Microsoft Teams is a multi featured collaboration tool. You can share and collaborate on files with groups, host conversations, video conference, meet online and chat with anyone.
Teams is part of Office 365 and is available to all Lancaster University staff and students, though it can be used to collaborate with anyone in the world.
Looking for help using Teams? Register for a Teams webinar, view recorded sessions or access the Communication and collaboration with Microsoft Teams online course at any time. The online course includes help with chat, calling, group collaboration, online meetings, webinars, live events, file management and more, and you can access just the topic you need help with, when you need it.
We also recommend joining the Office 365 User Group where you can get updates on the latest features, understand best practice around the University and post your own questions about Teams and other Office 365 apps.
Looking for help joining a meeting or webinar? See Joining online meetings, webinars and other events in Microsoft Teams.
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Frequently asked questions
We recommend installing the app for easy access on Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPad or Android. You can use your devices app store or see the Teams downloads page for more information and links to download.
For more information, see the Communication and collaboration with Microsoft Teams online course.
You do not require admin rights to install Teams on any Windows 10 PC, including ISS supported Windows 10 PCs.
OneDrive is a service for storing your files. Files are owned by individuals, though others can be invited to folders as collaborators if desired and files can be shared using links. As files are owned by individuals, your files are deleted when you leave the university.
Teams is designed for wider collaboration beyond just files, including on-going conversations, collaborating on planning, linking to other content such as web content and holding online meetings. It allows groups to be formed across departmental boundaries to collaborate. Files stored in Teams aren't owned by any single user, but can be updated, discussed and distributed by all members of the Team.
Group / Team filestore & wider feature set
Associated with individual IT accounts – deleted when you leave
Not associated with individual IT accounts – not deleted when you leave
Can share your files with others
Can collaborate on Team files with the Team
Can share Team files widely with the university
Security, methods of access and features are the same across both
Quota level 2TB per person for OneDrive, 250TB per Teams team
For more information about OneDrive, see Microsoft OneDrive help and training.
For more information about using files in Teams, see the Communication and collaboration with Microsoft Teams online course.
Yes, you can create links to files that you have stored in teams which can be shared with the entire university if you wish. For more information about how to do this, see the 'Sharing beyond the team' tab of the Files page of the Communication and Collaboration with Microsoft Teams online course.
You can store Ordinary, Confidential, Restricted and Personal information in Teams, including special category personal information.
If storing Restricted and Personal information then you must use a private team and ensure the Team membership is appropriate for the data being shared.
When sharing personal data externally a data sharing agreement or contract with GDPR clauses should typically be in place (unless we have consent of the individuals). These should be in place for any data sharing arrangements that are already set up, but you are advised to check it is the case. For any new arrangements, the Information Governance Team can be contacted for advice.
For help using files features in Teams, see the Communication and collaboration with Microsoft Teams online course.
Note that you are responsible for the security of data that you store, share and access in cloud services such as Teams, and should take particular care when working with confidential, restricted and personal data.
See Security of data and information for further information on securely storing, sharing and transferring information.
Certain meeting rooms are set up for Teams use by default. To view a list of rooms, go to the Web room booking system and in the Room Requirements filter on the right select fac/Teams/Skype. This will give you a filtered view of just the rooms which are set up ready for Teams use.
In these specific rooms, you should log in to the PC in the room (rather than using your own laptop), go to Teams and you will find it automatically connects to the in-room webcam and microphone, ready for you to use.
For more help setting up meetings and webinars, see the Communication and collaboration with Microsoft Teams online course.
No, you don't need to use the VPN to access any Office 365 service.
In fact it is recommended that you are not connected to the VPN while conducting online meetings and video conferences as it may cause degraded performance.
Using a headset or headphones for making and receiving calls is recommended. Ensure this is set up prior to attempting a call. If you don't have one, you can request a headset.
You may also need a webcam if you are using a desktop PC (laptops and tablets will have these built in). If you don't have one, you can request a webcam.
After 2 years a team will be automatically deleted if it has not been actively used during that period.
To view expiry information for your team, follow the instructions below:
- From the Teams list/grid, or from within your Team, click the three dots next to your Team name
- Select Manage Team
- Click Settings
- Scroll to the bottom and click Team expiration to expand this box
The date you see here will be 2 years from the date the team was originally created.
When a team is about to expire, team owner(s) will receive reminder emails 30, 15 and 1 day prior to expiry. It's advisable to use the Renew now button when there reminders appear, as this will immediately extend the date by 2 years and prevent future reminders until then. However if the team owner(s) fail to do this, the expiry mechanism checks whether there has been any team activity in the last 2 years, and if there has, the team is automatically renewed.
If the team owner(s) don't manually renew the team, and the expiry mechanism determines that there has been no team activity in the last 2 years, the team and all its contents are permanently deleted.
If you wish, you can click the Renew now button at any point, and the expiry date will be manually extended two years into the future.
If the Team owners have all left the University, the same process will occur, except that nobody will receive the notifications. For this reason, it is recommended that each Team has multiple owners.
Please see guidance from Strategic Planning and Governance regarding records management.
The Teams call in functionality is available on specific licences which apply only to the Vice Chancellors Office and Strategic Planning and Governance at the present time. This functionality is not widely available but you may see a phone number option when joining a meeting set up by one of these areas. Call in is only to be used as a backup/last resort method of joining meetings - it is recommended all meeting attendees join via the Microsoft Teams app if they are able (even on a phone).
If you are working in one of these areas and have the functionality available on your account, Teams meetings you create using Outlook will automatically have a phone number in the meeting invite. You do not need to do anything further to enable this. In meeting invites, we recommend including text similar to the below. You can copy and paste this into your email if needed.
When joining this meeting, we recommend that you use the Microsoft Teams app. If you are a member of the University, you should ensure you are signed in with your Lancaster IT account to avoid issues joining the meeting. Please see the further guidance on Joining Teams meetings if you need any help with any of these methods. To allow the meeting to run as effectively as possible, it is requested that joining the meeting via the listed phone number is only to be used as a backup if you can’t join using recommended methods.
If you are ever asked for a PIN when joining by phone and you don't know it, you can reset it online on your Office 365 settings page.