Microsoft Teams and OneDrive Introduction


Microsoft Teams is an application in OSU's Office 365 subscription, focused on collaboration.

Teams combines several collaboration features:

  • Communication: team messaging, direct messaging, video meetings, and calling.
  • Organization: to do lists, calendar, task assignments, shared notebooks
  • File storage: each team gets up to 25TB of storage, this will replace Box.

OneDrive is both a service for individual files, as well as a desktop client that allows access for OneDrive and Teams files.

Linux Support

Teams has a web interface that works well on Linux.  Unfortunately, there is no supported Microsoft OneDrive client for Linux. Rclone and the web interface are the only supported ways to transfer files with Linux machines.


Teams and OneDrive Documentation

OSU's OTDI keeps a large amount of information in the Administrative Resource Center (ARC), including quick start guides, FAQ, and links to recorded and live instructor led Teams training.

Teams and OneDrive Usage

OneDrive is just for file storage, generally focused on an individual's files.

Teams combines many collaboration tools in one application: chat, topical channels, meetings, and files. Down the left side of the Teams applications are buttons for each application. The default applications cover basic collaboration needs:

  • Activity
  • Chat
  • Assignments
  • Calendar
  • Calls
  • Files

There are many add on Apps; activate by clicking on the Apps button at the bottom of the left sidebar. Note, some Office 365 Apps will require approval from OTDI to add to Office 365. Some popular add on Apps are To Do, Lists, Planner, and Whiteboard.

When to create a Team and when to use only OneDrive

Important: an individual OneDrive will not be accessible when someone leaves OSU. A Team can have multiple owners, ensuring continuity.

  • Use OneDrive
    • You're the only person using your files, use OneDrive.
    • You just need to share with one other person, briefly.
  • Use Teams when any of the following are true
    • You're working with a group of people and need to share files.
    • You need to discuss one or more topics with someone and wish to have the discussion(s) kept in one place.
    • You need to coordinate tasks with a group.
    • You need a central location for documentation for a group.
    • You want additional applications like To Do lists, or videoconferencing.

OTDI's News Post on when to choose OneDrive vs. Teams.

Creating a Team

  • When you launch the Teams application, and select Teams in the left sidebar, then click Join or create team.
  • Generally, the Other team type is what you want.
  • You can choose if a team is public or private.
  • You can add members at creation, but it is easy to add them later.

Team vs. Channel vs. Chat vs. Meeting

  • Create a new Team when the people are substantially different.
  • Create a Channel for a new topic, but remember most times less is more. Reuse Channels if possible.
    • A Team is about people, a Channel is about a topic.
    • Channels each have separate files, and each channel can be synced to OneDrive.
    • Create a Private Channel within a team if you want to limit to a subset of the people.
    • Channels have a List view and a Grid view.
      • Next to Join or create team click the gear icon to change how Teams looks.
      • The list view is best if you have many teams and the teams have several channels.
    • People added to a Channel see all the Channel history.
    • In a Channel use the Reply button to continue a conversation, and the bottom box to start a new conversation topic.
    • Drag Teams and Channels to change order.
  • Create a Chat for individual conversations.
    • This can be with a specific person, or several people.
      • Use the square button in the title bar to create a new chat.
      • Use the funnel icon to search chats.
      • Use the Contacts tab to add favorites to quickly get to specific people.
    • Chats can have files too.
      • To remove a file from a chat, the person who posted it has to delete it.
    • When you add people to a Chat you'll have the option for them to see the history or not.
    • The most recent Chats bubble to the top.
    • Pin frequent chats with the ... and they will stay at the top.
  • Create a Meeting for a specific meeting/event
    • A Meeting can have audio and video from participants, and a transcript is optional.
    • Meetings created via the calendar tab will sync with the Outlook calendar.
    • The Meet Now button in the Calendar, as well as the Meet button in a Channel can create instant meetings.
    • Up to 250 people can be in a meeting.
    • By default Teams only shows nine videos at a time, this can be changed by clicking on the ... next to the camera icon and selecting Large gallery (Preview).
    • If you click on a name an 'spotlight' a person it does so for all the attendees.
  • A special kind of Meeting is a Live Event
    • Live Events can have up to 10000 participants and can be recorded.
    • The audience has no audio or video, but there is a Q&A tab and moderation options.
    • There is real time captioning and translation available.
      • The real-time captioning is not considered sufficient to meet Digital Accessibility requirements.
  • Retention:
    • Chats are retained for 3 years.
    • Teams messages are retained for 10 years.
    • Teams files do not expire.

