Teams Features

Teams Channels

Each team comes with a General channel by default with the option to create additional channels that represent topics, work groups, or themes. Standard channels are visible to everyone or you have the option to create a private channel. 

Create a New Channel

Select More options […] next to the Team name > Add channel > provide a name for your channel > choose Standard or Private channel > Add
View ScreenshotUnder Privacy, select Standard or Private channel.

Standard, Private, Shared Channels

Standard Channels

Everyone on a team has access to standard channels.

Private Channels

  • Private channels can only be seen by the person who created the channel (channel owner) and members added to the channel.
  • Members added to this channel must already be a member on the team.
  • Anyone can add private channels unless Team owners change that permission. [under Manage Team > Settings > Member permissions/Guest permissions].
  • Team owners do not have access to a private channel unless they create it or are added to the channel by the channel owner.
  • Team owners can delete any private channel.
  • Private channels create their own SharePoint document libraries accessible only to those who are channel owners and members of that channel.
  • You cannot schedule meetings. 
  • Does not support some apps like Planner. 

Shared Channels

  • You can add people to this channel not already on your team. 
  • Those added may be from KU or an external organization with a licensed Team tenet. 
  • Those added to this channel can see the shared channel and no others. 
  • All Members on your team can see the shared channel without having to be added, but Guests do not have access. 
  • Before you add external users, you must contact our Office 365 admin to work with the other organization to configure access to our tenet, if not already set up.

More information and Shared Channel specifications

Restore Deleted Channel

Deleted channels are permanently deleted after 30 days. Before that time, team owners have the option to restore the channel back to your active list of channels. 

  1. Hover over team name and select More options [...] to the right of the name
  2. Select Manage team 
  3. Select the Channels tab from the top menu 
  4. Below all of your Active channels, select the Deleted dropdown option. 
  5. Select Restore to the right of channel name.

Channels and SharePoint Folders

Creating a Standard Channel in Teams creates a corresponding folder in the SharePoint Document library.
View ScreenshotTeams channels (on the left) will create respective folders (on the right).

All folders and files created and uploaded within these folders from SharePoint will sync back to your team's channels. 

If you create a folder in SharePoint that exists outside of the folders created by channels, it will not sync back to Teams unless you create a new channel with the same name as the new folder.

It is a best practice to always create channels in Teams first to easily create syncing.

Channel Menu Options

Pin will place the channel to the top of your list. Only available in List view.

Manage channel to set moderation preferences.

Get email address allows you to copy the email address of this channel, which enables you to email the channel. The message will appear in posts.

Note: By default, only KU internal addresses are allowed to email directly to a channel.  Requests for external email addresses need to be evaluated by IT.  

Get link to channel allows you send a link for others to access your public team or add the URL to your SharePoint site for quick navigation.

Edit this channel - Edit channel name and description – This does not automatically change the name of the folder in SharePoint. You must go to SharePoint to change the name of the folder.

Connectors keep your team current by delivering content and updates from services you frequently use directly into a channel.

Delete this channel – By default, everyone is allowed to delete a channel. Team owners can change the permission on who is allowed to delete channels [under Manage Team > Settings > Member permissions/Guest permissions].

Team Notifications

Notifications are sent when you are mentioned in a post, messages are posted in the Posts tab or Chat, and other activities, such as membership changes, seeing when someone is on or offline, meeting notifications, etc.

How You Receive Notifications

Manage Notification Preferences

You can change email, banner, and feed preferences from different areas in teams. Manage your notifications from Settings, conversations, and channels. 

Notifications from Settings

Select your profile image (or circle icon) at the top-right of screen > Settings > Notifications. From here, you can choose a variety of notification settings.

Conversation Notifications
  1. Hover over the top-right corner of a conversation
  2. Select More options […]
  3. Select Turn off notifications
Channel Notifications
  1. Hover over the channel name and select More options […]
  2. Choose Channel notifications 
  3. Change options

Mention a Person, Channel or Team

When posting in a channel, use the "@" symbol followed by the name of a person, channel, or the name of the team. This will send a notification to that person or team based on their preferences.

