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How to get started with Microsoft Teams Pt. 2

How to get started with Microsoft Teams Pt. 2

If you read our last article, you know perfectly well that today we will give you that missing piece to start your Microsoft Teams experience as a pro.

In reviewing the previous article, we talked about how to get started in Teams, how to create teams and channels, and how to manage the different features within the chat. But what about the left side of the menu?

Certainly, the left menu of Teams holds important functionalities that we will show you step by step below.

Where are the notifications in Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams provides several methods for accessing, receiving, and managing notifications. These options include how, when, and where your notifications appear, custom channel and chat settings, appearance and sound settings, turning off specific messages, and so on.

To manage your notifications, select Settings and More in the top right of Teams, then select Settings > Notifications.

Manage notifications sounds

To turn off or turn on notification sounds, toggle on Play sound for incoming calls and notifications.

Customize channel notifications

How to customize Teams channels notifications
With Microsoft Teams you can also customize all your notifications to improve your work experience.

Select All activity to be notified about all of your displayed channels.

Select Mentions & replies to receive notifications only when you are @mentioned or when you receive replies to your messages in channels.

Select Custom for the most control over your channel notifications.

Customize all other notifications

To customize how you receive notifications for that category, click the Edit button next to it. Chat, Meetings and Calls, People, and Other are some of the categories.

Get notified in the app and on desktop

Choose whether or not a message preview shows on desktop by turning the toggle on for Show message preview.

Select Banner and feed to receive notifications as both a desktop notification and as an alert in Activity.

Note: In Windows, notification banners will show in the bottom right of your screen. In macOS, they show in the top right.

Turn off notifications during meetings and calls

Select Edit next to Meetings and Calls, and then turn the Mute notifications during meetings and calls toggle on.

Note that choosing to mute notifications during meetings and calls has no effect on the dropdown settings under Meeting started notification and Meeting chat notifications. You can change them individually.

Turn off notifications for specific conversations

In a channel conversation, go to the top right corner of the original message and select More options > Turn off notifications. 

As with muting a chat, turning off notifications to a channel conversation will stop updates for that specific conversation.

Note: You’ll still receive notifications if someone directly @mentions you.

Change channel notifications from the Teams list

How to change channel notifications from the Teams list from Microsft Teams
You can also customize the notifications for each teammate on your Microsoft Teams.

Hover your mouse over a channel in your Teams list and click More options icon in Microsoft Teams > Channel notifications.

Just as you would in settings, select All activity, Off, or Custom. When you select Custom, a new window with more options will open.

Note: By default, channel @mentions are disabled, and all new posts appear only in the Activity.

Manage notifications from activity

Navigate to the Activity on the left side of Teams, hover over the notification you want to modify, and then click the More options.

From here, you can mark a notification as read or unread, disable notifications for reactions and apps, and customize channel notifications to receive notifications about specific types of activity.

The Chats in Microsoft Teams

The chat section allows you to chat and collaborate with a single person in a private session or with multiple people in a group chat. 1. Click the “Chat” icon located in the right-side navigation bar. 

Click the “Chat” icon located in the right-side navigation bar.

Search for the person by entering their name or email. Typing their name will only work for people within their organization.

How to use the chats on Microsoft Teams
Teams allows you to easy find and start a conversation with your teammates, to share information and work together.

Type an email for people outside the organization to invite them to Microsoft Teams. They will be listed as “Guest”.

Video Meetings

You can hold video meetings directly from any chat in Microsoft Teams. Please keep in mind that the online web version of Microsoft Teams does not support Video Meetings; the application must be installed on your computer (see page 1 for download instructions).

How to start a video meeting on Microsoft Teams
Enjoy all the functionalities that Microsoft Teams offer you to improve your video call meetings.

Time Lapse | Turn off Camera | Mute Mic | Share Screen | More | Chat | Participants | End Call

Launch directly into a meeting

You can instantly create an audio or video meeting: Click on the chat in which you wish to hold the meeting, then click on the video icon, call icon or share screen icon on the top right bar. This will immediately start ringing the person in chat.

