If you use Microsoft Teams on a regular basis, it's likely you're already familiar with the basics of the app. Changing your background, creating separate teams and collaborating on documents are all things most Teams regulars will know how to do.
For these people, it's the lesser-known features that will be of more interest. The ones which are difficult to find, and not necessarily advertised by Microsoft.
With that in mind, here are 10 tricks and tips that will help you to get the most out of Microsoft Teams. This covers both basic and more advanced functionality, although some features may only be available on the Windows and Mac apps.
Share your screen
We've kept this one in here, primarily because it's something people often struggle to find. When in an active call, click the Share tray button in the menu that appears at the bottom (usually indicated by an up arrow inside a square):
You'll then have options to share your whole desktop, the currently open window, or one specific app. For more information, see our full tutorial on how to share your screen in Microsoft Teams.
Message while in a video call
There are some situations, particularly when people are presenting to a group, that it might not be appropriate to speak while in a meeting. To bring up the chat feed, click the speech bubble icon, located two to the right of the share tray button in the above screenshot. You can then type out your message as normal, with everyone receiving a pop-up notification when new messages are sent.
If the call was set up in a specific channel or group, these messages will still be available once the call has concluded.
Recording a meeting can be useful, especially for future reference or to send to someone who couldn't join the call. While in a meeting, click the three dots from the menu screenshotted above and choose "Start recording". Both the visuals and audio will be recorded and then made
All participants will then be notified that the call is being recorded, with both visuals and audio available as a video shortly after the meeting ends. It will then be available to play back from within the relevant channel or chat, while the host can also choose to share externally.
Create sub-groups with specific tags
Sometimes, you might want to speak to specific members of the team about a certain subject, but would rather not go through the hassle of creating a whole new channel. That's where tags come in, which allow you to group people depending on their job type or a specific project. The company administrator may have to turn this feature on for all members, but it's definitely worth doing.
- Click "Teams" in the left pane and find the specific team you're looking for
- Hover over it and click the three dots
- Select "Manage tags"
- Choose the people you'd like to add to a specific tag and what you'd like to call it
Now, you can use these tags to @mention this specific group of people, ensuring only the most relevant people are notified.
Use Outlook and Teams together
Teams is designed to be a one-stop-shop for collaboration, so it can be a little cumbersome to have to head into a separate app for email. However, Microsoft allows you to integrate the two, meaning you can compose a message in Teams that's also sent as an email.
To use this feature, you'll need to send the message in Teams first. Then, hover over the specific message and click those same three dots from before. Click the option which says "Share to Outlook".
Assuming your Outlook is linked to the same Microsoft account as Teams is, you'll be prompted to select any recipient/s and add specific comments.
Save chats for the future
Tapping those same three dots on any message also allows you to save the conversations for future reference. Once saved, you can access them at any time by clicking your icon in the top-right corner and choosing "Saved".
Mute and hide notifications
Notifications are great, until you're getting bombarded with them. Teams gives you control over who can and can't send you notifications, which can be useful if you're members of lots of active channels.
For specific channels, head to the "Teams" heading and hover over the channel you'd like to change notifications for. Click the three dots that appears, then choose Channel notifications. You'll then have options for "All Activity", "Off" or "Custom".
For a particular chat, choose "Chat" in the left pane and click the same three dots. Here, you'll simply see the option to "Mute" that particular conversation.
Use different accounts
With Microsoft encouraging people to also use Teams for general use, it's clear that some will want to be able to switch between personal accounts. There's not yet a solution within the app, although you can run a separate version of Teams (different account and all) as a web app.
Just head to teams.microsoft.com to get started, although you may have to sign out of one account before you can sign in to the other.
Add important apps
It can be incredibly annoying to switch between multiple apps all the time, particularly if you use the same handful each day.
To add an app, simply click the + icon next to the person or channel you've selected and choose from a large selection of apps. If you don't see that option, it probably means the owner has not granted you permission to make such changes.
Collaborate on Microsoft Office documents
Microsoft's Office apps have made big steps forward with real-time collaboration in recent years, and now people can share and edit documents directly within the Teams interface.
For our in-depth guide on how to set this up, check out how to collaborate on documents using Microsoft 365.