We have put together some of the most frequently asked questions to support colleagues in getting the most out of using Teams. These frequently asked questions also include information on policies.
We'll update this page regularly in response to your questions as the rollout of Teams proceeds.
Files and storage
|Message||Microsoft Exchange Online for compliance purposes|
|Image||Microsoft Exchange Online for compliance purposes|
Team Files > SharePoint
Chat files > OneDrive
|Voicemail||Individual mailbox - Microsoft Exchange Online|
|Recording||Encoded on Microsoft Stream|
|Calendar Meeting||Individual mailbox - Microsoft Exchange Online|
|Contacts||Individual mailbox - Microsoft Exchange Online|
For best practice please refer to the IGO Record Retention Policy
Documents in a private channel are locked down in a hidden site (a linked SharePoint site) and can only be accessed by the members of the private channel.
If the channel is deleted the documents get deleted. For best practice, please refer to IGO Storing and Sharing Guidelines.
Meetings and chat
Yes. Microsoft regularly introduces enhancements and new features and Teams Breakout Rooms became available in December 2020. This allows meeting organisers to create up to 50 rooms where you can choose to automatically or manually assign participants to them. This functionality is particularly useful if you want to run smaller sub-groups to facilitate discussions and ideas.
Teams will not replace Zoom, although it is the University's preferred method for meetings with internal colleagues as it facilitates collaboration and document sharing. Zoom remains available and is supported by Media Services.
You can use the command bar and type /testcall to test your A/V or select your profile in the top right, then choose Settings > Devices. (Note: You need to be using the Desktop application to see this option.)
Check the right devices have been selected and choose 'Make a test call' to check audio.
Check your camera to make sure lighting and picture quality is good.
Up to 300 people can attend a Teams meeting. These can be a mixture of people within your organisation or external guests (when enabled).
View-only allows up to 10,000 listen-only participants to join a meeting.
Limits for chats and meetings are periodically updated. Click to access the latest information on the Limits and specifications for Teams.
By default, when scheduling a meeting, anyone can present. Meeting organisers can amend the default meeting options and choose only specific people to present during a meeting.
If you need to present your screen during a meeting, contact the organiser who will be able to amend the settings to allow you to do so.
Poor audio or video quality when using Teams can be caused by a number of factors, but the most common issue is a poor connection caused by insufficient internet bandwidth. This can also cause noticeable latency on features in meetings, such as chat and breakout rooms. While it can be difficult to eliminate the issue of a poor connection entirely - particularly if you are working from home, where others may also be in video calls at the same time - there are several steps you can take to improve your call quality or manage the impact of poor quality.
As a participant in a meeting, you may wish to consider the following:
- Turning your camera off
- Turning off incoming video (i.e. that of other participants). This will still allow you to see presentations.
- Using a headset - while this will not improve your connection, it may make it easier to follow what is being said.
As an organiser, you can improve the quality of the meeting those in attendance with the following:
- Disable chat and mute all - unmute and temporarily allow chat as and when it is needed.
As a presenter, you can also help to improve the quality of meetings with the following:
- Use a headset and microphone - you will be clearer and more audible, which may help participants with poor connection to follow along with what is being said.
Reporting poor quality
Please note that you are often also able to rate the call quality at the end of Teams meetings and events. Your call quality rating is recorded and helps to monitor and assess potential issues with Teams, so please ensure you complete this rating when you can.
All meeting recordings will appear in the meeting chat, which you can continue to collaborate in after the meeting has finished.
The meeting chat can be accessed from your chat history.
If the meeting took place in a channel the recording will be available in the channel and anyone who has access to the channel is able to access it.
Yes. External contacts can be invited to Teams meetings via the anonymous join function, and they don't need to have Teams account or license to join.
Simply schedule your meeting through Teams or Outlook as normal and include any external contacts. They will receive a meeting invite by email and can then click on the meeting link, enter their name and join through either the Teams App or Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge browsers.
