The best tips to help you excel at Microsoft Teams for Windows 11

If you have already, or, are about to upgrade to Windows 11, you should notice that Microsoft Teams is now placed in front and centralised on the new-style taskbar. As much as Teams has been primarily used for videoconferencing and messaging across businesses worldwide, Microsoft is going to make the chat app available to use for all consumers too, so it can progressively replace any other virtual communication tools used up today, such as Skype, Facebook Messanger, Slack and any other.


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The preinstalled version of Teams, which is now placed on the taskbar, is a more lightweight edition designed for personal use only. Therefore if you need to log into the Teams account you use for business, you need to install the full Microsoft Teams application. For more information on the compatibility of these two versions, see the Microsoft support page. Alternatively, if you prefer to find out more about the installation, Windows 11, devices, give us a call on 0330 333 7439 and one of our IT specialists can help!

Now, when you are all set and ready for productive Teams’ work, let’s see what are the best tips that should excel the full potential of the app!


- Avaiable to chat? Set your status


In any apps that are designed to communicate, either chat or call, it is necessary that you let other people know if you are or aren’t available to respond. In Teams, you can set your availability status, by clicking your profile picture (top right), and then clicking on your current status. You can choose from available options such as Available, Appear Away, Appear Offline. You can send and receive messages within any status that you have set for yourself. Additionally, you can pick the Set status message from the same drop-down menu and set a custom message for other users to see what you are currently doing – such as “in a meeting with the HR team, or “on my lunch, back at 3 pm”, and so on. You can also set an expiration time for it, so it automatically disappears at the time you have set it for, end of the day, or one to a few hours.


- Notifications are set to your preferences 


The overwhelming number of notifications appearing on your screen device, eventually, can become simply annoying. You don’t want to get distracted by them during your virtual meetings. To change the setup click the three dots (top right), and then choose Settings and Notifications to set your preferences.
Next to Chat, click Edit to define which alerts (such as mentions of your name or your team) result in a banner notification. You can also find there a link that will take you directly to the main Windows 11 notifications setting page if you want to customise your notification further.


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- Come back to unread messages


As you begin to create a number of different conversations and group chats, eventually, it can become confusing which individual conversations are kept up with and which chats are still unread. For this reason, Teams has got the main Chat panel with a filter option that can help you find all types of messages that you need.


- Conversations can be muted or hidden


To not get too distracted by incoming messaged from your chats or individual conversations, an option to mute or hide those chats can be very helpful, especially when focusing on your tasks and deadlines. To mute or hide conversations, click the three dots to the right side of the chosen conversation and then choose from a dropdown “Hide” or “Mute”. After that, you won’t get any alerts about that specific thread, until you chose to unmute the conversation again. To find the Hidden conversation, you need to type in Search box the contact(s) name, at the top of the interface window.


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- Fully formatted messages


If you need to compose more formal messages, click on the Format underneath the text entry box – the A icon next to a pen shape. The Format option enables you to create fully formatted paragraphs. You can still add as many emojis as you want!

To get all your messages, click Chat, and then click the Filter button at the top right of your conversation list (three horizontal lines icon). Chose Unread (Eye icon), and Teams will select all of the messages you’ve not read yet. You can also filter the messages by a person’s name if you know there is a message to reply to!


- Dark mode option 


Some people simply prefer dark modes when they work. Teams is no different in providing a dark mode option. To change Teams to a dark mode, click the three dots up in the top right-hand corner of the interface, then choose Settings, then Appearance and Accessibility. You can find a choice of Light, Dark or High Contrast theme.


- Optional - Remove Teams from the taskbar


It could be necessary that you use Microsoft Teams as a main digital tool to communicate. But, is up to you, if you want to keep this app installed on your Windows 11. You can remove the shortcut, by opening the Start menu and choosing Settings. Click Personalisation, then Taskbar, and you can switch off the Chat toggle.
Teams will be still installed and available to open through the Start menu if you need to. For those who want to remove the app completely, open Settings, then choose Apps & Features. Click on the three dots icon next to the Microsoft Teams and click the Uninstall option.


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Microsoft Teams has been a big success and ultimately, one of the most used digital communication apps since the Covid -19 outbreak. All in one, this effective collaboration app allows segmenting your business workforce into different Teams (like projects) that is easier to navigate as a whole. You can be always up to date with everyone’s work by calling, using virtual calls, sending a quick message, PDFs, images, documents in various formats, and more! Thanks to Teams, the flexible working model became easier, faster, and more efficient.


To recap! The preinstalled Windows 11 Teams app is for personal use only. If you wish to use Teams for your business – you need to install Teams Application and remove or reallocate the Windows 11 Teams application to avoid confusion! But don't worry if you have any issues - our IT specialists can help you with the preparation process safely. Get in touch to find out more today!


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