Connecticut State Colleges & Universities
IT Support Center

Microsoft Teams and Groups FAQ

Before creating or using a Microsoft Team or Group, be sure to read the following:
Office365 Standards

How do I get up and running using Microsoft Teams? View the specific topics on the Microsoft Team's help website or view video tutorials on the Microsoft Team's video training.


When creating teams/groups starting August 9th, 2021, you will be prompted to select a sensitivity label. Initially, there is only one label that you can select "Private Only" which disables the ability to create public sites. For more information, refer to this FAQ item about privacy/sensitivity.



  • How do I decide which to create: a Microsoft Team or a Group?
  • So you know you need collaboration but not sure where to start. You've heard about both Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Groups (formerly named O365 Groups). You may have heard that a Microsoft Team contains a group. So what do you create and how do you create one?

    * If you haven't created your group yet, we suggest creating a Microsoft Team and using the Microsoft Teams app for collaboration. Creating a Microsoft Team has you fully using the Microsoft Teams app for all your collaboration. Chatting, conversations, file sharing all occur within the Microsoft Team app. No more cluttering up your email inbox.

    * However, if you already have a Microsoft Group and now want to add the collaboration of a Microsoft Team, you can create a Microsoft Team from your Group. Just launch the Teams app, click Teams in the left menu then "Join or create a Team" at the bottom. Refer to our FAQ item for converting a Microsoft Group to a Microsoft Team.

    Read this article to find out more about Microsoft Groups vs. Teams.

    Ready to create a Microsoft Team!? Read our FAQ article on creating a Team.

  •  How do I convert a Microsoft Group to a Microsoft Team aka 'teamify'?
  • If you already are an owner of a Microsoft Group and now want a Microsoft Team for collaboration with group members, you can create a Microsoft Team from a Microsoft Group. Just launch the Teams app and when you create a Microsoft Team, it will ask you if you want to create one from a group you already own. You will need to manually move items from the areas in your Microsoft Group that are not accessible from inside the Teams app, so please continue reading:

    • If you already have a OneNote notebook in your group, in order to see it from your Team, you need to add a tab in order to access it. From one of the Team's channels, click the Add button to add a tab:

      Then select OneNote from the list and locate your group's OneNote notebook in the list. By default, they are named <Group's name> Notebook. Select the name and click Save. You will then have a tab to access your OneNote notebook.

    • You will have to manually move content from the original group's document library to one of your team's channels in order to access it from your new Microsoft Team. Microsoft Teams organizes topics by channels. NOTE: Content not in a channel will not be accessible from inside the Team. By default, a Team creates the General channel, but you can create other channels if you wish. To move files from the Microsoft Group shared document folder to a Team's channel, open in SharePoint:

      Once in SharePoint, you'll see you are in your General channel's document library. Simply click Documents to see any files that are in the Microsoft Group that are not visible from inside your team:

      Then move folders/files you want to be accessible from inside your Team to a channel's folder (for example General).

      Verify you can now access the folders/files by going back to the Team app and look in a channel's files section. You'll see the files are now accessible from within Teams.

      NOTE: Do not use SharePoint to modify folders in a Microsoft Team. If you edit/remove a channel's folder, it makes it inaccessible in your Team.

    • Before you converted your Microsoft Group to a Microsoft Team, you used an email address to communicate with members. Members may also have been subscribed to the Group and have those emails also go to their inboxes. Now that it is a Microsoft Team, collaboration should be occurring inside Microsoft Teams and members no longer have to clutter up inboxes with messages from the group, instead collaboration should be occurring from inside the Microsoft Teams app.

      So what happens with that email that is associated with the group (<group name> It still goes to the group mailbox but it is not accessible from inside the Teams app (by design) so that collaboration occurs inside Microsoft Teams instead of via email.

      However, if you need to have members view the email that is sent to that address from inside Teams (say you publish that address somewhere and non-members send email to it), this workaround may bridge the gap: You will need to send that email to a Team's channel. First, from the O365 portal, launch the Outlook app and scroll down to Groups - Owner. Then enable the setting to auto-subscribe new members so they receive group conversations in their inbox:

      NOTE: If it wasn't already enabled, current members may not be following/subscribed to the group, but new members will be. Members can choose to follow/subscribe to groups so that any emails sent to the group mailbox are also sent to their inboxes. They can also unfollow/unsubscribe from them as well. Just because you have the setting to "auto-subscribe" new members, doesn't mean they can't unsubscribe/unfollow.

      Then, inside Teams, right click the channel and select Get email address:

      and copy the channel's email address. Then, right click the Team's name and select Add member and add the Team's channel (paste just the email address portion, not the name part) to be a member of the Team as a guest. Then, when an email is sent to the group's email address, it will also go to channel.  Remember to go back to your group and deselect the "Subscribe new members" option if you don't want to auto-subscribe new members.
  •  How do I create a Microsoft Team?
  • BEFORE YOU CREATE A TEAM: Know that you cannot merge two Microsoft Teams together, so make sure before you create a new Microsoft Team that there already isn't one for the same purpose with the same members you intend to invite. For example: If there already is a Microsoft Team named "GW-XYZ" and you attempt to create another Microsoft Team named "GW-XYZ", it will simply create a "GW-XYZ-876" for the new one but it will still use the display name "GW-XYZ", so you won't know there already was one that existed. Therefore, ask colleagues if a team already exists for your group before creating a new Microsoft Team.

