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, first click The compose icon. next to your search bar to start a new conversation. Type in the name of the person or people you want to chat with. Then, compose your message and press Enter.

This screenshot shows 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 or hover on the name of the conversation you want to favorite and then click The icon for favorites. . This will ensure that the chat stays at the top of your list. If you want to favorite a chat you're currently in, click the The icon for favorites. in the chat header, and it'll be added to your favorites. To remove a chat from your favorites, just right-click again and select Remove from favorites.

In your chat list, either right-click the chat or click The icon for more options. then 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.

For more information, see Get the best messaging experience.

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

A screenshot of a private chat.

Naming a group chat is easy, and it also makes it easier to search for your chat later on! To name a group chat, click on the edit icon The edit icon that appears next to the list of names of everyone in the chat. Doing that will open up a text box where you can enter your new group name. What you name your chat is totally up to you (it can be anything, like "Lunch buddies", "UX nerds", or "Friday night poker"). Just remember, your new chat name will be visible to and editable by everyone in the chat. Also, nothing is set in stone; you can change your group name anytime, just click on the edit icon. The edit icon

The best part about naming a group chat is that you can use the new name to search for your chat later on! Just start typing it into your search bar or into the "To" field for a new chat, and you'll be directed right to your existing group chat. This makes it a lot easier to keep tabs on your group conversations. FYI, naming chats is only available for group chats right now, and while you can't name a group chat on mobile, all your custom group chat names will be 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

This screen shot shows how to determine who is in chat.

When you add someone new to a conversation, they won't be able to see what was said before they joined.

In your chat list, find the chat you want to leave. Click The icon for more options. and then click Leave.

More options menu for a chat, open with Leave highlighted.

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 up 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 on your profile picture at the bottom corner of the app, select Notifications, and then disable Chat with Skype for Business. You'll still see all your Skype for Business meetings, you just won't be able to chat with Skype for Business users.

Composing and editing

Use the standard keyboard commands to copy/paste inline.

For Windows:

  • CTRL+C (copy)

  • CTRL+V (paste)

For Mac:

  • Command+C (copy)

  • Command+V (paste)

To expand your compose box, just click on the format icon. This will open up your expanded view, which contains a lot more formatting options. You can bold, italicize, underline, strike through, and highlight text. You can also 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 (to send a message from the expanded compose box, just click send). You can even add a subject line.

To increase or decrease your message font size, first expand the compose box by clicking the format icon. 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 composing.

Feel like doing some formatting? Click the expand compose box icon The format icon in your compose box to open the text editor. The editor lets you underline, italicize, or bold text.

You can start new paragraphs (without accidentally hitting Send), highlight text, or even switch to red text.

Sending an image in a message is simple. In a channel, click the paper clip icon This is the attachment icon. in your compose box. Then, you can either upload an image from your computer or select an image from your Recent folder, OneDrive, or the Files tab for that channel. If you want to send an image in a chat, click the paperclip icon This is the attachment icon. and pick the image you want from your computer or your OneDrive account.

To attach a file to a message in a channel or chat, click on the paper clip icon below your compose box. From there, you can attach a file from your OneDrive for Business account or browse your own computer to upload something from your desktop.

Sending links in messages (for both private chats and channels) is easy. When you copy and paste a link into your message compose box, it will automatically resolve. Once you send it, the message containing your link will generate 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, the best thing to do is mark it as important. To do that, expand the compose box and click the important icon The icon for important. . That will add a red exclamation point next to your message and prefix it with the word "IMPORTANT".

You can edit any message that you have sent to a chat or channel within the past 24 hours. To do this, select the more icon next to the message and choose Edit. This will return your message to an editable state. Once you are done, press Enter or select Send to save the update. A pencil icon will be placed next to your message to let people know it has been edited.

You can always edit a sent message within 24 hours of sending; just click the The icon for more options. that appears inside your message when you hover over it and select The edit icon . There's also no limit to how many times you can make changes to a sent message, so if you want, you can make multiple edits. Just make sure you stay within the 24-hour edit window.

Right now, Microsoft 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 spelling and grammar check in Microsoft Teams (unless you're working in your Wiki tab). However, Microsoft Teams will point out if you've got a spelling error in a message! Any spelling errors you make will be underlined in red. If you right-click on 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 to the right of the message.

If you haven't sent the message, expand the compose box and click the trash can icon.

If you need to backtrack and delete something you just sent, hover over the message and select the more icon. Then click Delete. You can only delete messages that have been sent within the past 24 hours.

This screenshot shows how to delete a message.

Microsoft Teams does support Markdown! Here's what you can do:

  • *add asterisks* to either end of a bit of text to make it bold

  • _underscore_ the beginning and end of some text to make it italic

  • ~add a tilde~ before and after your text for strikethrough Strikethrough markdown text

  • Add a double pound sign (##) before your text to create a Header

  • Typing [text](URL) will create a hyperlink within your message

  • To start a bulleted list, preface your text with an asterisk (*) or a hyphen (-)

  • To start a numbered list, preface your text with <number>

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

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

With Markdown, you'll 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 will still be available if you expand your compose box (i.e., everything except block quotes and strikethrough will still have its own button). For a full list of what you can do with Markdown, see the following section "What are all the available Markdown actions on Microsoft Teams?"

