IT Connect
Information technology tools and resources at the UW

UW SharePoint Online, Microsoft Teams, Office 365 Groups

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UW SharePoint Online Overview

UW SharePoint Online is a web-based productivity, collaboration, and communication platform that is used by departments at UW to meet a range of needs such as department intranets, small group work (e.g. search and other committees), business process automation (e.g. travel requests), knowledge management, and file management. SharePoint Online is tightly integrated with the Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, etc.), allowing files to be created and edited in SharePoint Online directly from Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote.

Video: What is SharePoint Online?

Training: SharePoint Online training videos

Guide: Manage your SharePoint site settings

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams puts the user in a workspace for real-time collaboration and communication, meetings, file, and app sharing. Team members are either members or owners, and can easily be added and removed.

Microsoft Teams can be accessed using a web browser, desktop client, or mobile (Android, iOS) app.  Click here to download the Microsoft Teams client/app.

Video: What is Microsoft Teams?

Demo: Microsoft Teams interactive demo

Training: Microsoft Teams training videos

Office 365 Groups

Office 365 Groups provide a collection of resources for members to share, including a shared Exchange Online mailbox, shared calendar, and a SharePoint Online document library for collaborating on files. Office 365 Group members are either members or owners, and can easily be added and removed.

Office 365 Groups can be accessed through the Outlook desktop client or via a web browser using Outlook on the web (OWA).

Who can request a SharePoint Online site, Microsoft Team, or Office 365 Group?

Only UW employees can request a site.  By requesting a site, the employee agrees to be the site/Team/Office 365 owner or administrator.  An owner/admin is responsible for:

  • Managing access to the site/Team/Office 365 Group
  • Submitting requests for changes to the site/Team/Office 365 Group such as changing the type of site, increasing the site storage limit, and modifying external sharing settings
  • Securing content when external sharing has been enabled
  • Responding to requests from UW-IT regarding their site/Team/Office 365 Group
  • Designating a new site/Team/Office 365 Group owner/admin when they depart UW
  • Deleting the site/Team/Office 365 Group when it is longer needed

External Sharing

External sharing is enabled in the UW Office 365 tenant.  External sharing is applied at the site level. Site owners/admins and members can choose to share sites, lists, libraries, folders, documents, etc. with those who are outside of the organization.

Please note: If you want to enable external sharing on a new SharePoint Online site, please indicate which of the two options below you want in the “Notes” field of the request form that follows this section.

External Sharing Options

Allow external users who accept sharing invitations and sign-in as authenticated users

This option allows you to share with any external user via an email invitation. The user will receive an email containing a link to the shared item. Once they click the link, their experience will differ depending on whether the invitation is for a site or document.  When sharing sites, the user will be asked to log in with a Microsoft account. If the user does not have a Microsoft account, they can create one at that point. Once they log in with their Microsoft account, they will gain access to the site.

For sharing documents, the user is not required to have a Microsoft account. Once they click on the link in the email, they will be instructed to enter a verification code that has been sent in a subsequent email. Entering the code will give access to the content.

Allow sharing with all external users by using anonymous access links

This option allows you to share with an external user who has a valid email address. There will be no verification code when opening the content. Because it is an anonymous access link, anyone who receives the link will be able to open the content. For security purposes we do not recommend this option.

 External Sharing Default Settings

  • SharePoint Online site – External sharing is disabled by default; can be enabled by request
  • SharePoint Online Modern Communication site – External sharing is disabled by default; can be enabled by request
  • Microsoft Team – External sharing is enabled by default; guests must sign-in or provide a verification code
  • Office 365 Group – External sharing is enabled by default; guests must sign-in or provide a verification code

Request a UW SharePoint Online site, Microsoft Team, or Office 365 Group

Click here for the UW SharePoint Online, Microsoft Team, Office 365 request form


UW Office 365 contains a task management service called Microsoft Planner.  To create new Plans within Planner, you’ll need to have an existing Office 365 Group or Microsoft Team.  The easiest way to create a new Plan is using the Microsoft Teams interface.  Login to Microsoft Teams then follow these instructions to create a new Plan.  Once you’ve created your new Plan(s), they will be visible from the Planner interface under Recent plans and All plans.  Only users who are Owners or Members of the Office 365 Group or Microsoft Team a Plan was created in will be able to access the Plan.

Please note: You will not be able to create a new Plan directly from the Planner interface as this attempts to create a new Office 365 Group, and self-service Office 365 Group creation is disabled in the UW Office 365 tenant.

Renaming Office 365 Groups

Office 365 Groups are named starting with the prefix “og_” followed by a group “stem” and then a more specific group name, e.g. og_uwit_collab_services.  The og_ prefix is necessary to prevent the creation of Office 365 group names that duplicate group names that already exist in the UW-IT namespace.  Allowing the creation of duplicate group names could lead to namespace collisions, duplicate directory listings, and unanticipated side effects in the UW-IT environment.

Therefore, while it is currently possible to edit the name of your Office 365 Group, UW-IT requests that you do not do so.  Additionally, we reserve the right to reset the name of your Office 365 Group back to the original name at any time.

SharePoint Online Site Storage Limits

The maximum size for an individual SharePoint Online file is 100GB.  The default SharePoint Online site storage limit is 1TB and can be expanded to 5TB with a request to  A request to expand from 5TB-25TB requires documentation of a business justification.  25TB is the maximum SharePoint Online site storage limit.

UW-IT will not evaluate or turn down a request for storage limit expansion based on the content of a business justification.  We are simply asking for them in case Microsoft changes something that would require more funding from the UW so that we have business justifications to provide to further the discussion.  In case of such an event, we need to be able to talk about the potential impact to campus that a funding model change would have, and to help us tell your story of success.  It can be as little or as much as you think is necessary to express the importance of this service offering to your organization to leadership stakeholders that may make decisions about providing these services to campus going forward.

For more SharePoint Online limits, click here.

Deletion of UW SharePoint Online sites, Microsoft Teams, and Office 365 Groups

UW SharePoint Online sites, Microsoft Teams, and Office 365 Groups will be deleted when the last UW member is removed.

Records Management

While using UW SharePoint Online sites, Microsoft Teams, and Office 365 Groups, it is the users’ responsibility to manage their records in compliance with a legally approved UW Records Retention Schedule, deleting records at the end of their retention period.

Where can I get help?

The UW SharePoint Community of Practice is an excellent resource for SharePoint-related discussions and includes an active Microsoft Team community forum and quarterly in-person meetups.  Email to be added.

The SharePoint Online Help Center is a comprehensive learning site for SharePoint Online.