Try this Self-Study version of our Getting Started with Office 365 course

Getting Started Course

Office 365: Intro Video
Overview of Office 365

This short course is designed to help ensure that you are up and running with confidence when your UTORexchange Outlook email and calendar are moved into Office 365.

Over the next few months, ITS, working with your local staff, will migrate 20,000 faculty and staff UTORexchange accounts into Office 365. When done, you’ll have:

Office 365 Service Feature
  • Always up-to-date version
  • 50GB of email space (instead of the 300MB available now)
  • 1 Terabyte of file storage in the cloud (no need for Dropbox or Google Drive)
  • Access to your files from any Internet connection – (you don’t have to e-mail files to yourself to work on when away from the office)
  • Ability to share your documents with others for comment or co-editing (without sending out multiple copies and collating the input from all the responses)
Skype for Business
  • Integrated videoconferencing for conference calls (no need for external systems like WebMeeting or Zoom)
Office 365 Pro Plus
  • Access to Office 365 from all your different devices – active employees are entitled to 5 copies of Office 365 to load onto your laptops, smartphones, or home computers. You will have the same up-to-date version across your devices so no file compatibility issues
New Features
  • And much more. New features and applications are regularly added to Office 365.

Let’s start with an overview of Office 365 for Education. What is it?

Office 365 for Education is a collection of software applications run on the Internet and available to you anywhere, anytime, and by almost any device.

Applications in the suite include Outlook e-mail, calendar, Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Skype for Business communications, OneDrive for file storage and collaboration, Stream for hosting and sharing video content. And there are more applications like Sharepoint Online, Forms and Surveys, that provide even more capabilities for collaboration and productivity.

But for the Getting Started course, we’re just going to focus on:

Showing you how to log in and navigate around Office 365
Where to access and use your email and calendar
Personalising some of the settings for your account, including setting up Out-of-Office messages, your signature file, reply settings
Some neat automation features that make life a little bit easier
Storing, creating, and sharing files with OneDrive
Finding out where to get help and support
Migration Plan and Timeline

There are about 20,000 faculty and staff accounts residing on UTORexchange, and thousands of others on older UTORmail accounts.

Purpose of Migration The purpose of the migration is to take all the UTORexchange accounts and put them into Office 365.
Migration Process To get there, we have been working on a migration process using tools from Dell and Microsoft that gathers all the content of your e-mail account and calendar, and moves them behind-the scenes into the Office 365 data centres in Toronto and Quebec City. When the data are verified as being completely transferred, we will break your connecting with UTORexchange and connect your login to Office 365.
Once you’ve been Migrated When you login to your email account – and we will be focusing on using Office 365 on the Web – you will find all your content in the new space.

As to timing, we have a mandate to move onto Office 365 as quickly as possible. Here’s a tentative schedule:

The first pilot starts on 14 August, 2017. We are moving about 200 ITS accounts into Office 365. This will give us an understanding of how our migration tools and processes will work under live operating conditions. There are two more pilots to follow before we start rolling out migrations across the University. Already, there are many faculties and departments queued up as early adopters. From each migration project, we’ll develop a better understanding of how quickly we can migrate accounts – from the technical and personal level.

When UTORexchange is fully migrated, we’ll tackle the remaining UTORmail accounts.
Just to confirm:

1. You will have the same e-mail account and password
2. All your mail and calendar entries that were on UTORexchange will be on Office 365
3. If anything is missing, our team will follow up on the migration data
4. Messages stored locally on your desktop of laptop will be accessed from the local installation of Outlook. Documentation on how to migrate local data will be provided if you wish to add to office 365.


