If you’re working after hours or want to send a chat message during someone else’s working hours (such as when your colleagues are geographically dispersed across time zones), you can schedule your message to send at a later time in Teams. This works for both internal and external chat recipients.
Note This only applies to chats – not channel conversation posts.
Here’s how to delay Teams chat messages:
How to schedule Teams messages to send later
Compose your message as you normally would.
Right-click the Send button and set the date and time you’d like the message to be delivered
Click Send at scheduled time
Click the Send button
That’s it! Your message will be sent at the scheduled time.
How to edit or delete a scheduled chat message in Microsoft Teams
Later, you may change your mind or want to edit the message text or change the delivery time for a previously scheduled message.
Note Deleted scheduled messages will not be delivered and cannot be restored.
Here’s how to edit or delete a scheduled message:
Hover over the scheduled message and select the ellipsis (…)
Click Edit (or Delete if that’s what you want to do)
Edit the message and select the checkmark when finished to save your changes.
Note If you don’t see the Edit option, it is likely that your Teams administrator has assigned a messaging policy to you that prevents editing sent messages. This is a simple toggle in the messaging policy they control.
Business use cases
Here are some scenarios in which scheduling messages to send later might be appropriate:
You want to send a message outside of business hours but don’t want it to end up at the bottom of many others to come
You want to send a reminder about an upcoming meeting or deadline
You want to send a message when someone is in a different time zone
You want to send a message when someone is on vacation or out of office
You want to make sure you don’t forget to welcome somebody back, or acknowledge a significant date
If you want to create a direct hyperlink in an email or chat message that takes a user directly to the Approvals app within Microsoft Teams, it’s luckily pretty straightforward. You might do this if you want to remind users to review any pending/open approvals on a regular basis, nudge a specific person to complete an approval, or create a custom approval request email for a Power Automate flow.
In this blog post I’ll highlight how you can get a direct link to Approvals for enterprise and GCC subscriptions in both Microsoft Teams and Power Automate.
How to create a direct link to the Approvals app in Microsoft Teams
To send users directly to the Approvals app in Microsoft Teams, your URL may be exactly the same as one of these. That’s right, no modification needed! That’s because the alphanumeric content in the URL is the app ID and it stays the same from one organization to the next.
However, the app ID does differ for different versions of the Approvals app. For instance:
How to create a direct link to the Approvals page of Power Automate
If you prefer users complete approvals via the browser using Power Automate (same approvals, different interface), you may instead go to Power Automate in your browser and click on Approvals from the left navigation menu then copy that entire URL. It will be the same for all users in your organization.
You can, alternatively, copy one of my fake URLs above and replace everything between Default- and /approvals with your organization’s ID. To get this, visit Power Automate in your browser and copy the ID out of its URL.
Microsoft Teams and Viva Engage (formerly known as Yammer) both empower communication and collaboration within an organization but they have different strengths and purposes. So how do you decide which one to use for your needs?
When I’m asked the question “when do I use which?”, I usually respond with another question: “Are you wanting to accomplish work together, or work on employee engagement and culture?” It’s not that you can’t do both with either tool – but each has its strength for different purposes. This post will help clarify when you might choose one over the other for various needs.
Feature comparison: Teams vs Viva Engage
To help you understand the differences between Microsoft Teams and Viva Engage, I’ve put together a comparison table that highlights their key concepts and strengths. I’ll go into more detail later in this post.
Chat, voice, and video calls
Community building, leadership engagement
File sharing, co-authoring, and real-time collaboration
Knowledge sharing, self-expression
Integrated with other Microsoft 365 apps
Integrated with other Microsoft 365 apps
Managed by Teams admin
Managed by Teams admin
Real-time communication and collaboration
Community building and knowledge sharing
Table comparing core concepts and abilities of Microsoft Teams and Viva Engage
As you can see from the table, Microsoft Teams excels at real-time communication and collaboration, while Viva Engage is focused on community building and knowledge sharing. So when deciding which tool to use, it’s important to consider your goals and the needs of your team or organization.
Next, let’s look at another commonly asked question that gets deeper into each app – when I need a new place for my team/group, should I create a team in Microsoft Teams or a community in Viva Engage?
