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Five years ago, Microsoft brought forth Microsoft Teams as a workplace collaboration tool to compete with Slack and Hipchat. Today, Microsoft is evolving Teams into a place where you can kick back after hours as well, taking on Discord, WhatsApp, Snapchat, Signal, and others in what the company hopes will be a resurgent consumer offering.

The question you might be asking: After years of accumulating contacts, groups, habits, and practices on any of the other communication apps, why now use Teams instead? And will Teams users want to use the same app that’s associated with their workday to plan outings with friends?


Microsoft Teams with personal features includes both a group chat and a group dashboard, with shared files, tasks, and more.

Christy Hughes, director of Modern Life of Microsoft, believes they will. Hughes said that consumers do want separation between their work and personal lives, but Teams for consumers addresses those concerns. “It really is centered on the consumer and people that want to be able to stay coordinated across their life with their families,” she said.

How to set up Microsoft Teams for consumers

Naturally, you’ll need a Microsoft account to launch Teams, both for business use as well as the new Personal features. Your friends don’t need a Microsoft account to communicate with you, but their interactions will be strictly SMS-based without one.

Microsoft’s concept of group chat is purpose-driven, and it’s organized as such. While it could serve as merely a virtual space to hang out with your friends, creating a group of friends is designed around a task—say, planning a trip. “You’re not forced to go down that route, but usually there is some sort of a purpose,” Hughes said.


On Windows, the Microsoft Teams with personal features app mixes chat, video and more.

Once the group chat has been set up, interacting with your friends will feel, well, like Teams. You’ll be able to chat back and forth, share emoji and GIFs, and so on. Microsoft feels pretty strongly that in-chat polls will be used as groups figure out what they want to do. One feature that Teams does not offer yet, however, is a Snapchat-like limit on the persistence of images, so that images from a boozy night out will live on.

Like work Teams, you’ll be able to video chat with one person or a group of friends. Here, there will be certain limits: You can speak with anyone in a 1:1 call for up to 24 hours for free. For a group call (more than two people), you can meet with up to 100 participants for up to 60 minutes for free. However, for now those limits have been waived: You can meet with up to 300 participants and speak for up to 24 hours for free until further specified.


You can respond via chat, text, or emoji.

Can Teams for consumers kick off a consumer revival at Microsoft?

Microsoft watchers can’t help but view the company’s efforts in consumer somewhat skeptically, since Microsoft killed off the Zune, its Groove Music service, and Windows Mobile phones. Even the company’s social network, chúng tôi came and went. On the other hand, Microsoft seems driven to add new features to Teams on a frequent basis, so this could be promising for the consumer version as well.

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How To Use Microsoft Teams

What is Microsoft Teams?

Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Microsoft Teams is a productivity and collaboration tool that integrates into the larger Microsoft 365 platform. It has features for communicating with organizations, private chats with individuals and groups, video meetings and conferences, etc.

Is Microsoft Teams free?

How to download the Microsoft Teams app

How to create a Team

Nick Fernandez / Android Authority

The first thing you need to do (unless you’re joining an existing team) is creating a team. Even if you are joining a company team, you may want to make another one to chat with groups of friends.

Open the Teams tab on the left-hand side.

Choose whether to Build a team from scratch or pull in contacts from an existing group or team.

Select privacy settings: Private, Public, or Org-wide.

Enter a name and description.

Once in the team, you’ll see the main team chat with a list of channels below. Channels are group chats around a single theme. You can also have private chats with individuals or groups.

How to start and pop out a chat

Channels are great for sharing information with your entire team, but chats are the better option for quick questions to colleagues. They’re private, easy to keep organized, and much more likely to get a response than a channel post.

Here’s how to start a Microsoft Teams chat:

Open the Chat tab on the left-hand side.

Enter the person’s name and write your message.

Hit the send arrow.

Open the Calendar tab on the left-hand side.

Enter the details of your meeting.

You can also create a meeting from a channel, automatically inviting all channel members. If you’re having trouble finding a suitable time, you can check the scheduling assistant tab at the upper part of the screen to see the invitees’ schedules. You can create and share a Teams meeting link if you like.

