Microsoft Teams 101: A how-to guide for beginners (2023)

Once considered the mainstay of far-flung IT teams and multinational business giants, remote work is now a common occurrence for businesses everywhere. While there are a number of platforms available to support remote collaboration, Microsoft Teams is one of the most popular tools available.

Teams operates like the "closed" network of an organization, where different "teams" can work on different "projects" in real time. Business teams can conduct meetings, edit Microsoft Office documents, connect to OneDrive for storage and sharing and use IM-like chat services to communicate.

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To get started using Microsoft Teams, log in using your Microsoft 365 business or educational credentials to set up the full version. There is also a free version that only requires a Microsoft email address, but it does come with slightly limited functionality.

The following sections will cover most of what you will need to get started with Microsoft Teams.

How to install Microsoft Teams

To install Microsoft Teams, follow these steps:

(Video) 🏫 Microsoft Teams Tutorial in 10 min

  1. Visit the official Microsoft Teams website to download the installer.
  2. Once you have downloaded and run the installer, enter your Microsoft email account and select Next. If you don't have one, you can create it by clicking the Create one! button.
  3. Then, enter your phone number and verify it.
  4. That's it. Teams should now be installed and ready to use on your device.

How to create a team and invite team members

To make a team and invite members to it, follow these steps:

  1. Select Teams from the tab on the left.
  2. Then select Create team.
  3. Choose Build a team from scratch.
  4. If you want everyone in the organization to have access to the team, select To restrict access, go with Private.
  5. Enter a name and description for your team, then select
  6. Next, add all the names of your team members to the list and click
  7. To add someone from outside the organization, you will have to send an invitation. Click the Invite People button on the bottom left to do so.
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How to chat in Teams

To start chats in teams, follow these steps:

  1. Select Chat from the left.
  2. Then click the New Chat
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  3. Enter the name of the person, type your message and hit send.

How to set/schedule meetings in Microsoft Teams

To set up and start a meeting right away, follow these steps:

  1. Click the camera icon at the top left of the app.
  2. Click Get a link to share and share the link with attendees. You can also just start the meeting and add attendees to it.
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Alternatively, to schedule a meeting in Teams for a later time and/or date:

  1. From the panel on the left, select Apps > Calendar.
  2. Then, select New meeting.
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  1. Fill out the name, time, location and description for the meeting, then select Save. This will create the meeting on both the Teams and Outlook calendars.
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  1. Choose from the pop-up menu whether you want to get a shareable link to the meeting or want to link it with Google Calendar.

How to share files in Teams

For file sharing in Teams, follow these steps:

(Video) How to Use Microsoft Teams - Beginner's Guide

  1. From within any conversation, click the paper clip
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  2. Browse to the file, upload it, and once done, hit Send.

How to create channels within teams

If you have multiple projects to track, you can avoid unnecessary confusion by creating multiple Teams "channels." Here's how:

  1. Find the team that would you like to create a channel within, then select More options > Add channel.
  2. Enter the name and description for the new channel. By default, the privacy setting is set to Standard -- Accessible to everyone on the team. If you wish to create a private channel, just change it to Private -- Accessible only to a specific group of people within a team.
  3. Click Add once done.
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How to use Teams for voice and video calls

To make a voice or video call in Teams:

  1. While on any channel team, or chat, click the camera or phone icon to start a voice or video call.
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How to change the Teams display theme

You can also change the display theme for Microsoft Teams, which will alter your overall aesthetic experience of the application. There are three available options: Default, which combines violet and grey color coding; Dark, which replaces the grey with black; and High contrast, which uses strongly contrasting colors to make text easier to read. Here's how:

  1. Click the profile icon right next to the minimize button. Then select
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  1. Click on the desired theme at the top to switch.
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Recording audio/video calls

To record an audio or video call in Teams:

  1. While in the meeting, go to meeting controls and then choose More options > Start recording. Everyone in the meeting will be notified that the recording has begun.
  2. To stop recording, once again go to the meeting controls and then select More options > Stop recording.

