These tips work best in the Teams web and desktop applications. But if you are on the go, there is also a Teams mobile app! Download it from the iOS App Store or Google Play.

  • Navigating Teams

    Your Top Teams

    Teams can be viewed as cards on a grid or as a list. In the Navigation Bar on the left, select Teams. Next to Join or create team click the gear icon for More options.  Select Switch view.

    In a list, a team with new activity is bold.

    Activity in the navigation pane will also show the most recent items in any area of Teams.

    Team Visibility
    Only teams where you are a member or owner appear in your teams. To view other teams at your institution, select Join or create team. Teams that are set to private will not be visible. 

    Organize & View

    In both grid and list view, you can drag teams to reorder. Using the filter icon (top right of Teams pane) you can filter by Team type. View teams according to usage by clicking the More Options [...] and choosing Hide or Show. If you choose to hide, these Teams move to Hidden Teams at the bottom of the pane. You can also drag and drop a team up or down in the list.

    Team Name

    If you own a Team where the name was automatically generated, you can change it to a name of your choice.  Click More Options [...] next to the team name to Edit Team. Change the Team name to what you would like displayed. (The actual gr-name will be unchanged.)  

    Add a Team Image

    If you have a long list of teams, avatars can help differentiate them! Team owners can use More Options [...] next to the team name to Edit Team. Under Team avatar choose an image or upload one of your own, click Update to finish.

    Reorder Navigation Bar Items

    What do you use most in Microsoft Teams...Chat or Files, or Activity to show you the latest in any area of Teams? Items in the Navigation Bar on the left can be dragged into the order that works best for you. Click [...] for More Added Apps if you would like additional items.

    View Files in SharePoint

    In any team channel, click the Files tab. Next click  More Options (...) and choose Open in SharePoint.

    Help & What's New

    The Help icon (question mark) in lower left has Training, What's New, and more!

  • Chat


    Trying to find a picture or document shared in Teams chat? No need to scroll through the messages! Click on the Files tab for the chat to see all files shared in your conversation.

    Teams Files tab

    Add People

    Add someone to an ongoing conversation! In a chat of 3 or more people use the Add People icon. You can even set their ability to view past conversation entries and files shared so there is no need to resend details. Similarly, adding a new member to a team enables them to view posts.

    Screenshot of Teams Add People to Chat


    Typo? You can edit a message even after sending. Hover over the message and click the ellipsis […] for More Options, then choose Edit. After editing, click the checkmark in the lower right for Done. Now your edited message will be visible in the chat.

    Screencapture of steps to edit Teams chat


    Format text so it stands out! When composing, click the Format icon and formatting tools will appear. Click the ellipsis […] for More Options.

    Screenshot of Teams chat with formatted text

    Delivery Options

    Delivery Options can mark a chat important or urgent. Click the ! icon to Set Delivery Options. Important marks the message as important, Urgent notifies recipient(s) every 2 minutes for 20 minutes, Standard sends as usual.

    Screenshot if Important Teams chat and Delivery Options icon

    @ Mention

    To get someone's attention in a chat or channel conversation, @mention them. Just type @ before their name and then select them from the menu that appears. They receive a notification, which they can select to go directly into the point in the conversation where they were mentioned. To get the attention of everyone on a team, type @ and the team name.


    In the bottom of the chat window, click the lightbulb icon to send praise to one or more people!

    More than Text

    Start a voice call, video call or screenshare right from the chat with one click! Calling and sharing icons appear in upper right.

    Teams video call, phone call, screenshare icons

    Name a Chat

    To make a chat stand out or easier to find, you can give it a title.  At the top of the chat window, click the pencil icon to the right of the names to add a title.

    Pop out a chat

    You can instantly pop out your one-on-one or group chat into a separate window. Then, resize, reposition, or close the window as you wish.

    1. On the left select Chat.
    2. Select the chat you want to pop out as a new window.
    3. Select the three dots (...) next to the chat and then select Pop out chat.

    You can pop out multiple conversations, but not the same chat twice.

    Tip: To do other things (like scheduling meetings, attaching a OneDrive File, adding apps), just return to the main app to find those familiar features. You don't need to close the pop out chat window.

    Note: The Pop out chat feature is currently available in the desktop app for Windows and Mac only. It is not yet supported for Teams on the web, Linux, or mobile. 

    Translate a Message

    Within a chat or post select the message you want to translate.  Select the three dots (...)  and then Translate

    Language Settings: 

    Select your profile picture at the top of the app, then select Settings > General and go to the Language section. Selecting your preferred language and region also updates your time and date format.

  • Meetings

    Schedule, Even Recurring and in Channels!

    Within a Teams channel, use the Meet icon in upper right to Meet now or Schedule a meeting.

    Teams Meet button

    Another option in Teams: go to Calendar  and Select + New meeting. Give your meeting a title. Decide on a date and time. Add any additional details and recurrence if you choose.

    Select Add channel to see a list of your teams and their channels, then choose a channel to meet in.  Note: When you add a channel, all members with access to the channel are able to join the meeting. Also, all resources shared and any recordings taken during the meeting are saved in the channel.

    Select Send to add the meeting to your calendar and members’ calendars.

    (More in the Teams and Outlook section)

    Join & Alter Your Background if You Choose

    In Teams Calendar or Outlook Calendar select your meeting and press Join. Adjust your camera and microphone. When you're ready to begin press Join Now.

     After you join a meeting, select More actions (...) > Apply background effects.  Select an image from the list, or choose Add new or Blur, and then select Apply.  

