Skip to content Skip to navigation

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams Status If you're experiencing any issues with Teams, check the Microsoft Teams Twitter feed to learn about any current widespread issues with the platform.


Looking for more Education Continuity Resources?

For Instruction      |    For Learning      |      For Remote Work     

Microsoft Teams is a unified communication and collaboration platform that combines persistent workplace chat, video meetings, file storage (including collaboration on files), and application integration. The service integrates with the Office 365 subscription office productivity suite and features extensions that can integrate with non-Microsoft products.

Teams can be used to host meetings and hold online classes and discussion sessions. Meetings can range in size from just two participants up to 1,000. Explore the information below to familiarize yourself with Microsoft Teams basics, catch up on hot topics, and learn about advanced features that will make the tool more useful for remote teaching, learning, and working.

New faculty, staff, or students can download Teams here: Download Microsoft Teams.

Current Alerts

Microsoft Teams replaces Microsoft's Skype for Business on December 22, 2020

Microsoft Teams expands on the capabilities in Skype for Business Online by bringing together audio/video/web conferencing, files, chats, and apps in an integrated app, with functionality that enables organizations to move faster and collaborate more efficiently. OIT will retire support for Skype for Business Online on December 22, 2020

Teams Recording: Interactive Demo

In this interactive demo, you’ll first get a guided tour of Teams to understand the app and learn about key features. You’ll then try out some real actions and help a team make important decisions.

Click here to view the Interactive Teams Demo.

Key Features

Teams Cheat Sheet

This quick Teams cheat sheet will help you get oriented to Teams features quickly.

Click on the image for a larger view or click Quick Teams Cheat Sheet


Channels are dedicated sections within a team to keep conversations organized by specific topics, projects, and disciplines. Channels are places where conversations happen and where the work actually gets done.  Channels are most valuable when extended with apps that include tabs, connectors, and bots that increase their value to the members of the team. To learn more, see Apps, bots, & connectors in Teams.

Channels can be open to all team members or, if you need a more select audience, they can be private. Standard channels are for conversations that everyone in a team can participate in and private channels limit communication to a subset of people in a team. To get more details on private channels go to the Private Channels in Microsoft Teams page.

Click here to learn how to work in channels.

Click here to learn how to customize channel notifications in Teams.

Click here to learn how to check a channel for notifications in Teams.

Chat Messaging

Microsoft Teams offers rich chat with text, audio, video, and file sharing.  Have a private chat to develop an idea, then share it with the entire organization.  You can have one-on-one and group chats.  You can add people to a conversation and see who is in a group chat.

Click here to learn how to Start a Chat in Teams.

Click here to learn how to Chat and Share files in Teams

Audio Calling

Calling in (dialing in) to meetings is very useful for users who are on the road and can't attend a meeting using Microsoft Teams app on their laptops or mobile devices or for people with limited internet connectivity. Audio calling allows people to join a meeting using a phone and also allows people who are not on Teams to join a meeting.

Click here to learn how to make and manage calls.

Video Conferencing

Meetings in Teams include audio, video, screen and file sharing and access to a whiteboard. You don’t need to be a member of an organization (or even have a Teams account) to join a Teams meeting—just look in the invitation for instructions about calling in. You can schedule a meeting or start and instant meeting.  Click here to learn how to manage a meeting.

External guests can join a team's private channel meeting or Meet now call, but there are a few things to know. They're only able to participate if a member of the private channel sends them a link to join the meeting, or calls them during the meeting to meet now. During the meeting or call, they'll have temporary access to chat, files, whiteboard, notes, and the participants list (those not in the Outlook invite), but not after.

Scheduled channel meetings are currently not supported for private channels.

File Sharing

Files that you share in a channel (on the Files tab) are stored in SharePoint. To learn more, read How SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business interact with Teams.

Each team in Microsoft Teams has a team site in SharePoint Online, and each standard channel in a team gets a folder within the default team site document library. Files shared within a conversation are automatically added to the document library, and permissions and file security options set in SharePoint are automatically reflected within Teams. 

Each private channel has its own SharePoint site collection that's separate from the parent team site.

Private chat files are stored in the sender's OneDrive for Business folder, and permissions are automatically granted to all participants as part of the file sharing process.

Click here to learn how to share a file in teams.

Click here to learn how to work on a file together.

Downloading the Client

The Teams desktop client is recommended as the best method for hosting and joining Teams meeting as it offers the most features and customizable settings.  Click here to Download the Teams client.

The desktop app automatically updates (so you don’t have to).

Signing into Teams (SSO)

Sign in to Teams by opening your Teams desktop client and enter your UC Merced email and password. 

Click here to log on to the Teams Web Client

You can also log into the O365 (Microsoft) site at using your UCMNetID and password.  Click on the "App Launcher" in the upper left-hand corner, and select "Teams". 

For more information, go to the Microsoft Teams Sign in and get started with Teams page.

Creating Teams

Teams are a collection of people, content, and tools surrounding different projects and outcomes within an organization. In Teams you can create a team (private or public) with up to 5,000 members. You can add people and add channels to your Team. Conversations, files and notes across team channels are only visible to members of the team.

Click here to learn how to create a team, add people, and add channels.

Click here to learn how to manage teams.

Managing Teams

Team owners manage certain settings for the team such as adding and removing members, adding guests, and changing team settings. There can be multiple owners in a team.

Click here to learn how to manage teams.

Interactive Demo

In this interactive demo, you’ll first get a guided tour of Teams to understand the app and learn about key features. You’ll then try out some real actions and help a team make important decisions.

Click here to view the Interactive Teams Demo.

Quick Introductory Videos

Microsoft has a series of short training videos to get you familiarized with Teams in no time.  Click this Microsoft Teams video training link to access the training videos.


Microsoft also has a series of longer training videos on YouTube that can be found here.

Other Features

Chat filtering and collaboration

You can filter your Activities and find and filter chats.

You can send a co-worker or entire team a notification to get their attention when you use @mention. Click here to learn how to get attention with @mentions.

Virtual backgrounds

If you want to change what appears behind you in a video conference, you can either blur your background or replace it entirely with a background.

Click here to learn how to blur or add a virtual background during a meeting.

Host meetings

As a host you can change participant settings (such as control who can present) for your meetings.  While sharing your screen or file, you can give control to someone or requet to take conrol.  During the meeting, you can mute noisy attendees, and end the team meeting.

You and your meeting participants can share your screens, share files, open a whiteboard, turn on live captions, turn your video on or off, mute your microphone, start a chat, share files in the chat, and view meeting participants. Click here for more team meeting details.

Record meetings

Record your meetings in Teams to capture audio, video, and screen sharing activity. The recording happens in the cloud, and is saved to Microsoft Stream, so you can share it securely across your organization.

Click here to learn how to record a meeting.

Click here to learn how to play and share a meeting recording.

Saving a post or message

Click here to see how to save a post or message.

Search for messages and more

You’ve got a few search and filtering options to help you find messages, people, files, and other information shared in Teams.

Click here to learn how to search for messages and other information.

App Integrations

Apps let you do more in Microsoft Teams. They can show up in several places, depending on what they do and how they’ve been built. Click here to learn more about integrating apps to Teams.

Meeting Breakout Rooms

Organizers of Teams meetings can create breakout rooms. This is useful for discussion sessions, brainstorming, group work, and more.

Click here to learn How to create Breakout Rooms in Teams.