Chat

Mobile user? See Chat on mobile devices.

Chat messages are a good way to connect and keep a history of the conversation. It's even better to use emoji, stickers, and GIFs to make a great impression.

In this topic

General

Composing and editing

Fun stuff

Using chat threads

Finding and filtering messages

General

To send a private message, click New chat New chat button next to your search bar to start a new conversation. Type the name of the person or people you want to chat with. Then, compose your message and press Enter.

The To field for a message

In channels, everyone on the team can see your messages (it's all about working in the open). In private and group chats, only the people in the chat can see your messages.

Want to keep tabs on an important chat? Just add it to your favorites. Right-click the name of the conversation you want to favorite and then click Favorite Favorite button . This ensures that the chat stays at the top of your list. If you want to favorite a chat you're currently in, click Favorite Favorite button in the chat header.

To remove a chat from your favorites, just right-click and select Remove from favorites.

In your chat list, right-click the chat and select Remove from favorites. You can always add a chat back to your favorites if things heat up again.

Team channels are conversations that everyone on the team can see. Private chats are only visible to those people in the chat.

This Private conversations and calling video shows how you can use chat for private conversations. A transcript of the video narration and procedural information accompany the video.

To loop someone into a private conversation, click Add people (in the upper right corner), and type a name.

Adding people to a group chat

To name a new group chat, click New chat New chat button . Click the down arrow next to the To field and enter the chat name in the Group name field. This creates a whole new group chat even if you already have a chat going with the same participants.

To name an existing group chat, click Name group chat Edit button next to the list of names of everyone in the chat.

What you name your chat is totally up to you—just remember, your new chat name is visible to and editable by everyone in the chat. Also, you can change your group name anytime by clicking Name group chat Edit button again. You can use the new group name to search for your chat later on.

Note: While you can't name a group chat on mobile, all your custom group chat names are reflected on your mobile device.

Sorry, there's no way to @mention someone in a group chat.

To see who’s on a group chat, hover over the number of participants to show a list of everyone’s names.

Participants list in a chat header

When you add someone new to a conversation, you have the option of including or leaving out what was said before they joined.

To add someone to a chat, click Add people (in the upper right corner), and type a name.

Adding people to a group chat

In your chat list, find the chat you want to leave. Click More options More options button and then click Leave.

More options menu for a chat with Leave selected

Currently, there's no way to remove someone else from a group chat. You can always create a new chat with a different group of people, though.

Getting rid of clutter is admirable. While you can't delete chat conversations right now, we're working on it, so stay tuned.

You can use Microsoft Teams to chat with someone who’s using Skype for Business. Simply start a one-on-one chat with the person you'd like to message, and they’ll get your message in Skype for Business. In the chat, you’ll have the opportunity to invite them to join you and the rest of the world in Microsoft Teams.

Remember: If the person you’re messaging has ever used Microsoft Teams, your messages will always be sent there. Otherwise, if messages aren’t getting to or from Skype for Business, check with your IT administrator. People who use Microsoft Teams and also have an on-premises Skype for Business account can’t currently send messages to or receive them from Skype for Business users.

Unfortunately, group messages can’t be sent to people using Skype for Business. However, whenever someone invites you to a group conversation from Skype for Business, you’ll get a notification in Microsoft Teams. Then you can join the conversation back in Skype for Business.

Being able to chat with someone on Skype for Business from within Microsoft Teams is pretty cool, but you’ll be missing out on fun things like emoji, file attachments, and tabs. Also, your conversation history won't be saved, so if you update, refresh, or open Microsoft Teams on a different platform (like mobile), you won't be able to view your old messages.

You can't totally shut down the integration with Skype for Business. If you want, you can disable the chat option, though. Click your profile picture in the bottom corner of the app, select Settings > General. Under Preferred calling and chat application, select Microsoft Teams.

You'll still see all your Skype for Business meetings, but you won't be able to chat with Skype for Business users.

Composing and editing

Use the standard keyboard commands to copy and paste inline.