Teams vs communities: When to use which
You’re going to be at a crossroads occasionally when you need to establish a new group of people in one (or both) apps. While both apps allow you to create groups of people and share resources, they are best suited for different scenarios. So do you need a new team, or a new community?
Microsoft Teams: Real-time collaboration
In Microsoft Teams, you can create a team for real-time communication and collaboration. Teams are ideal for scenarios where you need to work on a project together, coordinate tasks, or share files. With features like chat, voice and video calls, and co-authoring, Microsoft Teams makes it easy to collaborate and get work done.
Viva Engage: Community building
In Viva Engage, you can create a community for knowledge sharing and community building. Communities are ideal for scenarios where you want to share best practices, discuss industry trends, or build a sense of community around a shared interest or goal. With features like community discussions, knowledge sharing, and leadership engagement, Viva Engage helps you foster a strong and engaged community as well as company culture.
Business use case comparison: Teams vs Viva Engage
The following table helps demonstrate when I, personally, would choose one app over the other. There is a great deal of personal preference here and there is no 100% correct answer for all organizations and scenarios. But I hope this helps you form your own decisions, nonetheless.
Business use case
Launch a new product and get feedback from customers and stakeholders
Organize a virtual live event with speakers, Q&A, and polls
Coordinate a project with tasks, deadlines, and progress reports
Share best practices and tips with peers in the same role or function
Connect with leaders and experts and ask questions or share ideas
Collaborate on a document or presentation with co-authors and reviewers
Celebrate a team milestone or achievement with praise and recognition
Find relevant information and resources for a specific topic or domain
Manage a sales pipeline and track leads, opportunities, and deals
Communicate urgent updates and announcements to the whole organization
Conduct a brainstorming session and generate new ideas or solutions
Plan and execute a marketing campaign or a product launch
Build a personal network and find people with common interests or goals
Table comparing when to use a team (Microsoft Teams) vs a community (Viva Engage)
*I would choose Viva Engage over Microsoft Teams for most live events that are this interactive because the features being used imply engagement and broad communication. I lean toward Teams for smaller meetings, typically less produced, and more task oriented.
In summary, you might choose to create a team in Microsoft Teams when you need to collaborate and communicate in real-time, and you might choose to create a community in Viva Engage when you want to build and foster a community around a shared interest or goal. For more information on Viva Engage, you can check out the official Microsoft documentation.
What do you think? How do you use Microsoft Teams and Viva Engage in your organization? Share your comments below or reach out to me on LinkedIn.
You can continue learning and reading about Microsoft Teams and Viva Engage with these resources:
How can you empower your employees to connect and collaborate across the company, no matter where or when they work? The answer is Microsoft Viva Engage, the new and improved evolution of Yammer, that creates an inclusive and engaging employee experience for everyone. The Viva Engage app in Teams enables organizations to create community, foster engagement with leadership, access knowledge and answers, and develop personal networks.
Viva Engage is powered by Yammer services, so you can access the same content and features in Yammer web, desktop, and mobile apps as well as in Teams.
In this blog post, we will share three user stories that illustrate how different employees use Viva Engage in different ways to accomplish their goals and work smarter.
User story 1: A frontline worker who uses Viva Engage to stay connected and informed
Maria is a retail associate at a large clothing store. She works on the shop floor, interacting with customers and managing inventory. She doesn’t have a dedicated desk or computer, so she relies on her smartphone to access Viva Engage in Teams.
Maria uses Viva Engage to:
Join and follow communities that are relevant to her role, such as the store community, the customer service community, and the product knowledge community.
Receive and respond to announcements from her manager and the corporate headquarters, such as new policies, promotions, and feedback surveys.
Ask and answer questions in the communities, using the Q&A feature to mark the best answers and upvote helpful replies.
Share stories and photos of her work and experience, using the storyline feature to create engaging posts that highlight her achievements and challenges.
Learn from her peers and experts, using the topics feature to follow hashtags and @mentions that interest her and help her improve her skills and knowledge.
Maria feels more connected and informed with Viva Engage. She can communicate and collaborate with her colleagues across the store and the company and access the information and resources she needs to do her job well and grow her career.