Logging into Office 365


Login Step Details
1. Open up a browser window.
  • Google, Firefox, Opera, Edge, Explorer…
2. Enter the url:

(for QA environment, enter:

  1. This is the location of the U of T Office 365 service
  2. Press ENTER
  3. The U of T Web login screen appears
3. Enter your UTORid and Password
4. 4. Press the Login Button
  1. You will be connected to Office 365
  2. Your Office 365 landing page appears
  3. By default, Outlook is the landing page. In another section of this course, instruction on changing your landing page preference will be provided.
5. You have successfully logged into Office 365 and reached your e-mail account


Navigating Office 365 Outlook Online

First the good news, if you use Outlook or OWA then you know how to use Outlook Online in Office 365. In fact, the interface for Outlook Online is very similar to current versions of Outlook that you have installed on your PC or Mac. Microsoft is working towards making the online and on-computer versions of the software look very much the same.

Outlook Mailbox Storage:
  • 50 GB storage quotas
  • Larger attachments
  • Additional mail archive storage
Outlook Mailbox Features
  1. An “oops” Undo button that adds a buffer of up to 30 seconds before a message is sent from your mailbox
  2. Another “oops” function that suggests an attachment has not been attached before sending
  3. Functional improvements to Out Of Office message processing
  4. A “Sweep” tool for mass and regular clearing out of mail so you don’t have to take a lot of time to manually remove mail
  5. A feature that uses machine learning to separate work-related e-mail from potentially less relevant mail, called Focused Inbox (you can turn it if on or off as desired)
  6. Managing e-mail attachments


And the bad news? There is no bad news.

Email Foundations
Activity Options
Reading Email Once you are in Outlook Online (the default landing page when logging into Office 365), the familiar Outlook e-mail interface appears.

  • Folders are on the left side of the screen
  • Your list of messages are beside the folder list
  • The reading pane is beside the list of messages

Here are three new features included in Outlook:

  1. Focused Inbox
    is a function that differentiates between work and non-work-related messages. It is thought that e-mail volume may be more easily managed if non-essential e-mail messages are placed in the Other section.
    1. Action: Try toggling between Focused and Other by clicking on their tabs to see the difference Focused makes.
    2. If you don’t want a Focused mailbox, go to the FILTER option adjacent to Other, press the Down Arrow icon and click on “Show Focused Inbox” on the menu. You can toggle the Focused inbox setting here.
    3. If Focused Inbox is not selected, all mail will be shown in the folder.


  2. Pin/Unpin
    Used to keep messages near the top of your mailbox so they are not lost in the e-mail folder.
    1. Action: Hover over any message in your e-mail list and a small toolbar appears on the right side of the message line.
    2. Click on the “pin” icon (it looks like a thumbtack) and the message moves to the top of your e-mail list. Find the message and click the pin again and the message returns to its prior position in the list.


  3. Sweep
    Appearing in the function bar atop the email list, Sweep is a tool that lets you manage mailbox rules to clean up portions of your e-mail in a single swoop or sweep, without having to manually search through your mailbox.
    1. You might use a Sweep rule to clear out all messages from a particular vendor or committee after a desired period of time;
    2. Sweep can be used to clear out messages that you have to discard, those related to a resolved case for instance, or to discard messages with different versions of a document that have been passed around.
Sending Email To send a message, press the NEW icon at the top of the e-mail list. It’s right above the “Focused” tab (or if you aren’t using Focused Inbox”, the Inbox tab). The SEND MESSAGE box appears.

  1. The SEND, ATTACH, and DISCARD options appear at the top.
  2. A full-featured text editor appears at the bottom.
  3. Another set of icons appears at the bottom of the message content area with additional options – including adding an Image, an Emoji, showing Availability, and the drop down menu with additional functions as shown below.
  4. Enter the recipients in the TO: field
  5. Enter the CCs and BCCs as required (BCC inclusion button appears at the side of the message window)
  6. Enter the Subject in the ADD A SUBJECT field
  7. Enter content in the Content Area
  8. Attach files if required
  9. Note that with Settings, Outlook will check to see if you’ve suggested in the body of the message that there is an attachment. If you’ve forgotten, you’ll get a reminder/question from Outlook before the message is sent out.
Replying to Email Replying to an e-mail works the same way as currently in Outlook – and just about any other e-mail client..

