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How to change the Microsoft Teams status settings

If you use Microsoft Teams, you know that it’s a hub for all sorts of activity; files are shared, files are edited/worked on by multiple people, polls are run, meetings are held, calls are made, and one-on-one chat/text-based conversations happen. If you, and everyone at work, use the app as their main communication tool, you likely have notifications popping up all the time. It’s a lot to deal with.

Microsoft Teams is a stand-in for a virtual meeting in many ways and much like meetings in the physical world, you should be able to stop other messages/calls/or meetings from interrupting you. In the absence of a door to keep people out, you can utilize a status that basically announces to your team that you’re busy and won’t be able to answer messages and/or calls right away.

Microsoft Teams status settings

Microsoft Teams allows users to set a status that is visible to everyone in a team, and tells them if you’re likely to reply to them any time soon. The status that you set doesn’t act as any sort of deterrent i.e., it isn’t going to block messages however, it will limit them depending on the type of status you’ve set. 

It’s important at this point to distinguish between a Microsoft Teams status setting and an Out of Office message. An Out of Office message is set for when you are not going to be signed in to Microsoft Teams.

Microsoft Teams status settings

Microsoft Teams has six different status types;

  • Available
  • Busy
  • Do not disturb
  • Be right back
  • Appear away
  • Appear offline

Microsoft Teams Available status

Microsoft Teams ‘Available’ status is the default status that is set for a user. When this status is set, a user will get all notifications; messages, calls, video calls, invites, etc. 

Microsoft Teams Busy status

Microsoft Teams ‘Busy’ status will change the otherwise green Available status indicator to red. It won’t block messages but it will be visible to everyone in your team and they will have to choose to not message or call you.

Microsoft Teams Do not disturb status

The Microsoft Teams ‘Do not disturb‘ status will turn the green ‘Available’ status indicator to red but, it will also block messages and calls from everyone unless they are urgent.

Urgent alerts, with respect to the Do not disturb status, are determined by your settings. You can choose who can still message or call you while your status is set to Do not disturb. To change the settings, follow these steps.

  1. Open Microsoft Teams.
  2. Click your profile icon at the top right and select Settings.
  3. Go to the Privacy tab.
  4. Under Do not disturb, select Manager priority access.
  5. Enter the name/email of people you’d like to get messages/call alerts from while your status is set as Do not disturb.

Microsoft Teams Be right back status

Microsoft Teams Be right back status will change the red or green status icon to yellow indicating that you’re away or unlikely to respond but messages and alerts will continue to arrive. It only tells your team members that you’re not at your desk.

Microsoft Teams Appear away status

The Microsoft Teams Appear away status mimics what happens if you’re signed into Microsoft Teams but have been idle too long. Instead of waiting or actually going idle, the Appear away status will change it so that you appear to have been idle to other team members.

Microsoft Teams Appear offline status

The Microsoft Teams Appear offline status allows users to sign in to the app but remain invisible or offline to all others in their team. Of course, if you reply to a message or join a call, you’ll give yourself away.

Change Microsoft Teams status

To change your Microsoft Teams status, follow these steps.

  1. Open Microsoft Teams and sign in.
  2. Click your profile icon at the top and hover the mouse over the current status.
  3. Select a different status from the sub-menu.
  4. From the sub-menu, select Duration and you can schedule when your status changes.
  5. To reset the status, select the Reset status option from the sub-menu.

Conclusion

Changing the Microsoft Teams status is easy and is an unobtrusive way to let others know when you’re unable to respond to them immediately. Many messaging apps allow users to change their online status but Microsoft Teams does it a little better by allowing users to schedule when it changes.

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