FAQ for Office 365

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Topics: Word | Outlook | Chat | Teams | Share Files |

If you have suggestions for other questions, please send them to Carolyn Dudas.

Please note that this is a work in progress.


How can I turn off AutoSave in Word (Excel, or PPT)?

By default, the autosave feature is turned on in Word and in other Office products. 

If you want to turn this feature off for a SPECIFIC file:  Click the AutoSave button (located in the top, left corner of the screen).  The title on the button changes from "On" to "Off".  

If you want AutoSave turned off by default for ALL files:  From the menu, select:  File > Options and select the category, Save.   Uncheck the box next to "AutoSave OneDrive and SharePoint Online files by default on Word" and then close and restart Word.  If you want to turn off the autosave feature for Excel or PPT, you'll need to repeat these steps for each product.

How do I turn AutoSave back on?

If you turned the autosave feature off for all files and now want to turn it back on as the default, follow the instructions below.

Turn on AutoSave (as the default) for ALL files:  From the menu, select:  File > Options and select the category, Save.  Check the box next to "AutoSave OneDrive and SharePoint Online files by default on Word" and then close and restart Word.  If you want to turn on the autosave feature for Excel or PPT, you'll need to repeat these steps for each product.

Once you turn on AutoSave and open Word, you may not see the AutoSave button with the "on" setting until you save a new file or open an existing file.

If I choose to use AutoSave, what are some best practices?

If you do not want to make changes to your original document, be sure to save the file with a different name BEFORE you make any changes.  To do this, from the menu, select:  Files > Save a Copy and then type a different file name.

I forgot that AutoSave was turned on and, as a result, I made changes to my original file (which I didn't want to revise).  Is there a way to recover my original file before the changes?

Yes!  Word keeps a history of all the changes you've made to a document.  So to revert back to a particular version, just use the Version History feature.  To do so, open the desired document and click on the Version History button.  (It's located in the top, right corner of the screen and looks like a clock with a circular arrow.)  Then in the Version History pane, select the version you would like to view or revert back to.


When I attach a file to an email message, I now have two choices:  "Share Link" or "Attach as Copy".  What's the difference between these choices?

If you select "Share Link", those receiving the file will be able to edit your original document.  (If the link is shared with someone who doesn't have a PSU account, the file opens with Word Online to allow editing.)  The edits they make will appear in your original document.

If you do NOT want someone to make changes to your original document, then select "Attach as Copy".

When I attach a file, sometimes I get the prompt to "Share Link" or "Attach as Copy" and sometimes I don't.  Why is this?

If you attach a file that is stored on your local PC (i.e. typically your C: drive), you will not get these prompts.  But if you attach a file that is stored in OneDrive (the cloud), you will receive the prompt.

If I attach a Word file and select "Share Link", is there a way I can see what changes have been made and by whom?

If you use the Track Changes feature for the document (prior to sending it as an attachment), you are able to see what changes have been made to the document.  However, it does not show who made those changes.

Another alternative is that you can compare versions of the document, but it's not recommended.  And this method can be cumbersome,  confusing, and time consuming if you are trying to compare multiple files.  And it has a limitation:  You can compare your document with changes made by other individuals EXCEPT for the person who made the last changes to the file.  (If you still want to try Compare:  Open the original document.  Click the Review tab, click on Compare > Specific Document and select the desired person, click Compare button, and in the Tracking section of the ribbon, select All Markup.) 

When a guest receives an email for a file that has been shared via the "Share Link" option, what does the guest see?  How do they edit the file when they don't have a PSU account?

The email message contains a link to the file.  When the guest clicks on that link, it opens up Word Online (a version that only has very basic features).  This allows the guest to edit and save the file.

I see a folder called Conversation History listed with my mail folders.  What is this?

Chat messages are stored in this folder if you chat via Skype (using an add-in within Outlook),   


Can I choose to leave a group chat?

