* About: Microsoft Teams

Service overview | Who can use it | How to access the service | Cost | Creating a new team | Availability | FAQs | Best practices & policies | Training & documentation | Support

Service overview

As part of the Microsoft 365 offering, Microsoft Teams is a collaboration platform offering workspace chat, videoconferencing and file storage. The solution helps you communicate and organize information in a single area. It creates a central location where you can:



Microsoft Teams is a McGill-approved Cloud Service. Teams data 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).



Notice: Features changes in the new Microsoft Teams

Development of Microsoft Teams is ongoing. Microsoft regularly releases new features to improve your experience. 

As of March 1st, 2024, the New Teams is automatically installed on all McGill-managed computers.

As of April 1, 2024, Microsoft uninstalled Classic Teams, so users can no longer switch between Classic and New Teams. 

Please read: Features that are changing in the New Microsoft Teams for more details about the upcoming changes.

Consult the New Teams' FAQ to find answers to the most common questions about this new version of Teams. (There is a general FAQ about Teams below in this article.)


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 access the service

You can access Microsoft Teams in several ways:

For a quick overview of how Teams', visit our Microsoft Teams How-To website.


Creating a new team

To Create a new team in Teams:

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

    Caution: Public vs. Private Teams

    When creating a new Team, you can select between a Private and 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 and join your team/group.
    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.

Note: Private team creation has been disabled for staff and affiliates. To request a new public team, please submit this request form.


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 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 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 website.

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 can 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 someone from outside McGill (non-McGill address) to your team. This person will be added as a guest. Guests have fewer capabilities than team members or owners, but there's still much 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 by adding their email addresses.

Note: When adding participants outside McGill, create your meeting in outlook and use the Reply with meeting button.  

How do I access Teams while working from home?

You can access teams through the McGill Microsoft 365 portal. You can also use Teams on your mobile smartphone 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 for the 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 created in the OneNote app, in a Teams’ chat are stored in the personal OneDrive folder of the person who creates the notebook. The notebook is in the Notebooks folder at the root of your OneDrive – McGill University and they are automatically accessible to all meeting participants (shared).

When that person leaves McGill, their OneDrive folder will be deleted, including meeting notes that may contain important team data.

It is recommended that the notes be transferred to another participant in the chat’s Notebooks folder if they must be kept when the person leaves.

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 be deleted unless the owner takes action. See Managing MS Teams meeting recordings for details.

Do Teams ever expire?

All Teams have a one-year expiration policy. If a team site is unused for 11 months, the team owner receives renewal notifications 30 days, 15 days, and one day before the 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 with at least one visit from any team member before its expiration date is automatically renewed without intervention from the team owner.

Which teams meeting should I use for my meeting?

There are currently six ways to meet in Microsoft Teams that are available to the McGill community. See Meeting virtually at McGill – Choosing the right type of Teams meetings to help you select the most appropriate solution for your needs.

Why don’t I have the option to create a public team?

For security reasons, we have removed the ability for staff or affiliates to create public teams. If you have a valid usage which requires a public team, you may request one created by filling out this request form.

Best practices & policies

Training & documentation

Training (live online):

McGill resources:

Additional resources from Microsoft



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