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How to Get Microsoft Teams Push to Talk functionality

Online video conferencing tools tend to keep the mic on during a call. This allows users to speak up during a call whenever they need to. If they’d like to block audio from their side, there is usually an option to mute the mic.

In a video conference/call, no one talks all the time which means a mic doesn’t need to be on unless you need to say something. You can mute/unmute your mic but it’s usually tedious and you have to remember to mute it again when you’re done speaking.

Microsoft Teams - Push to Talk

Push to talk is a feature you will find on some video conferencing tools. It allows you to speak when you’ve pressed a button, and when the button is released, your mic is muted automatically. You don’t have to manually mute or unmute the mic. Instead, you press a button when you want to talk, and release it when you’re done.

Microsoft Teams Push to talk

Push to talk, as a feature, has been in the product pipeline for Microsoft Teams since 2017. It’s 2021 and this feature still hasn’t been added to the app. Regardless if you’re using a free or enterprise version of Microsoft Teams, the feature doesn’t exist. 

If you’re using Microsoft Teams on Windows 10, you can use an AutoHotKey script to get push to talk in Microsoft Teams.

Microsoft Teams Push to talk script

This script works with AutoHotKey so you must have it installed on your system. To create the script, follow these steps.

  1. Open a new Notepad file.
  2. Paste the following in the file.
setKeyDelay, 50, 50

setMouseDelay, 50

$~MButton::

Send, ^+{M}

while (getKeyState("MButton", "P"))

{

sleep, 100

}

Send, ^+{M}

return
  1. Save the file with the AHK extension.
  2. Run the script.

This script has been written by an anonymous user on the Microsoft Communities forums.

Microsoft Teams Push to talk

Use Microsoft Teams Push to talk

To use this script, you must have a mouse. If you’re using a touchpad and no mouse is available, you should set it up to execute a middle-click.

  1. Open Microsoft Teams.
  2. Start or join a meeting.
  3. Mute your mic by clicking the mic icon at the top right or tap the Ctrl+Shift+M keyboard shortcut.
  4. Once muted, press and hold the middle-click button (mouse wheel) to talk.
  5. Release it when you’re done talking. 

How it works

The script unmutes your mic. It executes the Ctrl+Shift+M keyboard shortcut on the keypress action allowing you to be heard when you speak. When you release the button, the Ctrl+Shift+M keyboard shortcut is triggered again, muting the mic.

If you know how to edit an AHK script, you can change it to work with the spacebar which is what many users prefer to use with a push-to-talk feature.

Conclusion

Push to talk is a badly needed feature in Microsoft Teams. It is amazing that it hasn’t been added in 3 years, even after Microsoft Teams became an exceptionally popular app for remote work in 2020. The downside of this script, other than it not working on macOS, is that as long as it’s running, the middle-mouse click will trigger the same keyboard shortcut in all apps which is going to be inconvenient. 

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