How to manage your privacy and other settings in Microsoft Teams


You can review and tweak key options in Teams from the Settings screen. Here are the steps.

Image: Microsoft

Microsoft Teams offers a variety of settings through which you can configure your privacy, notifications, permissions, and other options. You can enable different themes, set the app to automatically start, turn on read receipts, set up notifications for different events, test your video and audio, configure your voicemail, and do much more. Let’s take a tour of the settings in Teams to see what you can do and how.

SEE: Video teleconferencing do’s and don’ts (free PDF) (TechRepublic) 

Open the Microsoft Teams app on your computer. From any screen, click your member logo at the top and then select Settings.

The General section of Microsoft Teams

In the General section, you can first choose your preferred theme among Default, Dark, or High Contrast.

Next, check the box to “Auto-start application,” if you want Teams to fully open and appear on the screen each time Windows loads. Check the box for “Open application in background” if you want Teams to open each time but stay in the background, accessible from the System Tray. Check the box for “On close, keep the application running,” if you want Teams to still be running and available from the System Tray after you close it (Figure A).

Figure A

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Normally, you shouldn’t need to check the box to Disable GPU hardware acceleration. But if you notice that your system runs slower while Teams is open, check this box to see if performance improves. If you run Microsoft Office, the next option lets you use Teams as the chat app. If you want each window in Teams to open separately, check the option for “Turn on new meeting experience.” And if you’re bumping into any technical trouble during a meeting, check the box to “Enable logging for meeting diagnostics.”

The options under Language let you change the language for Teams and for your keyboard as well as enable or disable spell check. Finally, you can opt to turn off animations in Teams, which applies to such items as animated emojis.

The Microsoft Teams Privacy section

Click the category for Privacy. Click the button for “Manage priority access” and enter the name or email address of anyone for whom you want to receive notifications and calls even when your status is set to Do not disturb. Check the box to Block calls with no caller ID if you wish to prevent calls from unidentified callers. You can also check the button to “Edit blocked contacts” to manage anyone you’ve previously blocked. Next, you can enable or disable Read receipts and choose whether to participate in surveys sent in Microsoft Teams (Figure B).

Figure B

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The Microsoft Teams Notifications section

Click the category for Notifications. Here, you’ll want to review each type of action to determine if and how you want to receive a notification for it. With most of the actions, you can opt to receive a notification via banner and email, via banner only, just in your feed, or not at all (Figure C).

Figure C

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The Devices section in Microsoft Teams

Next, click the category for Devices. Here, you can choose the speaker and microphone you want to use in Teams. Click the button to “Make a test call” to check your audio. During the call, you’ll be asked to speak for a few seconds to make sure your microphone is working. You’ll then hear the playback of what you said to make sure your speaker is working.

If you wish to use more than one audio source to hear the ring of an incoming call, click the dropdown box for Secondary ringer and set the source. Finally, click the dropdown field under Camera if your system has more than one camera and you want to switch between each one (Figure D).

Figure D

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The Permissions section in Microsoft Teams

Click the category for Permissions. In this section, you determine the permissions you want to grant to any apps that you add in Teams. Unless you have a specific reason for denying access to a particular permission, your best bet is to keep them all enabled for now to ensure full functionality (Figure E).

Figure E

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The Microsoft Teams Calls section

Finally, click the category for Calls. Here, you can set how you want to handle incoming calls. You can allow all calls to ring you in Teams or forward them to voicemail. You can choose what to do with unanswered calls. Click the button to Configure voicemail. At the next screen, you can record a greeting, determine how to treat calls sent to voicemail, set up a customized text-to-speech greeting, and decide when your out-of-office greeting should play. Back at the previous screen, you can choose a ringtone for incoming calls and turn on TTY mode if you need to communicate with someone who’s deaf or hearing impaired and you have supported TTY devices (Figure F).

Figure F

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