While recording audio and video calls in Teams is an option, it is important to note that some states require two-party consent to initiate a recording. This means that all parties involved in the call must agree to being recorded.

(Video) How to Use Microsoft Teams Effectively | Your COMPLETE Guide

Learn more here about which states require two-party consent. Also, read some advice from experts in the field about video conferencing privacy.

How to delete video recordings and messages in Teams

To delete a message in Teams:

  1. Hover over the message. Then select More options > Delete.
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Teams meeting recordings can either be saved in OneDrive or SharePoint. To delete them, you will have to log in to your OneDrive or SharePoint account.

How to leave a group chat in Teams

To leave a group chat in teams, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Chat icon on the left to open all of your chats.
  2. Navigate to the group you want to leave. Then, click More options > Leave.

How to integrate Teams with other apps

To add even more functionality to Teams, you can integrate it with other apps. Here's how:

(Video) Learn How to Use Microsoft Teams - Beginner's Tutorial

  1. Select Apps from the left-hand bar.
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  1. Search for the relevant app, select it and then add it. Apps that you can choose from include Google Analytics, HubSpot, Microsoft Dynamics 365, Salesforce, Trello, Zendesk and more.

How to appear offline or away in Teams

If you wish to appear offline or away in Teams:

  1. Click the profile icon right next to the minimize button.
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  1. Then, click on the current status, and select whether you want to appear away or offline.
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How to turn read receipts off in Teams

To turn read receipts off, follow these steps:

  1. Click the profile icon right next to the minimize button. Then select
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  1. Move over to the Privacy
  2. Then toggle the Read receipts button to off.
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How to collaborate on a whiteboard in Microsoft Teams

During meetings on Microsoft Teams, attendees can collaborate on a whiteboard -- a shared, freeform digital canvas on which meeting participants can write and draw -- much like a traditional whiteboard in a physical conference room. Here's how:

  1. While in a meeting, select the Share
  2. From the Whiteboard section, click Microsoft Whiteboard.
  3. You can ink or type on the canvas that appears. To add text, select the Note or Text
  4. To add ink, select the Pen icon, which can be used to draw, sketch or even type.
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How to add an account to Teams

You can add more than one account to Microsoft Teams. Here's how:

  1. Click the profile icon right next to the minimize button. Then select
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  1. Move over to the Accounts
  2. Under Add account, press
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  1. Follow the on-screen instructions to add the account.

Microsoft Teams privacy and security features

Encrypted video and audio, industry standard protection against cyberattacks, and stringent privacy policies to protect user identity make Microsoft Teams a highly secure platform. This is certified by compliance with more than 90 regulatory and industry standards for data security and user privacy.

(Video) Microsoft Teams Beginner's Guide

Teams runs on the same security framework as Microsoft's 365 cloud infrastructure. The Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection technology scans attachments and files uploaded to Teams to identify malware. The platform employs single sign-on, two-factor authentication and data encryption to protect against unauthorized access. Teams also supports auditing and reporting, legal hold, retention policies, and e-discovery.

Additional tips and tricks

Here are a few more Teams tips and tricks that may come in handy:

  1. If you have used Microsoft Outlook or Microsoft Word at all, most of the controls -- particularly for formatting text -- are identical.
  2. You can mark a message as urgent to ensure the recipient is periodically reminded over the next 20 minutes to respond. Simply click on the exclamation mark (!) > Urgent from within any chat.
  3. You can add your own tabs in any channel. This enables the use of other apps. The plus sign on the right of all channel tabs lets you see a list of apps that you can add.
  4. The "Files" tab enables the quick sharing of files with people on your team. You can upload them to SharePoint for collaboration instead of sharing links or emailing.
  5. The "Blur Background" option for video calls enables your background to be blurred, perfect when you're calling from home and wish to ensure privacy. Just flip it to "on" before making a call. Other background options are also available.

Learn about how to optimize performance in Microsoft Teams with these four tips. Also, learn more about the benefits and challenges of video conferencing.