User story 2: A project manager who uses Viva Engage to manage and coordinate a cross-functional team
David is a project manager at a software company. He leads a team of developers, designers, testers, and marketers who work on a new product feature. He works remotely, so he uses Viva Engage in Teams to manage and coordinate his team.
David uses Viva Engage to:
Create and manage a community for his project team, where he can share updates, documents, and feedback with his team members and stakeholders.
Host and join virtual events in the community, using the live events feature to stream presentations, demos, and Q&A sessions with his team and the wider audience.
Interact with senior executives and thought leaders, using the leadership corner feature to view and join activities from top management, take polls, participate in hashtag campaigns and AMAs, and network with new leaders across the organization.
Crowdsource ideas and solutions, using the questions and answers feature to post and pin questions, upvote replies, and mark the best answers to solicit input and feedback from his team and the broader network.
Analyze and improve his community’s performance, using the analytics feature to get detailed insights into every community, event, and conversation, and take action to measure and increase activity and engagement.
David feels more productive and collaborative with Viva Engage. He can manage and coordinate his project team effectively and leverage the collective intelligence and experience of the organization to deliver better outcomes.
User story 3: A human resources manager who uses Viva Engage to foster a culture of diversity and inclusion
Lisa is a human resources manager at a manufacturing company. She is responsible for developing and implementing diversity and inclusion initiatives across the company. She works in the headquarters, but she travels frequently to visit different sites and regions. She uses Viva Engage in Teams to foster a culture of diversity and inclusion.
Lisa uses Viva Engage to:
Create and support employee resource groups (ERGs), using the communities feature to create and join communities for different affinity groups, such as women, LGBTQ+, veterans, and people with disabilities.
Launch and promote diversity and inclusion campaigns, using the community campaigns feature to create and manage organization-wide campaigns with dedicated campaign pages that aggregate posts from across the network into a unified view.
Share and celebrate stories of diversity and inclusion, using the storylines feature to create, upload, and share stories that highlight the diversity and inclusion achievements and challenges of the company and its employees.
Educate and empower employees on diversity and inclusion, using the learning feature to find and share relevant content from learning providers and company resources, and the live events feature to host and join webinars and workshops on diversity and inclusion topics.
Monitor and improve the diversity and inclusion outcomes, using the analytics feature to track and measure the impact of the diversity and inclusion initiatives, and the feedback feature to solicit and respond to employee suggestions and concerns.
Lisa feels more inspired and impactful with Viva Engage. She can foster a culture of diversity and inclusion across the company, and support and celebrate the diverse identities and perspectives of the employees.
These user stories show how Viva Engage helps employees connect and collaborate across the organization, regardless of their role, location, or background. Viva Engage is part of Microsoft Viva, the employee experience platform designed to help people connect, focus, learn, and thrive at work. Learn more about Viva here.
If you want to try Viva Engage for yourself, you can install the Viva Engage app in Teams and start creating and joining communities and conversations. You can also access Viva Engage in Yammer web, desktop, and mobile apps. For more information and guidance on how to use Viva Engage, check out the Microsoft Learn module here. And check out the introduction video here:
Microsoft Teams is a powerful tool for teamwork and collaboration that has transformed the landscape of digital work. You can create and join teams (groups of people and their shared tools and work), chat with others within and beyond your organization, share and manage files, and much more. However, to make the most of Teams, you need to configure some settings and permissions for your team on a case-by-case basis. In this blog post, I will highlight five important settings to consider for each of your teams in Microsoft Teams.
Not a team owner (yet)? Share these topics with whoever is or keep them in mind for your future teams. I’ll cover:
Team name and description
Team members and owners
Team channels and tabs
Team notifications and mentions
1. Team name and description
The team name and description are the first things that people see when they browse or search for teams. They should be clear, concise, and informative. You can change the team name and description by going to the team name, clicking More options | Edit team, and typing in the new name and description.
Consider using a naming convention to make it clear which region, department, audience, etc. a team belongs to. For example, perhaps an EXT_ prefix will always preceed teams with external participants. Learn more about team naming conventions here: The Importance of a Teams Naming Convention | Microsoft Learn
You can also add a team picture to make your team more instantly recognizable.
