This guide focuses on the functions available during an MS Teams meeting and how to manage them.
Chat is one of the great features in a Teams meeting. It allows participants to share info without disrupting the flow of the meeting.
- If you receive a message while the chat window is closed, you’ll see chats appear in bubbles for a few seconds in the main meeting window, without navigating to the Show conversation icon. You can disable this feature by clicking on More actions and then Don’t show chat bubbles.
On iOS and Android devices, your two most recent messages will appear for a few seconds as previews at the bottom of the meeting screen.
To snooze chat bubbles, click the Snooze icon in the chat bubble.
To permanently turn off chat bubbles, click Don’t show chat bubbles from the menu at the bottom of the screen.
- To access the chat pane, click on the Show conversation icon from the meeting controls, as shown below. To close it, click on it again or click the X button.
The meeting controls on the MS Teams desktop application appear at the upper-right area of the application
The meeting controls on the MS Teams web version appear at the bottom centre of the page.
A red dot on the Show conversation icon indicates that someone posted a message as shown on the screenshot below.
- To view the message, click the Show conversation icon, and the meeting chat window will open to the right of the main screen
- To send a message, compose it in the text box and then click the Send icon
You can format your text, mark it as urgent, attach files, send components for everyone to edit, use emojis, send GIFs and stickers, and so on. Click here for further details.
- After the meeting, you can access the chat conversation in several ways:
- Click Chat on the left side of Teams and choose the meeting in the chat list. The meeting chats can be identified by the Round icon and have the same title as the meeting.
- Click the Calendar icon on the left side of Teams, right-click the meeting event, and then click Chat with participants.
Or you can double-click the meeting event and click the Chat tab.
- Chats are enabled in meetings by default. To disable chats in a meeting, click More actions from the meeting controls and click Meeting options
Scroll down to Allow meeting chat and select Disabled and then click Save
If you’re in a meeting with several people, it can be challenging to keep track of who’s there. You can view a list of all participants to see everyone in the meeting.
- To access the Participants pane, click the People icon (Show participants) from the meeting controls. To close it, click on it again or click on the X button.
MS Teams desktop app
MS Teams web version
- To add people to a meeting on the fly, type their name and then click Request to join or click Share invite and send them the link via MS Teams chat or email
The invited person can choose to join the meeting or reject the call.
- You can also manage the participants of the meeting once they’re in. The options available to you depend on your role. If you’re the organiser of the meeting or a presenter, you will be able to manage everything. Attendees will have limited options in what they can do, but they can still speak, share their videos and chat.
Click on the three dots next to the attendee’s name and choose the action you would like to make (Mute participant, Disable mic, Disable camera, Pin for me, Spotlight for everyone, Make a presenter, Remove from meeting). You can also click Mute all to mute everyone in the meeting. If you click on the three dots next to a presenter’s name, the list of actions you can make is limited (Mute participant, Pin for me, Spotlight for everyone, Make an attendee, Remove from meeting).
If an attendee is removed from the meeting, they’ll be able to rejoin the meeting.
- Organisers and presenters can also disable mic and camera for all attendees. Organisers only can manage permissions, download attendance list and lock the meeting.
Locking a meeting means no one else will be able to join, but invitees can still access the meeting chat, the recording, and other meeting info.
These are the permission options available to the organiser
- Before joining a meeting, you will be given the option to mute/unmute yourself
- During the meeting, you can mute/unmute yourself by pressing the Mic icon from the meeting controls or pressing (ctrl+Shift+M) keys
- The meeting organiser and presenters can mute all attendees by going to the meeting controls > People icon (Show participants) > pressing the Mute all button
Please note: pressing the Mic icon in the Participants pane will not mute/unmute your mic. This is an indication only whether the mic is mute/unmute for the participant. If you’re an organiser or presenter and wish to mute all participants, click Mute all, read the above section (Participants) for further details.
- Before joining a meeting, you have the option whether you want to join the meeting with your camera turned on/off. You can also choose a background filter.
- You can click on the settings icon to access the Device settings. Here you will be able to change your camera if you have more than one attached to your device, mirror your video or adjust the brightness.
You can also access the Device settings during your meeting call by going to the meeting controls and clicking on the More Options … button and then clicking on Device settings.
- During a meeting, you can turn your camera on/off from the meeting controls.
- If you’re the meeting organiser or presenter, you can disable the camera option for all attendees. For further details, read the Participants section in this guide.
- If you’re in a meeting and your call is breaking up or experiencing lag due to a low bandwidth internet connection, we recommend turning off your camera in the first instance. If this hasn’t improved your call, we recommend turning off incoming video feeds to lower your network bandwidth needs. This would be the optimum solution, especially in large meetings. To turn off the incoming video feed, go to the meeting controls and click on the More Options … button and then scroll down and click on Turn off incoming videos. Please note that when you turn off incoming video feeds, other people in the meeting who have their cameras turned on can still see each other.
You can express yourself in other ways to be more inclusive, engaging, and fun by using Reactions.