    Make sure you are properly naming all Microsoft Teams according to the Naming Standard. You will need to be logged into Service-Now in order to access the KB article. Teams that are not compliant may be deleted/hidden.

    There is lots of info in our FAQ article "How to use a Microsoft Team" that is relevant for using your Microsoft Team once you create it - so make sure you refer to that as well.

    IT departments have a separate process to create "Managed Teams" for college departments, work with your college IT department for college department teams.

    Here's how to create a team:

    Once you have the Microsoft Teams app installed and you have logged into it, click on Teams in the left panel, then "Join or create a team", then select "Create a team":


    If you'd like to use a particular team type select it, otherwise, choose "Other". Each team type  has slightly different permissions and OneNote notebook types (a Class Notebook for type Class or a Staff Notebook for type Staff).


    You will be asked for Team Name, Description, Sensitivity/Privacy as well as being giving an option to use another team as a template or "teamify" a Microsoft Group:

    Team name: Please make sure you refer to proper naming standards (which is always a click away when creating your team by clicking the "See your organization's guidelines" link). You will need to be logged into Service-Now in order to access the KB article. Examples of teams using proper naming standards are: (TX-RoboticsClub, AS-Biology101Fall2019).

    Description: Also give your team a proper description. NOTE: If you select any other team type but "Other" you will not be able to edit the description once created - except in the Mobile App apparently, so if you want to edit the description later, at this point you can only do it from the Teams Mobile app.

    Sensitivity/Privacy: When setting the sensitivity and privacy, you may only have one option available. More information is here.

    "Teamify" a Group: If you already have a Microsoft Group and are "teamifying" it, select "Create a team using a group set up by you or CSCU". Read this FAQ article about converting a Microsoft Group to a Microsoft Team. The Team name will come from the Microsoft Group.

    Use another team as template: If you have another team you want to copy, select "Create a team using an existing team as a template", then on the next screen you can select what parts you want to copy to the new team.

    Adding members (but you can and should wait to add others until your team is done)

    At this point, you don't have to add any members initially if you want to customize the Team before adding other members. But if you want to add members at this time you can. When you add members, they will receive an email letting them know you have added them to your Team. To add System Office/CCC users, just type their name. For anyone else, you will need to add them by their email address. Remember to always add CSCU University members by their CSCU email address and not a personal (yahoo/gmail) address. Refer to this FAQ about external guests.

    Also, we recommend making at least one other member an owner of your Team so there are at least 2 owners for your Team. You can do this by toggling the member from "member" to "owner". We do not recommend having more than a very few owners of a team.


    When you are done adding members, click close.


    If you want to be notified about various things happening in Teams, make sure you enable Team notifications (check out the FAQ article on How to use Teams for how to setup notifications). You may want to let members know they can setup channel notifications so they are alerted when there is activity:


    We recommend looking at your Team's settings (Manage Team - Settings) and configuring them from the start before members start using your team. We highly recommend you review Member permissions and Guest permissions and suggest starting by disabling these member permissions:

    That's it! Your Team has been created.

  •  What are the limitations in Microsoft Teams?
  • Refer to this Microsoft link for any limitions (number of members, teams, channels, meetings, etc) you could run into when using Microsoft Teams.

  •  What do I have to know about group expiration/renewal/deletion?
  • If you have a Microsoft Team/Group that appears to have been removed, please be aware of the following:

    1) An owner could have deleted the team/group.

    2) We perform cleanup of teams/groups that do not comply with policies/standards/usage (i.e. volume, activity, naming policies). This consists of the following that could occur at any time:

    • hiding non-compilant groups/teams from the address book
    • identifying non-compilant groups/teams that will be deleted

    3) The team/group could have expired and was deleted based on an activity-based expiration policy.

    Owners of groups/teams with no activity for 6 months will be notified that it is due to expire and needs to be renewed. If not renewed (either by activity occurring or an owner manually renewing it), the group/team will be deleted. Owners can still restore a deleted group up to 30 days after it has been deleted. 30 days after it has been deleted, it is permanently deleted and cannot be recovered by anyone.

    If you do not need a group/team, nothing needs to be done. However, if something is needed from the group/team and it has been less than 30 days since it was deleted, an owner can restore the team/group by using the link in the email that was sent to all owners. Make sure the list of owners is kept up-to-date so those notifications go to the appropriate people.

    Owners of Micrsoft Teams will see renewal notifications in their team activity feed and an icon will display next to the team name indicating it is due to expire.

    You can always go to Manage Team - Settings to see exactly when your team will expire if no new activity auto-renews it. 

    Owners of Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Groups will receive reminder emails 30, 15 and 1 day before the expiration date which will include a link to renew or delete the team/group if the it is not needed any longer. You will also receive a final email a day after it has been deleted with a link to restore it if needed.

    NOTE: Activity-based expiration also applies to Microsoft Teams that are archived.

  •  What are private channels in a Team?
  • Private channels are just that - private channels that the owner of the private channel can specify which members of the team are members of the private channel. If a team member is not a  member of the private channel, they won't see the channel listed or be able to interact with the channel.