FAQs

How do you use Microsoft teams step by step? ›

Step 1: Open the Microsoft Teams app. Step 2: Tap on the “Teams” icon at the bottom of the screen, then an icon of “two people and a plus sign” in the top right. You should reach the Manage teams page. Step 3: To create your new team, give it a name, add a description and set the privacy settings.

How do you answer questions on Microsoft teams? ›

In the upper-right hand corner of a message, click the three ellipses to open a dropdown selector with More actions > then Answer with Card.

How do you use Microsoft teams tips and tricks? ›

Top Microsoft Teams Tips and Tricks
  1. Use Keyboard Shortcuts.
  2. Search Through Your Conversations.
  3. Search Using Shortcut Commands.
  4. Send and Filter Messages Using @mention.
  5. Avoid Being Disturbed.
  6. Make Your Chats Searchable.
  7. Get a Better Background.
  8. Use GIFs to Build Cultures.
11 Jul 2022

Is Teams hard to learn? ›

Microsoft Teams isn't hard to learn for end-users. Its UI is fairly straightforward and a little digging around will be enough for most users to figure out how things work. The administrative side of Microsoft Teams is far more complex; it works with Microsoft 365 services and with SharePoint.

How do I practice a Microsoft team meeting? ›

Microsoft Teams features a test call to check your mic, speaker and camera before you join an online class session/meeting. Use the Microsoft Teams desktop software for a test call. The test call is not available via web browser.

What are the features of Teams? ›

Teams architecture
  • A new Microsoft 365 group.
  • A SharePoint Online site and document library to store team files.
  • An Exchange Online shared mailbox and calendar.
  • A OneNote notebook.
  • Ties into other Microsoft 365 and Office 365 apps such as Planner and Power BI.
13 Oct 2022

How do I join a Microsoft Teams meeting? ›

Join a Teams meeting on the web
  1. In your email invite, select Click here to join the meeting. ...
  2. You have three choices: ...
  3. Type your name.
  4. Choose your audio and video settings.
  5. Select Join now.
  6. Depending on meeting settings, you'll get in right away, or go to a lobby where someone in the meeting will admit you.

How do Microsoft Teams meetings work? ›

All you need to join a Teams meeting is a link. Select Click here to join the meeting in your meeting invite to be taken to a page where you can choose to either join on the web or download the desktop app. If you already have the Teams app, the meeting will open there automatically.

How do you master a Microsoft team? ›

10 Top Tips to Master Microsoft Teams
  1. Sync Files to Teams. ...
  2. Use a Custom Background. ...
  3. Try Inline Translation. ...
  4. Experiment with Captions. ...
  5. Record Your Meetings. ...
  6. Try Some Keyboard Shortcuts. ...
  7. Add Context with Intelligent Capture. ...
  8. Integrate Some Third-Party Apps or Bots.
18 Jun 2020

How do you set correct answers in Microsoft forms? ›

Using the Choice question type as an example, add your question and answers. Select + Add option to add more answer options. Select the Correct Answer check mark next to the correct answer or answers. Note: You can select All of the above or None of the above as an option.

What is Q and A in Teams? ›

Question and answer (Q&A) lets you manage questions from attendees as an organizer. Q&A is best for large, structured meetings—like town halls, webinars, all hands, and company trainings—where presenters take questions from attendees and answer them in real time.

Can you have multiple correct answers in Microsoft forms? ›

Allow multiple answers

If you want to allow readers to select multple answers in response to the question, you can enable this within the question settings. From the multiple-choice question, click the Multiple answers button to enable the setting.

What equipment do I need to use Microsoft Teams? ›

Microsoft Teams has several options for taking part in meetings, including voice and/or video chat and instant message (IM). You will require a speaker, headset or headphones in order to hear the other participants. If you wish to take part in video chat you will need a camera or webcam.

What do the symbols mean in Microsoft Teams chat? ›

A green dot represents – Available. A yellow dot represents – Away. A red dot represents – Busy, In a call, In a meeting, Presenting, or Do not disturb.

Can I join a Teams meeting without an account? ›

You can join a Teams meeting anytime, from any device, whether or not you have a Teams account.