Open the Calendar tab on the left-hand side.

Adjust your video and audio settings.

How to share your screen in a meeting

Ankit Banerjee / Android Authority

Sharing files in a Microsoft Teams channel is great, but you need to share your screen in a meeting if you want to run through it in person. Teams make it easy to do this. It even has built-in integration with PowerPoint for easy business presentations.

Select the screen, window, or document to share.

A red border appears around the content you’re actively sharing.

How to change your Teams meeting background

Ankit Banerjee / Android Authority

In the current era of telecommuting and working from home, it’s likely that your home office isn’t exactly the most professional environment. This is usually fine, but you might want something discreet for client meetings or video conferences with your boss. That’s where Microsoft Teams virtual backgrounds come in.

There are two ways to change your Teams meeting background: One with a simple blur or one with a background image. Both take just a few seconds to set up. Not all hardware supports this, so you may need to upgrade your camera if the option doesn’t appear.

You can change your background before or after a meeting starts, but the steps are pretty much the same:

Select Show background effects.

Choose a blurred background or virtual background image.

If you add your own image, make sure it’s sufficiently high quality, or it may look too blurry. For business use, you should also avoid using copyrighted photos or imagery.


Yes, Teams is HIPAA and GDPR compliant, but administrators may need to take some extra steps. An Office 365 E5 business subscription includes access to the Office 365 Security & Compliance Center, which provides a host of tools for data management. Learn more here.

Yes, Teams has a few trivia games available as apps. A few popular options are Kahoot! and Quizlet. You can also play Pictionary using the whiteboard feature.

Yes. You can find both Debian (.deb) and Red Hat-based (.rpm) distributions on the official download page.

Yes, but you need to set it up in Outlook. Your Out of Office status will carry over to Teams, but your message will appear under your profile instead of an email reply.

Yes, Teams is a part of Microsoft 365 and is included in all subscription plans.

All Microsoft Teams meeting recordings are stored on OneDrive and SharePoint.

How To Send An Urgent Message On Microsoft Teams

When you’re part of a big Organization in Microsoft Teams, it becomes a little difficult to keep track of all the important messages. Not only can you miss some crucial texts from your colleagues, but they can also skip out on some of your texts that needed immediate attention.

Thankfully, the application in focus — Microsoft Teams — has a setting that’ll make it almost impossible for you or your colleagues to miss an important text. So, without further ado, let’s see how you could mark a message as Urgent in Microsoft Teams.

Related: Turn Off Read Receipts for Privacy on Microsoft Teams

What happens when you mark a message as ‘Urgent’?

Microsoft Teams handles texting like any of the other clients on the market. When you send a message, the recipient — depending on their preferences — gets notified.

They can either choose to respond immediately and get it over with, or they can procrastinate and attend to it later. While the former isn’t necessarily an issue, the latter can get out of hand if the messages come in thick and fast.

For those nervy situations, it’s important to add something extra to your messages, and that’s where Urgent messages come in. When you mark a message as Urgent, Microsoft Teams notifies the recipient every two minutes for 20 straight minutes.

So, even if they miss your messages the first two times, they are unlikely to miss the next eight notifications.

Related: How to Send an Email Straight From Chat on Microsoft Teams

What does an ‘Important’ message mean?

Marking a message as ‘Important’ is sort of a more subtle way of calling someone’s attention. It’s not as intrusive as ‘Urgent’ messages, since it doesn’t come with extra notification. However, the visual aid it provides is more than sufficient.

When you mark a message as important, a red banner with the word “IMPORTANT!” gets added as a header to the message you’re preparing to send. In a sea of unimportant texts, the ominous “IMPORTANT!” banner is bound to stand out.

Related: How to Turn on Dark Mode in Microsoft Teams

Send Urgent message on Teams on PC

Now that you know what an Urgent message is and how it works, let’s take a look at bringing it to life. First, launch the Microsoft Teams application and log in with your username and password. Now, go to the ‘Chat’ tab and select a contact from the list. Alternatively, you could also create a new chat from scratch.

Now, at the bottom of your screen, under the text field, you’ll see an exclamation ‘!’ sign.

You’ll see a text box with the word “URGENT!” written at the top.

Here’s how an ‘Important’ text field looks on Microsoft Teams.

Related: How to Reduce Background Noise in Microsoft Teams

Send Urgent message on Teams on phone

Microsoft Teams’ mobile app is quite capable in its own right and allows you to carry out a bunch of tasks from the comfort of your smartphone.

To send an ‘Urgent’ message from the Teams mobile app, first, launch the app and log in with your username and password. Now, go to the ‘Chat’ tab and either pick an existing conversation or start a new one. Once you’ve entered a conversation tap on the ‘+’ button on the left-hand side of your screen.

This will open up a sub-menu, containing a bunch of options. Then, tap on ‘Priority.’

This is the area that contains the three priority options — ‘Standard,’ ‘Important,’ and ‘Urgent.’ Tap on ‘Urgent’ to notify the recipient every 2 minutes for 20 minutes straight.

Here’s how the message would look:

It’s not as ominous as an ‘Urgent’ message but does the trick just fine.


How To Make Free Video Calls On Microsoft Teams To Family And Friends

Here is everything you need to know about setting up and making a free Microsoft Teams video call with your friend and family. We will talk about various ways to create a personal Teams meeting for friends and family, and also how to invite them to join your meeting easily.

How to set up a free account on Microsoft Teams for personal use

On computer


You will now find yourself on the Microsoft Teams website with a welcome window. If you want to change your First Name or Last Name do so by typing the details in the allocated text boxes and then press Continue.

On phone

Download the Microsoft Teams app from the Play Store. Once the app is installed, launch it on your phone. 

Tap the Sign up for free button that is visible at the bottom of the page. 

Select the Personal option for the Account type information.

Add your phone number in the allocated text box and then tap the Next button.

Type your password in the text box and tap the Next button.

Next, type your name in the allocated text boxes and tap the Next button once again.

Select your country of birth and date of birth using the allocated dropdown menu options. After selecting the details, tap the Next button. 

Finally, a verification code will be sent to your phone number. Type in the code and then tap the Next button.

Wait for the application to sign you in.

Once in, Teams will ask for permission to access your contacts. Choose what you’re comfortable with. 

Tap the Got it button for the Teams introductory message. That’s it! 

On computer

On phone

Currently, Microsoft Teams only allows the user to change their profile picture from the browser website. So it is not possible to change your profile picture from your phone. 

How to start a Microsoft Teams personal meeting on PC

Before you can invite anyone to the meeting, you need to start the meeting. Here’s how it works:  

4 ways to invite family and friends to your meeting on PC

Method #01: Invite using

the meeting link

When you do this, the option will change to reflect that the meeting link has now been copied. 

Share the link with the email id of the contact that you want to invite to the meeting.

Method #02: Invite using email

Send the link to the contact’s email id or chat so that they can join the video call.

Method #03: Invite u

sing Google Calendar    

The Google Calendar page with the meeting information will now be open. Set the name, time, date and other information regarding the meeting here. 

From the Add Guests section, add the email-ids of the friends/family that you want to invite to the meeting. 

Method #04: Invite u

sing Outlook Calendar

On the Calendar page, a window will automatically be open with the details of the Team Meeting. Make the changes that you want to the details of the meeting.  

Make sure that you add the email id of the friends and family that you want to invite to the meeting.

How to start a Microsoft Teams personal meeting on phone and invite friends and family

There will be four icons on the bottom, tap the video camera icon that indicates the Meet section of the app.

Tap the Meet button once you are in the section.

Now, you can do one of two things. 


Or, you can tap the Start Meeting button instead. 

Tap the Join Now button.

Once you are in the meeting, tap the Add participants button.

The meeting will minimize and you will see an Add People option on the top, tap that option only if all your family/friends whom you want to invite to the meeting are already on Microsoft Teams. If they are not, then their names will not appear.

