Microsoft Teams FAQs

What is Microsoft Teams?

Microsoft Teams is a virtual collaborative workspace that allows you to connect to colleagues online. You can use this tool to meet, call and chat.


Teams and channels

What is the difference between teams and channels in Microsoft Team?

A team in Microsoft Teams is a group of people, content and tools that work collaboratively to achieve a goal or business outcome. Each team consists of channels, which is where most of the work actually gets done. For example if you were creating a folder structure, your department would be the team and the divisions within that department (i.e. Finance, HR,IT, etc.) would be the various channels.

This video provides best practices on creating teams and channels.


How can I manage my team effectively?

As a team owner you can manage members, channels and settings. View these detailed steps to add and remove members, edit channels and settings.


Can I reorder channels listed in my team?

You can reorder your list of channels by clicking More options  > Pin. Reorder by dragging the teams to your preferred layout.


Can I change my team's icon?

Yes, you can upload an image as your team icon.


How do I use a channel to communicate?

You can start a new conversation, respond to incoming chats and even edit a file all in a team channel.


How do I notify the whole group and make an announcement?

When you need to alert a team or channel about something you're posting using @name. You can also make an announcement using the Teams compose toolbar.


Can I restore a deleted channel?

Click More next to the team where the channel was created in > Manage Teams. Click the Channels tab and under the Deleted list select the Restore button next to the applicable channel. Confirm you would like to Restore the channel. The channel will appear 24 hours later.


Can I restore a team I deleted?

You will need to log a call with the IT Helpdesk to restore a deleted team.


Are all teams public?

Microsoft Teams allows you to create public and private teams. At UCT,  it is recommended that you only create private teams for security and privacy reasons.


Can guests be added to private channels?

A private channel can be created within a team. This means that only the team owners and members of that private channel will be able to view its content. A guest can be added to a private channel as long as they are already a member of the team in which the channel sits.


How do I leave a team?

Go the team you would like to leave and click More options  > Leave the team.


Can I add tabs to a Team?

Yes, you can add additional tabs by clicking the + next to the default post and file tabs.


How do I search for content in channels?

Go to the channel where you would like to search for content and press CTRL F on your keyboard. /find <your channel name> will appear in the Search box at the top the Teams window. Enter search criteria and press Enter. Search results will appear in the left column of the window.

You can also search directly in the Teams Search box. Enter /find, the name of a channel or chat as well as the search criteria. Press Enter. Please note that this search option does not allow you to search chat messages/posts in a General channel.


Chat in Teams

How do I use the chat functionality in Teams?

Teams allow you to either chat to one individual, a group or a team that you’re a part of.


How do I make sure that an individual I want to send information to receives a notification?

You can either send a message to a group or an individual by adding an @ to the front of their name. A list of names that match your criteria will appear and adapt as you continue typing.


How do I go from chatting to someone to video calling them?

While conversing with a colleague using the chat functionality, you find it may be better to call them instead. Simply click either the Video call or Audio call buttons at the top of the chat window to make a call.

Can I change my notification settings?

By default, you receive a number of notifications in Teams to alert you that someone has contacted you in one way or another. You can manage your notifications by following these instructions.


How do I manage my activity feed?

Ensure you keep track of who has contacted you as well as activities taking place in channels and teams that you're apart of via the activity feed.


How do I search for content in Teams?

You can search for messages, teams and channels as well as their content via the command box in Teams, or by pressing Ctrl F (Windows) or Cmd F (macOS) to search content. 


Meeting recordings

Who can view my meeting recordings?

You can either set permissions for everyone at UCT to view a meeting recording or give access to specific groups or people. View these examples on how to do it for your specific team.


How are groups defined in Microsoft Stream?

Office 365 groups are used in Microsoft Stream. These groups can then be used in all Office applications including email and calendar. If you already have an Office 365 group in place, you can use it in Microsoft Stream.

Each group is allocated its own video portal that lists new and trending content related to the group.


What is the difference between a public or private group?
  • Public groups are accessible to everyone at UCT. This means that anyone at UCT can join the group without having to get permission from the group owner. All videos and channels will then be visible to those who are part of this group.
  • Private groups are limited to only those who are added by the group owner. Only group members will be able to view content in this group.  


How is access managed in a group?

Owners have full control of the group, its channels and videos. They have the right to edit the group’s settings, create and delete channels and delete the group if necessary.