    IMPORTANT: As an owner of a team, you may want to disable the ability for members to create private channels in your team at all. The setting is under Manage Team - Settings - Member Permissions. Otherwise, a member can create a private channel that you won't see if you aren't added as a member.

    Owners of a team can view all channels including private channels by going to Manage Team - Channels. However, if a team owner is not a member of a private channel, they won't be able to see the content of the private channel, but would still be able to see it listed and can delete it.

    Start with this article from Microsoft about Private channels which were introduced in 2018 to see what private channels are all about.

  •  How do I use the chat feature in the Teams app?
  • There are different types of conversations in Microsoft Teams. There are channel conversations that occur inside a Microsoft Team and there are private chats (either 1:1 or group chats). You can use the Microsoft Teams app to participate in 1:1 chat or group chats without ever being inside a team if you wish. Here's some more information:

    Channel conversations (in a Team channel) can be seen by all members of the team. However, in private 1:1 chats or group chats using the Chat icon in the left menu, only the people in the chat can see your messages. How to start a chat in Teams

    To start a private 1:1 chat - click the New Chat icon and type in the name of the person you wish to chat with:

    NOTE: If the person you wish to chat with is NOT a CCC/System Office user, they may still show up when you search for them. This means they may already be a guest in our tenant or have an established connection.

    You can chat with:

    • System Office and CCC faculty/staff/students (i.e. accounts in our Microsoft tenant).
    • CSU or CharterOak users****
    • other external guests (i.e. Yahoo/Gmail/UCONN, etc) who are members of a Team that you are also a member of. NOTE: Their Microsoft Team environment needs to be setup to allow external guest access and their account needs to be setup to use Teams (vs. Skype for Business).

    ****CSU/Charter Oak users are external to our Microsoft tenant (the CCC and System Office) and have different features than other external guests (i.e. Yahoo/Gmail/UCONN, etc.) due to established connections we have with their Microsoft tenants:

    • When searching for a CSU/CharterOak user in Microsoft Teams, always enter their full email address (don't enter their last name or username only), you may see 2 results returned. One would be a guest account in our tenant and the other would be their account in their tenant.
    • If you see an entry with the word External in a box (see example below) and no Chat, Files, Activity tabs after it; you cannot group chat with that account but they do not have to switch from their tenant to see the chats. This is easier for them but has less features as you can't group chat with this account and others at the same time. The benefit is that you do not have to wait for them to get an email notification that you are trying to reach them.
    • If you see an entry with (Guest) followed by Chat, Files and Activity tabs, it is an external guest account in our tenant. You can group chat with this user, but they might not see your chat until they receive an email that you are trying to reach them. They will have to switch tenants to our Microsoft tenant to chat with you. They will have these accounts if they are members of Teams in our tenant. The benefit is that they would be able to see any Teams in our tenant they are a member of after they switch tenants.

    You cannot use chat to chat with someone's personal email address (i.e. @gmail, @yahoo, etc.) who isn't already a member of a Team that you are a member of. To see if you can chat with them, enter their email address into the chat field. You will see the following error if you cannot chat with them:

    When creating a chat (with users in our tenant), if you want to add more people to your chat, simply type their names into the To: field:

    Once you have a group chat of 2 or more people (not including yourself), you can rename the group chat if you wish. Note that the group chat is renamed for all members of the group chat, not just for you:

    For group chats (chats with 3 or more people), you can also add more people to the chat at any time using the "add people" button on the side. As you see you have options as to what the new people added to your group chat have access to in regards to the chat history:

    Then chat away at the bottom.

    There are many icons below the chat line, check them out - the first one (the A with the pencil) allows you to use full formatting in your chat:

    NOTE: In addition to chatting with the person, you can also do a video call, a voice-only call, share your screen with them, add other users or make the chat a pop out window:

    NOTE: Sharing your screen is not available if you are using your phone or from a browser:

    To easily find contacts you frequently chat with, you can organize them in Chat - Contacts:

    Here's a few video tutorials on how to chat and make calls using Teams. 

    Here's additonal information on using chat in Microsoft Teams.

  •  How do I use meetings or calls in Microsoft Teams?
  • TIP for organizers of meetings not in a Team channel: Watch this video to stop attendees from muting/removing other participants. Refer to this as well for more info on meeting roles.

    TIP for recording meetings: Refer to this Microsoft link for all you need to know about recording Team meetings.

    Meeting recordings are now being stored in OneDrive/SharePoint in the Recordings folder. Use this link to help with playing and sharing Team meeting recordings. NOTE: That is just the first phase of Micrsoft's migration to the new Stream product. If you want to learn about Microsoft's migration from Classic Streams (what it currently is) to the new Stream coming in 2021, refer to this link as to what to expect going forward.

    How to create a meeting in Teams:

    1. Inside the Teams client, click on Calendar on the left-hand side menu.

    2. In the calendar on the right-hand side, click on the block for the time you want to meet. The new meeting window will appear. In this example, it will be creating a meeting for Monday at 9 AM.

    3. Add a title, attendees (both required and/or optional), and select the start and end time of the meeting. NOTE - You can add attendees who are not a member of the Team involved in the meeting.

