Microsoft Teams FAQ


Browse the frequently asked questions about Microsoft Teams.



Browse the frequently asked questions about Microsoft Teams.



Who can use MS Teams?


MS Teams is available to current SFU faculty and staff with a Microsoft 365 account.


MS Teams is available to current graduate students with a Microsoft 365 account.


There are no current plans to provide access to SFU alumni, retirees, emeritus and adjunct professors.

When will MS Teams be available for undergraduate students and coursework?
MS Teams will remain unavailable to undergraduate students until the university is ready to explore it as a platform for enhanced learning.
Are there any cost to using MS Teams?
Microsoft Teams is free for eligible SFU faculty, staff and graduate students.
How do I install MS Teams on my Individual-use or university-managed device(s)?


To download Microsoft Teams on your individual-use device, visit Microsoft Team's download page for more information.


If you are an SFU faculty/staff and you hold a university-managed device, Microsoft Teams should be pre-installed on your device. Please contact the IT Service Desk for any software inquiries/installations.

How do I get access MS Teams?

1. Access Microsoft Teams

  • MS Teams Web: Visit M365 Portal > Select MS Teams icon
  • MS Teams Desktop: Launch the software on your desktop
What are the limits in MS Teams (e.g., members, channels, and storage, chat, etc.)?

Please refer to Microsoft's page on Limits and Specifications for Microsoft Teams.

Can I shorten or remove the "- SFU Teams" suffix? 

The "- SFU Teams" suffix is a naming standard that cannot be changed at this time.

This suffix allows for technical scalability and minimizes any potential technical issues (e.g., naming conflicts) related to Microsoft 365 and other SFU services. In addition, this allows individuals who have in multiple teams across different organizations to differentiate which team is an SFU team.


Team membership

Can role accounts sign up for MS Teams?
Our recommended approach is to use your individual account unless your team’s processes or procedures requires the use of sponsored/role account. If you still wish to sign up and add a role account to your team, please see Add a role/sponsored account.
How can I add a role account to my manually-managed team, and not managed by maillist?

By default, role accounts do not have access to MS Teams and cannot be added into manually-managed teams (i.e., team owners manually add/remove members via the Teams application).

To provide role account(s) access to MS Teams, the Team Owner will need to take the following the steps:

  1. Create a new maillist which will be used to provide role account(s) with the access to Microsoft Teams.
  2. On the maillist, include the role account(s) you would like to add to the team.
  3. Submit a ticket to IT Service Desk and include the following information:
    • Subject line: "Microsoft Teams - Adding role accounts to a manually-managed team"
    • Message body: “I would like to add role account(s) to my manually-managed team. The maillist name is <your-mailist>.”
  4. Ensure that the account(s) have enrolled in SFU's MFA and signed up for a Microsoft 365 account. Once the request is processed, it will take up to 2 hours for MS Teams access to be granted.
  5. On MS Teams, you should be able to add the role account(s) as members to your team. The account(s) will also need to remain on the maillist (created in step 1) in order to retain Microsoft Teams access.

Note. Going forward, you may include additional role account(s) to the maillist (created in step 1) to provide access to MS Teams. Please ensure that the account(s) have enrolled in SFU's MFA and signed up for a Microsoft 365 account.

Can I collaborate with guests outside of SFU?
You can invite guests or external users (i.e., individuals that do not have an SFU account) to join your team; The access capabilities for guests can be managed by the team owner(s) within Teams.
Can a non-SFU user (i.e., guest user) upload files to a chat on MS Teams?

No; The ability to upload and store files within a Teams chat relies on the use of the individual’s OneDrive. As Microsoft does not provide non-SFU users with the access to OneDrive at SFU, they cannot upload a file to a Teams chat.

Guest have the ability to perform the following on MS Teams:

  • Guests can preview or open files from a Teams chat,
  • Guests can send screenshots to a Teams chat, and
  • Guests have access to all the functionalities within channels, including uploading files and sharing files to channels.


File sharing and storage

What is the difference between uploading files to a team versus a chat on Teams?

The ownership of files uploaded to Teams may vary depending on their location:

  • The files uploaded to a team/channel belong to the team/channel and are stored within a Teams connected team site.
  • The files uploaded to a chat belong to the file uploader and are stored in the uploader's OneDrive

For more information, please visit the File ownership in a team vs. a chat page.

What is the SharePoint site associated with a team? Can we customize it?