Windows

  • Ctrl+C (copy)

  • Ctrl+V (paste)

Mac

  • Command+C (copy)

  • Command+V (paste)

To expand your compose box, just click Expand Expand button . This opens an expanded view with more formatting options.

To increase or decrease your message font size, first expand the compose box by clicking Expand Expand button . You’ll see a tool bar at the top of your compose box that holds options for things like bolding your text, italicizing, highlighting, and font size. You have three options for font size: small, medium, and large. Pick the size you want and start writing.

Feel like doing some formatting? Click Expand Expand button in your compose box to open the text editor. The editor lets you bold, italicize, underline, strike through, and highlight text. Create lists with bullets and numbers, change your font size or color, and mark your message as important.

You can create a new paragraph without accidentally sending your message. You can even add a subject line.

In a channel, click Choose file Choose file button in your compose box. Then, you can upload an image from your computer or OneDrive, or search for one from the Files tab for that channel.

If you want to send an image in a chat, click Choose file Choose file button and pick the image you want from your computer or OneDrive.

To attach a file to a message in a channel or chat, click Choose file Choose file button below your compose box. From there, you can attach a file from your OneDrive for Business account or your computer.

Just enter or paste a link into your compose box. Once you send it, the message containing your link includes a thumbnail image and preview, which you can close if you'd rather not see it.

If you want to make sure people pay attention to your post in a channel or chat, mark it as important. To do that, click Expand Expand button to expand the compose box and then click Mark as important Mark as important button . That adds a red exclamation point next to your message and prefixes it with the word "IMPORTANT!"

You can edit any message that you have sent to a chat or channel. To do this, click More options More options button in the message and choose Edit. Make changes to your message, then press Enter to save the update. The word "Edited" is now part of the message header to let people know it has been changed.

There's no limit to how many times you can make changes to a sent message. Just click More options More options button in the message and choose Edit.

Right now, Teams doesn’t let you message yourself. A chat message needs to be sent to another team member.

There's no way to run a separate spelling and grammar check in Teams (unless you're working in your Wiki tab). However, Teams underlines spelling errors in red as you type. If you right-click the error, you'll also see a list of suggested corrections.

To get full details for any of your sent messages, just hover over the timestamp at the top of the message.

If you haven't sent the message yet, click Expand Expand button to expand the compose box and then click Delete Delete button .

If you need to backtrack and delete something you just sent, click More options More options button in the message, then click Delete.

Delete option for a message

Teams does support Markdown. With Markdown, you get a live preview of your formatted text inside your compose box as you type, and you can always undo your formatting by pressing Ctrl+Z. Also, most of these actions are still available if you expand your compose box (everything except block quotes and strikethrough will still have its own button).

For a full list of what you can do with Markdown, see What are all the available Markdown actions in Teams?

Here’s everything you can do with Markdown in Teams:

Name

Action

Example

Bold text

*bold text*

bold text

Italic text

_italic text_

italic text

Strikethrough

~strikethrough~

Markdown strikethrough text

Numbered list

<number> Item one

1. Item one
2. Item two

Unordered list

* Item one
OR
- Item one

· Item one
· Item two

Hyperlink

[Text](URL)

Here's a link.

Multi-line code block

'''[code block]

Inline block of code

'[code text]'

Header

##Header text

Header text

You can format and share your code on Teams.

  • To add an inline block of code, start and end the text with a single quote (` ).

  • To add a multi-line block of code, preface your text with ``` and then paste it into your compose box.

You'll get a live preview of your code, and you can undo any formatting by hitting Ctrl+Z.

For now, you can view but not generate Markdown-formatted messages on your mobile device, so if you want to collaborate on code, stick to the web and desktop app.

Fun stuff

Emoji are a great way to add some fun into your communication! To send an emoji in a message, click Emoji Emoji icon beneath your compose box. From the emoji gallery, select the emoji you want or do a keyword search to find something specific. Once you've selected the perfect winky face, all you have to do is click Send Send button .