    4. If you want to schedule a recurring meeting use the drop-down menu to select the correct recurrence.

    5. If the meeting is associated with an existing MS Team (as opposed to a personal meeting), click on the Add channel field and select the correct channel from your list of Teams. You'll need to click on the Team to view the channels. If you are unsure of the channel, it is most likely the General channel.

    6. Fill out the meeting details in the Details box. If your accounnt has been enabled to use dial-in numbers, it will appear in the meeting details after the meeting is finished being created and is saved. You will see them in the invite.

    7. Click Save in the upper right-hand corner to save your meeting. The selected attendees will be sent an email invite.

    8. After you create a meeting, we suggest you go back to the meeting and modify meeting options. See HOT TIP above on how to stop attendees from muting/removing other participants.

    The locations for steps 3 through 7 are noted in the image below.

    New feature: Webinars! Meetings with user registration

    New starting June 2021 - Teams has added webinar capabilities to team meetings.

    How to schedule a meeting on behalf of another user

    This article contains step-by-step instructions for how to schedule a meeting on behalf of another user.

    How to join a meeting

    Dial-in numbers are now available if you schedule your meetings using Teams. Attendees can either join using Microsoft Teams (top link in the emailed invite) or use the dial-in numbers listed and then enter the conference ID included:


    During the meeting, meeting organizers will see the call-in users that are calling in using phones and will then need to admit them into the meeting:

    NOTE: Meeting organizers who join the call using the dial-in numbers (i.e. not from Microsoft Teams), will need to use the PIN sent to them from Microsoft. Look in your inbox for an email like this:

    Users can reset their own audio conference PIN here as well as using the Reset PIN link from inside a Teams invite.

    Lots of topics on meetings/calls can be found on this link such as settig up a meeting, joining a meeting, making a call, recording meetings, etc. All should be done from within Microsoft Teams app.  This link also has answers to common audio conference questions or watch this video tutorial.

    However, if you have Microsoft Teams installed on a Windows desktop and are using Outlook - you may notice the "New Teams Meeting" add-in:

    NOTE: This allows you to create a Microsoft Teams private meeting from inside Outlook but you cannot use it to create a Team channel meeting - this is only for creating meetings with specific particpants. Also, meeting options are not currently available using this feature, therefore, we still recommend creating Team meetings from within the Teams app.

    External guests will be able to participate in meetings, but their experience will be different. Refer to the external guest FAQ for more info.

  •  Where can I go for more information on applicable policies?
  • Refer to this link for the State of CT's Record Management Program (data retention policies).

    Refer to this link for CSCU IT Policies.

  •  What do I need to know about Live Events?
  • Live events are a subset of Teams Meetings and can be scheduled in nearly the same manner. However, Live events have very different uses. While Teams Meetings are designed for collaboration, and to foster discussions amongst participants, Live events are designed for a small set of users to broadcast out presentations and screen sharing to large online audiences.

    Live Events will be available for approved users to create private, organization-wide, or completely public events. A Service desk request will need to be made to allow Live events for a user.

    Users that are allowed to create Live Events should refer to this document: Managing Microsoft Teams Live Events for details.

  •  Can I use Outlook to manage my Team/Group?
  • It depends:

    When managing a Team: You definitely do not want to use Outlook when for a Microsoft Team. Always use the Teams client when working with your Microsoft Team. Note that there are differences between a team that started out as an Microsoft Group and was "teamified" vs. a team that was created as a Team to start. The difference is what's visible from Outlook and the address book. Refer to our FAQ item for converting a Microsoft Group to a Microsoft Team

    When managing a Microsoft Group: You potentially may be able to use Outlook for a Microsoft Group. Here's why: Most functions/features should be available from Outlook as documented by Microsoft, but whether a feature or function is accessible from your particular install of Outlook cannot be answered. We have seen situations where the Create Group icon in the ribbon is not present as well as adding external guests as members of a group does not work. Our advice is to use OWA to manage your Microsoft Group. The documentation below shows how it should work from Outlook if your install supports it.

  •  How do I Rename a Microsoft Team or Group?
  • It is not currently possible to rename the underlying Group/Team's SharePoint URL, so when you are creating your group/team, select the name carefully making sure to follow the Naming Standards. You will need to be logged into Service-Now in order to access the KB article.

    You can however rename the display name of your group/team, it still needs to adhere to the group standards. NOTE: Changing the display name does not change the underlying site name (the SharePoint URL) nor the group's email address, that's why selecting the right name when you first create the group/team is important. Multiple groups/teams can have the same display name.

  •  Can my group/team use my college's domain  (i.e. or
  • No, all groups will have the for the email domain and cannot use another domain.

    The group's site or SharePoint URL will be:<group name>

    NOTE: If another group or team already exists with the same name, Microsoft will append your group name with numbers but the displayed name will still show your origially chosen name. For example, if you named your group TR-Robotics and there already was a group named TR-Robotics, your group's site may be: sites/tr-robotics546. The best way to find out your Team's URL is to go to your General channel and then go the channel's SharePoint site and look at the URL.