  1. Select an e-mail message
  2. At the top right of the message window find the REPLY icon with a Down Arrow key beside.
  3. Click the REPLY icon and a drop down menu appears.
  4. Select:
    1. REPLY – to respond to the sender only
    2. REPLY ALL – to respond to everyone on the original message
    3. FORWARD – to send to message to one or more other persons
Delaying Email Sending

A really useful feature in Office 365 Outlook is the ability to delay the sending of a message for up to 30 seconds.

If you’ve ever pressed the SEND button and then realized that you REPLIED ALL instead of to the sender, or missed adding an attachment, or sent a message to the wrong person, or sent a message with content that you did not intend to send… then UNDO SEND is a great feature.

UNDO SEND is NOT a message recall function! While there is a MESSAGE RECALL option in the Office 2016 Outlook client application, there is no RECALL option in the Outlook Web version. Note that even the Outlook client recall function only works with others who have Outlook 2016 and is no guarantee that a message will not be seen. I will not go into RECALL here, but it is not a good fail-safe utility.

UNDO SEND provides a window of up to 30 seconds (you set the delay in SETTINGS -> MAIL -> UNDO SEND) and then when you send a message, its delivery to the mail server is delayed for the interval you set. During this time, an UNDO icon appears on the top right corner of the screen. Press the icon and sending is prevented.

UNDO SEND is set up in the SETTINGS menu.

  1. Press the SETTINGS icon
  2. Select (at the bottom of the list) MAIL
  3. The OPTIONS menu appears along the left side of the screen – see image below.
  4. Select the UNDO SENDING option
  5. Toggle the “LET ME CANCEL MESSAGES I’VE SENT FOR:” radio button to enable the feature
  6. There’s a drop-down menu that provides DELAYS for between 5 and 30 seconds
  7. Select the DELAY you’d prefer (the setting can be changed any time
  8. Press the SAVE button at the top of the page to set your UNDO SENDING delay
  9. The setting is saved
  10. Press the BACK ARROW (beside OPTIONS) at top left of the screen to return to the Outlook mail
  11. The UNDO icon appears at the top right part of your screen


Send yourself an e-mail message. (if you’ve enabled UNDO SEND)

  • Press UNDO

Because you have set the UNDO SEND function, a box appears at the top right of the screen where the UNDO icon appeared.

  • Note the “X Cancel send” function and the blue line
  • The blue line shows how much time remains in the SEND DELAY before the message is sent
  • Click the “X” before the end of the delay is reached and sending can be stopped.
  • You’ll be prompted to DISCARD the message or to continue editing before re-sending
Deleting Email

While there is a huge 50GB mailbox, deleting e-mail is a good way to keep your mailbox content relevant while discarding those messages you no longer need. In addition to hunt and peck deleting and weekend mass delete projects, INBOX RULES and the SWEEP function may be used to mass delete messages.

Note: The migration process will carry existing Inbox rules from UTORexchange into your Office 365 account.

Deleted messages go to  the DELETED folder and remain there, unless manually deleted from the DELETED folder, for 30 days. During that time, messages may be recovered, or purged – if you want messages to become irrecoverable.

  1. In your Folders section, select DELETED ITEMS
  2. Click on the RECOVER DELETED ITEMS link
  3. A list of deleted e-mail messages, with the date and time of their deletion appears in the window
  4. Select a message to purge by clicking on the checkbox beside the message
  5. Press PURGE and a CONFIRM PURGE window opens
    1. PURGE permanently deletes a message marked for deletion from the DELETED ITEMS folder before the 30 day time limit
  6. Click OK and the message is deleted and purged – and cannot be recovered
  7. To restore a deleted message, click RECOVER after selecting the message
  8. The RECOVER ITEMS message box appears
    1. Note the locations precedence for returning DELETED emails to your mailbox
  9. Click OK to complete the recovery process
Additional Email Functions

This section quickly demonstrates where and how to perform common e-mail management functions in Office 365.