Note that some browsers, such as Internet Explorer 11, Safari, and Firefox, support the Teams Web App but don't support some of the Teams calling and meeting features.
Most of the usual functions of Teams are available to the anonymous joiner, such as video, voice calls and chat, but for security reasons, sharing or downloading of files and other content is not enabled and they cannot be added to a group chat.
No, this is a facility you need to request via the Support Portal.
When scheduling a live event, you can set the appropriate event permissions:
- People and groups: The event can only be watched by people, contact groups, or Microsoft 365 groups (such as a team) that you name
- Org-wide: Everyone in your organisation can watch the live event, including guests in teams
- Public: Anyone, worldwide can join
After the event has finished, any member of the event group can access the recording by going to the calendar event and clicking on the download button next to Video recording, under Live event resources. This will download as an MP4 file.
Attendees can use the invitation link inviting them to the event to view the recording once the event has ended.
For a recording to be available the organiser must enable the recording of the event and set permissions on who can view this recording when scheduling the event. These settings can be edited before the live event starts by going to the event in the calendar space and editing the event.
The Attendee Engagement report lists the names and email addresses of those who joined the event, and gives a timestamp for when each person joined and left the event. It can be downloaded by a member of the event group by going to the calendar event and clicking on the download button, next to 'Attendee engagement report' under Live event resources.
Blackboard Collaborate is the primary mechanism for the delivery of online teaching, and Teams will compliment it with:
- Text chat on private and open channels
- Ad-hoc video and audio calls for 1-2-1 and small-group discussion
- Drag and drop document sharing
No - we are now taking the opportunity to remove Lync2010 from our IT estate, as the functionality of enabling online chat and messaging between colleagues has been subsumed into the MS Teams collaboration platform. Teams replaces Skype for Business.
Settings and accessibility
Click your profile picture in the top right corner and then select Settings > General.
In the Theme section, click High Contrast.
You can also select the Dark or Default theme.
When presenting, Teams will automatically mute your notifications. However, you might want to manually mute your notifications for further peace of mind or to simply turn down the noise and allow you to focus.
Setting your presence to 'Do Not Disturb' will mute all notifications until you switch it off.
- Click on your profile picture (or initials)
- Click on the arrow to the right of your current status
- Select Do not disturb
Notification settings allow you to set the type of notification you want for each type of activity in Teams. If you don’t want any emails, just make sure all activity types are set otherwise.
To stop email notifications, click on your profile picture in the top right of Teams then settings and notifications. Use the dropdown to switch from ‘Banner’ and ‘email to Banner’, ‘Only show in feed’ or ‘Off’.
Note: You cannot turn off notifications for mentions where you have been @mentioned individually.
Go to the top right of Microsoft Teams and click on your profile image. The Zoom option will be in the list that appears.
Use the + and – buttons to zoom in and out, or reset to the standard view.
You can choose 'full screen' from the meeting bar if you are in a meeting. You can also click the diagonal double arrow icon to toggle the tab or app to use more of the screen.
You can make the Teams interface bigger by using your keyboard or mouse, using the same familiar controls you might already be using with your browser. By default, these are Ctrl and + to zoom in, and Ctrl and - to zoom out in Windows. For Mac, use Command and + to zoom in, and Command and - to zoom out.
Note: If you’ve zoomed in, Teams will automatically hide some of the menu options or tabs within channels to optimise the space available, so you may need to click the icon with three dots (...) to access them.
On any message, or in any file that you open in Teams, you can use Immersive Reader and it will open in full screen and allow you to read more clearly and hear any text read aloud.
Click on the three dots icon (...) that appears when you hover over a message and select Immersive Reader from the menu options.
Select Play to hear your document read aloud and to see the text highlighted simultaneously.
To translate an incoming message, hover over it and click on the three dots icon (...) then select Translate.
A message that has been translated will have an icon on the top left corner. To return to the original language, click on 'see original message'.
In calls and meetings, you can choose to display captions, making it much easier to follow conversations if you’re in a noisy location or have auditory needs.