  •  What do I need to know about Team/Group privacy/sensitivity?
  • Starting August 9th 2021 - You'll notice a new sensitivity selector when creating teams/group to select a sensitivity label. You'll initially have only one sensitivity label to choose from: "Private Only" and can no longer choose "public" for a team/group's privacy type. Due to the risk of public teams/groups giving anyone in our organization (Faculty/Staff and students) read/write access to the content, you are not able to choose "public" for your team's privacy type.

    If you need to give a large audience of CCC users view access to content in a team, please work with your local IT department to properly configure the team's privacy settings.

    In the future, you may see other labels appear under the Sensitivity dropdown allowing for different types of teams to be created.

  •  What can I do to provide users view-only access?
  • There are a few options to accomplish this but first make sure you set your Team member permissions to reduce what members can do in your team. This is from inside Teams, click '...' on a team you are an owner of, then go to Manage Team and click Settings:

    You then have a few different options for changing member's permissions to the files in your team, select which option works for you:

    Option 1) Change the member permissions on your whole site

    Option 2) Change the member permissions on just a folder in your site

    Option 3) Provide a group access to a folder in your site but no access to the team in Microsoft Teams

    Here's option 1: Change permissions for whole site

    First, open your team files in SharePoint:

    Then go to your Site Permissions:

    And change the "Site members" access to Read instead of Edit:

    Here's option 2: Change permissions for just a folder

    If you don't want to set permissions on the whole site - but instead you want to set it on only certain subfolders you can do that too.

    First, open your team files in SharePoint:

    Select an individual folder under Documents and in the upper right, click on the circle icon and then select 'Manage access':

    Then change your Team's Member group permission for just that folder from "Can Edit" to "Can view":

    Here's option 3: Provide a group with view-only access to your content - no access to the Microsoft Team

    Another option is if you only want to share content and not have the group have access to the team from the Team client. You will need to change a folder's permissions in the SharePoint site. This is a way to publish view-only content stored in a folder in a team, without giving them access to the team through the Team client, they would just have access to content from a browser.

    Open the SharePoint site:

    Select the folder that you want to provide specific access to a group:

    In Manage Access, grant direct access by clicking the + to a group. Rremember to change the edit access (pen icon) to read only access (pen with line through it) and uncheck "Notify People" to give specific group access to a specific folder:

  •  What does it mean to be listed/hidden from the email address list?
  • The following apply when a group/team's email address is listed in the email address list:

    • The group's name and email address are searchable using the Discover Groups feature.
    • The group's name and email address are searchable when entering text on an email's recipient fields (to, cc, bcc) or by searching the email address list.
    • Anyone in our organization can see the group's name, email address, description and the list of owners and members.
    • Anyone can send an email to the group's email address even without being a member. NOTE: If members follow/subscribe to receive email in their inbox, they will also receive the email in their inboxes when an email is sent to the group.
    • Anyone can request to join a group. The group owner does not have to accept it - but they can send it.

    When a group is hidden from the email address list, it is not discoverable by searching for the name.  However, if someone knows the group's email address, they can send email to the group whether it is private or public or whether they are members or not members.

    NOTE: If your group needs to have a member "send as" or "send on behalf of" the group, the group cannot be hidden from the email address list. Granting a member the ability to "send as" or "send on behalf of" is not configurable by the owner, it can only be set by request.

    In the summer 2018 - Microsoft made a change that any new Microsoft Team that is created is now hidden from the email address list as well as not being displayed in Outlook under Groups. This is by design as Teams communication should be inside the Team and they want to move away from using Email. However, if you "teamified" a group, it will still be visible in the email address list and in Outlook. You can submit a request to hide it from both after you have "teamified" it though.

  •  There seems to be so many ways to access my group or team's features (mail, documents, calendar). What's the easiest?
  • Microsoft Team

    A Microsoft Team should be accessed using the Teams app. You can access the Team's SharePoint site - but be aware if you modify the team channel folder strucutre from the SharePoint view, you could make channels inaccessible. Always modify your Team's document library from the Teams app and members of a Team should use the Microsoft Team app to access the team.

    Microsoft Group

    A Microsoft Group has many components (mail, documents, calendar, OneNote notebook, Planner, SharePoint site) and each component can be accessed through a variety of products (Outlook, files can be synced to your workstation using the OneDrive sync client, Office365 portal, individual mobile apps, etc.) making it appear more complex than it needs to be because there are so many ways to access!

    You can access all the parts of the Group by visiting your group's site. The URL to your site can be found in many places. Your group's site is always available by logging into the O365 Portal, then launching Outlook:

    Once in Outlook, under the Groups heading, click on your group, then click the ... and then select site:

    Bookmarking the site will help you quickly go directly to your site. It will be in the form:<group name>. Sharing that link with non members will show them a "You need permission to access this site." warning as only members will be able to access your site.

    When you invited members to join your group, they received an intro email welcoming them to the group. That email contains valuable links - one of them containing the link directly to your site:


    Mail (i.e. Conversations): Y You can access your Group's mail conversations from inside Outlook, O365 portala> from any browser or from a mobile device that has the Outlook app installed. Note that external guests will not be able to access mail conversations from your group's site. They will be sent an individual email to their email address and will not be able to see "conversations" as CCC\SO members do.