Hide/Show Channels

By default, all channels and teams are visible, allowing you to receive notifications for teams and channels that you haven’t hidden from your list. You can choose Show or Hide to ensure you get notifications from teams and channels you care about.

  1. Hover over channel or team, then select More options [...] on the right of the channel name  
  2. Select Hide channel/team 
    View ScreenshotSelect 3 dots to right of channel name, select Hide from the panel.

Your hidden channels and teams will be condensed in your list, but will remain available if you want to bring them back at a later time. Once you hide a channel or team, you will no longer receive notifications for them until you bring them back. 

To bring the channel back:

  1. Hover over Hidden channel and select the arrow > to the right of your channel. 
  2. Select Show next to the team/channel you want to bring back. 
    View ScreenshotSelect 3 dots to right of channel name, select Show from the panel.

Teams Posts and Chat

Microsoft Teams supports a variety of ways to communicate with your team, including group conversations in the Posts tab, private Chats, calls, meetings, and breakout sessions.

Channel Posts

All members of a team can view and add to conversations in the Posts tab in any standard channel.  These conversations can be seen by everyone on the team. Documents can be attached and shared in a post are automatically saved to the Files tab of that channel. Posts are different from Chats because they are visible to everyone in a channel and not private. 

Persistent chat will keep all posts without the need to archive. You can search all posts by keywords or headings. 

Mentions can be created by typing ‘@’ before an individual’s name, channel name, or team name.  Notifications to be sent to those included in the mention based on their notification settings, which can be adjusted as needed. 

    More Options for Posts

    Hover over the right corner of a post to bring up a response emoji. Select More options […] to bring up additional options.
    View ScreenshotHover over conversation to bring up emojis and select 3 dots to bring up additional options.

    • Team owners can delete any post; members can only delete their own post
    • Members can edit their own messages only
    • Team owners can delete any message

    Review of Options

    Save this message allows you to bookmark a message. You can find all bookmarked messages by typing /saved in the  Search / command field at the top of the screen.  You can also find it by selecting on your image (or encircled initials) at the top-right  then choose Saved messages.

    Your saved messages will open in a panel to the left. You can remove a saved post by selecting on the bookmark icon to unsave the post.
    View ScreenshotDeselect the bookmark icon to remove the saved post.

    Copy link to share a post in another team or chat message.

    Share to Outlook send post as a message via Outlook.

    Translate will translate the post into the language chosen in your Settings. English is set by default.  

    Immersive Reader can read text for users, adjust font size, etc.

    Pin allows you to pin posts in the channel information panel. To view pinned items, go to the Show Channel Info icon at the top-right of the screen. You'll find your pinned posts towards the bottom of this panel.

    More Actions allows you to add polls to your posts. Select More actions and a new panel will open allowing you to create a new poll. 

    Additional Post Options and Tools

    Additional formatting and fun ways to communicate.

    1. Additional formatting provides editing options, such as adding a subject, bulleted lists, tables, etc. 

      Add an Announcement, which creates a more noticeable post: select  the Additional format icon > New conversation located at the top-left of panel > Announcement 
      View ScreenshotSelect New conversation, then select Announcement.

      Post announcement in multiple Team channels: After you select Announcement, select Post in multiple channels > Select channels. From the panel, select channels from your list of teams, then select the send button at the bottom right of the screen 
      View ScreenshotSelect Choose the Select channels button to bring up teams and channel options.

    2. Use the paper clip icon to attach a file or drag and drop the file into the message. All attached files will be saved in your Files tab.
    3. You can add GIFs and stickers, or send a Praise. These can also be turned off by Team owners: select More options [...] next to the team name > Manage team > Settings tab > Fun stuff > deselect features. 
    4. The Stream icon that takes you to where your Teams videos are stored. Currently, Stream is being revamped and will not load recordings. All channel recordings will be saved in your SharePoint library in a folder titled Recordings.   