After selecting the contacts, tap the tick icon on the top right. 

 Alternatively, tap the Share icon on the top right of the screen.

From the Share window that then opens, you can send the link to the contact of your choice personally, the Social Media platform of your choice,  via Gmail or any other location available on your phone. Simply tap the contact/icon and then paste the link. The meeting information will be shared. 

FAQs: Free video calls on Microsoft Teams for personal use

Do you need a Microsoft account to join a meeting? Can you join without a Teams account?

Do you need a separate meeting link for the phone and computer?

How many people can you invite to your free video call

Generally, up to 100 people can join a free video call on Microsoft Teams. Considering the special circumstances of COVID-19, this number has been increased to 300. Microsoft will inform its users when the special increase in numbers goes back to the general set i.e 100. 

How to admit people to a Teams meeting automatically

Unless you change the settings to reflect otherwise, you will have to Admit users who must wait in the lobby in order to join a meeting. Depending on the setting in Meeting options, you can decide whether the participant can enter the meeting with or without your permission. Here’s how you can customize the meeting options automatically: 

On computer

Select the Everyone option from the dropdown menu. 

Now, everyone will be able to join the meeting without having to wait in the Lobby. 

On phone

These settings can only be changed from the website/Desktop application. 

Why am I unable to change the Bypass Settings? 

If you are using a Teams account that has been designated by your School or Organization, then these settings remain in the control of the Administrator who has allocated you the account details. You will need to communicate with them so that they can edit the control settings according to your requirements.   

We hope you found this article helpful! Take care and stay safe. 

4 Ways To Run A Microsoft Teams Poll During Meetings

Calling for a show of hands in an in-person meeting is an easy, quick way to gauge the sentiment of the room. Just because all your meetings are online now doesn’t mean you can’t accomplish the same thing.

There are many ways to run a poll during a meeting on Microsoft Teams. We’ll walk you through a few different options from how to run a Microsoft Teams poll without ever leaving Microsoft Teams to sharing polls created on external polling websites. 

Table of Contents

Ways to Poll Attendees in a Microsoft Teams Meeting

There are a few things to consider when deciding which method to use when running a poll in a Microsoft Teams meeting. 

Should the content of the poll appear in the Teams chat panel?

Is it okay for attendees to be required to follow a link in order to respond to the poll?

Do you want the people you’re polling to be able to remain anonymous?

Should the results of the poll be instantly accessible to the participants?

We’ll take a look at a few different options and highlight the pros and cons of each.

Option One: Create a Quick Poll Using the Microsoft Forms App for Teams

If you’re already in a meeting, Microsoft Teams lets you create a poll on the fly. Follow the steps below to quickly create a poll and post it to the meeting chat.

First, select the Show Conversation icon to display the meeting chat panel. 

Next, select the three dots at the bottom of the chat panel and choose Messaging extensions. 

Search for Forms in the Find an app field.

Select Forms and select the Add button.

You’ll automatically be prompted to add a new poll. Add a question and response options. 

If you want to share results automatically and/or keep responses anonymous, check those boxes.

Select the Save button. You’ll see a preview of your poll.

From there you can choose to either go back and Edit the poll or Send it to the meeting chat.

If you select Send, the poll will appear in the chat panel, and meeting attendees will be able to respond.

This method is great for creating a simple Microsoft Teams poll at the last minute. One downside is that if your meeting chat is particularly active, the poll could get lost in the chat panel as older messages scroll out of view.

Option Two: Use the Polly Add-In for Microsoft Teams

Polly is another way you can add a poll to a Microsoft Teams meeting. Similar to Forms, Polly is a messaging extension you can add to a Teams meeting or chat. It has many features and options to choose from. You can poll a limited number of people for free, and you can upgrade your Polly account if you have needs beyond that.

Select the three dots at the bottom of the chat panel and choose Messaging extensions. 

Search for Polly in the Find an app field.

Select the Polly app and then select the Add button to install Polly.

Choose a Polly type. There are several options like Question, Quiz, and Q&A. We’ll use the Question type.