How do I test my mic for team meeting? ›

Make a test call

next to your profile picture at the top of Teams and then choose Settings > Devices. Choose Make a test call under Audio devices. In a test call, you'll see how your mic, speaker, and camera are working.

How do you know who is speaking in Teams meeting? ›

When someone is speaking, their tile will be highlighted in a purply-blue and a brighter highlight circumscribes their image. The four large tiles represent the most recent speakers, so you will notice who is in these four tiles change throughout the call.

How would you test Microsoft Teams before an interview? ›

How to prepare for a virtual interview
  1. In preparation for your upcoming virtual Teams interview, download the Teams App to your computer. ...
  2. Test that the Teams App is working. ...
  3. Your recruiting contact will send a Microsoft Teams meeting ID# prior to your interview.

How do I join a Microsoft Teams meeting for beginners? ›

All you need to join a Teams meeting is a link. Select Click here to join the meeting in your meeting invite to be taken to a page where you can choose to either join on the web or download the desktop app. If you already have the Teams app, the meeting will open there automatically.

What is the purpose of Microsoft Teams? ›

Microsoft Teams is the ultimate messaging app for your organization—a workspace for real-time collaboration and communication, meetings, file and app sharing, and even the occasional emoji! All in one place, all in the open, all accessible to everyone.

What is Microsoft Teams used for in education? ›

Microsoft Teams is a digital hub that brings conversations, content, and apps together in one place. It is a platform where teachers can create collaborative classrooms, connect in professional learning communities, and communicate with school staff – all from a single experience in Office 365 Education.

WHAT IS Teams and how do I use it? ›

Microsoft Teams is a collaboration app built for hybrid work so you and your team stay informed, organized, and connected — all in one place. Explore how Teams can help you and your colleagues come together no matter where you are: Chat - Message someone or a group to talk about work, projects, or just for fun.

Can you join a Teams meeting without Teams? ›

You can join a Teams meeting anytime, from any device, whether or not you have a Teams account.

How do you join a Teams meeting without an invite? ›

You can enter this meeting ID in the Teams calendar to instantly join a meeting – no link required. Microsoft states that “all meetings will have a Meeting ID that is automatically assigned to a Microsoft Teams user and added to the meeting invite under the meeting link.

Do you have to have a Microsoft account to use Teams? ›

All you need is a Microsoft account. To get a basic free version of Microsoft Teams: Make sure you have a Microsoft account. If you're using Skype, OneDrive, Outlook.com, or Xbox Live, then you already have an account, but if you don't have one, it's free to create a new Microsoft account.

What are the 4 types of Microsoft Teams? ›

When you create a new Team, you will have four team types to choose from:
  • Class (teacher-led team featuring assignments)
  • Professional Learning Community (PLC) (peer-led educator working group)
  • Staff (leader-led for management, administration, etc.)
  • Other (clubs, study groups, and extracurriculars)

What are the disadvantages of using Microsoft Teams? ›

Here are listed some of the Microsoft Teams disadvantages that we stumbled upon while using the app.
  • Too many similar tools. The biggest stumbling stone for Microsoft Teams is, surprisingly, other Microsoft tools. ...
  • Unnecessary storage consumption. ...
  • Increased security risk. ...
  • Lack of notifications. ...
  • A limited number of channels.
22 Dec 2021

What is the difference between Teams and Teams for work and school? ›

The personal version of Teams has its logo within a white circle, while the work/school version just shows the app's logo.

What are the two main areas of Teams dashboard? ›

Team Dashboard™ gives you two main readouts – a measurement of productivity change over time (examples follow) and a measurement of the exact impact of productivity change on your specific organizational performance indicators (one example follows).

What does the eye mean in Microsoft Teams? ›

Instead of an explicit notification coming back through email, Teams signals that someone has read a message by posting a eye icon (Seen) beside it.

Does Microsoft Teams have chat? ›

Chat is at the center of everything you do in Microsoft Teams. From individual chats with just one other person, to group chats and conversations in channels—chat has you covered.

Do you have to pay for Teams? ›

Is Microsoft Teams really free? Yes! The free version of Teams includes the following: Chat messages and search.

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