Files In Teams / OneDrive

Please see the related article Microsoft Teams and OneDrive: Sharing, Copying and Syncing Files.

Teams Calling

Teams can be used to video or voice call any OSU Teams user:

  • From a chat hit the camera or phone icon in the upper right, depending if you want video.
  • In a call you can share screen, or a specific window.
  • This replaces Skype for Business and is higher quality.
    • Right now you cannot call outside phone numbers or receive calls in Teams to your OSU number. this is coming in 2021.

Email to a Team

It is possible to email a team channel. At the ... in the upper right in a channel, select "Get email address" and then you can forward emails to a channel.

  • Maximum message size: 24KB
  • Maximum number of attachments per message: 20
  • Maximum file size for attachments: 10MB per attachment



  • Hidden Channels will not bold the whole Team, so you can hide channels you are not interested in.
  • You can @ a specific person, a channel, or a Team and they will get a notification in the Activity feed.
  • Notifications for Teams and Channels are controlled via the upper right ... menu.
  • In a chat, a eye will appear next to a post when everyone in the chat has seen it.

Adding students to a Team or OneDrive collaboration

When adding OSU students to a Teams team or OneDrive collaboration, always use their address.

Guest Access

External guest access can be complex and will look different for consumer Microsoft accounts and other Microsoft 365 for Business accounts.

Outside collaborators can be added like so: Adding Guests to a Team.

External Guests with an Institutional Account

  • Invitees will need to click on the invite link and open Teams on the web the first time.
  • If they use Teams for their institution they will need to switch from one Teams home or 'tenant' with a drop down next to their name.
    • This means they cannot be active in both Teams at once and may miss conversations, but can switch easily.
  • Channels shared between institutions may be a feature in the future, but would require setup from both institutions.
  • Files are able to be synced to the OneDrive client for real time collaboration.

External guests can be invited to a Team, with a Microsoft account.

  • Invitees will need to click on the invite link and open Teams on the web the first time.
  • If they are using a non-institutional Microsoft account, using the Teams web client is preferred.
    • Using separate profiles in Edge or Chrome can help manage multiple Microsoft accounts.
  • The 'Teams for work or school' desktop application will also work.
    • Note, two different emails cannot be signed into the desktop application simultaneously. This means a complete signout is necessary to switch.
  • Files from instutional Microsoft 365 accounts cannot be synced to the desktop OneDrive.
  • In some cases, it will be more convenient to give the external guest an OSU Sponsored Guest account to be able to log into Teams with more functionality.

OTDI is working on documentation from a guest's perspective.

Medical Center and Office 365

Medical Center employees do not share the same Office 365 instance as academic campus employees.

Academic campus employees with any percent dual appointment count as medical center employees.

There are two way around this:

  • For full Office 365 access have them contact the OSUWMC IT Service Desk (614-293-3861) to request an exception to access the university O365 instance.
  • For just access to a Team they can be invited using their OSUWMC email address.

Leaving OSU

Key take away: If you do not want files to disappear when a person leaves OSU, put them in a Team!

What happens to OneDrive and Teams when you leave OSU?

User is: File in Teams: File Shared in OneDrive:
Faculty not becoming emeritus Stays Gone
Staff Stays Gone
Student Stays Gone
Faculty becoming emeritus, emeritus status set up before last day Stays Stays

Note: It does not matter if you are a owner, co-owner or member of a Team or OneDrive, the above applies.


Faculty and Staff lose access on their last day to OneDrive, Teams, and Office365.

Exception: Faculty who are becoming emeritus retain access as before.


You will have access to other Office 365 resources for two years after graduation, but not OneDrive. Transfer all your files from the OneDrive for Business account to a personal account prior to graduation. They will not be available to you once you graduate. (Technically, they may still remain shared for two years, but this will be very confusing when they go away two years later. It is best to transfer and remove them prior to graduation/leaving.)

Team Membership

As anyone with a Microsoft Account can be added to a team, the Team owner could re-invite you.


Article ID: 112670
Mon 7/27/20 1:47 PM
Fri 10/27/23 5:38 PM

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