Teams (via Office 365)

Office 365 Teams is a collaboration service that provides shared conversation spaces to help teams coordinate and communicate information.

Service details

Key features of Teams include integration of easy file sharing with simultaneous editing, real-time chats, messages, alerts, notifications, and group OneNote notebooks.

For more information on how to install, set up, and use Teams, see the "Self-help" tab above. 

All users are required to adhere to the Terms of Use.  Please read the Terms of Use and Best Practices before using Teams or creating a new Team. Concerned about the security and privacy of your Microsoft Teams meetings? Check out this post from Microsoft that outlines the security and privacy features of Teams.

Microsoft Teams Logo

There is no charge for this service as it is provided by CCS.

Not sure which tool to use? See the differences between Webex and Teams on our tool comparison page: Which Collaboration Tool Should I Use?.

Here are some stats on Teams usage in the last 90 days (as of November 2020):

U of G Teams Usage:

Teams meetings (3+ attendees) 74,500
Teams meetings (two attendees) 46,500

 Global Teams Usage (via Microsoft):

Daily Active Users 115,000,000
Educational Institutions using Teams 270,000
New features deployed (last six months) 100


Getting Started with Teams Quickly

The Microsoft Teams video series is the fastest way to get up to speed on Microsoft Teams. There are six short videos that give you an overview of the Teams interface, sharing files, and collaborating.

Teams is available via web or desktop applications. Instructions for accessing both are below. The desktop app has increased functionality and may provide a richer experience.

Looking to host a webinar-style event with more control over participant interactions? Log into Office 365, and watch this short video on getting started with Teams Live Events!

Looking for information on how to upload and use the U of G themed backgrounds in Teams Meetings? Read our instructions!

Accessing Teams from your Web Browser

Microsoft Teams is available as part of the web-based suite of Office 365 tools, and you can access all features of Teams directly through your browser. Teams on the web also features notifications, so you can stay informed of any messages posted to Teams without needing the Desktop version. 

  • First, log into Office 365 through the University of Guelph website. You’ll be taken to Outlook first to access your email. 

  • Now, click on the “Waffle” icon in the top left-hand corner of your account, just left of the word Outlook:Waffle icon location

  • This will bring up a menu of all applications you have access to – make sure to click on All Apps at the bottom of your list, as you may not see Teams listed here immediately. 

  • Teams will be listed alphabetically, and you can click on the Teams icon to launch the Teams Web interface. 

Downloading Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is also available as a stand-alone desktop program for both Mac and Windows computers. You should not require administrator access on your machine to install it, but Managed Desktops users can submit a ticket for assistance installing Teams on their machines remotely. Note: Due to increased support load from COVID-19 response remote work, we do encourage everyone to try installing Teams themselves first before submitting a ticket. 

You may already have Microsoft teams installed on your machine as well. For Windows users, click on the Start button and in the search in the bottom left of your screen, type “Teams” – if you see an entry for Teams you can start using it right away:

Additional Notes

Mac users can search for Microsoft Teams on Spotlight.  

Teams can be downloaded for Mac and Windows PCs from the Download Microsoft Teams page.

Teams is also available as a mobile application for Android and iPhone devices and can be found through the App Store on your device. You can install Teams on as many devices as needed – there is no limit to the number of devices you can install Teams on. 

Using Custom Background Images in Teams Meetings

Note: backgrounds can also be added in Zoom - please see the Zoom virtual background instructions on the Zoom website.

Microsoft is building a way to set your own custom background images in Microsoft Teams, but there is an 'unofficial' way of setting up your own. Communications and Public Affairs has put together a fantastic gallery of U of G-themed images that are correctly sized so they will work properly in Teams, and we highly encourage you to choose one of these as they are tested and should work as intended: 

At this time custom backgrounds are only available in the Desktop version of Microsoft Teams and will not work in the web version of Teams. If you try to use your own non-U of G images, there is a chance Teams will crash when you attempt to set your background to the custom image. These steps are presented as an unofficial method of setting your own background:

  1. Exit the Microsoft Teams application.
  2. Download the images from the U of G site shown above (
    • For each desired image, click on the image and then click on the download icon.
    • Alternatively, you can also download all files by clicking the yellow "Download All as Zip" button in the top right corner.
    • Your files will be downloaded to your c:\\Users\your-id\Downloads folder.
    • If you downloaded as a Zip file, you will need to unzip the file (double-click).
  3. Windows users: Open "File Explorer" in Windows and enter this text into the location bar at the top: %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Teams\Backgrounds\Uploads. This should open a blank space/page. Mac users: go to Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Teams/Backgrounds/Uploads and then drop the image into that folder. 
  4. Copy and paste the downloaded image(s) you want to use into this folder. You can also drag and drop them from your Downloads folder.
  5. Relaunch Teams, and the next time you are in a meeting, click on the three dots […] in your meeting controls to access the menu.
  6. Click on ‘Show background effects’ and you should see your custom background listed here!

Microsoft Teams Training Resources:

  • Microsoft Teams Academy  
  • Getting Started with Microsoft Teams 
  • Microsoft Teams Help 
  • Using Planner with Microsoft Teams
  • T-Bot  - Microsoft Teams includes an embedded Bot which acts as an assistant and a resource in learning how to use Microsoft Teams. Users have the ability to ask T-bot questions through Teams’ chat interface. In addition to the chat functionality with T-Bot, Teams also includes other training and support options within the application. This includes a Help knowledge base, an FAQ section, training videos and Release Notes. These are all located in separate tabs beneath T-Bot. In order to access T-Bot, click on the Chat Tab on the left and you will find the T-Bot chat profile listed with your contacts.

The following training sessions are also available from CCS, and are listed in the Human Resources, Learning and Development calendar:


Web and Desktop 

Video Support

Mobile Devices

Microsoft also offers a unique set of accessibility features to efficiently navigate through Teams.

Download and Install Teams for Microsoft Windows, Apple iOS and Android.

CCS support for Teams is limited to anything that requires administrative access, such as submitting Microsoft support tickets. 

CCS does NOT support, and is NOT responsible for:

  • Providing, delivering or developing training and training material
  • Supporting, designing, developing and maintaining solutions within Teams
  • Managing, creating, editing, deleting or maintaining content within Teams
  • Managing and delegating end user permissions settings within Teams

If you need help or have questions about the service, please email us at or check our CCS Help Services page for more ways to contact us:

There may be scheduled maintenance or a service issue occurring. Please refer to CCS System Status Page for more information:

If you are planning an event with Microsoft Teams, we have a team focused on supporting online events. To get in contact with them, please fill out this form:

Item Expectation
Service availability 24x7 except for scheduled maintenance (see CCS System Status page).
Service requests and problems Response time varies depending on the nature of the issue.