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

Name

Action

Example

Bold text

*bold*

bold text

Italic text

_italic_

italic text

Strikethrough

~strikethough~

Strikethrough markdown text

Numbered list

<number>

1. Item one
2. Item two

Unordered list

*,-

· Item one
· Item two

Hyperlink

[Text](URL)

Here's a link.

Multi-line code block

'''

(not available)

Inline block of code

'[text]'

(not available)

Header

##

Header

You can absolutely format and share your code on Microsoft Teams. We've included support for the following actions:

  • To add an inline block of code, start and end the block of text you want to add 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 any formatting you apply can be quickly undone by hitting Ctrl+Z. For now, you'll be able to 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 the smiley button beneath your compose box. That will open up your emoji gallery. From there, you can select the emoji you want or do a quick keyword search to find something specific. Once you've selected the perfect winky face, all you have to do is send.

This image shows how to access the fun picker.

If you want to do a quick search of all your emoji, go to the search bar at the top of your emoji keyboard. Enter a search term, and we'll deliver a collection of every emoji that matches your search. From there, all you have to do is click Send.

To send a meme in a message or post it to a channel, click on the square smiley face icon. If you click on Popular, you'll see a collection of the most commonly used memes and stickers. Memes will show you the entire meme library. After you find the one you want, click Done and then Send.

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

To create a custom caption for a meme, type the text you want into the caption boxes and click Done. Your new (hilarious) caption will appear in the meme, and all you have to do after that is click Send.

To send a sticker in a chat or channel, just click on the square smiley face below your compose box. That will take you to the Microsoft Teams memes and stickers collection. From there, you can browse through different categories to select the perfect sticker. Once you find what you're looking for, all you have to do is click Send.

The best part about our stickers is that you can create your own captions for them, too (same goes for memes!). Once you've picked out the sticker you want, just enter the text you'd like to see into the box just below your sticker preview.

To send a GIF in a message or post a GIF to a channel conversation, just click the GIF button beneath your compose box. Once you do that, you'll open up the Giphy app. You can use the search bar at the top of the window to do a keyword search for something specific (like "cats playing piano"). If you don't enter a search term, you'll simply be presented with a collection of top-trending GIFs by default, and you can pick and choose from there.

This screenshot shows how to send a GIF.

Using chat threads

Threading is the best because it helps you keep track of multiple conversations at once. It makes sure that your reply to a post will stay grouped with the original post and its subsequent comments. By clicking the reply icon below the last comment posted in a threaded conversation, you ensure that your response will be a part of that thread. That means your comment will be tied back to everything that was said before! All the channels in Microsoft Teams have threading. If you find that you want to start a new topic of conversation or post a comment outside a thread, all you have to do is post a message to a channel from your compose box, just like you do in chats.

When you're replying to a thread, you still have all the same formatting options that you do in your normal compose box. You can still post GIFs, memes, emoji, stickers, and links in a reply to a thread. You'll still the same formatting options (like bold, italic, colored text, and highlighting). You can @mention someone, upload a file, or start a video call--you get the idea.

You might have noticed that the Reply to thread option only shows up in channels. That's intentional. For now threading is only available in channels, and there's currently no way to turn them off (but then again, why would you want to?). If threading really isn't your style, you can always choose not to reply within a thread and stick to using your primary compose box.

To reply to a message in a thread, click the reply icon that appears after the last post. This will open up 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 compose box.

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 Microsoft Teams. Start by typing a name, keyword, or phrase into the search bar at the top of the app. We'll generate 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 the filter icon The filter icon. that appears above your initial search results to start filtering.

This is a screenshot showing different kinds of searches.

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

This screenshot shows how to find an old message or attachment.

To search for an attachment, look in the Files tab above your search results. You can select the filter icon and enter the filter criteria.

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

If you want to filter what appears in your Feed, just click The filter icon. at the top. Once you do that, you can opt to view only @mentions, likes, or replies. Additionally, if you click The icon for more options. next to a specific notification, you can start customizing what appears in your Feed. From the The icon for more options. menu, you can choose to stop getting notifications about likes, you can follow or stop following a channel, and you can choose to stop getting notifications about replies to your comments. You can also choose not to receive notifications about @team or @channel mentions or can block notifications from third-party bots.

To save a message, click the bookmark icon just to the right of the text.

This screenshot shows a saved message.

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

This screenshot shows saved messages.

To see all them messages you've sent click Activity and select My activity from the Feed menu to see all the messages you've sent, the channels they're in, and when you sent them.

Microsoft 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.

Microsoft Teams will let you delete individual messages sent in the past 24 hours, but you can’t turn off your whole chat history.

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