Function Instructions
Creating a new e-mail folder 
  1. Move your cursor into the FOLDERS menu on the left side of the e-mail screen
  2. Once inside, a “+” (Plus sign) appears beside your account name
  3. Click the “+” sign
    1. A blank rectangle appears at the end of the folder list
    2. Enter the desired folder name
    3. Press ENTER and the folder will appear in the Folders list
Pinning and Unpinning a message
  1. When reading e-mail messages, there are times when you tell yourself to come back to a message later. Later, you can’t remember the date or name of the message. The PIN function lets you “pin” a message – as if pinning it on a refrigerator door – for quicker locating and recall.
  2. This support page provides more detail on how to use:
Enabling the Attachment Reminder
  1. The Attachment Reminder offers a warning if Outlook thinks you meant to include an attachment in a message but you did not do so.
  2.  Find the parameter in SETTINGS -> MAIL -> ATTACHMENT PREFERENCES
  3. Check the “Warn me when I send a message that may be missing an attachment”
  4. In future, as messages are sent, the parameter will check for message content that suggests an attachment is expected, and will issue a reminder before sending out a message.
Creating or Editing your Signature File  The e-mail Signature is created and modified in SETTINGS -> MAIL -> EMAIL SIGNATURE

  1. There are additional options regarding when your Signature is appended to messages sent:
    1. The first checkbox establishes that your Signature will appear on any messages you compose.
    2. The second checkbox establishes that your Signature will be included on any message to which you reply.
Navigating the Outlook Online Calendar

The Outlook Calendar works similarly to the UTORexchange calendar already in use at the University. The Office 365 service offers a few improvements in navigation and functionality – particularly, the ability to add an online component to a meeting using Skype for Business. There are other useful capabilities like importing externally or internally published calendars, e.g,, a baseball schedule of your favourite team, or a list of tests and assignment dates for a course.. More information on publishing calendars may be found at

Below are instructions about a few key calendar functions.

Navigation Notes on Outlook Online Calendar

  1. The left side of the window displays a monthly calendar and a list of all the calendars associated with your account. In the example above, two published football team calendars (for demonstration purposes only! This document makes no assertion of favourite football teams).
    1. Colour coding associates calendar entries with the respective calendar.
    2. Shared calendars (those of other people) would appear similarly.
  2. The top navigation bar provides additional functionality:
    1. New – to add a new meeting or appointment
    2. Add Calendar – to add another calendar (like the football teams) to the view
    3. Share – the tool that enables sharing your calendar with others or groups
    4. Print – calendar printing function Note: The top navigation bar will display different functions when performing specific tasks like booking a meeting.
  3. Different Calendar Views
    1. At the top right of the window, options to see the calendar in Day / Work Week / Week / Month views are selectable.
    2. Pressing the TODAY icon will return to TODAY’s schedule of events.
  4. Calendar events appear in the main body of the screen. Note that there are “weather-related” icons for 5-day date ranges. Including weather forecast information is an optional setting that will be illustrated later in this document.
Calendaring: Creating a New Meeting
  1. In the top left, there is a button named NEW.
    1. Press the NEW icon or Down Arrow and select CALENDAR EVENT
    2. A calendar event (meeting) window opens up, as shown in the image below
  2. Enter Calendar Event details:
    1. Meeting Description
    2. Meeting Location (there will be a list of U of T rooms, but location may also be entered manually).
    3. Date(s) and Time of the meeting.
      1. ALL DAY and PRIVATE check boxes appear beside the Date and Time fields.
      2. ALL DAY will block the workday by default.
    4. PRIVATE will ensure that no one other than you and those you authorised may see the name of the Calendar Event and any details provided.
    5. Fields below Date and Time are used to create a RECURRING meeting schedule. REMINDER has a drop-down menu for specifying whether there will be meeting reminders issued by Outlook Calendar at various durations prior to the event.
    6. In the Text Box, more details about the meeting may be provided, such as the agenda or other comments.
    7. In the PEOPLE field, the identities of people to be invited to the meeting/event are added.
      1. Enter e-mail addresses and the system will start to display a shortened list when characters are entered.
      2. The field permits labeling people as REQUIRED or OPTIONAL attendees of the meeting.
    8. Clicking the CALENDAR ICON with the CLOCK (circled) will bring up the scheduling tool that permits viewing calendar availability of the people invited.
    9. When satisfied that the meeting timing may be viable, press the OK button to return to the main calendar event creation screen. (See below)
    10. The meeting is now ready to be sent to prospective attendees.


