How Exchange and Microsoft Teams interact


Watch the following session to learn how Teams interacts with Azure Active Directory (AAD), Office 365 Groups, Exchange, SharePoint and OneDrive for Business: Foundations of Microsoft Teams

For the full Teams experience, every user should be enabled for Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, and Office 365 Group creation.

Users' Exchange mailboxes can be hosted online or on-premises. However, some features require a hybrid deployment to be in place with your Office 365 tenant.

Users hosted on Exchange Online or Exchange Dedicated vNext can use all the features of Teams. They can create and join teams and channels, create and view meetings, call and chat, modify user profile pictures, and add and configure connectors, tabs, and bots.

Users hosted on Exchange Online Dedicated (Legacy) must be synchronized to Azure Active Directory on Office 365. They can create and join teams and channels, add and configure tabs and bots, and make use of the chat and calling features. However, they can’t modify profile pictures, manage meetings, access outlook contacts, or manage connectors.

Users with mailboxes hosted on-premises must be synchronized to Azure Active Directory. They can make use of all the features in the above scenario, but additionally they can also change the user profile picture and manage meetings, providing Exchange Server 2016 (Cumulative Update 3), or above, is running on-premises.

The following table provides a helpful quick reference to feature availability based on the Exchange environment.

Actions supported:

User's mailbox is hosted in: eDiscovery Legal Hold Retention Team and Channel mgmt Create and view meetings in Teams Modify user profile picture Call History Manage Contacts Access Outlook contacts Voicemail Add and configure connectors Add and configure tabs Add and configure bots
Exchange Online Yes 2 Yes 2 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes 7 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Exchange Online Dedicated vNext Yes 2 Yes 2 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes 7 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Exchange Online Dedicated – Legacy (Sync to Azure AD required) Yes 2 Yes 2,3 Yes 4 Yes No No Yes Yes No Yes 5 Yes 6 Yes Yes
Exchange On-premises (Sync to Azure AD required) Yes 2 Yes 2,3 Yes 4 Yes Yes (Exchange 2016 CU3+) Yes (Exchange 2016 CU3+) Yes Yes No Yes 5 Yes 6 Yes Yes

1 Exchange 2016 CU3 and above supported.

2 eDiscovery and Legal Hold for compliance on channel messages is supported for all hosting options.

3 Teams private chat messages are not yet supported for Legal Hold for this hosting option.

4 Retention will use a shadow mailbox for the online user to store messages. Microsoft Teams Supports eDiscovery for Teams user in an Exchange Hybrid environment.

5 Teams users with on-premises Exchange mailbox may use voicemail with Teams and receive voicemail messages in Outlook, but voicemail messages will not be available to view or play within the Teams client.

6 If one of the owners of a team can add connectors, everyone else in that team will be able to do so, even if their mailboxes are homed on-premises.

7 Only contacts in default contacts folder. Access to other contacts folders or sub-folders is not supported.

Requirements to get the most out of Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams works with several Office 365 services to provide users with a rich experience. To support this experience, you need to enable certain features or services and assign licenses.

  • SharePoint Online is required to share and store files in team conversations. Microsoft Teams doesn't support SharePoint on-premises.

  • Users must be assigned a SharePoint Online license if they want to share files in Chats. If users aren't assigned and enabled with SharePoint Online licenses, they don't have OneDrive for Business storage in Office 365. File sharing will continue to work in Channels, but users are unable to share files in Chats without OneDrive for Business storage in Office 365.

  • Users must be enabled for Office 365 group creation to create teams in Microsoft Teams.

  • To let Microsoft Teams work with Exchange on-premises, you must configure the new Exchange OAuth authentication protocol as described in Configure OAuth authentication between Exchange and Exchange Online organizations.


For Exchange On-Premises and Teams integration, the required license needs to be assigned for the AAD synced user.


If you uninstall the Skype for Business client after you move a user to Teams Only mode, presence may stop working in Outlook and other Office apps. Presence works fine in Teams. To resolve this issue, select your profile picture in the top right-hand corner of Microsoft Teams and then select Settings. On the General tab under Application, select Register Teams as the chat app for Office (requires restarting Office applications). After you select this option, close and re-open all Office apps, including Outlook. After you open Outlook, presence information will be available.

Additional considerations

Here are some extra things to think about as you implement Microsoft Teams in your organization.

  • In Microsoft Teams, security and compliance features like eDiscovery, Content Search, archiving, and legal hold work best in Exchange Online and SharePoint Online environments. For channel conversations, messages are journaled to the group mailbox in Exchange Online, where they're available for eDiscovery. If SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business (using work or school account) are enabled across the organization and for users, these compliance features are available for all files within Teams as well.

  • Control and protect the configuration of compliance policies in Teams and Exchange using Conditional Access. For more information see How do Conditional Access policies work for Teams? .

  • If your organization has compliance requirements to ensure all meeting discussions are discoverable, you should disable private meetings if the organizer has an Exchange on-premises mailbox.

  • In an Exchange hybrid deployment, content from chat messages is searchable regardless of whether chat participants have a cloud-based mailbox or an on-premises mailbox. To learn more, read Searching cloud-based mailboxes for on-premises users in Office 365. To learn about searching for content in Teams, read Content Search in the Office 365 Security & Compliance Center.


For information about how to use Azure AD Connect to synchronize with Azure Active Directory, see Integrating your on-premises identities with Azure Active Directory.