    Start a Chat

    Chat allows you to have private, one-on-one or group conversations that are not in the public team channel.

    1. Click in the Search field at the top of the screen and begin typing the name of the person you want to chat with. 
    2. Select their name from the drop down choices.

    Attach Files

    Attach files by using the paper clip or drag and drop into the message area. 

    To find the files later:

    • Select the chat where the file was posted and select  the Files tab. 
    • You can also view all your files by selecting on Files icon in the left panel. Files from all of your chats and channels will be located here. 

    Other Options

    You have the option to create a meeting, call, and share screen. You can also add additional people to the chat as needed. 

    Files in Teams

    The Files tab displays all of a team’s files within a given channel, which are stored in you Team's SharePoint Document library.

    Browser vs. Desktop App

    By default, opening files from the cloud will open them in the browser. You have many of the tools you expect from the file, but not all. Access to all of the tools wil be in the Desktop versions of the files. 

    If you want to change the default so that your files open in the Desktop app: 

    1. Select Settings
    2. Files from the left panel
    3. Select Desktop app from the drop down list

    Create and Manage Your Files

    To create new files or folders:

    1. Select a channel, then choose the Files tab at the top.
    2. Click +New in the top menu and select the file type or folder.
    3. Provide a title, then click Create.

    To upload files and folders:

    • Click Upload at the top menu or drag and drop the file from your computer. 
    • In the Posts tab within a channel, you can attach a file to a conversation using the paperclip icon or drag and drop the file into the message. These options will upload the attached file to the Files tab in that channel. These options will upload the attached file to the Files tab in that channel.
      View ScreenshotUpload file using paper clip icon below conversation field.
    • After you sync your folders, you can drag and drop files into you File Explorer on a PC or Finder on a Mac.

    Editing Files

    Conversations in Editing

    Editing in Teams includes a persistent conversation option to discuss the file while editing. The conversation always stays with the respective file and can also be viewed in the Posts feed of that channel. 
    View ScreenshotSelect Create New Poll link. 

    Sharing Files

    To share files with others outside of your team, there are a few places to find the share files tool:

    1. Open the file you want to share
    2. Click on Open in Desktop or click the ellipsis [...] in the top right menu  then Open in Browser
      View ScreenshotTo share file, you can open file in the desktop app or select Open in Browser from the 3 dots.
    3. Click the Share button at the top-right above the tool ribbon 
      View ScreenshotOnce the file is open, select the Share button at the top-right.

    The other place to find the Share tool is via SharePoint. 

    1. From files in Teams, click on the ellipsis [...] in the top right menu > Open in SharePoint 
      View ScreenshotSelect 3 dots to the far-right in top menu, select Open in SharePoint.
    2. Hover over the file you want to share, then click on the Share icon 
      View ScreenshotHover over file, select share icon to open share panel.

    Use left menu to navigate to more information about sharing files. 

    SharePoint in Background

    Your Microsoft Team also comes with a SharePoint site. All Teams files are stored in the document library found on that site which you can access by clicking Open in SharePoint in the Files tab. 

    Each channel will be assigned its own folder in SharePoint. 

    • If you add a channel in Teams, it will be stored as a folder in a SharePoint library. 
    • If you change the name of the Teams channel, it will not automatically change the name of the folder in SharePoint. You must do this manually. 

    Go to SharePoint Document Libraries for more information about managing folders in Teams and SharePoint. 

    Private Channels in SharePoint

    When a private channel is created, a new, abbreviated SharePoint site is created just for that channel. This ensures any files created in the private channel can only be accessed by those who are owners/members/guests of that channel. The channel will have the same name as the team with Private channel added to the end of the name [Team name - private channel name]. Find more information about private channels.

    Create Files

    Upload Files

    Share Files

    Sync Folders

    Tabs in Teams

    Tabs allow team members to access services and content in a dedicated space within a channel or in a chat. Owners and team members can add tabs to a channel, private chat, and group chat to help integrate their cloud services.

