Getting more out of Microsoft Teams: Everything you need to know about chat

Arif Bacchus

Microsoft Teams Cropped Chat

As you use Microsoft Teams, one of the places where you’ll spend most of your time in the experience is with chat. You’ll be leaving messages in public channels, as well as private chats and in one and one meetings. You might even chat during a video call, too.

As we continue to explain how you can get more out of Microsoft 365, today we’ll shift the Teams half of our series to focus on chat in Microsoft Teams. Here’s a look at everything you need to know about chat in Teams.

Delete or mute your chats

Teams Hide Chat

This is quite a common request and concern, but it is not currently possible to delete private or group chats in Microsoft Teams. However, there’s a trick around this. You’ll just need to “hide” the chat. This will be useful if your list of private messages and chats are growing too long and you’re looking to clean up Teams a bit. It’s our first way to get more out of chat in Teams.

To hide a chat in Teams, right-click it, and then choose Hide. This will remove the chat from your list. You can bring it back at any time by initiating a chat with that person or persons. You’ll be put back right where you left off.

Another trick to chatting in Teams is to mute your chats. This is great if you’re getting bombarded with messages, and want some peace of mind. Muted chats won’t notify you, and will still update in the background. You can mute a chat by right-clicking it and choosing Mute.

Find your messages with search

Teams Search

When you’re busy working or schooling, the last thing you want to do is scroll through a chat or channel to find a specific message. Well, our second way to get more out of chat in Teams is to use the search feature.

The best way to use search is through the command box at the top of the screen. Here, you can enter the word or message that you’re looking for, and you’ll get your result. Another method is to use the Teams filter in the activity feed. You can use it to show only certain types of messages.

Shift+Enter to avoid premature sending of chats

ShiftEnter Teams

Chats in Microsoft Teams occur in both private messages, as well as channels. However, one common mistake that people make with Teams is sending messages prematurely. That’s because the “Enter” key on the keyboard is also used for sending out messages. Be it in a channel, a private chat, or wherever, you can avoid this happening to you by pressing Shift and Enter on your keyboard. This brings up a line break in your chat, just like pressing the enter key would in a word processor, for example.

Formatting for being fancy

teams formatting tools

Looking to make your messages look fancier? In Teams, you have a formatting box that can help you set your messages apart from the others. It’s a bit like Microsoft word, as you can bold, italics, underline, and even change the color of text. Other things like font size can also be changed as well, in addition to block quoting, and creating lists.

To access these chat abilities in Teams, you just need to click the formatting button underneath the text box. It’s an “A” with a paintbrush next to it. Once you do that, you should see a ” . . . ” at the top of the formatting bar, here’s where you can explore additional formatting options, too.

Spice things up with GIFS, emojis, or stickers

Teams Gifs And Stuff

Finally, there’s a fun one. If you’re looking to have some fun on Teams with chat, then you should try sending GIFS, emojis, or stickers. These are all available right within the box you sent your messages in. To insert GIFS, click the box that says GIFS. To insert a sticker, and customize it, chose the smiley face sticky note. Emojis, meanwhile, will be a smiley face.

Much more ahead

So far in our series, we’ve touched on chat in Teams, as well as backgrounds and SharePoint or OneDrive. We’ll be diving deeper into Teams in the weeks ahead, so be sure to keep tuned. Check out our Microsoft 365 hub for more, and, as always, let us know your thoughts below.