- You can access Reactions from the meeting controls by hovering your mouse over the Reactions icon. Select the reaction that you want to express. Like , Love , Applause , Laugh , Surprise and Raise hand .
- Your reaction will appear for a few seconds in your live video feed or on your profile picture at the lower right. Live reactions appear when using filters and backgrounds and in breakout rooms, but not in together mode or large gallery view.
- If you or someone else is sharing content in a meeting, such as a desktop, window, PowerPoint deck, photo, video, or whiteboard, reactions will float up from the bottom of the screen for a few seconds. Corresponding reactions also appear on the profile pictures of participants who send reactions.
- During a meeting, attendees can virtually raise their hand to flag that they want to speak or have some input without interrupting the meeting. If multiple attendees raised their hands, they will be listed in the order in which they raised their hands in the Participants pane.
- The organiser can lower all hands by clicking on the three dots next to Participants … and click on Lower all hands.
Teams can detect what’s said in a meeting and present real-time captions. Your captions will include speaker attribution—so you’ll see not only what’s being said, but who’s saying it. All attendees regardless of their roles can turn captions on/off. This feature is also available on the web version and mobile app.
- To turn captions on, go to your meeting controls and click on the More Options … button then scroll down and click Turn on live captions.
- To turn captions off, go to your meeting controls and click on the More Options … button then scroll down and click Turn off live captions.
- To change the language of your captions, go to the right of the captions and click Captions settings
Select the spoken language and then click Confirm
- When meetings include live captions or transcription, Teams automatically identifies the speaker along with what they say. You can choose to hide your name in live captions, live transcription, and the saved transcription that’s available after the meeting.
You will need to do this before the meeting where you want to speak anonymously.
Select More Options next to your profile picture at the top of Teams and then select Settings.
Select Captions and transcripts on the left and then select the Automatically identify me in meeting captions and transcripts toggle to turn off the option
In addition to the caption feature, the meeting organiser and presenter(s) can enable/disable Transcription. This works with scheduled (single or recurring) meetings only using the desktop version.
- To enable transcription, go to your meeting controls and click on the More Options … button then scroll down and click Strat transcription.
The organiser will get this message appearing at the top of their screen, which they can dismiss: Transcription has started Let everyone know they’re being transcribed.
Attendees will get this message appearing at the top of their screen, which they can dismiss: Transcription has started For now, meeting transcripts are only available to select Teams users.
- The transcription appears in the Transcription pane on the right-hand side of the screen. You can hide it by clicking on the close button X or going to More Options … and then Hide transcription. Please note that the transcription will continue recording even if the Transcription pane is closed.
- If you have hidden the Transcription pane and would like to show it again, go to your meeting controls and click on the More Options … button then scroll down and click Show transcription.
- To stop the transcription, go to your meeting controls and click on the More Options … button then scroll down and click Stop transcription. The transcription stops automatically when all participants leave the meeting.
- Once the meeting is over, the transcript becomes available immediately and all meeting participants will be able to download it. To download a meeting transcript, click the Calendar tab and then double-click on the relevant meeting event.
Now click on the Recordings & Transcripts tab. If this is a recurring meeting, you will be able to select the date and then click the Download button. You will be presented with two versions .docx or .vtt. The organiser of the meeting only can delete the transcript.
MS Teams allows you to customise your view when you are in a Teams meeting. It optimises the layout to make that content as large as possible while also showing more video participants.
- If you’re in a meeting with at least ten people have their cameras turned on, you can change the view to Large gallery to allow you to see them all in a gallery with pages. You can see up to 49 participants on one page. In Large gallery view, navigation controls < > will appear at the bottom of the gallery when there are more than 49 participants. Use these navigation controls to view or engage with more video participants. To change your view to Gallery view, go to the meeting controls > More actions.. > Large Gallery.
- If you’re the meeting organiser or presenter and you want to focus on particular people in the meeting, spotlight them to make them appear larger for everyone. There are a couple of different ways to do it.
Right-click on the person’s video itself and select Spotlight from the menu.
Alternatively, you can select Show participants from the meeting controls to see a list of everyone in the meeting. Find the name of the person whose video you want to highlight in the list, right-click on their name, and select Spotlight.
When you’re ready to end the spotlight, right-click on the person’s video again and choose Stop spotlighting. If the spotlight is on your video, the option will say Exist Spotlight.
- To dock participants to the top of the screen to maintain better eye contact with others while content is being shared, go to the meeting controls and click More Options … and then click Gallery at the top.
- To focus on a particular video, right-click on that video and click Pin. The video will be pinned to your view regardless of who’s talking. You can pin as many videos as will fit on your screen. If you change your mind, right-click that video again and select Unpin.
- You can change the layout of the participants’ videos to Together mode to increase the size of the video so you can see people’s faces while also viewing shared content. To activate the Together mode, you will need at least 5 participants and the maximum number of participants that can be visually shown is 49. To change the layout, go to your meeting controls and click the More Options… button then clicks Together mode.