2. Team privacy
The team privacy determines who can see and join your team. You can choose from two options: public or private. A public team is visible to anyone in your organization, and anyone can join it without approval. A private team is only visible to team members, and people need to request to join it or be invited by a team owner. You can change the team privacy by going to the team name, clicking More options | Edit team, and selecting the privacy option.
3. Team members and owners
The team members and owners are the people who belong to your team. The team members can chat, share files, and participate in meetings. The team owners can manage the team settings and permissions, add or remove members, and delete the team. You can add or remove team members as well as promote or demote roles (i.e. from member to owner) by going to the team name, clicking More options | Manage team, and selecting the Members tab.
4. Team channels and tabs
The team channels and tabs are the spaces where you can have conversations and access tools within your team. The team channels are typically organized by topics, projects, or departments. You can create standard channels that are open to everyone in the team, or private channels that are only accessible to a subset of team members. You can add or remove team channels by going to the team name, clicking More options | Add channel or More options | Manage team, and selecting the Channels tab. Note that the General channel comes with every team and cannot be deleted.
You can also edit individual channel names, descriptions, and whether or not it’s shown or hidden by clicking More options | Edit this channel.
The team tabs along the top of each channel are the shortcuts to your favorite apps and tools within a channel. You can add tabs for a Planner board, a Power BI dashboard, a OneNote notebook, and more. You can add or remove team tabs by going to a channel, clicking the + sign at the top, and choosing the app or tool you want to add.
You can also reorder the tabs by dragging and dropping them, or delete the tabs by selecting it’s dropdown arrow and choosing Remove.
5. Team notifications and mentions
The team notifications and mentions are two ways to stay updated and alert your team members. The team notifications are the alerts that you receive when something happens in your team, such as a new message, a new file, or a new meeting. You can customize your team notifications by going to Settings and more (…) and then Settings | Notifications, and choosing the notification level and sound for each activity.
The team mentions are the tags that you use to get someone’s attention in a conversation. You can mention a person, a channel, a tag, or the whole team by typing @ followed by their name. The team mentions help you communicate effectively and efficiently with your team.
Using a profile picture in collaborative apps like Microsoft Teams can enhance communication, recognition, engagement, and social connection among coworkers. It can also remove anonymity and add a human touch to the digital workplace.
Updating your profile picture in Microsoft Teams updates your profile picture across all of Microsoft 365 – the same picture will appear when you’re using Office.com, SharePoint, OneDrive, Outlook, etc. in the upper right corner.
Ready to give it a try? Follow these steps:
How to update your profile picture in Microsoft Teams
Live streaming Teams meetings and webinars to YouTube may expand your audience and allow for more viewers to engage with your event than otherwise might. It’s great for running a virtual conference or event where you need to embed YouTube videos in the platform for a streamlined approach. YouTube also saves your live streams as videos in your channel without the need to do a separate upload after an event. This concept gives users/presenters the ease of just having a normal Teams meeting, but the power of enhanced broadcasting and distribution.
Though I’m focused on YouTube in this blog post, the same setup on the Teams side is required to live stream to social media platforms or otherwise.
Thanks to recent updates to Microsoft Teams, you no longer need OBS Studio or other third-party software installations to live stream your Microsoft Teams events to YouTube. However, this ability launched in disabled state by default, so a Teams Administrator will need to complete the prerequisites prior to someone being able to live stream.
At this time, live streaming only works for meetings and webinars in Microsoft Teams – not live events.
Admin prerequisites to live streaming with Microsoft Teams
Before users can broadcast their live stream from Microsoft Teams, a Teams administrator needs to create or modify a Meeting policy and:
Enable Live Streaming Mode (General section)
Turn on Local Broadcasting (Audio & video section)
You can modify the Global (Org-wide) default Meeting policy which would allow everyone to broadcast and live stream, or you can create/modify a separate Meeting policy and apply it only to specific users who should be allowed to live stream.
Here’s how to modify the Global (Org-wide) default meeting policy to allow everyone in your org to live stream:
Select the name of the policy you wish to modify. In this example, Global (Org-wide) default).