    Members that are not external guests, , have the choice to unsubscribe themselves from receiving email in their inbox and instead only reading email sent to the group by looking in the group's mailbox. They can do this by unsubscribing from the group when using Outlook:


    Documents (i.e. Files): You can go directly to the SharePoint site by clicking Files:


    Calendar: You can access your group's shared calendar from inside Outlook's calendar as you would any shared calendar. Note that external guests will not be able to access the shared calendar. They will be sent calendar invites to their email address and will not be able to see a shared calendar as other members do.

  •  Is there an app for that?
  • To download Microsoft Teams app, visit

    Compare Microsoft Group features on different platforms (Outlook, OWA, iOS, Android, etc.)

    Microsoft retired the standalone Groups app and incorporated Groups into their Outlook app.

  •  How do I work with my Team's shared calendar?
  • Microsoft continues to work on a solution to natively display the Team's calendar. Currently, if you want to display a team calendar, you have to manually do it. There are 2 different methods to this.

    Method 1: Create a tab that will link to this team's calendar. This will display the user's O365 calendar and this Team's calendar. Here's how:

    • Go to your Team's channel and click the + to add a new tab and select Website from the list of tabs you can add:/br>
    • Name your tab: "Calendar" and paste the address to your Group calendar using this form:<insert group name>

      NOTE: If you don't know your team's group calendar name - open the channel's site in SharePoint and look at the url, your team name appears after "/sites/":

      This is what it will look like:br>

      The user will then be able to check/uncheck any calendars they want to display:

    Method 2: The other method is by creating a SharePoint page that displays the calendar entries. This will display a list of calendar events, not a month view. Here's how:

    • Go to your team's SharePoint site and click Home, click + New, select Page as the type:

    • At bottom, click "Create page".
    • Name your page whatever you want, for example Calendar and add a web part to the new page:
    • When the selection comes up to select the type of web part you want to add, search for calendar then click on Group Calendar:

    • Go back to your Team's channel and click the + to add a new tab and select SharePoint from the list of tabs you can add:

    • Select the page you added from the list of available pages:

    • The list of calendar entries will be displayed in Teams:

    • Add calendar entries by clicking on Calendar, creating a new meeting and selectinig your Team channel:

  •  How do I work with my Group's shared calendar?
  • Looking for how to work with a Team's calendar? Check out this FAQ item when href="#calendar">working with a Team's calendar.

    When working with Group calendars - remember that Microsoft Group's calendar is not accessible to external guests. They will get invites emailed to them but won't be able to access it from the Calendar link. To separate your own personal calendar entries from a group (or multiple groups you may belong to), instead of creating a calendar entry in your own calendar and inviting others, create it in the group's shared calendar. Members of your group will then receive a calendar invite (external guests will receive it in their inbox) and they can also separate calendar invites from you and from the shared group. Remember that external guests access calendar invites different.

    If you simply want to view the group's calendar by itself from Outlook, browse to your group found under Groups in the left menu and select your group. It will bring up the group's inbox. At the top, select Calendar and it will bring up just the group's calendar by itself:


    You can also view multiple calendars together in one view in Outlook as well. First you need to add the calendar to your favorites. Scroll down to your group listed under Groups in the left menu. Right click on the group and click "Add to Favorites"

    Then, when you go to your calendar view, it will be listed as a separate calendar entry under "My Calendars" that you can then enable in your calendar view by putting a check mark next to the calendars you want to view:

    When you have more than 1 calendar checked, they show up next to each other. To create a single view of all your calendars, click the arrows at the top to create a single view of all calendars (they are visually merged but are still separate calendars). Each time you add another calendar to your view, you can click the arrows to merge them or unmerge them into/from a single calendar view:

    This is a single view of 3 calendars. Each calendar is a different color. To create an event in a specific calendar, click the calendar's tab to change the focus to that calendar and then create your event as you normally would.

    Group members will then receive a calendar invite because you created the event in the shared group calendar. You can see exactly which calendar you are adding an event to when you create the calendar entry:

    Here is some additional information on working with your shared calendar: Microsoft's documentation on how to schedule a meeting in the group's calendar

  •  What do I need to know about co-authoring documents with others?
  • You can co-author documents in both Office Online and in Office products installed on your workstation. NOTE: You must be using at least version 2016 to co-author documents and co-authoring is only supported in apps that support co-authoring (Word, PowerPoint, Excel) and only with modern file formats (.docx, .pptx and .xlsx).

    Microsoft provides several resources for helping you co-author documents with others:

    We highly suggest using Word's Track Changes feature when co-authoring documents as we are aware that when OneDrive for Business saves versions of the document to the file's Version History that all changes made during co-authoring are saved as one version.  Microsoft has a video that shows you how this works.

    If you are using Word's Track Changes features, you won't see markup when you edit the document from Teams or using Word Online:

      To use Track Changes markup/features, when you click Edit from Teams, select Open in Desktop App:

  •  Can I be alerted when an item is modified?
  • Yes! If you want to be alerted when a file/folder is modified, follow these instructions to setup an alert for SharePoint Online document libraries, Microsoft Team or Group sites

  •  Can I stay a member of a group but stop receiving email in my inbox for emails sent to the group?
  • Microsoft Teams

    You can follow a channel to receive direct notifications whenever there's new channel activity. Use the Activity filter: Following to see activity in channels you are following. Here's more info from Microsoft on following and favoriting channels.