In a meeting, click on the three dots icon (...) and select 'turn on live captions' for live subtitles.
You can find out more information about making your meetings more accessible to people who are deaf or hard of hearing on the Microsoft website:
Access and navigation
Teams provides global and remote access from anywhere and on any device, all you need is an internet connection.
You can access Teams from a web browser, through the desktop application, and on your phone or tablet using the Teams mobile app.
On a non-managed computer, you can get it from Microsoft.
For your mobile device you will need to install the Teams mobile app from the Apple App Store or Google Play.
Teams files are accessed from the files space under the ‘Microsoft Teams’ tab. They appear in order of the most recently updated first. Here you can see all files stored in any channel or chat in Teams. You can also filter to see your most recently accessed files including those in OneDrive.
Alternatively, you can go to the files tab in a channel or chat to view files that have been created or uploaded to those specific tabs.
Teams will automatically set your status based on your Outlook calendar and when you are on a call.
To change your status manually, go to your profile picture in the top right corner of the screen and click to select the required Status.
To provide additional information that would be useful for other people to know in relation to your status, you can attach a status message to your profile by selecting this option in the profile area.
Teams and channels
A team is a collection of people working together on a common goal.
A team is made up of channels which are the collaboration spaces where the actual work gets done.
A channel can be built around topics, projects or departments.
A channel is where meetings can be held, documents can be shared, and conversations take place.
The general channel is a default channel created when a team is created. This channel can be used for general messages that don’t belong under a specific category.
A standard channel is open for all members and anything posted is searchable all team members. If you need a smaller audience for a specific project, you can create a private channel within the team.
If you are a member of a team you can see details of members if you click on the three dots icon (...) to the right of the team name. Select 'Manage team' and then select the Members tab. The owners will be listed first.
It is recommended that you have a minimum of 2 or 3 owners to ensure there is adequate leave and/or sickness cover.
If you aren’t a member of that team, you won’t be able to see the owner unless it is a public group.
A channel can be created by anyone within the team if the owner of the team has not removed the permission to do so.
You will find the option to add a channel by clicking the three dots icon (...) to the right of the team name.
Before you can create a private channel in a Team, you'll need to request permission to do so.
To request permission, you should read the information on the following page and submit the request form at the bottom of the page:
No, you can only be a member of a channel if you are a member of the team.
This applies to both standard and private channels. Private channel membership must be a subset of the team member group. Private channels are not widely available - you can discuss your requirement by contacting the collaboration team.
Teams, Sites and Groups need to be created using a naming convention to help the University easily understand where they fit within the organisation. Names should have no more than 60 characters and guidance is available on our Requesting a new Team page.
Only team owners can delete a team.
To delete a team, select 'more options' to the right of the team name and Delete the team. On the next screen select the check box to state you understand all content relating to a team will be deleted and select 'delete team'. Deleted teams can be restored by the admin for up to 30 days after deletion.
If you are using List View you can pin your priority channels to the top of the Teams navigation list, above your list of teams.
Click on the three dots icon (...) to the right of the channel name and select Pin.
Hidden channels are grouped together at the bottom of the list of channels for that team.
You can access or show it again by selecting hidden channels at the bottom of the list, then clicking on the channel you want to show.
As a team owner, you can recover a deleted channel but will need to contact an admin to restore a deleted team, as this needs to be actioned in the Microsoft 365 admin centre.
To restore a deleted channel, go to 'Manage team' by clicking on the three dots icon (...) to the right of the team name. Click on the Channels tab, then Deleted, and click Restore for any channels you want to recover.
A few top tips would be:
- Familiarise themselves with the in-app training and help
- Encourage use of ‘like’ instead of words
- Don’t start a new post when what they want is to reply to an existing post
- Use @mention to get a colleague's attention if you need a quick response
- Press backspace/delete after inserting an @mention to remove surnames if not needed
- Don’t @mention a Team or Channel unless you really need to
- Use subject lines when starting new conversations by opening the message format window
- Pay attention to your colleagues' availability status
- Pin channels that are a priority (and hide channels that aren’t)
- Set their notifications for each channel so they don’t get overwhelmed and miss the important stuff
When you create channels, folders will also be created within SharePoint (one folder for each channel).