Schedule a meeting

You can schedule a video meeting for a future time or get the information for an existing meeting: Click the “Calendar” tab located on the navigation bar. On the top right click “+ New Meeting”.

How to schedule a meeting on Microsoft Teams
Schedule, organize and enhance your meetings with Teams.

Add in the appropriate information for your meeting, once complete click “Send”.

The attendee(s) will receive a notification in their teams and a direct link to join the meeting in their email.

Record a video meeting

The attender(s) will receive a notification in their teams and a direct link to join the meeting in their email.

Once in a video meeting, click the More icon. Then click on “Start recording”. A recording symbol will appear next to the time lapse and all the participants will be notified the recording has started.

The recorded meeting will appear in the chat dialogue. You can copy and paste the URL to share with anyone. The length of the recording will determine how long it will take to become available; the host will receive an email once the recording is ready to be downloaded.

Share screen

During a video meeting, you might find it useful to share your screen. Microsoft Teams allows you to share everything on your screen or a single application you have open.

While in a meeting, click the share screen icon. Then select from any screen or any application (scroll down to see all open applications).

A black bar will appear above your screen detailing what you are presenting.

Content Presenting | Give Control | Include Computer Audio | Stop presenting | Pin

Give control

When sharing a screen, the presenter has the option to give the attendees control of their screen. As the presenter, click “Give Control”, select whom you want to give control.

You can then take back your screen by clicking “Cancel Control”.

If multiple people are controlling the screen, their Microsoft Teams profile picture will indicate which mouse cursor is theirs.

When you share your screen, the attendee can also request control.

When someone is sharing their screen, click the “Request control” button.

The presenter will then be prompted that you have requested control.

Until the presenter approves you will see a “Waiting for approval” box.

If the presenter denies access you will receive a notification.

Click the “Stop control” button to stop controlling the screen.

Teams and Channels 

Teams has subsections called Channels. Every Team automatically gets a General Channel created. Each channel has their own tabs bar located along the top. Posts (group chat) and files (shared documents) are automatically created, and you can then add your own tabs.

How to manage your Microsoft Teams channels
Teams offers a variety of functionalities on its channels that allow you to segment, organize and easy process all your information.

Click the “+” icon to add the various apps available. Then click the app you want to add, click “Add” (ex. adobe sign).

Your App will now be available on the tab bar.


Microsoft Teams will show you any meeting you have scheduled under the Calendar tab located on the navigation bar. This calendar syncs with your Outlook calendar.


You can also call individuals directly through Microsoft Teams using the Call tab located on the navigation bar.

You can then search by name for people within the organization then click the phone icon or camera icon to call/video that person.


All files uploaded in chat or a specific team gets uploaded to your Microsoft Teams SharePoint.

The files tab located in the navigation bar allows for quick access to all files posted in that Team. You have access to all files located in your OneDrive account. Click the “+ Add cloud storage” button if you would like to add additional accounts.

Adding apps

All files uploaded in chat or a specific team gets uploaded to your Microsoft Teams SharePoint. The files tab located in the navigation bar allows for quick access to all files posted in that Team. You have access to all files located in your OneDrive account. Click the “+ Add cloud storage” button if you would like to add additional accounts.


Microsoft Teams is Microsoft’s social network for companies and their employees. This service provides you with a space to collaborate with other team members on different topics.

If you are a new user of Microsoft Teams then you may be wondering how to find the Left Menu in Teams. Is the bar just to the left of the tab. And as you will notice, there is a lot going on! Microsoft has separated their features into different categories and has Teams within each category.

When you open Microsoft Teams for Organizations, the first thing that you will notice is the left menu. You will find there: Notifications, Chat, Teams, Calendar, Calls, Files, Shifts and the option More to add more apps.

This is where you are going to find the features to develop all your daily work activities. But of course, at first Teams may look confusing and overwhelming.

No worries, we got your back. Contact EmpowerIT to learn the Microsoft Teams best practices.

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