    Microsoft Groups

    In Outlook, it's called "Subscribe/Unsubscribe" and in the O365 portal, it's called "Following/Not Following".

    In Outlook, go to your group under Groups in the left menu and then click "Membership" in the top menu bar to toggle between "Subscribe" and "Unsubscribe":


    In the O365 portal's mail, with the group selected, it is "Following" or "Stop Following" to toggle between the two options:

  •  My group's email address and SharePoint site is different than my group's name. Why?
  • When creating your team/group, if you name it using any special character other than dash or underscore (- or _) then those characters will not appear in the email address or the site's file location.

    For example, if you name it "Black & White", the email address will be and the site's SharePoint site will be:

    You may also have named yours to be the same name that another one already had - so yours will be the name of your team plus some random characters so that they are unique.

  •  How do I change my group/team site's home page?
  • Your Group/Team's home page is a SharePoint team site. Refer to Microsoft's documentation for information on how to change the SharePoint site.

  •  How do I use a Microsoft Group?
    • How to join a group
    • How to delete a group
    • How to have a group conversation (how to reply just to the sender or reply to the group)
    • How to customize your group's SharePoint site
    • Adding and removing group members
    • Members can choose to leave or unsubscribe from a group - Your members can stay a member of the group but unsubscribe/stop following a group/team from receiving group emails in their inbox. Or they can choose to leave the group altogether if they want and no longer will be members of the group/team.
    • Another great Microsoft document that summarizes how to get more out of Microsoft Groups.
    • Do you want to have your group's files synced to your workstation? Here's how to sync Microsoft Team/Group files to your PC using OneDrive for Business. This is a great way to make the files available in your Microsoft Team/Group available right on your PC. Use the OneDrive for Business client to sync your group's files just as you did to sync your OneDrive for Business files.
    • You can manage your group's documents better by going directly to your group's site versus managing them from the "Files" section. The "Files" section just lists all your files - they are not grouped into their folders. However, when you go to the "Documents" section of your group's site, you can see the folder structure, manage permissions, share files and more. Here's how you get to your group's site:

      When in Outlook on your desktop, you will first click "Files" to get to the Home page of your site, but then just click "Documents":

  •  How do I use Microsoft Teams?
  • This is very important when using a Microsoft Team: Because Because part of a Microsoft Team is a Microsoft Group, there are some things you need to know about the difference and why you may not see content when it's a Microsoft Team vs. a Microsoft Group:
    • You cannot merge two different Microsoft Teams, so make sure before you create a new Microsoft Team that there already isn't one for the same purpose with the same members you intend to invite. There is no way to move conversations, chats or Planner tasks manually.
    • When a When a Microsoft Team is deleted, so is the underlying Microsoft Group.
    • A Microsoft Team contains "channels" - think of them as your team's topics. Each channel has it's own email address, email conversations and files in order to organize your discussions. Email conversations that occur within a Microsoft Team channel are not visible from Outlook or OWA mail. As well as the opposite, you cannot see Microsoft Team conversations from Outlook or OWA mail. You can only use the Microsoft Team app to see channel conversations.
    • A Microsoft Team channel's email address does not use the Microsoft Group format (i.e. - instead a channel's email address uses the format: <unique channel id number>
    • If email is sent to the Microsoft Team's connected Group (<teamname>, members will not see it when they look at the team from inside the Teams app. You ONLY see the conversations that are in a Microsoft Team's channel. Each channel has it's own unique email address (<channel id number> and is what is used for conversations per channel.
    • Make sure you are being alerted the way you want to be alerted with activity notifications in Teams. First, set the notification types you want to receive and when you are not active in Teams and want to receive an email, set Missed activity emails to "As soon as possible". You also can go to a particular channel and enable "Channel notifications" so you receive notifications for important channel activity.
    • If files are not placed in a channel's file folder, they will not be accessible when you look at it from inside the Teams app. To avoid confusion, files should only be placed in a channel's file folder. Do not rename or delete channel folders. If you go to your Team's SharePoint site and view the Document Library, you will see each channel's folder and will be able to manage the files. You can create folders inside a channel's folder as well.
    • If you create a meeting in the Team's connected group's calendar from Outlook, it will not have all the functionality of a meeting that was created from inside the Team's app. To get all the functionality of a Microsoft Team meeting, it must be created from inside the Team app.
  •  How do external guests access Microsoft Teams in our tenant?
  • CSU and CharterOak users should be using their instutition email address (i.e. not a private Yahoo/Gmail account) when chatting/being invited to a Team in our Microsoft tenant.

    If a non-CSCU external guest doesn't already have a Microsoft Account associated with their email, they would first need to create one by visiting and clicking on the Create One link:

    Once they have created a Microsoft Account that is associated with the email address that was invited to the Microsoft Team/Group, they will be able to access it.

