Creating a Team from an existing O365 group

O365 groups make up the sun in the O365 solar system. And every Microsoft Teams team (planet?) must have an O365 group to exist. You’ll also use O365 groups for group email and calendars, defining permissions for private Stream channels, collaborating with group members in Planner, and much more.

When you create a new team from scratch, it automatically creates an O365 group (and a SharePoint site collection). Whomever you invite to that team is added to the O365 group which is also used to define permissions in other apps and services throughout O365.

But let’s say you were using O365 groups before Teams was cool. You don’t want to create duplicate teams or have to manage twice as many, right? Luckily, you can use existing O365 groups to create new teams.

Create a team using an existing O365 group

In Teams, beneath your list of Teams, click Join or create a team.

Click Create team.

Choose Create from…

Next, click Office 365 group.

If you choose Team, it will copy that Team’s apps, settings, and channels to the new Team (without changing the original Team). This might be useful for classes with similar formats, or creating committees or teams based on a well-received template.

But to create a team from our existing O365 group, we’re going to select Office 365 group.

Now select the existing O365 group for which you’re establishing a new Team, then click Create.

After a moment, your new Team will be created and you’ll be taken to its landing page.

You can verify membership is correct by opening the Team’s menu (ellipses) and selecting Manage team. This

Here you can view owners, members, and guests from the O365 group. You can now modify the O365 group’s membership here if you wish, keeping in mind it affects permissions outside of Teams as well (as is the nature of O365 groups).

Microsoft recommends modifying O365 group permissions via Teams because doing so elsewhere (such as the M365 admin center) will cause a delay in taking effect and removed team members may retain Teams chat access for a couple hours.

How to get a free trial of Office 365 for home, business or enterprise

A free trial of Office 365 is a great idea if you’re:

  • Curious how it could help your team and want to do some testing as a group
  • Wanting hands-on experience with tools you’re interested in using
  • Needing to test something out in a safe, no-consequence zone before applying it to your actual environment
  • Studying for exams 70-346 or 70-347 (I recommend a Business Premium trial)
  • Considering changing licenses

Get a free trial today:

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Use Microsoft Stream to live stream your events

I just found out that Microsoft Stream now allows users to live stream events (preview). Once an event is finished, the recorded stream includes face detection so users can skip ahead to a certain speaker as well as automatic and searchable closed captions. Whenever you have an opportunity to stop paying for a third party product and use what you get included in your tenant, I think it’s worth giving it a try.

Note: Video tutorial at bottom of post.

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Creating a subsite in SharePoint Server vs O365

Having come from an O365 background, I always find it interesting how routine processes differ from on-premises. But creating subsites hasn’t changed much. Here’s a comparison of the 3-step process in an on-prem environment (2013 in this example) vs O365:

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Automatic, regular data refreshing for Power BI reports

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One of my favorite features of Power BI is the ability to have published reports automatically refresh data on a schedule. This is great for “setting and forgetting” your reports, knowing wherever you publish them they will be showing the most recent data for your clients. I feel like it used to be depending on your license, you could be limited to how frequently you can refresh (max of once per day), but you can refresh nonetheless. And this may have changed, as I couldn’t find (in my brief search) any confirming statement.

Let’s set up that scheduled refresh!

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“Edit in Word” (or Excel) not opening document in Office 365, or “Read-Only” status upon opening and trying to save changes

When working in Office 365 or SharePoint and you open a document for editing, you get two choices. Edit in Word (or Excel) or Edit in Browser. Editing in browser is typically a safe route but it doesn’t give you full functionality like the clients will.

The issue I’m discussing here is when a user tries to edit a document from SharePoint using the client (not Edit in Browser) the client opens to a blank, gray background (no document) or doesn’t open at all. This is likely an account conflict in syncing or accessing.

In other cases, the document may open, but as read-only. If that’s the case, it’s likely permissions-related. You might first check the user’s specific permissions in SharePoint. Sometimes because of broken (not inherited) permissions, or partial access to a site, users are able to edit in browser, but not in the client. If this is your situation, it could well be the cause.

Hopefully this is a simple fix for you, but as it’s become clear to me a number of times with this issue it can be quite complicated. I have a couple fixes, though the second is less ideal. If anyone else has run into this and would like to offer their experience, please do so in the comments.

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Create old web part page instead of using SharePoint framework’s new page experience

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The new SharePoint framework has a lot to offer in the way of development possibilities and user-friendliness. Creating a page using their new default page experience seen above is much more intuitive, inherently mobile-friendly and easy to whip together some decent-looking dynamic content in just a few clicks. But this new experience doesn’t allow for adding web parts like you may be used to. And customizing layouts isn’t as accessible as it once was. The following few steps will allow you to create a page that utilizes familiar layouts (columns and sidebars) and web parts.

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Show last modified date for a SharePoint list without using code

listmodified.JPGSo you want your viewers to know the last time data was refreshed or updated in your SharePoint list without having the list’s default “modified” column repeating the same date hundreds of times and taking up horizontal space.

There are a number of solutions out there to show the date a list was last modified using code. This solution provides an option best used with lists you bulk update, or copy and paste to replace all data regularly, but requires no coding. It basically pulls out the “last modified” date of your first list item and displays it at the top as seen above. This solution is not for you if you are updating only specific items within a list.

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“Server error: The version of Microsoft SharePoint Foundation running on the server is more recent than the version of SharePoint Designer that you are using. You need a more recent version of SharePoint Designer.”

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Depending on your organizational setup, this message may be misleading. For me, this message is prompted when I change my password used to sign in to Office 365. My version of SharePoint Designer (SPD) is not, in fact, out of date at all. My organization regularly requires password changes so these steps get me back and running with SPD in less than a minute:

  1. After opening SPD, go to “Accounts” in the left hand menu
  2. Under “connected services” remove connections for whatever could be causing the issue
  3. Click “add a service,” then “storage,” then “Office 365 SharePoint”addservice
  4. Login with your new credentials. This should also link any OneDrive for Business account associated with your O365 account

If a password change isn’t what prompted your issue, try going to “Account” then “Switch Account” to make sure it’s attempting to connect to the correct account.