Members rights are set by whether they are contributors or only viewers. Contributors have most of the same rights as an owner. If the Allow all members to contribute setting is off, they can only view the group’s videos.

Follow these instructions to set up a group in Microsoft Stream.


How can channels be used to organise my videos?

Channels are ideal for sorting your videos according to specific topics, although they don’t have permissions settings. You can, however, indicate whether videos stored in channels can be accessible to everyone at UCT, or only specific people.

Company-wide channels are open to all UCT staff and students who can then add and remove videos. The Allow everyone in your company to view this video setting must be selected.

Group channels help with ensuring that only specific people have access to your information. Group channels use the actual group’s settings. Additionally, group members can manage videos too in Microsoft Stream. See how best you can organise your videos according to groups and channels.


Who can upload videos to a channel or group?

If the video is set to company-wide, anyone at UCT can upload it to a group or channel. Alternatively, a recording owner can upload videos to groups and channels they’re a part of.


How do I set video permissions?

As a recording owner, you can set who can view, edit, and own a video. You can also set permissions for what groups and channels it can be accessed in.


Microsoft Stream

I am new to Microsoft Stream. How do I use it?

View this handy guide to getting started with Microsoft Stream.


How do I upload videos to Microsoft Stream?

Meeting recordings are automatically uploaded to Microsoft Stream, but you can also upload videos that would benefit the organisation or specific groups. Follow these step-by-step instructions to upload your video from any page, a videos page, or directly to a group or channel.

You can also edit metadata making it easier for individuals to find your video when doing a search. Through this feature you can also set the language, thumbnails, permissions, who it can be shared and more.


How can I help viewers easily find specific presenters in a recording?

Depending on settings, Microsoft Stream allows you to use the people detection setting to help viewers quickly find specific speakers in a video timeline.

Alternatively, use the deep search feature to find a specific word or phrase in a video or transcript.


How can I see what channels are open at UCT?

Go to Microsoft Stream and click Channels. Either scroll the list of provided channels or search for one that you’re interested in. You can then follow your selected channels.

Alternatively, use the general search functionality to look for videos, people or groups. You can also see what information is trending at UCT.


Can I invite UCT staff and students to use Microsoft Stream?

Yes, you can. Microsoft Stream is only accessible to UCT staff and students, and not external parties. Go to Microsoft Stream and click Invite to search for individuals you would like to add.


How do I share videos?

You can share a link to video saved in Microsoft Stream either via email or get a direct link. You can even share a video from a specific time, allowing viewers to only watch a specific section instead of having to scroll through the whole video.


Guest access

Can I join team as a guest?

Individuals of external organisations can become a team member by the team owner inviting them to the team.


Can I create a team that includes individuals from UCT as well as external parties?

Yes you can, by following these instructions.


Can I invite guests to a Teams online meeting?

Yes, you can schedule a meeting as normal and include guests in the meeting request. You and your guest can then join the meeting either via the Microsoft Teams client if they have it installed or via the web.


How can I share information with external parties?

Email remains the most popular way of sharing documentation, but you can use Microsoft Teams too.


Collaborate in Teams?

Can I search for people or content in Teams?

Yes, you can search for people, message or files by using the command box in the top bar of Teams. Use the More filters option to refine what you’re looking for. Follow these instructions to search for messages or people.


How do I share a file in Teams?

At the bottom of any channel conversation bar, you can click the Attach button (paperclip) to share a file. It will appear in the post or chat as well as in the Files tab.


Are emojis and stickers enabled in Teams?

Yes, you have access to a wide range of emojis and stickers that you can find in the chat, post or message toolbar. You can even add GIFs to personalise your message, but remember to use with caution.


How do I record my screen?
  1. Go to Microsoft Stream and log on with your UCT staff/ and password.
  2. Click the Create tab > Record screen.
  3. In the Record your screen pop-up, click the Start recording button.
  4. In the Share your screen pop-up, you can then select what you would like to record:
    • Your entire screen
    • Application window: You can select an application that you have open.
    • A web browser tab: Record browser tabs in either Edge or Google Chrome



Get help

What can I do if I get stuck in Teams?

Simply click Help in the bottom left corner of your Teams screen and Topics. Browse the range of topics to help you address your problem or use the Training option to watch bite-size videos on how to perform a task in Teams.