Emoji button selected beneath the composition box

If you want to search through all your emoji, click Emoji Emoji icon beneath your compose box. Enter a search term at the top of your emoji gallery, and you'll see every emoji that matches your search.

To send a meme in a message or post it to a channel, click Sticker Sticker button beneath your compose box. If you click Popular, you'll see a collection of the most commonly used memes and stickers. Memes shows you the entire meme library. After you find the one you want, add captions, click Done, and then Send Send button .

To search for a meme, click Sticker Sticker button beneath your compose box. Once you're inside the memes and stickers collection, click Popular. From there, you can enter a search term (like "Grumpy cat" or "Arthur's clenched fist") into the box at the top to find memes matching that description.

Click Sticker Sticker button beneath your compose box and pick a meme. Type the text you want into the caption boxes and click Done. Your new (hilarious) caption appears in the meme, and all you have to do is click Send Send button .

To send a sticker in a chat or channel, just click Sticker Sticker button beneath your compose box. From there, you can browse different categories to select the perfect sticker. Once you find what you're looking for, click Send Send button .

You can create your own captions for stickers (just like with memes). Click Sticker Sticker button beneath your compose box, and pick out the sticker you want. Enter the text you'd like to see into the box below your sticker preview and click Done. Now all you have to do is click Send Send button .

To send an animated GIF in a message or a channel conversation, just click GIF GIF button beneath your compose box. Use the search bar at the top of the window to look for something specific (like "cats playing piano") or browse the collection of popular GIFs.

Giphy screen for sending a GIF

Using chat threads

Threading makes sure that your reply to a post stays grouped with the original post and its subsequent comments. By clicking Reply button Reply below the last comment posted in a threaded conversation, you ensure that your response is part of that thread.

You might have noticed that Reply button Reply only shows up in channels. That's intentional. For now, threading is only available in channels, and there's no way to turn it off. If threading really isn't your style, you can always stick to using the primary compose box at the bottom of the app.

When you're replying to a thread, you have all the same formatting options that you do in your normal compose box.

To reply to a message in a thread, click Reply button Reply beneath the last post. This opens a text box below the last comment where you can add your input; it also means your reply will be included in the threaded conversation. If you want to break off and start a new conversation in a channel, just post a message to the channel from your normal compose box at the bottom of the app.

If you started a new conversation instead of replying to a thread, the best thing to do is just delete your standalone message and reply to the thread (as if nothing happened).

There's no way to turn off threading, but you can choose not to use it in channels.

Finding and filtering messages

You can perform some pretty detailed searches in Teams. Start by typing a name, keyword, or phrase into the search bar at the top of the app. Teams generates suggestions based on your recent conversations, favorite channels, or people within your organization.

Once you've entered a search term, you can filter your results to show just messages, people, or files. If you're searching within your messages or files, you can make your search even more specific by clicking Filter Filter button , which appears above your initial search results.

Search options

You can search for old messages (and people, chats, and files) using the search box in the top left corner of your screen.

Searching for an old message or attachment

To search for an attachment, look in the Files tab above your search results. You can click Filter Filter button to narrow your results.

Type a keyword into the search bar at the top of your screen and then click Filter Filter button to narrow your results. You can filter messages by date, subject, author, and more.

If you want to filter what appears in your feed, just click Filter Filter button at the top. Once you do that, you can opt to view only @mentions, likes, or replies.

Additionally, click More options More options button next to a notification to start managing your feed. From the menu, you can mark a notification as read or unread. You can also follow or unfollow the channel or team where the notification was posted.

To save a message, click Save message Save message button just to the right of the text.

A saved message

To see a list of your saved messages, click your profile picture at the bottom left, then choose Saved.

Profile picture menu with Saved selected

Click Activity Activity button and then click Feed > My activity. You'll see all the messages you've sent, the channels they're in, and when you sent them.

Teams saves your whole chat history, all the way back to the first message you sent. And if someone leaves your organization, their chat responses are still there in your chat history.

You can delete individual messages you've sent, but you can’t turn off your whole chat history.

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