On this page:
Below is a list of common questions about Microsoft Teams.
General questions about the Microsoft 365
- Q: What is M365? Is it the same as Office?
- Office 365 (O365) has become Microsoft 365 (M365) a cloud-powered platform that includes a suite of desktop, web, and mobile apps and services for collaboration and productivity.
- Q: How do Teams, OneDrive, Teams, and SharePoint work together?
- SharePoint is Microsoft's online storage platform. Every SharePoint site has its library of documents. SharePoint is also the backbone for OneDrive and Teams. OneDrive is essentially a personal SharePoint site. Every Teams site is also a SharePoint site. Think of Teams as an interface or “wrapping” that sits over SharePoint to combine SharePoint's file storage with other features like chat.
General questions about the Teams platform
- Q: What are Teams?
- Teams are collections of people, content, and tools that center around different projects and jobs within an organization.
- Q: What is a channel?
- Channels let individuals on a Team have conversations about specific topics. Every team has its own set of channels. Except for guests, any team member can create a new channel. Each channel belonging to a team is completely public to all the team members and guests, so everyone can feel free to join in a channel conversation. However, it is possible to create a private channel.
- Q: How do I know if I should create a new team or channel?
- If your new project involves working with all the same people who are in your current Team, it might be best to create a new channel instead. If you need a private space for a certain group, you can create a private channel and invite only those people. Often, it's more effective to create a new channel rather than creating an entirely new team. However, if you need a more robust workspace beyond the capabilities of a channel, you can create an entirely new team workspace and invite new team members.
- Q: Is there a naming convention for Teams?
- While there is no formal convention, we encourage you to follow Stanford University's naming policy. Adopting a consistent naming approach helps ensure others can easily understand who owns your team and its purpose.
- Q: What’s the difference between team channels and private chats?
- While channel conversations are public, chats are just between you and someone else (or a group).
- Q: Can I collaborate in the Teams platform if I’m not on a Team?
- Microsoft Teams can be used without a Team for direct messaging, video, and voice calling. Anyone at Stanford University with a full-service or sponsored full-service SUNet ID can request a Microsoft Teams team to collaborate with a group of people.
- Q: How is Teams different than Slack or Zoom?
- You can use these tools to chat, call, or videoconference. Slack and Zoom are the university’s preferred collaboration tools, but Teams is a good option for certain use cases. Teams can be used for cross-affiliate collaboration, such as with individuals in the hospitals and clinics.
- Q: What is the difference between the role of owner and member of a team?
- Owner and member are the two user roles within Microsoft Teams. The user who creates a new team is granted owner status by default. When interacting with a team and its channels, owners and members have different permissions and capabilities.
- Q: How do I know which conversations include me?
- If you're worried about knowing when someone in a conversation needs your attention, keep an eye on your Activity feed. You'll get a notification whenever someone:
- @mentions you
- @mentions teams and channels you belong to
- Replies to conversations you're part of
- Replies to your replies
Making Teams work for you
- Q: Can I view my stanford.edu or stanfordhealthcare.org email accounts from the Teams interface?
- Unfortunately, there is no direct access to email accounts. The email app requires webmail or an email client like Outlook.
- Q: How do I change my notifications so messages don’t pop up on my screen during meetings?
- You can manage notifications by clicking the more actions (three dots) in the top right and selecting Settings>Notifications. For more info, refer to Manage notifications in Teams.
- Q: How do I add someone to a private chat?
- To loop someone into a private conversation, click the Add people icon in the upper right corner of your screen. Enter the name of the person you’d like to add and select Enter.
- Q: Where do I find my recordings?
- Depending upon the type of meeting, there are multiple places to share. To learn more, visit How to play and share a meeting recording.
- Q: How do I share a meeting recording with individuals who didn’t participate in the meeting?
- If you recorded or organized the meeting, you can share it with people who weren't invited to the meeting—by sharing it like you would share any other file. Just find the file in OneDrive or SharePoint and share it directly with people or copy a link and share it however you like. If you weren't the person who recorded or organized the meeting, you could still share the recording with people who weren't invited. However, the meeting organizer or the meeting recorder must approve your share action before those people get access.
- Q: Can I add a colleague with a healthcare ID to my team?
- Yes, employees of Stanford Health Care and Stanford Children’s Health are identified in the university’s Team’s directory as (Guests). See the Teams Guest Experience to learn more.
- Q: The initials in my Teams profile aren't displaying how I'd like. Do I have the option to edit the initials I want to use?
- The initials of the Teams profile are based on your user display name and cannot be modified. However, you do have the option to upload a new profile image if you'd like. (You can always upload an image of your preferred initials as your profile photo.)
- Q: How do I easily find my most commonly used contacts and chats?
