How to Use Microsoft Teams

Collaborate with co-workers, schedule meetings, and more using Teams

Microsoft Teams is an online collaboration tool that supports chat, video calls, file sharing, screen sharing, and other tools to facilitate coordinated productivity. Every Microsoft Office user should know how to use Microsoft Teams.

Information in this article applies to the desktop version of Microsoft Teams, the Microsoft 365 version for web browsers, and the mobile apps for iOS and Android.

Third party app integrations in Microsoft Teams

Who Can Join Microsoft Teams?

When you set up Microsoft Teams for an organization, the number of users who can access its full features depends on how many licenses were purchased. You can invite additional Microsoft 365 users who don't have access to Microsoft Teams as guests without purchasing additional licenses, but they will have limited access. A single team can have up to 2,500 members including licensed users and guests.

An Microsoft 365 subscription is not necessary to use Microsoft Teams, but it is required to use certain features.

How to Use Teams

Microsoft Teams is very similar to Slack. For example, when you mention other team members in conversations by typing @name, the user receives a notification in the Activity tab. All users can view the entire chat logs in the teams and channels they have access to.

When you set up a team, you also automatically create the following:

When you make changes in any of these apps, they automatically sync with the others. For example, you can use Microsft Planner to set reminders for teams, and meetings scheduled in Microsoft Teams automatically sync with your Outlook calendar.

Use the command bar at the top of the interface to search for conversations, apps, and files. Type forward-slash (/) to reveal a list of command shortcuts.

How to Create a Team in Microsoft Teams

To set up a team in Microsoft's collaboration app:

  1. Select Teams in the toolbar, then select Create Team.

    Select Teams in the toolbar, then select Create Team.
  2. Select Build a team from scratch.

    Select Build a team from scratch.

    Select Create from if you want to set up a team using an existing Microsoft 365 group.

  3. Select Private, Public, or Org-wide to determine who can access the group.

    Select Private, Public, or Org-wide to determine who can access the group.

    When you add members to a private team, you can designate them as a Member or an Owner. Only owners can invite additional members.

  4. Give the team a name and description, then select Create.

    Give the team a name and description, then select Create.
  5. You can start inviting users to join right away, or select Skip to do this later.

    You can start inviting users to join right away, or select Skip to do this later.
  6. You can now select the ellipses (...) beside the team name to add or remove members, manage team settings, and more. For example, if you select Get link to team, you'll receive a URL that you can copy and send to others to invite them to join.

    • Select Add Channel to create a separate section in the team for specific topics.
    • To join existing teams or create a new one, select Join or create a team in the bottom-left corner on the Teams window.
    You can now select the ellipses (...) beside the team name to add or remove members, manage team settings, and more.

Select the plus (+) to the right of the team name to add shortcuts to various apps, shared files, and Wiki pages.

Video Calls in Microsoft Teams

While in a specific team or channel, select the video camera icon at the bottom of the conversation window to begin a video call. You'll be prompted to send invitation links to other team members via email. You can schedule meetings with Microsoft Outlook, or you can use an app such as Calendar BOT.

While in a specific team or channel, select the video camera icon at the bottom of the conversation window to begin a video call.

While chatting, you can share your screen by selecting the Share icon (the screen with the up-arrow) in the top-right corner of the chat interface.

Microsoft Teams App Integrations

Microsoft Team integrates with hundreds of third-party apps and web services like Trello, GitHub, and Evernote. Select Apps in the toolbar to see all of your options. Some third-party apps require an additional paid subscription, but many are free. Once you've added an app, select the ellipses (...) in the toolbar to access it.

Select Apps in the toolbar to see third-party apps for Microsoft Teams.

Share Files in Microsoft Teams

One of the best collaboration features of Microsoft Teams is the ability to share files between users. Sharing files with your team is simple and can be done in just a few simple steps.

  1. Enter a team or channel and select the Files tab at the top of the interface to upload and download files.

    The Files option in Microsoft Teams.
  2. You can select Files in the toolbar to view all of the files you have access to for each of your teams.

    Here you can see where all your available files are.
  3. Select Add cloud storage to sync with your Google Drive, Dropbox, or other file storage provider. You also have the option to save files to your personal OneDrive.

    Select Files in the toolbar to view all of the files you have access to for each of your teams.

Microsoft Teams Privacy Settings

If you have an Microsoft 365 Business Plan, the account administrator can manage all Microsoft Teams users, settings, and third-party applications from the Microsoft 365 Admin Center.

Anyone can change their Microsoft Teams theme from the settings menu.

Microsoft Teams Best Practices

Here are some general tips for getting the most out of Teams:

  • Create organizational rules for naming files and channels to be consistent.
  • Acknowledge and respond to requests by using the "Like" button to speed up the approval process.
  • Take advantage of bots to automate tasks such as scheduling meetings.
  • Test your computer's video and audio before starting or joining a meeting.

You can find video tutorials for Microsoft Teams and free Microsoft Teams training materials on the Microsoft Office support website.