Enable Live streaming mode, and turn on Local broadcasting as seen in the following screenshot.
Technically, you could just enable Live streaming mode for this post. But by also turning on Local broadcasting (NDI), your users will have greater flexibility to produce their Microsoft Teams events with broadcasting software like OBS Studio, XSplit, etc. which gives additional capabilities like setting up scenes and such.
The changes may take an hour or so to take effect after saving your policy changes.
Your users will now be able to live stream their Teams events. Now let’s go through those steps.
Producer prerequisites to live streaming with Microsoft Teams
If you are going to be the producer of an upcoming event, you’ll need to make a change to your individual Teams client settings before you’re able to proceed.
Simply open your settings in Teams (ellipsis/three dots by your profile picture | Settings) and then select App permissions. Here you can enable NDI capabilities.
How to live stream a Microsoft Teams meeting or webinar to YouTube
Users assigned the policy created or modified in the admin prerequisite section can follow these steps to live stream directly to YouTube from Microsoft Teams.
Choose whether you’re going live Right now, or whether you’re just setting up for a Later date. Either way, you’ll have additional steps that may vary from this post – follow the prompts to complete setup.
Continue through your YouTube prompts but do not go live yet. When you get out of the wizard, be sure you’re on the Stream tab on the left-hand navigation and locate the Stream key and Stream URL. You’ll need to copy both of these and use them later in step 9.
Now we need to switch to Microsoft Teams. Join the meeting or webinar you wish to live stream.
Add the Custom Streaming app to the meeting
In the right-hand panel that opens, paste the Stream key and Stream URL you copied in step 4.
Click Start streaming in the lower right, then select Allow in the dialog box when it appears.
You’re now live streaming! Share your screen and/or use your cameras and microphones to run your event as you would any normal Microsoft Teams meeting.
When you’re finished with the event, you can stop streaming via Teams and YouTube.
You may have noticed your Microsoft Teams meeting invites now include meeting IDs and passcodes, and there’s a new Join with an ID button on Calendar. In this blog post I’ll cover several meeting ID-related topics for meeting organizers:
Find your Teams meeting ID and passcode
Find your Teams meeting ID and passcode during a meeting
Add someone to a Teams meeting already in progress
Microsoft Teams meeting IDs vs join links
In a rush? Here’s the quick answer:
Not in a meeting yet? Open the event on your calendar and you’ll find the meeting ID and passcode in the event details
In a meeting already? Go to More | Meeting info
Find your Teams meeting ID and passcode (when not already in the meeting)
Open Microsoft Teams and select Calendar from the left
Double-click or edit the meeting for which you’d like to retrieve the meeting ID
Copy the Meeting ID and Passcode from the meeting details
Note that you can also get the join link from the same section if you prefer. The contents you see here as the meeting organizer (join link, ID, passcode, and call-in info when relevant) is the same contents any invited participants received. They can find this on their calendar by opening the event and viewing its details.
Find your Teams meeting ID and passcode during a meeting
To find your Teams meeting join link, meeting ID, and passcode during a meeting, select More | Meeting info.
From here, you can scroll to the bottom for the join link, meeting ID, and passcode.
You can select Copy join info at the top of the same panel which resembles the following and includes both entry options as well as call-in info when you’re licensed appropriately. This might be handy to paste in a quick Teams message or email for last-minute requests:
Add someone to a Teams meeting already in progress
Now let’s imagine you’re in the middle of a Microsoft Teams meeting, and you’d like someone to join you. If they’re in your organization’s directory, you can simply:
Open the People panel
Type in their name and select Request to join next to it when it appears
However, you can’t invite external participants as easily because no matches show up.
So for external people, use the method described at the beginning of this post (More | Meeting info) and send the join link, meeting ID, and passcode to the individual you’re asking to join. If the link doesn’t work for them and they want to use the ID to join, they’ll go to Calendar in Microsoft Teams, select Join with an ID and enter the info you provided.
If they don’t have a Microsoft Teams account to utilize Calendar, there will also be a public join webpage soon where they can enter the meeting ID and passcode and join.
