It’s important to keep your software up-to-date for security reasons–and for new features! Microsoft Teams will automatically check for updates occasionally, but sometimes you want to make sure that your organization is running the latest and greatest software.
Click on your user icon in the lower left to access the settings menu. Click ‘Check for Updates’, and let Teams do its thing!
You can check the status of the update by paying attention to this message bar, which appears at the top of the window:
One of the biggest features of Microsoft Teams is the ability to easily meet, now or later, with audio or video. If you’ve never had a meeting in Microsoft Teams but have been curious, this post is for you! When you begin a meeting, the audio initiates automatically. From left to right, we have options to: show/stop showing your webcam, mute/unmute, share/stop sharing your desktop, and end the meeting:
Meetings are channel-specific, and it’s easy to see when a meeting is in progress:
If you navigate away from the meeting window, a mini-window will pop up in the corner of your desktop. Just one click will open the meeting window back up again very quickly. When you share your screen, a red rectangle will appear around the border as seen below:
When your meeting window opens up again, notice the icon menu at the top-right. From left to right, these are options to open the meeting in a full-screen window, open up the chat, invite additional participants, and change your speaker & microphone device:
A better look at the meeting chat:
After the meeting ends, you can see the meeting chat and can send meeting quality feedback in the channel the meeting took place in:
Per this UserVoice post, Microsoft is working to make Group Calendars native to Microsoft Teams via the “Meetings”/Calendar view, but below you’ll find one potential workaround in the meantime. Please note that the below workaround may not work for users with On Premise mailboxes.
- To add a group calendar to Teams, we need to acquire the Calendar URL first. Log into the Outlook Web App (https://outlook.office365.com/)
- Go to the Group you want the calendar for:
- Click “Calendar”:
- Copy the URL from your browser:
- Add a new tab within a Channel in Teams:
- Select “Website”:
- Add a name and the URL you copied from the Outlook Web App:
- Sign in to Microsoft when prompted. This tab will now take you to the Group Calendar for the group you’ve selected. Just be aware that you’ll need to sign in to your own Microsoft Portal account to display the group calendar:
For more information, check out this Microsoft TechNet post. Be sure to check out the comments in the TechNet post if you’re having trouble adding the Group Calendar to Teams.
We had a great question come in a bit ago asking about how you could send a message to multiple teams or channels at once. I briefly touched on this on a previous post but wanted to explain a bit more thoroughly. You can send an email to multiple Channel email addresses, and it will appear in that Channel’s conversation tab. This is a great way to send blast messages out because you can send messages to multiple Teams’ channels.
So! Navigate to Teams, and determine which Channels you wish to contact. Note that only Channels have email addresses–Teams do not, because the General Channel is the “home page” for a Team. You can click on the three dots next to the channel names and click “Get email address”:
A new window will pop up. You can click “advanced settings” to determine who can send emails to the channel. Customize this as needed, then click Copy:
Repeat this process as many times as needed until you have all of the email addresses you need. I suggest saving these in your email client so you can quickly reference them in the future. Compose your message, including all of the appropriate Channel emails, then send:
When we return to Microsoft Teams, we see that our message has been delivered to both Channels’ General Conversations tab:
You can download the original email from both locations, and can have an isolated conversation about the message, visible ONLY from Microsoft Teams.
One little-discussed feature of Microsoft Teams is the Search bar. It is accessible from all 5 navigation areas (Activity, Chat, Teams, Meetings, & Files), and is actually quite handy! Microsoft Teams stores all of your organization’s history indefinitely in the cloud, so you’ll be able to refer back to links, files, conversations, etc.
You can search for a term, and Teams allows you to tab through matching Messages, People, and Files. When searching in Messages, you can filter down even further and specify if your search should be contained to All teams, This Team, or This Channel (This referring to whatever Team/Channel was selected last). It’s possible to search for a partial URL in the messages tab:
You can use an advanced filter in the Messages and Files Search tabs by selecting the Funnel/Filter button:
This allows you to filter the search results very specifically for either a certain Subject, Date/Date range, Team, Channel, Person, Mention, Attachment, or some combination of the above:
When searching for files, again, you can search for a partial file name. Emails sent to channels will appear as files and messages:
You can also filter the Files results and look for files belonging to a specific Team, modified by a specific person, or containing a certain file type:
Microsoft Teams does a pretty great job of organizing Team structures and projects, and the developers have made it so easy to retrieve old data.
You may have noticed in Conversations–Microsoft Teams actually has quite a robust chat feature. Any time you see the chat bar, a number of customization options are available:
By selecting the far left icon in the chat box, we open the Compose Box, which allows us to use more formatting options:
As you see, this increases our drafting area considerably and allows for bold, italics, underline, highlighted text, font color changes, three font sizes, bullet lists, numbered lists, HTML Paragraph formatting selection, and the option to mark the message as important.
By selecting the second icon from the left, the paperclip, we can attach a file via Windows Explorer by just selecting Upload immediately, or you can browse the Microsoft Teams and OneDrive libraries:
This is the compose box with an attachment uploaded:
Selecting the Smiley face brings up the emoji selection window:
The next option brings up the GIF selection box powered by Giphy:
Similarly, the second-to-last option inserts Stickers (kinda like GIFs, but static):
The webcam icon allows you to create an instant meeting or schedule a meeting with the recipient. You can turn the webcam on or off and give the meeting a subject:
Finally, the icon on the far right sends the message off. Make sure you have navigated to the Channel or Contact that you wish to send the message to, then hit send! Here’s our example message in all its glory:
Let me know if you have any questions by commenting below!
Hey there! In this tip, I wanted to point out the difference between a reply vs a new conversation in Microsoft Teams.
There are two places to start typing in the Conversations tab–at the bottom with the mini Compose Box, or under an existing ‘conversation’:
Pay attention to which box you’re typing in! Replies will trigger notifications to others in that conversation, and keep the conversation contained. Conversations are sorted chronologically, so if you were to reply to a conversation by starting a new conversation, the reply could get separated from the rest of the conversation.
As always, please let me know if you have any questions or comments down below!
This tip is easy to miss and very convenient! As you browse through Teams, when you see a contact’s icon, you can hover over it and access a nifty little menu:
From left to right above, we have options to jump to a private chat, send an email (outside of Teams), check out their organization chart, start a video call, and start an audio call. Exercise caution, the video and audio calls initiate immediately when clicked! You can also view when they were last ‘seen’ in Teams and some contact information.
I stumbled across this feature today and thought I’d share! You can actually save any messages that you see in any tab, any channel, any conversation (as far as I can tell). You can access them later in a convenient location.
To save a message, hover over a message and click the bookmark that appears:
Click on your user icon next to where it displays ‘Saved’:
Here, you effectively see a list of bookmarks that, when clicked, take you back to that location in the appropriate tab:
Let me know if you have any questions about this tip down below!
Let’s be real–Microsoft Teams is still in its infancy. While a new release–with new features–arrives every few weeks, there is still a lot of room for improvement! (By the way, you can check recent release notes under Chat->T-Bot->Release Notes.) As you explore and use Teams, you may think of improvements or new feature ideas. It’s very easy to submit them, and you absolutely should! These ideas funnel back to the User Feedback website for Microsoft Teams. Not only can you submit ideas (or bugs, for that matter)–you can also stay up-to-date and vote on existing & popular ideas.
You can report issues or submit ideas easily in Microsoft Teams by clicking the lightbulb at any time:
Selecting ‘Share an Idea’ takes you to the User Feedback site, also linked here:
Selecting ‘Report a problem’ allows you to report on issues directly from Teams, with the option to include logs: