Understanding notifications in Microsoft Teams

Understanding notifications in Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams will send notifications in different ways and for different types of updates. Notifications can come through as an email, a purple notification box on your desktop, or as red notification in your chat or activity tabs within Teams itself.

Teams will send notifications when someone replies or likes your message, @mentions the team or channel, when you get a new chat notification and meeting notifications. This is great for keeping up-to-date on Team activity, but the strain of having notifications for things that are not as relevant can cause us to dread notifications coming through.

So, how can we better manage notifications in Microsoft Teams? First, we have to understand the different types of @mention notifications that can come through a Channel. We can break it into 3 types:

  • @mentioning someone’s name will send that 1 person a notification. For example @katgreenan
  • @mentioning the channel name, will notify everyone in the channel that has the channel shown. For example @events or @general
  • @mentioning the Team name, will notify everyone in the Team, even if they have the channel hidden. For example @finance or @marketingteam

A channel is hidden, when it does not appear in your channel list like in the example below:

I have 2 hidden channels in this team, which means if someone @mentions those channel names, I won’t receive a notification. To show any hidden channels, click on the purple hidden channels and select show for the channels you want to appear in your channel list, and receive notifications for.

The reason we might want to hide our channels, is if we are in the team and the channel either is not relevant, or I am just included as an FYI and I don’t need to be notified every time someone posts a message. To hide a channel, select the 3 dots next to the channel, and click hide.

We can do the same thing with Teams. If I am in a Team but don’t need to be notified every time someone @mentions the Team name, I can choose to hide that Team so I won’t receive notifications. To hide a Team, click on the 3 dots next to the Team and click hide.

This will put your Team in a hidden list, which you can view by clicking on hidden teams in your Team list:

This is a great way to manage channel and Team notifications, but you can further customise your notifications in your Team settings. Click on your profile picture on the top right of your Teams client, then go to settings:

In your settings you will see a notifications settings which allows you to cutomise your notifications. As well as changing the sound of notifications, you can change how often Teams will send you an email for missed activity, or even cutomise how you receive the purple notification box on your desktop.

You can change how you receive chat notifications by choosing to remove banner (which is the purple notification box on your desktop) and just have the notifications come through your feed (activity tab in Teams).

If you dont want to receive meeting chats before you join the meeting, you can add this setting by clicking on meetings and then mute until i join.

By selecting people, you can be notified when a certain person becomes available on Teams.

To ensure we are not just creating more noise from another tool, I would highly recommend looking at your Teams and Channels and hide ones that are not as relevant, as well as customising your notifications to suit you.

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