{Disarmed} Microsoft Teams: 26 Features and Tricks to Squeeze the Windows 11 Native Messaging Service

Microsoft Teams: 26 Features and Tricks to Squeeze the Windows 11 Native Messaging Service

We bring you a guide with 26 functions and tricks of Microsoft Teams , which is the application that will come pre-installed as a native Windows 11 messaging service. In Windows 10, the pre-installed messaging application was Skype , but in the next version of Windows it will be the turn of this new tool, which until recently was paid for computers, and now it has a free version for everyone .

Therefore, this article refers to the free desktop version for all of this tool. We have tested it with the beta version that will arrive in the launch of Windows 11, but we will update this article, since over time it is expected that they will improve it with new functions.

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And as we always say in xiaomist.com Basics, if you are a Microsoft Teams user in its free version and you want to mention a trick or function that we have overlooked, I recommend that you share it with everyone in the comments section . Thus, all readers can benefit from the wisdom of our community of xatakers.

1. Synchronize all your contacts

Contacts (edit)

Microsoft Teams is an application that few people use, so the first step to start using it in the best possible way would be to find those users who are using it. For that, the fastest thing is to synchronize your contacts . Teams will allow you to synchronize your contacts from Outlook or Hotmail, from Skype or from your mobile phone.

To do this, you have to go into the application settings. Inside, go to the Privacy section and click on the Manage button of Synchronize contacts . There, you can activate or deactivate the synchronization of contacts from the three different sources that there are, and if you choose to do it from your mobile, you will be shown a QR code to link to the download of the app on your mobile.

2. Choose what information you want to be found with

Contact

Within the same Privacy options, you can click on the option to Manage contact information . When you do, you can deactivate two parameters of your personal information, such as your phone number and your email.

These options are used to choose what information you want to be found in Teams . For example, you may want to be found with your phone number or your email, or simply that you cannot be found with this data so that you are the one who has control of who speaks to you.

3. Turn off the read receipt

Reading Confirmation

Within the privacy options you can also deactivate the read confirmation . By doing this, the rest of the users will not see a confirmation in the form of a second tick when you read the messages they have written to you. Of course, if you deactivate this option you will not be able to know if others read your messages.

4. Search for people, messages and files

Seeker

Teams has a powerful search engine, in which you can search for people, words in conversations, or files that have been shared with you. The idea is that you can find what you are looking for as easily as possible, without having too many complications to do it.

You can search for people to see their conversations by typing @ and then the username, or simply search for one or more words in their search engine. Here, in the results, you can choose to find messages or files, from certain senders, or filter the results by choosing a certain date or period of time.

5. Mention people in messages

Mentions

A little tip is that if you want to say something important, make sure that person receives an extra notification of your message mentioning them. To do this, simply use the @ symbol and start typing their name , and select this person's name from the suggestions. The name will be completed, and you can write the rest of the message

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6. Block or mute other people

Silence

When you right-click on one of the contacts in the user list, a menu will appear with options related to this user that you can configure. In this menu, you will be able to mute or block these contacts depending on how far you do not want them to bother you.

If you block a user, they simply won't be able to see or write to you in Microsoft Teams. If what you want is not to be notified of their messages, then it will be enough to silence that person. This is always reversible at any time. You will also be able to delete the contact directly.

7. Mark messages as unread

Unread

In this side menu that also appears when you right-click on a message, you also have the option to mark a message as unread . When you do this, the message will appear in the side list as if it was not read, and the conversation will appear highlighted as if you had not read it.

You can use this trick for when they tell you something important and you want to leave a mark to read it again later . Another alternative is to anchor the conversation, an option that is also perfectly doable and straightforward.

8. Anchor your important conversations

Anchor

If you actively use Teams, you can end up with a large number of messages in the left column, making it difficult to find the most important conversations. If you right-click on a conversation, you will be able to pin it so that it always appears at the top in the left column.

9. Prevent Teams from starting alongside Windows 11

No start

Teams is the great messaging application that Microsoft wants to promote in Windows 11. For this reason, it is not surprising that on many computers the application starts automatically together with Windows . If you want to avoid this, you will have to click on the three-dot button at the top right to show options, and enter the Settings section.

In here, you only have to enter the General section, and once you are inside, deactivate the option to Start Teams automatically . This is reversible, so whenever you want you will be able to return to this section to reactivate the option.

10. Configure notifications

Notifications

And if you go into the settings of the Teams application, you will also find that you can fully customize the notifications that the application sends. For that, enter the Notifications section. There, you can disable the Show message preview option so that when Windows displays the notification, it does not contain a fragment of the message.

If within this Notifications section you click on the Chat Edit button , you can choose what type of notification banner each type of message shows you, such as mentions, normal messages, or likes and reactions. Each one has a drop-down menu to choose from if you want to display the font, or the banner.

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11. Write responses to specific messages

Answers

A group conversation can be chaotic, with many people responding to what each other is saying. For this reason, Teams has a response system so that when you write something, it will appear indicated that it is in response to another message. Thus, conversations will be much more organized, even in individual chats. For this, simply right click on a message and choose the Reply option.

12. Add tabs to your chats

Tabs

By default, when you start a chat with a person, in that conversation you have two tabs at the top. In one of them you will see the conversation, and then you have another tab to access the files that you have shared with that person or group. However, you can also add other tabs in case you want to have more content at hand.

For that, you have to click on the + button to the right of the tabs of a chat , and you will see the option to add another. In the current version of Teams you can add a Tasks or tasks tab, but in the future you will be able to add others as well.

