* About: Microsoft Teams

Service overview | Who can use it | How to request & access | Cost | Availability | FAQs | Best practices & policies | Training & documentation | Support

Service overview

As part of the Microsoft 365 offering, Microsoft Teams is a chat-based collaboration space that allows a group of people to communicate and organize information in a single area. It creates a central location where you can:



Note that Microsoft Teams is a McGill-approved Cloud Service. All the data in Teams is stored on Microsoft infrastructure located in North America. Although, you can store protected and personal data in Teams, it must not be used to store certain types of regulated data. For definitions of the various types of institutional data and guidance about which type of data cannot be stored in Teams, see Cloud services that have been approved / rejected for McGill use (This list is only accessible to faculty and staff members).

New Features:

Development of Microsoft Teams is ongoing, with new features regularly released to improve your experience. 

Recent additions to Microsoft Teams at McGill include:

Who can use it

Active McGill students, faculty and staff.

Affiliated consultants, lecturers and service providers are also eligible (Teams is provided for all affiliates with email accounts). 

How to request & access the service

You can access MS Teams a number of ways:

For a quick overview visit our Microsoft Teams How-To website.

To Create a new team in Teams:


  1. On the left pane of the MS Teams app, select Teams
  2. Click Join or create a team
  3. Click Create team

    create team

  4. Choose the team type from the options presented. We recommend using a Class or Staff site. See Choosing a Teams template for additional guidance.

    Choose team type

    Caution: Public vs. Private Teams

    When creating a new Team, you can generally select between a Private Team and a Public Team. A Private Team is the best option for most use cases. 

    If you choose to make a Public Team, all content stored within the Team, including files and documents, will be visible to all of McGill. This means that:
    1. Any McGill user can find your team/group and join.
    2. Even without joining, any McGill user will be able to find, access, and likely edit any document anywhere on your site.
      • This includes files you post in your Teams channels.
    3. Email attachments sent through your group email will also be visible and saved to your site.


There is no cost associated with this service.


This service is available 24 X 7. Check the home page of the IT Support site for announcements in case of any outages.

Frequently asked questions



For instructions on adding participants from outside of McGill to your Teams site, see Add guests to a team in Teams and Guest capabilities in Teams on the Microsoft support site.

How is my content protected against data loss on Teams?

All documents in the Files tab of a Team are stored on a SharePoint Online site, similar to OneDrive. If these documents are accidentally deleted, you have 93 days to recover them from the Recycle Bin.

In SharePoint Online, items are retained for 93 days from the time you delete them from their original location. They stay in the site Recycle Bin the entire time, unless someone deletes them from there or empties that Recycle Bin. In that case, the items go to the site collection Recycle Bin, where they stay for the remainder of the 93 days. View more on the Microsoft web site.

For all the content a team generates -- e.g., chat sessions, team email, planner -- if a group/channel is deleted it can be restored, with all its content within 30 days.

Do McGill affiliate accounts have the same access as McGill faculty and staff accounts?

Affiliated consultants, lecturers and service providers are eligible to be added to teams as members, or team owners. They cannot create new teams.

Can I grant access to Teams to people outside of McGill?

If you are a team owner, you can invite a person from outside of McGill (non-McGill address) to your team. This person will be added as a guest. Guests have fewer capabilities than team members or team owners, but there's still a lot they can do. For a deeper look, see Guest capabilities in Teams.

How do I add participants from outside of McGill to a Teams Meeting?

To host a Teams meeting with people from outside of McGill, create your meeting using Outlook and add participants to your meeting by adding their email address.

Note: Create your meeting using the Outlook New Teams Meeting plugin when adding participants from outside of McGill. 

outlook calendar toolbar teams meeting plugin

How do I access Teams while working from home?

You can access teams through the McGill Office 365 portal. You can also use teams on your mobile smart phone or laptop by downloading the Teams app and signing in with your McGill credentials. Avoid using Remote Desktop to connect to your work computer for Teams meetings, as the connection may try to use the microphone and camera at McGill instead of your local personal computer.

What are the limits (size of teams, participants in a meeting etc.)?

Limits and specifications can be viewed on the Microsoft Website.

Where are meeting notes stored and how long are they accessible?



Meeting notes are stored in the personal OneDrive folder of the person who creates them under: Files/Microsoft Teams Data/Wiki and they are automatically accessible to all meeting participants (shared).

However, it is important to note that when that person leaves McGill, their OneDrive folder will be deleted, including meeting notes that may contain important team data. See best practices for creating meeting notes and storing files below.

Where are Teams meeting recordings saved, and how long are they accessible?

They are either saved in the OneDrive account of the person who started the recording, or on the SharePoint site of the channel meeting. Recordings will automatically expire and be moved to the recycle bin after 1 year, unless action is taken by the owner. See Managing MS Teams meeting recordings for details.

Do Teams ever expire?

All Teams have a 1-year expiration policy. If a team site is unused for 11 months, the team owner receives a renewal notification 30 days, 15 days, and 1 day before the team's expiration date. The owner can renew the team by selecting Manage Team > Settings > Team expiration and then clicking Renew now.

Auto-renewal of the team is also enabled to prevent an accidental team deletion when an owner is unavailable to renew it.  A team that has at least one visit from any team member before its expiration date is automatically renewed without intervention from the team owner.

Best practices & policies

Training & documentation

Training (live online):

McGill resources:

Additional resources from Microsoft:


For access/authentication issues, contact the IT Service Desk.