Above is the FUNCTION bar related to meetings:

  1. SEND – sends the meeting/calendar event invitation
  2. DISCARD – cancels the event creation
  3. ATTACH — the button to press when intending to attach meeting materials to the invitation
  4. SKYPE MEETING – use this function to add an ONLINE COMPONENT to a meeting. A meeting may be entirely online or hybrid, where people may be able to use Skype for Business to remotely access the meeting.
Calendaring: Skype Meetings
  • Press the SKYPE MEETING button and ADD SKYPE MEETING appears

NOTE the addition of “JOIN ONLINE MEETING” and CONFERENCE ID to the text box. This will provide the meeting connection link to invitees.

Pressing the ONLINE MEETING link causes the following to occur:

  • A window opens that asks the attendee whether they want to participate via their SKYPE FOR BUSINESS client (available to everyone at U of T, faculty and students).
  • People outside the University with Skype for Business may also participate with the application.
  • Alternatively, invitees may also click on the Web App link and a light version of the application will open in their browser.
  • Either approach permits remote access to the meeting.

Once the selection is made, Skype for Business will start up. Say “YES” to the permission screen.

And the online meeting will open.

Note the following:

  • The Video Camera turns your camera on or off. When calling in from a location with a poor Internet connection, turning off video (by clicking the icon) may improve audio performance.
Calendaring: Additional Items

Setting out-of-office parameters
Out-of-Office messaging is improved in Office 365. There are a few new features that are illustrated below.

Out-of-Office settings are created in SETTINGS -> MAIL -> AUTOMATIC PROCESSING -> AUTOMATIC REPLIES

To activate Automatic Replies for Out-of-Office messaging:

  • Select the SEND AUTOMATIC REPLIES radio button
  • To enable messaging for the duration of your out-of-office period, check SEND REPLIES ONLY DURING THE TIME PERIOD and set the START DATE/TIME and END DATE/TIME you will be away from the office.
  • Click the BLOCK MY CALENDAR checkbox to show others that you are out-of-office if they try to book you into a meeting. Add a TITLE so your calendar displays that you are out-of-office.
  • Click AUTOMATICALLY DECLINE NEW INVITATIONS TO EVENTS THAT OCCUR DURING THE PERIOD to let people sending you invitations know that you are unable to attend.
  • Click the DECLINE AND CANCEL MY MEETINGS DURING THIS PERIOD option to speed up the declining process.
    • When selecting this option, a list of meetings that are scheduled during the away period will appear at the bottom of the screen. Check off all the meetings to which you want an automated DECLINE to be sent.
  • When the details are entered, press SAVE to record your settings, or DISCARD to cancel the message creation.
Using OneDrive for File Storage and Collaboration

Why use OneDrive?

  • Do you sometimes send files to yourself by e-mail?
  • Is your e-mail account your document storage space?
  • Do you leave your computer on at night to access files remotely?
  • When working collaboratively on a document, do you send out multiple copies by e-mail and collect edits and comments for later collating?
  • Do you use Dropbox, Google Drive or other cloud-based file storage?

If you answer yes to any of the above, OneDrive provides all these services, fully integrated within Office 365. Features include:

  • 1 TB of file storage
  • Online Office documents are created and edited
  • Folders can be created to in OneDrive
  • Sharing rights on documents and foldersCo-editing documents
  • Accessing files remotely
Accessing the OneDrive

OneDrive is accessed from the Application Launcher.