13. The Files tab is your friend

Records

And since we mentioned the chats tabs, the Files tab is a shared space where you can upload any file that you want to share with the person or group with whom you are talking. In this way, you can share content with these people so that they are accessible very quickly and easily.

There are two ways to share files on this tab. You can simply add the file and send it to the chat by clicking on the click icon in the chat. And the other is to go to the Files tab, and directly load into it what you want to be accessible.

14. Review and navigate your Activity tab

Exercise

In the left sidebar of the application you will have an Activity tab. In it, you will see the mentions, reactions and other notifications that come to you through your conversations or groups, so that you do not miss anything important. It is useful for when you are away for a while, and you want to check that you have not missed anything.

When you open the Activity tab, you will have a special search engine only to find messages within these notifications that have reached you here. Do you remember seeing someone tell you something about a topic but it got lost in other mentions or notifications? You can search for it.

15. Name your group conversations

Group name

Like any messaging application worth its salt, Teams will allow you to create group conversations. And to be able to differentiate them well, especially those in which some participants can repeat themselves, you will be able to name the group chats . You have the option to the right of the choice of participants in the chat creation window, or then entering their settings.

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16. Create a link to access a group chat

Link

Microsoft Teams will allow you to create a link to directly access a chat group that you have created. In this way, you will be able to create communities in which people who you do not necessarily have among your contacts will be able to join, or spread the group in other applications or social networks. You will also be able to deactivate the link whenever you want so that it stops working.

17. Quick menu when tapping on a contact

Quick Actions

When you start a conversation, there are two decisions you must make. You have to decide if you want a voice, video or text chat call, and also think about who you want to do it with. If you decide who you want to talk to first, you can tap on that person's name to display a pop-up menu of options.

When you do this, a contact card will open. In it, you will be able to see how long ago it was connected for the last time, and you will also be able to see shortcuts to start the three types of conversation that you have available. In this way, with the tab you can start a video call, call or chat quickly.

18. Use the back and forward buttons

Buttons

This is a little trick that can help you get back to previous conversations faster. At the top of the column where the list of contacts and conversations is, you will see that there are two buttons with arrows to the left or right . Well, they are the back or forward buttons, just like the browser, and it will help you navigate faster between your active conversations.

19. Open a chat in a separate window

Window

Although Teams has a unified interface, so that all chats open in the same window, you can also open chats in a separate window so that they are separated. Being an independent window, you can use it in split screen to have this chat more at hand without having to carry the entire application interface.

For that, within the conversation or when hovering over the list of chats, you can click on the Pop-up Chats option . The chat will immediately open in a separate window. If you want to return to normal, simply close the window of that chat, since you can continue using it in the main window of the application.

20. A GIF is worth a thousand words

Gif

GIFs have invaded all messaging applications precisely because they allow us to express in a serious and comical way several concepts in a single image. And Teams also has a GIF system, and in any conversation you can click on the GIF icon to display them. This window that will open will even have a search engine so that you can find the one that best suits what you want to express.

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21. Use reactions to messages

Reactions

Sometimes a person says something funny in conversation, and responding or writing that you found funny can cause you to lose the thread of the general conversation, something that can be annoying in important meetings or talks. Using a reaction to the message is sometimes an easier way to say that something has struck you a certain way without having to comment on it.

Reactions will be displayed when you hover the mouse pointer over a message , and you only have to click on the one you want to add. They are few, but you can express that you like something, you love it, it amuses you, it saddens you or it surprises you.

22. You can also add surveys

Polls

And if you can add gifs to entertain yourself and reactions to let work flow, you can also create polls in your group conversations . When you are in a group, below the text box there is an extra icon for polls. In it, you can write a question and configure the possible answers so that everyone can vote later. You can choose if you want to allow one or more responses.

23. Invite whoever you want to your video meetings

Invite Video

There are two ways to create a video call. You can start it directly in a personal or group chat, or you can press the button to start a video meeting without immediately choosing who to invite. When you do this, you will be able to generate a link to send it to other people who are not in Teams to join.

In addition, if you start a meeting without other people, a menu will appear in which you will have several options to invite other people , such as adding the link in calendar services or by email.

24. Customize the wallpaper in video chat

Background Effects

When you are in a video conference, before entering you will have three quick settings. You can activate or deactivate your microphone and webcam, and activate the blurring of the wallpaper . This way, if you are in a room that is not too visible, you can always blur what you have behind you.

You can also do this once you are in a video conference , although the option is not so visible. What you have to do is click on the ... button with three dots on the top bar, and click on Apply background effects . Here, you can also choose images with which to cover the entire background of what is behind you.

25. Raise your hand to talk, or share your windows in video chats

Raise your hand

There are some features in video meetings that can help you make them more productive. For example, you can display some reactions, including raising your hand to ask to speak . Thus, you can follow an order in the meeting to avoid talking all at the same time.

In addition, you can also share windows or applications so that everyone can see specific content that you share with them, such as a presentation. By the way, in the Meeting Options you can choose if you want everyone or only some people to share a screen.

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26. Create and organize meetings on the calendar

Meeting

Teams has a calendar tab, which is synced directly to your Microsoft calendar. Here, you can create meetings by organizing them on the calendar , putting their name, their address and the times at which they will take place. Then, you can also put a text you want or determine whether or not it is all day.

When you finish creating a meeting, a window will open with which you can invite the contacts you want to the meeting . The good thing about this is that it is linked in the calendar, so if you use the same Microsoft account on Windows, the notice will jump directly in the operating system notifications even if you have Teams closed.

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The news Microsoft Teams: 26 functions and tricks to squeeze the native messaging service of Windows 11 was originally published in xiaomist.com by Yúbal Fernández .

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