Microsoft Teams: Top 15 Tips & Tricks You Should Know

You’ve learned the ropes of Microsoft Teams and can now sustain efficient collaboration with colleagues miles apart. But, are you exhausting Teams’ potential to the fullest?

Microsoft Teams is a workplace collaboration hub that, if used well, can help you enhance productivity by achieving everyday tasks in less time. It even gets better if you know how to access and use features and tools within the platform quickly.

Our latest video focuses on tips and tricks to help you achieve just that. Check it below:


In this read, we delve into some of these MS Teams hacks that you need to know and incorporate into your workflow.

What Are The Top 15 Microsoft Teams Tips & Tricks?

Allow External Guest Users

When you first open Teams, it’s set by default to invite internal users only to team or channel meetings. However, you may need to work with external parties once in a while. To allow participants from outside your organization, you need to change the admin settings:

  • Navigate to the Org-wide settings in the Microsoft Teams Admin Center.
  • Go to Guest Access and then turn on Allow Guest Access.
  • Click on the Save button at the bottom to apply the changes.
  • It may take a few hours before the new settings propagate in your tenant and allow you to invite external participants.

Using Microsoft Teams from the Web

Do you know that you don’t have to install a desktop app to use Teams?

When you click on a link inviting you to a Teams’ meeting, the next interphase will prompt you to Open Microsoft Teams. If you don’t have the app, you can Cancel and select the Use the web app instead option at the bottom.

Keyboard Shortcuts in Microsoft Teams

Most Software integrate keyboard shortcuts to enable fast access and increase efficiency, and Microsoft Teams is no exception. To see the list of available shortcuts in Teams, click on “Ctrl +.”.

Here are some commonly used shortcuts:

  • Ctrl + 1 — Activity Feed
  • Ctrl + 2 — Chats
  • Ctrl + 3 — Teams
  • Ctrl + 4 — Teams calendar
  • Ctrl + 5 — Calls
  • Ctrl + 6 — Files

Bookmark a Message

To bookmark a message for easy tracing in the future, go to the three ellipses in the corner (top left) and click on Save this message. You can later access all your bookmarked messages by entering /Saved in the command bar.

How to Mark a Message as Unread

Sometimes, you can open a message when you are not in a position to respond to it. So that you don’t forget, you can mark it as Unread and reply later. The process is similar to bookmarking — go to the three ellipses in the corner (top left) and click on Mark as unread. Similarly, key in /Unread in the command bar to access your unread messages.

How to Pin a Chat

Aside from marking a message as unread, you can also pin important conversations, so they’re easy to track in the future. To pin a chat, highlight it, then click on More options ••• and select Pin.

Rich Text Message Formatting

MS Teams has several rich text format options to help you make your messages more organized and easier to read. To access them, go to the Font tab below the message. Rich text formatting enables you to add subject lines, highlight texts, add headings, change fonts and text colors, and insert links, tables, etc.

Translating Messages With MS Teams

This feature is handy when you’re running a multilingual or international organization. To enable translation:

  • Go to the Microsoft Teams Admin Center and navigate to Messaging Policies.
  • Click on the Edit tab after selecting the policy you want to change (Translate messages). Here, you can also add new policies.
  • Finally, turn On Translate Messages and Save your settings.

Like any other new MS policies or changes, these settings may take a while before propagating on your tenant.

Using MS Teams Search Bar Commands

The platform’s search bar also doubles up as a command box. All you have to do is to key in “/Command” in the search box. For instance, /Unread takes you to all your unread messages. Alternatively, you can use the shortcut “Ctrl + /” for a full list of all the available search bar commands.

Use @Mention to Get Attention and Fast Responses

This powerful feature notifies ‘mentioned’ users, people, or channels of new messages that they may need to look at. Type @ anywhere in your message and begin typing the names of those whose attention you want to get. Teams will give you options to choose from based on your first few letters.

Urgent Chat Message

Sometimes, you may want your colleague to respond to your messages urgently. Go to the message status options, then click on the exclamation (!) icon to select “Urgent.” This will notify the recipient of your message every two minutes for 20 minutes unless they reply.

Use Blurred Backgrounds for Teams Meetings

You could be working from a messy room or just don’t want colleagues to see where you are. Well, turn on the Blur toggle before you join the meeting. There are several options to choose from, including blurring your background. If you want to make such changes for an ongoing session, click on the three ellipses on the floating menu, and go to Show background options.

Send Direct Emails to Your Teams or Channels

Click on the three ellipses on your Channel/Team and select Get email address, which you can copy for sending direct emails. MS Teams also has an advanced setting that allows you to customize those who can email your Team/Channel — team members, members of your organization, anybody, or users with specific domains.

Editing Already Sent Messages

Teams allows you to edit messages even after the recipients have read them. Open the message and click on More options ••• then Edit. Once you have made the necessary changes, press Enter and the message will be updated.

Switching to Dark ModeGo to Settings on your profile and navigate to the Themes election. Select Dark mode.

Microsoft Teams is an excellent platform for remote colleague collaboration. National Networks is here to help you get the most out of it.

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