Yes.  Hover over "participants" (located under the group chat name) and from the pop-up box, select:  Leave.  (You don't have to be the "owner" of the group chat to remove yourself.)

How long is chat history retained?

According to Microsoft's retention policies, chat messages can be retained forever or can be deleted based upon the organization's retention/deletion policy.  I've asked to find out what the retention/deletion policy is at PSU; still waiting for an answer.

Is there an upper limit as to the size of the chat history file?  Or, is chat history considered a part of the overall space allocated to each user?

Not sure.  Awaiting a reply from U.P.

If I attach a file (from OneDrive) to a chat message, can others revise my original document?

Yes, other people can open your file using Teams (online) or the corresponding online or desktop app (like Word, Excel, etc.) and make changes to it.  This is beneficial if you wish to collaborate with colleagues.  

If you click the 3 dots next to the attached file (within chat) and open the file, you will see the revisions that were made to the file.


Can I do a bulk import of email addresses to add a large group of people to a Team?

No.  But you can email the group and provide them with a Team code which will allow them to opt-in.  For instructions, see Add a Large Number of Individuals as Members of a Team.

As a team owner, I'd like to turn off a channel for one or more members.  How can I do this?


Can I send a private message in a channel?

No, it's not possible to do this at this time.  Microsoft says that they plan to add this feature, but no date has been announced.

Can I use a hashtag for my chat conversations to make it easier to find information about a topic?

Unfortunately, no.  Microsoft does not support hashtags.

If I schedule a meeting on a Team calendar, does the meeting appear on everyone's personal Outlook calendar?

Yes, as long as the invite includes the email address of each person in the To field.

Is it possible to invite an entire Team or channel so that I don't have to type each member's email address?

No.  If you want the meeting to appear on everyone's personal Outlook calendar, you will still need to enter each person's email address in the To field of the invite.

FYI...  It's not possible to schedule a meeting with a Team since there isn't an email address for a Team. However, you can schedule a meeting with a channel, but the meeting only appears on the Team calendar (not on the member's personal calendar).  To invite a channel, open the desired Team.  Then click on the three dots next to the channel's name.  Select:  Get email address and click the Copy button.  Next, create a meeting as usual and paste the email address into the To field of the meeting invite.  (Or, if using the Scheduling Assistant, paste the email address into the Attendees box.)  Complete all of the other meeting fields as usual.

Can a Teams calendar be made read-only so that members cannot make changes to the entries?


When a guest is added to a Team, how do they get notified that they have been added as a member?

When someone is added to a Team, they will receive an email message which contains a link to the team.  Please advise the guest to keep this email invite for reference.

How does a guest access a Team?

In the email invite, click on the link to the team.  That will open their web browser and the person will be prompted to create a free Microsoft account.  After the account is created, another web page will appear that informs the person that they have been invited to Microsoft Teams at Penn State University; at this screen, the person will click the Continue button.  Another prompt informs them that PSU will collect several pieces of data.  If the person accepts the terms, then the Microsoft Teams screen opens.  The guest only sees those teams in which they are a member.

What features are available for guests to use within Teams?

Guests have a limited set of capabilities.  They can create a channel, participate in private and team channel chats (as well as delete their chat messages), share a channel file, and post to the General channel.  Refer to Microsoft's site for Guest Capabilities in Teams for more details.  Guest can choose to leave the team at any time.

How can I tell who is participating as a guest within a Team?

When a guest posts a message to the team channel chat, the user name of the guest is followed by the label, Guest.  Example:  JohnDoe (Guest)

Files that are uploaded to the Files tab will only list the guest's user name.  Example:  JohnDoe

More details are available at the site:  What the Guest Experience is Like.

Share Files

How can I share a file so that others can only view the file (i.e. it's a read-only file) and not make revisions to it?

There are several different ways that this can be done.  Please submit a ticket to BITS so that we can discuss your needs and recommend the best option for you.

How do I stop sharing a file?

That will depend upon the option you choose.  BITS can provide more details once an option is selected.