- You can pin up to 15 contacts or chats to make them easy to find. Here’s how: Find the favorite contact or chat in recent chats, hover over the name, and click More options (three dots). Select the pin option, and they’ll appear in a pinned list at the top of your chats.
- Q: In Teams, where do I find the files and folders I upload to a channel or share in a chat?
- Each team has its own site in SharePoint. The same files and folders can be accessed from either Teams or SharePoint. Files you upload to a channel are stored in your team's SharePoint folder. These files are available in the Files tab at the top of each channel in Teams. Files you upload to a one-on-one or group chat are stored in your OneDrive and shared only with the people in that conversation. These are available in the Files tab at the top of a chat.
- Q:How do I easily search for files and other information shared in Teams?
- There are several ways to find what you need in Teams. When you type a word or name, Teams will show related results. Choose one of the suggested items or press Enter for a full list. You can also press Ctrl+F (cmd+F on macOS) to search messages within a particular chat or channel in Teams. Choose the area you want to search—for example, a recent chat or the General channel within a team. Press Ctrl+F followed by your search terms, and then press Enter. The search results will be displayed from within that chat or channel conversation. Refer to Search for messages and more in Teams.
Files and file storage
- Q: Where are the files I add to a channel stored?
- The backend site for a Team is a SharePoint site. Files you upload to a channel are stored in your team's SharePoint folder. These files are available in the Files tab at the top of each channel.
- Q: Where are the files I upload to chat stored?
- The backend site for a Chat is OneDrive. When you add files to a one-on-one Chat, your file is stored in your OneDrive and shared only with those in that conversation.
- Q: Where do I upload files to be shared with my team?
- If you have any structured file format for your Teams, it’s better to avoid uploading files to chats. Doing this will cause files to appear at the bottom of the general Files tab instead of in their proper folder. (Loose files can still be moved to the correct folder location afterward, but it’s an extra step)
Instead, go into Teams > Files, find the correct folder (or create one), and upload the file. You can then select Copy link to share the file in chat or channel conversations.
- Q: How do I share my files to OneDrive or SharePoint?
If you are working on the file by yourself, save it to OneDrive. Your OneDrive files are private to you unless you share them with others. If you’re working as a team, you should save your files where your team works.
Troubleshooting common issues in Teams
- Q: I found a colleague at SHC in the Teams directory and sent them a chat. However, they didn’t receive it. How come?
- You cannot send a chat to a colleague in another tenant unless that person has accepted the chat or been added to a Team.
- Q: How do I join a Teams meeting from Safari?
- By default, you cannot join a Teams meeting from Safari, but by changing the settings, you should be able to. You must download the Microsoft Teams app in advance to join the meeting via mobile device.
- Q: I can no longer access a folder in Teams. What could be the issue?
- It’s possible that the file or folder name was changed in SharePoint. Remember, any SharePoint file name or location changes must also be changed in Teams. However, changes to files in Teams should automatically update both Teams and SharePoint.
- Q: The Teams add-in doesn’t appear on my Outlook desktop app calendar view. What should I do?
- If you don’t see the New Teams Meeting icon in the desktop version of Outlook, the Teams add-in for Outlook might not be installed properly.
- Q: Teams isn’t detecting my camera. What can I do?
You may be experiencing settings problems related to the camera. To configure the camera settings on Microsoft Teams, use these steps:
- Open Microsoft Teams.
- Click the More option (three-dotted) button from the top-right corner to the left of your profile.
- Select the Settings option. Click Devices.
- Under the "Camera" section, select the correct camera in the drop-down menu.
Disabling automatic Teams meeting links
- Q: How do I prevent Outlook from automatically creating a Microsoft Teams meeting?
- When you schedule a meeting in Outlook, a Teams meeting link may automatically be added to the meeting request. This occurs even if you have set Zoom as your default preference if you are not signed into the Zoom integration when you schedule the meeting. If you do not want to schedule a Teams meeting in Outlook, you can disable this setting in by following the steps on How to Disable Teams Meeting Links.
- Q: Why did Outlook insert a Teams link into my meeting request when I've set Zoom as my default preference?
- You might need to refresh your Zoom integration SSO login by selecting either of the two Zoom menu items and logging in to stanford.zoom.us as prompted. Remember, Zoom authentication sessions expire, and you may need to re-authenticate to keep the Zoom preference intact.
You can navigate to your Zoom login by following these steps:
- Log into Outlook.office.com with your SUNetID
- Select your Calendar from the options on the left
- Create a new event or meeting
- You should see an option for Zoom in the upper right of the Event window. Click on that, and from the dropdown, choose "Settings." This should prompt for a username and password. At the bottom of the window, choose "SSO"
- In the Domain field, enter Stanford
- Allow Zoom to Display a New Window
- If Cardinal Key doesn't automatically authenticate Zoom for your account, enter your SUNetID
- Zoom should now be included automatically for new meetings