    Default Tabs

    Every channel comes with two default tabs: Posts tabs provide a dedicated space for conversations in a channel, and the Files tab is where you upload, create, and share all of the files pertinent to that channel. 

    Learn more about Posts and Files features by selecting on the respective links in the left navigation

    Additional Tabs

    Create a New Tab

    1. Open the channel and select the + Add a tab icon located at the top of your screen to the right of your default tabs.
      View ScreenshotTo add a tab, select the plus sign to the right of your Posts and Files tabs.
    2. Choose from the available apps and connectors within Teams, such as OneNoteTasks by Planner, Forms, etc. 

    Important Note

    There are supported and unsupported apps available in the tabs area. Unsupported apps generally require a registration, privacy policy agreement, and can sometimes come with a price. Although you are welcome to use these apps, KU IT does not offer technical support for them. Adobe is an exception since we have purchased licenses for Adobe products. If you need technical assistance, you will need to contact the company. Additionally, please read the privacy policy carefully when integrating a third party app to your team. 

    The top apps under Recent are KU supported and most of those listed under More tabs are third party.

    Common Integrated Apps

    Find more information on the following common Microsoft apps: Planner, Forms, and Bookings

    Channel Calendar App

    Teams Channel calendars shows all of your channel meetings in one organized view. Any member or owner on the team can view and add meetings to the calendar, as well as join the channel meetings.  

    Add a Calendar to Your Channel

    1. Select the +plus sign in your tabs area to add a tab
    2. Choose Channel calendar 
    3. Select Add
    4. Provide a name for your calendar
    5. Select Add


    • Any team member can schedule a meeting as you normally do through the Meetings tool or in the Channel calendar app and it will show in the calendar. 
    • See all scheduled channel meetings in one place.
    • Scheduled meetings notifications will show in channel feed.


    • The meetings do not consistently sync with your Outlook calendar except for those you add to the Add required attendees field.  
    • Guests cannot access the calendar app.
    • One calendar per channel.
    • No list of channel calendars anywhere.
    • Not available in private channels.
    • No SharePoint calendar integration.


    Navigate to a different page to view all Teams Meetings instructions. The following features are covered:

    • Schedule a Meeting
    • Join Meetings
    • Spotlights
    • Breakout Rooms
    • Polls in Teams
    • Recordings

    Follow up on Messages

    First you must add Power Automate to your Teams client. 

    1. Select 3 dots in app bar on left edge
    2. Select Power Automate
      View ScreenshotSelect 3 dots left app bar > Power Automatel.
    3. Add
    4. Select the built-in "flow" (in this case, Follow up on a Message)
    5. Ensure you are connected
      View ScreenshotWait for connection to be made > Power Automatel.
    6. Select the Create flow button

    The flow should be set to run. Go to the message to set your follow up:

    1. Hover over message, select 3 dots to the right of emojis
    2. Hover over More actions at the bottom of the panel
    3. Select See More
      View ScreenshotUnder Privacy, select Standard or Private channel.
    4. Select Follow up on  a message
      View ScreenshotSelect the Follow up to a message tile.
    5. Set Date, Time, and provide notes
    6. Submit

    You will be notified in Teams in the Activity icon and Desktop app.

    Clear Cache for Tech Issues

    As Microsoft Teams usage increases on campus, we're seeing more incidents of people with login issues, slowdowns, or other errors. In many cases clearing the cache resolve these problems.

    See Microsoft's Support page for instructions to clear cache on a PC and Mac. 

    Teams with Courses

    Instructors can use Teams to complement their courses. The Education Technology has expertise in best practices and recommendations for how it should and should not used. 

    Teams Updates & Tips


    Technical Support: | 785-864-8080

    Training Support: | 785-864-5155

    Files can be created directly from OneDrive for Business, SharePoint document libraries, and from the Teams files tab. 