    If this is the first time they are joining a SO/CCC Microsoft Team, they will need to accept permissions for accessing the team before they can participate as a member of the team

    NOTE: If the external guest user's account is in another Microsoft tenant (i.e. CSU/CharterOak/UCONN, etc) they will need to switch tenants when they access teams in other organizations. The other tenant names will appear in the upper right corner of the Teams interface:

    The System Office/CCC Microsoft tenant is named "CSCU". However, each CSU and Charter Oak belongs to their own Microsoft tenant. They will see other tenants listed there if they belong to teams in those tenants. If users from other tenants are trying to reach them, they will have to swith tenants to see those teams/chats.

    If you invite a CSU/Charter Oak user to a team in our tenant, the email notification they receive does not automatically send them to our tenant, they will need to know they have to switch tenants to access a team in our tenant. We advise letting them know this information.

    The next FAQ item explains the diffference between what an external guest and a System Office or CCC Faculty/Staff/Student can access.

  •  How does external guest access differ from a CCC or System Office Faculty/Staff/Student?
  • External guests are accounts that are not a System Office or CCC Faculty/Staff/Student account (i.e. that don't end in * or *  NOTE: Even though our Microsoft tenant is named "CSCU", it does not encompass all CSCU institutions, just the System Office and the CCCs.

    Accounts from other CSCU institutions (CCSU, ECSU, WCSU, SCSU and Charter Oak) are considered external guests as they belong to their own Microsoft tenant. You will need to add/invite their CSCU account as a member and they will use their CSCU Microsoft Account to login (i.e. or, etc.) 

    For other users outside of CSCU: You can also add their email addresses to your group/team (i.e. yahoo/gmail, etc). They will need to have a Microsoft Account associated with the email address you invite. If they don't already have one, they can create one by visiting: and clicking on the Create one link.

    Microsoft Teams

    There is a difference when an external guest is being added as a team member or if they are just being added as an attendee in a Team meeting. If the person does not belong to any team in our tenant, then they will not be able to join a meeting by just clicking the "join meeting" button in the calendar invite. This is because they are not already members of our tenant and will see this if they tried:

    They can join the meeting but won't have access as if they were members of a team (i.e. screen share, etc.)

    To add an external guest to your Microsoft Team, simply enter their full email address when adding members. This is especially important for CSU/CharterOak users, do not search just by last name:

    When you click "Add user as a guest" you will then be able to add them to your team:

    They will receive an email with a link to open Microsoft Teams:


    Once they have launched the Teams app and accepted the permissions:

    they will be able to join in on Team activities.

    We highly recommend letting CSU/Charter Oak users know that the team is in the CSCU tenant and they will need to switch tenants to access the team. They might not realize the team is not listed in their tenant. They may have to log out and back in to have the tenant dropdown show the CSU organization. Going forward, when they have activity in another tenant, the tenant dropdown will show a red icon letting them know they need to switch tenants.

    Currently, external guests that are members of a team:

    • Can use the Microsoft Teams app but will have a different experience.
    • Can use the chat feature - but they can only chat with people who are in a team that the external guest is a member of.
    • May be able to use 1:1 chat to chat with external guests that are not in a team you are in BUT it is dependent on their Team settings and may not be reachable by chat if their settings are not setup to use Teams. You may see something like this:
    • Does not have access to the Calendar or Calls icons in the left menu, but will receive emails for meetings and can create Meet Now meetings in a Team channel
    • Cannot be an owner of or add members to a team.
    • Cannot browse/search/join/create teams. They need to be added as a member of a team to access a team.

    Microsoft Groups

    To add an external guest to your Microsoft Group, follow these instructions by using the O365 Portal (don't use the Outlook app) and access your group, then click the members tab.

    External guests have limited access to a Microsoft Group than CCC and System Office Faculty/Staff/Students. External guests will receive an email with instructions on how to access your group when they are invited. All of the external guest's interactions occur via email or by visiting the site's URL, they do not access the group from Outlook or from the OWA group interface. It may be helpful for external guests to save the "Welcome email" from your group as it contains links they will use to get access to the group's files.

    Currently, external guests:

    • Cannot browse our Microsoft Groups
    • Will not see the group listed under "groups" in their inbox - they will only see groups from their own organization/li>
    • Cannot add or remove group members from the group
    • Cannot view the group calendar - (they will get calendar events via email instead)
    • Cannot modify calendar events
    • Cannot visit the Conversations tab from the group's site - (instead, they will receive email and can reply-to-all to reply to the group)

    "Inviting guests" means adding them as a member of your group. Once they are members of your group, they will have access to all of the group's documents. You will not have to "share" documents or folders with members of your group to provide them access to documents.

    NOTE: Using the "invite members" link should be used only to invite members of our organization (i.e. not external guests) to join your group:


    Refer to this very good resource to learn more about External Guest access to a Microsoft Group.

  • Can an external guest join a Teams meeting?
  • A Microsoft Teams channel meeting, yes - external guests (those not in our tenant) that have been added to a Microsoft Team and are accessing a channel meeting, can access Team meetings.

    A Microsoft Teams ad-hoc meeting that is not in a team channel, no not really - only partially. They can join the meeting via audio (i.e. call in) but not as a meeting member (can't chat or share files). Make sure you read the previous 2 FAQ articles about external guests. One covers how external guests access a team in our tenant and the other about how an external guest is different than a member from our organization.