    Background effects aren’t available when you join an unscheduled (“instant”) meeting, when running Teams in Linux, or when using Teams through a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI).

    Together Mode

    Together mode places all the participants in a Teams meeting or video call of 5 to 49 people together in a virtual auditorium space.

    To enable Together mode, go to More options (…) in the meeting controls choose Together mode.

    Note: Together Mode is not ideal when screen sharing or whiteboarding.  

    View More Attendees

    Large gallery view lets you see up to 49 video streams at once. This view is available when there are 10 or more attendees who are sharing video. To switch to large gallery, go to More options (…) in the meeting controls > Large gallery.  

    Breakout Rooms

    Meeting organizers can use breakout rooms to break participants into small groups during meetings. Rooms can be created in advance, or during the meeting You can open and close rooms more than once during a session or move participants between rooms. Only meeting organizers using the desktop version of Teams (Windows or Mac) can create and manage breakout rooms.

    Select Breakout rooms from your meeting controls. Choose how many rooms you'd like to create from the dropdown.

    Choose whether you'd like Teams to assign participants to rooms Automatically or Manually if you'd prefer to assign participants to rooms yourself.

    Select Create Rooms.

    Record and Transcribe a Meeting

    Start or join the meeting.  To start recording, go to the meeting controls and select More options > Start recording. Everyone in the meeting is notified that recording has started. The meeting notification is also posted to the chat history.  

    When an organizer turns on Record automatically in the meeting options, Teams will automatically turn on transcription when the meeting starts.

    To stop recording, go to the meeting controls and select More options > Stop recording.

    The recording is then processed and saved to SharePoint if it was a channel meeting, or OneDrive if it was any other type of meeting. The meeting recording shows up in the meeting chat—or in the channel conversation, if you’re meeting in a channel. These links are available for seven days.

    Enlarge Shared Content

    In a Teams meeting, you have the ability to zoom to the shared content.

    • Using keyboard shortcuts you can press Ctrl + Plus Sign to zoom in and Ctrl + Minus Sign to zoom out.
    • Hold the Ctrl key down on the keyboard and scroll with your mouse.
    • Using your laptop's touchpad, you can pinch in or out.

    Show Reaction

    In addition to virtually raising your hand in a Teams meeting, it’s now possible to express yourself in other ways to help make Teams meetings more inclusive, engaging, and fun! 

    While you’re in a meeting, hover over Show reaction in meeting controls at the upper-right area of the screen, where Raise hand was before—it hasn’t changed and now appears alongside four live reactions, including LikeLoveApplause, and Laugh

    Note: Live reactions appear when using filters and backgrounds and in breakout rooms, but not in Together mode or large gallery view.


    From a meeting, select Share on the meeting controls.  Select Microsoft Whiteboard, then start sketching and sharing with other participants.

    Presenters! Pick up where you left off

    Whether you've stopped presenting and need to share again, or you and a colleague are tag-teaming a big presentation, Teams has your back. You—or anyone else with access to the file in the meeting—can stop presenting a PowerPoint deck and resume again from the same spot. When you go to share your screen in a meeting, choose the PowerPoint file you want to present. The next time it's shared in that meeting, you'll have the option to resume the presentation or start over.

  • Settings and Options

    File Open Preference

    You may choose whether to always open Word, PowerPoint, and Excel files in Teams or the Desktop App. To set your preference go to Manage Account > Files > File Open Preference.

    Synchronous viewing and editing
    While files can be opened and edited by multiple users at the same time, please be aware that this usually causes a lag especially when the file is opened on varied apps or devices at the same time. A workaround when multiple people must edit is to schedule a screensharing meeting where everyone can see the document and provide input while one person makes the edits.

    Do Not Disturb Until After Lunch

    You can now set a duration for your status in Teams. All you need to do is select your profile picture at the top of the app, select your status (AvailableDo not Disturb, etc.) that shows under your name, then select Duration. From there, choose your status and how long you want it to display.

    Cut Out the Background Noise 

    Go to your profile picture at the top of the Teams, go to Manage Account Devices > Noise suppression. In the menu, select High for an even stronger suppression of background sounds. So whether your roommate barks at the mailman or does gymnastics outside your door, Teams has you covered with a blanket of quiet.


    How do you prefer to view your Teams screen? For options, click on your Profile and choose Manage Account. In General you will find Themes to choose from: Default, Dark , or High Contrast.

    Screenshot of Teams Theme options: Default, Dark, High Contrast

    Personal Apps

    In addition to adding Apps as tabs in a Team, personal Apps can be viewed in your navigation bar. Click Apps in the lower left, select Personal Apps to browse. Click on an app to add to your Navigation BarNote: Not all apps listed are available with WPI licensing.

    Tasks in Planner and To Do will provide you an overview of all items assigned to you in one place! 

    Keep it secret, keep it safe

    To provide you with even more privacy, Teams lets you turn off message previews in your desktop notifications. Message previews are on by default. To turn them off, go to your profile picture, select Manage Account Notifications > Show message preview. From here, switch the toggle to off.

  • Teams and Outlook

    Scheduling a meeting via Outlook

    There are options to add a New Teams Meeting or Meet Now in Teams on the calendar menu bar.

    The option to automatically add  a team meeting when scheduling  an Outlook meeting can be toggled on or off as follows:

    1. In Outlook click on File -> Options -> Calendar
    2. Select or deselect Add online meeting to all meetings.
    3. Click OK, then close and reopen Outlook.

    Share Email to Teams

    From Outlook or Outlook on the web, you can share emails to chats and channels in Teams. Instructions from Microsoft are in the Related Action Share Outlook Email Message to Teams.