    Create Online Files

    Word, Excel, PowerPoint

    • In Teams: Open the files tab in the channel where you want the document to be accessed. 
    • In SharePoint: Navigate to the document library where you want the file stored. 
    • In OneDrive for Business: Sign in at the Microsoft 365 Landing Page and open OneDrive.

    [Screenshots taken from SharePoint site]

    1. Select +New from the menu and select Word document.
      View ScreenshotSelect New, then select the file you want to create.
    2. To rename the document, select the default name and type a new one.
      View ScreenshotSelect Document from the blue bar at top, then name your file.
    3. Online files save automatically. Be sure to wait until the document has completed saving before closing out. 
      View ScreenshotDocument will show Saved.

    Editing Files

    When you open files in the cloud, these online versions offer many, but not all of the editing tools that come with the desktop versions installed on your computer. This examples below is for a Word document, but is the same for all files (Excel, PowerPoint, etc.).

    Word Online

    1. Locate the file from OneDrive, SharePoint document library or Teams files tab and select the name of the file to open.
    2. All changes are saved automatically as you work.

    With Word Online, multiple people can make changes simultaneously. You will see changes in real-time as long as everyone is using Word Online.
    View ScreenshotView who is editing from the tools ribbon.

    Open Desktop App, Full Version of Word
    1. While viewing the document in Word Online, select the Editing button located under the search field at the top of your page, then select Open in Desktop App.
      View ScreenshotSelect Editing button, then Open in Desktop App.
    2. Changes can be saved manually or you may select AutoSave at the top-left area of your document. Select the button next to AutoSave to toggle On or Off.

    In the full version of Word, you are not able to make changes simultaneously. Changes must be saved before others will be able to see them.

    Open Desktop App, Full Version of Excel and PowerPoint

    The option to select desktop app for Excel and PowerPoint is located directly below the search field at the top of the page. 
    View ScreenshotSelect Open in Desktop app from the menu above the tools.


    The Accessible KU website provides instructions on how to create accessible files, videos, websites, etc. More information can be found at Accessible KU's Content Accessibility pages.

    Documents in your OneDrive for Business, SharePoint document library, and Files in a Teams channel can be shared with both internal and external contacts to KU. If you are sharing a document in Teams, you can do that by accessing the file through the related SharePoint site. When sharing, you can apply editing and download preferences.

    Video: File Sharing

    Share a File or Folder

    1. Open OneDrive for Business, your SharePoint Document library or Files in a Teams channel in your browser of choice.
    2. Hover your mouse over a file and select the Share icon to the right of the file name. 
      View ScreenshotShare icons at top menu and to the right of the file name.
    • By default, only People at KU will be able to view the link. Click on the gear icon to change this default.
    • Select the down arrow next to the eye icon to manage view / read only permissions. You can also do this from the Sharing Settings panel after selecting the gear icon.
    • Any personal message you type in the optional box will be included with the email the contact receives.
      View Screenshot
    • To apply editing and download preferences and to share documents securely, go to the Sharing permissions information below.

    Sharing Permissions Options

    The gear icon will take you to the Sharing Permissions screen. Your need for flexibility or security will help you determine which sharing option to choose. 

    • Anyone with a link gives access to anyone who receives this link, whether they receive it directly from you or forwarded from someone else. This may include people outside of KU. Only available on OneDrive by default, but it can be added to SharePoint by request.
    • People in the University of Kansas means anyone at KU who receives the link can open the file whether you send it or it was shared by others.
    • People with existing access can be opened by people who already have access to the document or folder.
    • People you choose gives access only to the people you specify. This option allows you to share with internal and external to KU. Even if people forward the sharing invitation, only the people you sent the file to will be able to open it.
      View Screenshot

    Secure Sharing

    People you choose is the most secure option when sending sensitive information.
    1. Hover your mouse over the file or folder you want to share and select the Share icon. 
    2. By default, only People at KU will be able to view the link. Click on the gear icon to change this default.
    3. Select People you choose.
    4. Select optional settings to allow editing and block download, as needed
    5. Select Apply.
    6. Type in names or emails of people you want to receive the file and optionally add information to the additional message section.
      View Screenshot
    7. Select Send.