Microsoft Teams meeting IDs vs join links
When it comes to secure meetings, links and IDs are about the same. If someone forwards the meeting invite to a stranger, they can attempt to join the meeting. If you’re concerned about this, perhaps because you’re sharing NDA content in a meeting or just don’t want strangers hopping in, be sure to utilize the “People I Invite” lobby settings so you can decline any unfamiliar or uninvited persons attempting to enter.
Join links specifically are perfectly fine to continue using and they are very difficult for a bad agent (with the intention of crashing your meeting) to guess. Imagine trying to guess something this long and complex, even with bot assistance:
Join links are quick and easy for invitees to use. Click the link and you’re at the pre-join screen making sure your devices are setup properly.
Meeting IDs also take you directly to the pre-join screen, and may be a better option if someone is having difficulty using the link you provided. Perhaps their firewall is preventing the link from working or there are other restrictions on their machine that don’t allow them to utilize links normally. Meeting IDs give them an alternative entry method that isn’t dependent on an https:// url.
Why is there a passcode? Without a passcode, a stranger could simply start guessing meeting IDs (which are much easier to guess than the long, complicated join links) and they could pay you and your colleagues an unwanted visit.
Best practice would be to send people both options so they have a backup method if needed. Your meeting invites automatically include both already, and if you’re in a meeting attempting to add someone who wasn’t originally invited, you can go to More | Meeting info and select Copy join info which will copy both options to your clipboard for those last-minute invites via messages or emails.
Last year, fellow MVP and MCT Peter Rising and I collaborated on the first edition of an MS-700 exam guide. I’m pleased to share that our second edition reflecting the most up-to-date exam objectives and content is now available. It has over 400 pages and 168 practice questions, making it easy to find and study what’s most important when you need it.
Successfully passing the MS-700 exam earns you the Microsoft 365 Certified: Teams Administrator Associate certification. This is an excellent way to prove skills and proficiency to employers (current and prospective) and also challenge yourself with keeping up-to-date on administering one of Microsoft 365’s core collaboration and communication apps.
The process used when sharing your screen in Teams depends on whether you’re using the Teams desktop app or web app. I’ll cover both methods in this post, and provide a video demonstration for each.
Share your screen using the Microsoft Teams desktop app
Using the desktop app (installed on your machine), you can share your screen during a meeting in just a few clicks:
Once inside the meeting, select the Share icon (rectangle with an arrow) in the upper right corner next to the Leave button.
Choose which content you’d like to share with the other participants:
Screen (one of your monitors and everything you see on it, even if you change windows/apps)
Window (one specific window or app – prevents accidentally sharing things like your email)
If you’ll be sharing video audio or music, toggle the button to include computer sound
When finished sharing, use the same Share button to stop sharing.
If you’ll be sharing a PowerPoint presentation, consider using PowerPoint Live as opposed to just screen sharing the full-screen presentation. This enables your attendees to benefit from individual features that won’t affect others including:
Moving forwards and backwards through slides for a refresher or more time to consume the content
Changing slides to high contrast for better visibility
Translating slides to a language of choice
Click on links directly on slides (such as social media, references, survey, or company hyperlinks)
Share your screen using the Microsoft Teams web app
The web app is entirely browser-based, meaning you don’t need to have anything installed on your device to use it. You can access it anytime from any device with web access by navigating to https://teams.microsoft.com in your browser of choice.
In the web app, you can share your screen during a meeting by following these steps:
Once inside the meeting, select the Share icon (rectangle with an arrow) from the lower central area menu. If the menu has disappeared, simply move your cursor around the meeting space to make it reappear.
Choose which content you’d like to share with the other participants:
Desktop/Window (either a whole monitor or a specific app or tab). After you select this, you can then choose between:
Entire screen: A whole monitor/screen and everything that becomes visible on it.
Window: A single app or window (prevents accidentally sharing things like your email)
Microsoft Edge tab: A single browser tab (similar to the app/window option, this prevents accidentally switching to a sensitive app or tab)
If you’ll be sharing video audio or music, check the box to Share system audio
PowerPoint (PowerPoint Live): Select a recent presentation, or click Browse to find a presentation and utilize this feature.
When finished sharing, use the same Share button to stop sharing or one of the Stop sharing dialogs you may see.