dot, .dotx


    Microsoft XPS .xps


    Open Document Chart .odc


    Open Document Presentation .odp


    Open Document Spreadsheet .ods


    Open Document Text .odt


    Outlook item .msg


    Portable Document Format .pdf


    Rich Text Format .rtf


    Text .asm, .csv, .cxx, .def, .txt


    Text .bat, .c, .cmd, .cpp, .h, .hpp, .lnk, .mpx, .php, .trf


    TIFF .tif, .tiff


    Microsoft Visio .vdw, .vdx, .vsd, .vsdm, .vsdx, .vss, .vssm, .vssx, .vst, .vstm, .vstx, .vsx, .vtx


    XML .jsp, .xml


    XML .mspx, .rss


    ZIP .zip


  32. How many people can participate in a meeting?

    The maximum number of participants in a video conference, or call, is 250 people.

  33. Can I send someone praise, or recognition in Teams?

    Yes. You can send acclaim to people in Teams to recognize their efforts. You can deliver digital badges in chat, or for wider recognition send it in a channel converstation.

    1. Below the compose box for a new message or reply, select Praise, or click More Options (...) to find it.
    2. Choose a badge.
    3. Add the name of the people you want to praise, and optionally a descripiton.
    4. Click Preview.
    5. Once it's ready to go, click Send.
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Article ID: 31
Tue 9/24/19 10:45 AM
Mon 8/15/22 2:16 PM

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