    Security Facts Using People You Choose Option

    • Only recipients can open the file.
    • If the file is forwarded, the new recipient will not be able to open the file.
    • If you allow editing, the edits will also be saved in the cloud as they are made.
    • It is possible for people to take a screenshot and share it.

    Additional Notes

    • To view the file/folder, recipients can either sign-in to their Microsoft accounts, or if they don’t have a Microsoft account, they can generate a passcode from Microsoft that will be sent to their email.
    • Remind recipients that it is possible that the file or passcode links could be sent to their spam folders.
    • When files/folders are shared in this way, recipients will only see this content from the SharePoint Site. They will not see any other content on the site or the site’s navigation.
    • You can only share one file or one folder at a time.

    Stop Sharing

    1. Hover over the File you want to stop sharing and select More options [...] to the right of the file.
    2. Select Manage Access from the panel of options. 
      View ScreenshotSelect 3 dots to the right of file name, select Manage access from panel.
    3. To stop sharing with everyone, select Stop Sharing at the top of the panel. 
    4. To remove links for individual, select Links from the tabs above the URL. 
    5. Select the drop-down arrow next to a people icons below the URL.
    6. Select the X to the right of the person's name to remove access
      View ScreenshotTo stop sharing, click Stop sharing link at top or the X next to the name of individuals.

    Sync Folders to Your Local Computer

    Folders in your OneDrive for Business, SharePoint libraries, and Teams files can be synced to your hard drive and managed like your regular document storage.

    1. Select Sync from the top menu of your SharePoint document library or Teams files tab. *OneDrive should sync automatically. If not, see instructions below.
    2. Select Open Microsoft OneDrive
    3. Go to File Explorer on your PC or Finder on a Mac to view and access your files. 

    When you sync your files from OneDrive, SharePoint and Teams, they will be listed as OneDrive - University of Kansas and The University of Kansas respectively.
    View Screenshot

    If OneDrive does not sync to your local computer automatically: 

    OneDrive and SharePoint files listed in File Explorer or Finder.

    Status Icons

    Status Icons located next to the right of your files under the status column in your File Explorer on PC or Finder on a Mac tell you the sync state of the file or folder. The cloud indicates files that can be accessed while connected to the internet. The green circle with a white checkmark indicates a file that has been saved to your local computer. 
    View ScreenshotOneDrive and SharePoint files listed in File Explorer or Finder.

    Learn more on Microsoft's OneDrive icons site. 

    If you need to work on a file without internet access, right-click the file and select Always keep on this device. Once you are connected to the internet, the file will automatically sync back to the cloud. To free up space on your computer, right-click the file and select Free up space
    View ScreenshotRight click file, then select options from panel.

    Manage Your Synced Folders

    To manage which folders are being synced:

    1. Selectthe OneDrive icon (blue icon located at the bottom-right of your toolbar on the PC or gray icon located at the top-right tool bar on a Mac). 
    2. Select More, then Settings.
    3. From the Account tab, select Choose folders or Stop Sync. 
      View ScreenshotFrom Account tab at the top, select Choose folders.
    4. From here, you can select and deselect the folders want to sync or stop syncing.

    You can upload documents to your OneDrive for Business, SharePoint documents library or Teams using any of these methods. With OneDrive for Business, your SharePoint documents library or Teams files tab open:

    • Drag and drop a file from your computer into the files interface. 
      View ScreenshotDrag files onto the interface.
    • Select Upload from the top menu > Files or Folder > choose the file or folder you want to upload > Open
    • After you sync, you can drag and drop files from your computer into your File Explorer on a PC or Finder on a Mac, which will sync to the cloud. 

    Updates and new features for Microsoft 365 apps, including Teams, can be found in our public team, KU Teams User Group. A channel in this team is dedicated to Microsoft 365 apps. In addition to updates, members are invited to ask questions and share information.

    If you need assistance joining the team, reach out to us at and we will add you to this team.