On the left side of the screen, the list of files and folders appears as the default starting view:

  • RECENT shows files used most recently
  • SHARED WITH ME shows files that have been created by others and shared with your account – these files are those located elsewhere in the Office 365 tenant and owned by someone else. You may have viewing or editing rights to these files or folders.
  • RECYCLE BIN shows files that have been deleted but not purged from your OneDrive space

At the top of the screen are core OneDrive functions:

  • SEARCH – Use keywords to locate files in your OneDrive space
  • NEW – Enables the creation of new documents in the Online Office applications – Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote – the selection appears in a drop-down list
  • UPLOAD – Add files to the OneDrive space. Uploaded files may be up to 10GB in size
  • SHARE – Use SHARE to permit others to view and/or edit specific files or folders
  • COPY LINK – Let’s you create a link to a document that may be sent to others to they may access your file. When sharing with someone outside the University, an EXPIRY DATE may be attached to the file such that access may be automatically revoked by disabling the link.
  • DOWNLOAD – Documents may be taken down from the OneDrive and stored on a local device or network storage (i.e., your computer’s hard disc or the departmental network).
    • NOTE: When a file is downloaded, it’s connection to the OneDrive is broken. The file is duplicated locally. If you edit the document and want the changes preserved on OneDrive, the file must be UPLOADED again. A message will appear advising that the new file has the same name as the one on OneDrive – so if the edited file is to replace the existing OneDrive file then accept the REPLACE option. Otherwise, upload the file with a different name, or to a different location on OneDrive.
  • SORT – Provides a variety of options for listing the files in OneDrive
  • The “QUADRANT BOX” – Toggles the file display of files between a list format and a tile format.
  • The “I” Info icon — Shows access and update history about the document, and the people to whom access has been granted.
OneDrive: Sharing a Document

Document sharing requires two steps:

  1. Setting up the kind of sharing permissions desired
  2. Sending a link to the document to others to enable the sharing

Starting with the SHARE icon…

  • A dialogue box opens up, asking: “WHO WOULD YOU LIKE THIS LINK TO WORK FOR”
  • Three options appear:
    • ANYONE – Meaning that anyone can use the link to the file as generated by Office 365 OneDrive
      • This option provides an EXPIRY DATE option such that the link may cease to function after a set period. This is especially important when files are shared with people outside of the University.
    • PEOPLE IN THE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO – This option limits access rights to files to members of the University community with active Office 365 accounts.
    • SPECIFIC PEOPLE – This option limits use of the link to specific people within U of T.
    • ALLOW EDITING – Selecting this option permits recipients of the link to edit the file or just to have viewing rights.
  • Once rights have been APPLOED and the correct people selected to share the file, the link contains these conditions.
  • The next step is to send the link to the desired recipients.
  • The recipients will get an e-mail with a link to the file.

OneDrive is a powerful tool for collaboration. There are many advantages to using OneDrive for file sharing, including:

  • Using a University-authorised system for secure file storage
  • Enabling two or more people to collaborate on a document while having only one copy
  • Tracking the versions of a document and restoring prior versions if needed
  • Keeping track of document comments and edits – in ONE place, not across multiple copies of a document
  • Not having to send out and then collate edits from multiple persons
  • No longer needing to send e-mails to yourself to work on a document outside the University
  • Anytime, anywhere file access via secured Internet connections
Using Skype for Business

See the Skype for Business section on the Help Desk Knowledge Base.

Create a Skype meeting in UTmail+

You can use Skype for Business to have group meetings without leaving your desk. Have voice only meetings, video meetings, share your screen, and use instant messaging. Plus, it’s linked to the rest of your Office 365 suite so you can start a call from any application.

Learn more:

Install the Skype for Business web app

To learn more about accessing Skype for Business via the web application, visit

Join a Skype meeting through the web app

If you have been invited to a Skype meeting through UTmail+, you can join either through the web app, or through the Skype desktop app.

Learn more:

The Office 365 Settings Tool

This section is under development.

Settings permit personalisation of your Office 365 account. Here are some of the things you may do under the “Gear” icon:

  • Set a new theme – banner, colour scheme
  • Set preferred landing page when you log into Office 365
  • Modify the way your e-mail account is configured and performs
  • Download software – Office 365 for your devices; Skype for Business; OneDrive client