Microsoft Teams Tools & Features

Each Microsoft Team has a set of features and tools to make collaboration and communication more efficient and accessible. All Microsoft Teams have access to the following features:


The Activity button on the navigation bar in Microsoft Teams is where team members keep track of and view all mentions, replies or notifications from the channels. Follow the steps below to access your channel activity:  

  1. Log in to the Office 365 Portal
  2. Select the Teams icon from your portal. 
  3. Select Activity from the Microsoft Teams navigation bar. This will display the Feed (default view) with mentions, replies and notifications.  

  4. Choose the Feed activity you want displayed using the Filter icon. Click on the elipses (...) to see a list of the filter types.
    Click on the elipses to see the filter types
    Choose the type of filter you would like to use on your activity feed.
  5. Click the down arrow next to Feed and select My Activity to view only your sent messages, the channels they're in, and when you sent them.


The Chat button on the navigation bar in Microsoft Teams is for private one-on-one or small group conversations. This is a great place to communicate information that doesn't need to be shared with the entire team. Follow the steps below to start a chat: 

  1. Select Chat from the Microsoft Teams navigation bar.
    Click on the chat button to begin a private chat.
  2. Click pencil icon to start a new chat. 
    Click the pencil icon to start a new chat.
  3. In the chat window, start typing the member name or group you wish to chat with.
    chat window
  4. Type your message at the bottom of the chat window. 
  5. Click paper airplane icon to send the message.
    Enter the text to be displayed in chat and select the paper plane to send.
  6. Continue adding people in the "To" section to add additional members to the conversation. 

Teams Channels

The Teams button on the navigation bar displays channels or chat rooms you are a member of. Each Microsoft Teams can have multiple channels that can be built around projects, upcoming events or group oriented tasks by faculty/staff. Group members can have conversations, hold meetings, co-author documents and share files here. Follow the steps below to set up a channel for your Microsoft Teams:

  1. Select Teams from the left navigation bar and click on the team you wish to view.
  2. A "General" channel is automatically created as part of the default in Microsoft Teams. 
    The General channel is created by default for "general" conversation and file sharing.
  3. Click ellipses (...) and select Add channel to create a new channel for your Microsoft Teams. 
  4. Each Microsoft Teams channel has two headings or tabs, by default, across the top for organizing documents and information.   
    The general channel by default has two tabs.
    1. Posts tab is used for all members to have a focused conversation with the entire team.   
      1. To create a new conversation click the New Conversation button at the bottom of the tab.
        new conversation button

      2. To view the format options click  (format icon) to expand the composition box. Then click the paper airplane to post the new conversation thread. 
        Begin your focused conversation in the text box at the bottom of the team.                                                                            

      3. To create an announcement, click on the drop down arrow next to New conversation in the composition box. 

        Sample announcement.

      4. To create an instant virtual meeting, click the camera icon under the chat box to bring your entire team together using video or audio. 
        Click on the video camera to begin a live virtual meeting.


  • Files tab allows, you to create new Microsoft Office documents, upload files from your computer, share a file link, add files from a cloud storage provider to share and collaborate with your Microsoft Teams. You can also access SharePoint files from this tab. This will make it easier for your members to access all documents from one central location. 
    Overview of the Files tab in teams.  
  • Use the + symbol to add additional interactive applications (apps) to the channel.  
    Add a tab to your team.


The Meetings button on the navigation bar in Microsoft Teams is a built in meeting scheduler. The meeting scheduler is in sync with your Outlook calendar and utilizes the scheduling assistant to suggest meeting times.  Follow the steps below to set up a meeting for your Microsoft Teams:

  1. Select Calendar from the left navigation bar.
    calendar tile
  2. Click the New meeting button to begin. 
    Click New Meeting to schedule a meeting.
  3. Give your meeting a title and select a channel to meet in or invite individual attendees. 
  4. Click Scheduling assistant to find a suitable time that best fits everyone's schedule. 
    Click the scheduling assistant tab to find a common meeting time.
  5. Select a channel to meet in by clicking on the chevron arrow to expand the drop down menu. 
    Click the drop down to select which channel you want to create the meeting in.
  6. Click Schedule button to finish setting up the meeting.
  7. A meeting reminder will be added to your calendar and notification will be sent to each participant. If your meeting will be held in a channel, a notice will placed in the channel conversation panel to notify you team that a meeting has been scheduled.
  8. Click Join to launch the meeting. 
  9. Click the Join button to join the virtual meeting.

    Please Note: Explore Meetings & Calls in Microsoft Teams to get additional tips for managing online meetings in Microsoft Teams


The Files button on the navigation bar in displays all of your important files. Files are a listed by categories: Recent, Microsoft Teams, Downloads and Cloud Storage. Follow the steps below to view your files:

  1. Click the ellipses (...) button on the navigation bar
  2. Select Files.  Here you can view Recent files, files shared in Microsoft Teams or access files stored on a Cloud storage provider. 
    • Recent displays every Office 365 document you viewed recently. 

      1. Another way to view recent files is to type /files into the command box at the top of Microsoft Teams. For additional ways to use command prompts go to Use commands in Teams.
        Use the /files in the search box to use commands in Teams.

    • Microsoft Teams displays all documents that have been created or edited in a Microsoft Teams channel.  
    • Cloud storage displays cloud storage accounts you have connected to Microsoft Teams. 
      cloud storage page


Please Note: Refer to Microsoft Teams Help Center for additional resources.

To request help related to this article, please see our Service Catalog.


Article ID: 90401
Thu 10/24/19 3:16 PM
Wed 2/10/21 3:42 PM