The functionality to manage and store files uploaded to MS Teams is powered by SharePoint Online. When you create a team in MS Teams, a Microsoft 365 connected team site gets automatically created in SharePoint:

  • For every public/standard channel you create within your team, a folder is automatically created in SharePoint Online under the Teams connected team site
  • For every private channel you create within your team, a separate team site is automatically created in SharePoint Online called Teams connected channel sites, or just channel sites.
  • When you click on the 'Files' tab within the channels of your team, the files you see are either stored in a Teams connected team site or Teams connected channel sites.

Note: Until the university fully implements SharePoint Online, we discourage customizing your Teams connected team/channel site (e.g., adding additional site components, changing site settings).

What is the relationship between Teams, SharePoint Online, and SharePoint On-Premises?

Teams & SharePoint Online

  • When you create a team in MS Teams, a Teams connected team/channel site gets automatically created in SharePoint Online. 
  • This site is used as a file repository by MS Teams. When you click on the 'Files' tab within team channels, the files you see are either stored in your Teams connected site or Teams connected channel sites. 

When will SharePoint Online be fully supported at SFU?

SFU is looking to fully support SharePoint Online in the future.

I am currently using SharePoint On-Premises, should I start using SharePoint online?

If your department already has a SharePoint site at SFU, we recommend that you continuing using SFU's SharePoint on-premises service until SharePoint Online is introduced in the future.

At this time, support for SharePoint Online is limited to MS Teams. This includes the SharePoint Online document library connected to a team, but does not extend to any further customization of a SharePoint Online site.

Can MS Teams replace the use shared drives or SFU Vault?
MS Teams has a variety different benefits that may not align with other storage solutions. Shared Drives are mostly used for performance requirements and SFU Vault may be used because of WebDAV support. Depending on your needs, these storage solutions may not be able to replace MS Teams.


Apps and Plug-ins

Can I use premium apps, such as Visio and Project, within Teams?

Yes, premium Microsoft apps, such as Visio and Project, can be used within Teams. You will need to purchase the corresponding license(s) and install the application(s) onto your computer to get the app to work within Teams.

For more information, please contact your department's IT support staff.

Can I use third-party plugins on my team?

At this time, all third-party plugins cannot be used with MS Teams.

All third-party plugins need to be carefully evaluated and reviewed to ensure they are compliant with the SFU's Information Security Guidelines. As a result, we have disabled this functionality and it may be addressed as a future improvement.



Why are new team members disappearing after adding them to my team?

If your team membership is being managed automatically with maillists:

  • Users will be automatically added to a team if they are part of the maillist, and
  • Users that are not part of maillist will be automatically removed.

Team Owners will not be able to add or remove team members through Microsoft Teams in the "Manage Team" settings.

I couldn't receive calls when I use Teams on a browser. What happened?

Although certain browsers (e.g., Internet Explorer 11, Safari, and Firefox) support MS Teams web app, there may be some noted exceptions for the calling and meetings features. Our recommendation is to use Teams on the desktop appsupported browsers, or mobile app to get the best user experience.

For more information about the supported browsers for Teams on the web and the potential limitations, see Web clients for Microsoft Teams.

I can't add a calendar on MS Teams. It's displaying a "Your exchange calendar isn't set up. Talk to your admin to set up your calendar" message.

The ability to integrate Outlook calendars or create channel calendar on MS Teams is currently unavailable.

The calendar feature on MS Teams relies on Microsoft Exchange Online at SFU. For accounts not using Exchange Online, we recommend using the calendar available under SFU Mail.


Privacy & Security

How secure is MS Teams?

MS Teams at SFU is protected by enterprise-level security from Microsoft. To learn more about Microsoft’s trust and security related information, visit the Microsoft Trust Center.

Where is the data stored? Is MS Teams FIPPA-compliant?

All data uploaded to MS Teams at SFU are stored within Canada and are protected under the BC Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA).

All members of the SFU community are reminded to only share personally identifiable information (PII) as permitted under FIPPA.

Can I share files that may contain personally identifiable information (PII) on Teams?

All members of the SFU community are reminded to only share personally identifiable information (PII) as permitted under FIPPA. Files that may be personally identifiable should be shared within a private team and/or a private channel that only permits a specific set of individuals to have access.

We do not recommend sharing PII in a public team (i.e., open to all individuals from SFU to join) and/or a channel with a broad audience where the individuals may not have a purpose of accessing that information.

For more information on how to identify, understand, manage, and use university data appropriately, see the SFU Data Security Standard page.




Article ID: 4071
Tue 7/12/22 12:06 AM
Mon 11/27/23 11:58 AM

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Microsoft Teams (MS Teams) is a virtual collaboration app that brings together Microsoft 365 services (such as Office and OneDrive) to keep you virtually connected to the SFU community from anywhere at any time.