Microsoft Teams General Information


Microsoft Teams is an online collaboration workspace that brings together instant messaging, threaded conversations, meetings, audio or video calls, desktop and file sharing, and more. It works seamlessly with Office 365 apps like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneDrive, SharePoint, and OneNote.

What Can I Do with Teams?

  • Eliminate email chains: Keep group conversations organized in a threaded chat.
  • Simplify searching: Chat threads are maintained chronologically, making it easy to search past conversations. Files stored in Teams and content in OneNote notebooks are also searchable.
  • Be spontaneous: Start a one-on-one chat, then invite others and add video, voice, and file sharing as needed.  
  • Collaborate more efficiently: Multiple people can edit the same document at the same time.  
  • Work or study from anywhere: Meet and collaborate from multiple locations on any device.  
  • Organize your projects: Organize your team’s work, files, and key resources using channels within your Team.



Teams and Channels

A team is an online workspace shared by a group of people. All Pitt students, faculty, and staff can create four different types of teams. The "other" team type is recommended in most situations, unless you have a more specific need. Each teams is made up of channels, which allow team members to discuss specific topics or projects. Note that a guest does not need to be added to a Team to be included in a meeting.


You can chat one-on-one with others or start a group chat. You can share your screen during a chat, and you can also hide or pin chats.


Teams meetings can include audio, video, chat, and desktop sharing. You can schedule a meeting right from Teams or from within Outlook. Meetings can include people inside or outside Pitt, and you can record meetings to review later (be sure to obtain consent from all parties prior to recording).

Live Events

Live Events are great when you'd like to stream an event to a large online audience. Live Events can accommodate up to10,000 participants. They work well for keynote speeches and large events with multiple cameras or microphones. Meetings are a better choice for events that require real-time participant interaction, because Live Events have an audio/video delay of up to 30 seconds.


It's easy to share files and work on many types of Microsoft Office files right within Teams. Files are stored in Teams using Microsoft OneDrive, so you can access them anywhere, anytime. No more hunting for the files on which your team was collaborating.


Using @mentions is a great way to get someone's attention. Just type @ before their name, and they'll receive a notification that allows them to jump directly to the point where they were mentioned. You can use @team or @channel to notify everyone on a team or channel. When someone @mentions you, you'll be notified in your activity feed.


Visit the Teams Training Resources page to learn how to use Teams to chat, call, collaborate, and work with your team.

Quick Help Resources


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