Table of Contents

What is Chat in Teams

The Chat portion of Teams allows individuals to start direct conversation with one or more individuals within Office 365.  These conversations allow for quick communications via text, video or audio.  Chat can even include file and screen sharing to further provide collaboration.

Access Chat

From the Teams menu on the left side, choose Chat

Teams Left Menu Column - Chat Highlighted

Start a New Chat

  • To begin a Chat, use the new chat button to the left of the Search bar at the top of the window
    New Chat button

  • In the To field, enter the individual's name, NetID or email address.  
    People Picker


    Note that the individual's affiliation is populated so it is easy to avoid contacting the wrong person. Even Student or Alumni users are tagged for identification.


At the bottom of the window, use the 'Type a new message' box to connect with the user(s) in your chat. Pressing the "Enter" key will send your message (you can also select the 'paper airplane' icon below).  You can also select the Format icon for an enhanced editor window, which allows you to format your text and paragraphs. Simply click the 'Paper Airplane' icon to send your message.

Start new chat

Enhanced editor:

Enhanced format editor

Share Files in a Chat

Collaboration on files is possible in a Chat, use the paperclip icon to browse your computer (G or H drive access) or OneDrive.  Shared files are stored in the folder 'Microsoft Teams Chat Files' within each chat member's OneDrive for retreaval either from the 'Files' tab in the Chat or via OneDrive.
Chat message attach a file

Extend Chat with video, audio, screen sharing or adding users

Using the icons in the top right of the Chat, you can initiate a connection with the user(s) you're communicating with.  From left to right, 'Video Call', 'Audio Call', 'Start sharing your screen' and 'View and add participants'.