When you’re ready, select the Send now button.

As you can see, Polly offers a lot of different features and settings, making it a great choice for running a poll during a Microsoft Teams meeting. You can also save your Microsoft Teams poll as a template, making it easier and faster to create polls in the future.

Option Three: Create a Microsoft Forms Poll in Advance

Select the Save button.

Choose between creating a new poll or a new quiz.

Add your question, answers, and poll settings. Once you’re ready, select the Save button. 

To view the results of the poll, visit the Polls tab. You can choose to Export results. Results will be downloaded locally as an Excel worksheet.

During our testing of this method, we assumed we’d be able to log into chúng tôi and see the results of this Microsoft Teams poll. Oddly, that was not the case. Keep that in mind.

Option Four: Link to other survey services

Our final suggestion for running a Microsoft Teams poll in a meeting is to create the poll using any of the various survey tools out there. You can post a link to your poll in the meeting chat. Survey Monkey, Google Forms, Strawpoll, and Mentimeter are some good options for creating polls. 

Microsoft Teams Cannot Add Guest? Try These Solutions

Microsoft Teams cannot add guest? Try these solutions




Microsoft Teams is a collaboration tool that can handle any challenge you throw at it

The platform allows users to add guests to channels and teams. Guest are persons outside your organization

If you can’t add new guests to Microsoft Teams, read this guide to learn why that happens and how to fix it. This guide is part of our Microsoft Teams troubleshooting hub

Visit our Microsoft Teams Hub for additional guides, as well as tips and tricks on how to become a MS Teams power user.

Microsoft Teams allows the admins to add guests to a team in the Teams client or from the admin center. However, some users have reported “Microsoft Teams cannot add guest” issue. This is also discussed in the Microsoft Community forum:

In Teams still that msg appears “we didn’t find any matches” if I enter an ‘outside organisation’ email address.

If you are also troubled by this problem, here are a couple of troubleshooting steps to resolve it.

What I can do if I am unable to add guest users to Microsoft Teams? 1. Checklist to add a guest to Microsoft Teams

Before trying any troubleshooting steps, make sure you have followed all the steps in the checklist below.

Make sure the guest access option at the Team org-wide level is turned on.

Make sure you have Configured Azure AD business-to-business settings.

Then go to Office 365 groups and configure it for guest access.

Also, configure Office 365 sharing.

Make sure you have verified sharing settings in SharePoint.

Make sure you enter the full email address of the guest user while granting access.

2. Grant access using PowerShell command

If the issue exists, you can add guest users to Microsoft Teams using PowerShell command. Here is how to do it.

Open PowerShell as admin.

Login/Connect to Office 365 using PowerShell.

Set-MsolCompanySettings -UsersPermissionToReadOtherUsersEnabled $True

Now try to add the guest user and check if the issue is resolved.

Windows PowerShell has stopped working? Follow the steps from this handy guide to solve the problem with ease.

3. Check for latency issues

At times, Microsoft Teams may face temporary latency for the guest changes.

Wait for a few minutes and then try to add the guest user again.

If the issue persists, try updating Microsoft Teams client.

Microsoft Teams will download and install any pending updates. The desktop client automatically checks for updates each time your login. However, you can manually check for any pending updates as well.

If you have any syncing problems in Microsoft Teams, take a look at this dedicated article and solve them easily.


Also, leave there any other questions or suggestions that you may have and we’ll be sure to check them out.

Go to your Microsoft Teams admin center

Turn on the option Allow guest access in Microsoft Teams

Tweak guest access capabilities in terms of calls, meetings and messaging.

What can Microsoft Teams guest users do?

Microsoft Teams guests can access existing team channels and chats and view files. Teams administrators can control what features guests can access as well as the areas where they don’t have access.

What limitations exist for Microsoft Teams guests?

By default, Microsoft Teams guests don’t have access to the following areas and information: the list of persons outside of Teams, information on the calendar and meetings, the organization chart, PSTN and OneDrive for Business. Guest cannot create teams, browser for a team or upload files in private chats.

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