If you then change the name of the channel, the SharePoint folders will not reflect this – they will keep the original name. This can cause confusion if members are opening the files area in SharePoint.
The best solution if you do need a new name is to create a new channel rather than change the name of the existing one. If your channel already has files in it you will then need to copy over your files to the new channel.
You can then delete the old channel to avoid confusion. If you do ever need to reference that deleted channel at a later date, you can go to Manage team > Channels > Deleted channels and restore the channel.
If you do decide to change the name of an existing channel, select the three dots icon (...) to the right of the channel name.
Select 'Edit this channel', type in your new name, and click Save.
No, we are not currently able to prioritise importing/transferring your Slack groups to Teams.
External access allows you to call, chat and meet with others outside the University. Guest access allows you to invite non-University people into a Team to collaborate on files and share information.
More detail can be found here:
Use guest access and external access to collaborate with people outside your organization
You invite the external participant to join a meeting as normal. The participant simply clicks on the invite at the time of the meeting, and is admitted to a virtual "lobby" from which a meeting presenter or the organiser can admit them to the meeting. More information: Meetings and calls - Office Support
Yes. A Team Owner can invite a guest from outside the University to be part of their Team. The Team Owner will need to request the ability to invite guests.
At the point of adding a guest you can click the pencil and rename them. For example, guest users might be displayed as email@example.com, and it might be more appropriate to give them a better display name. If you need to change a guest name after they have been added you will need to contact the IT Support Centre.
A Teams guest has nearly all the same capabilities as a University member. More information:
Use guest access and external access to collaborate with people outside your organization
The guest experience has limitations by design. For example, here's some of the functionality that isn't available to a guest in Microsoft Teams:
- OneDrive for Business
- People search outside of Teams
- Calendar, Scheduled Meetings, or meeting details
- Teams Telephony
- Organisation chart, limited access to the University directory
- Create or revise a team
- Browse for a team
- Play back a Stream recording
- Upload files to a person-to-person chat
Yes, the guest will have access to the chat after either they have left the meeting (for example, a guest speaker) or the meeting has ended, unless the meeting organiser has altered the default settings for the meeting (this would affect all meeting attendees).
The team owner can invite external guests, they will need to be set up with Guest Inviter permission. Please follow one of the following links:
Assignments is for Teaching & Learning, and allows you to set, submit, and return assignment documents.
Microsoft Visio is currently only available by request, as individual user licenses must be purchased subject to approval.
For information on how to request Visio access and how to install it, as well as free alternatives, please login to the Support Portal, then click the link below:
Microsoft Project is site-licensed, and can be installed on any University computer. To install Project on a managed Windows PC, download it from the Software Center. Note that if it doesn't appear, you may need to restart your PC first.
For more information on accessing and installing Microsoft Project, log in to the Support Portal and click the link below:
When logging into Microsoft Dynamics, you may receive an error message stating that you're not a member of the organisation.
This is because Microsoft detects that you are logged into another Microsoft application using your @manchester.ac.uk credentials.
It is therefore recommended that you create Google profiles for each Dynamics instance, which will allow you to log in automatically once set up.
To find out how to do this, log in to the Support Portal and click the link below:
Several Microsoft applications are not currently available, but will be made available soon. These are:
- Power Apps
- My Analytics
Once these apps are available, they will need to be specifically requested.
For more information on the full suite of Microsoft 365 apps and how to access them, login to the Support Portal and click the link below:
External calling (Currently for MECD colleagues only)
Microsoft Teams has the capability to handle calls to and from external numbers when this function is activated.
This is currently only available to certain MECD colleagues (these colleagues have been informed), however this page will be updated with information about any changes.
We've prepared a document with answers to more than 30 questions, including how to make and receive calls, using voicemail, transferring calls and more.