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July 3, 2020

Microsoft Teams Status Messages – A Comprehensive Guide

Updated June 2023

Microsoft Teams Status messages are a great way to display your current status so other users know when they should and shouldn’t contact you. They have been heavily used in other Microsoft tools such as Skype for Business and Microsoft Outlook, so you may already be familiar with the concept. Let us take a look at how to set a status and some common Microsoft Teams status message examples along with it.

Looking to get the most out of MS Teams? Check out our Teams 101 Guide!

Image: Setting MS Teams Status Message

Changing your Microsoft Teams Status

Changing your Microsoft Teams status message is easy to do and is the same across mobile and desktop apps.

First, go to your profile which is located at the top right corner of the desktop application.

Then click on Set Status Message to be taken to the area where you set your status message:

Image: Editing MS Teams Status Message

Your Microsoft Teams status message can contain up to 280 characters and, as a bonus feature, you can also @mention someone to contact in your absence. For example, if you want to let people know to contact someone else whilst you are away, a good status message for Microsoft Teams would be:

Image: Mention in MS Teams Status Message

If someone mentions you in their status message, you will receive a notification as shown in the image below:

ms teams status message automated notification
Image: Microsoft Teams Status Notification

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Show Teams Status When Message Received

By default, you should also have the show when people message me enabled in your Microsoft Teams status.

For example, if you try to do a one-to-one chat with a co-worker, as soon as you start typing in the message box you will get a prompt showing their current Microsoft Teams status message:

ms teams status message - notification in chat
Image: Microsoft Teams Status Notification in Chat

Clear Teams Status Message

You can decide when you want your Microsoft Teams status message to end with the clear Microsoft Teams status message function. Choose between the options provided, or select your own custom time frame – whatever suits you best.

Image: Setting Status Message Duration in MS Teams

Finally, once you have set your status you will receive a notification of your set status and the top notification bar in the Microsoft Teams application. This is easy enough to dismiss but is a nice cue that will help you to understand how and where your status messages for Microsoft Teams will be used.

ms teams - status message - notification update
Image: Status Message Notification in Chat

Where is the Microsoft Teams Status Message Visible?

Once you set a Microsoft Teams status message it will be visible in multiple places across Microsoft Teams:

1. In one-to-one or one-to-many Microsoft Teams Chats: When you start a one-to-one chat the status message will be visible above the conversation box. You can always dismiss the notification if necessary.

ms teams - status message - chat notification
Image: Status Message Notification in MS Teams Chat

2. @Mentions in Microsoft Teams Channels: You will also see the status message if you are mentioning a person as part of a Microsoft Teams Channel. This happens both in new conversations and replies and is incredibly useful.

ms teams - status message - mention in channels
Image: Status Message Notification upon mentioning in MS Teams channels.

3. Pop Up Card in Microsoft Teams:  The Microsoft Teams’ status message also appears on users’ contact cards. If you hover over the image of a person in Microsoft Teams you will see their contact card. As you can see in the image below, the status message is displayed along with when the message was entered.

Image: Microsoft Teams Status Message Contact Card

When to use the Microsoft Teams Status Message Feature

There are a number of ways that you can use the Microsoft Teams status feature:

  • When you are away: Often people won’t look at your calendar or might wonder why you are away. Setting a good Microsoft Teams status message can be a great way to add some additional context so that people understand what is going on. Learn how you can schedule a meeting from Teams chat.  
  • When you don’t want people to contact you: Another way to use this feature is when you want some quiet time from people. For example, if you are working on a presentation and need some time to prepare for it.
  • You want to delegate work to someone else: Having a status message explaining that you are unavailable and who they should contact is incredibly useful.

Microsoft Teams Status Message Suggestions for Improvements

Given all that is included, what improvements could be made to this feature?

  1. Better integration with MS Outlook and Office 365: If there is a status in Microsoft Teams, then why not have this status message flow to the Office 365 contact card so that it may be visible in SharePoint and also Outlook?
  2. Better Microsoft Teams Status Message visibility: Even though the Microsoft Teams status message is visible in a few areas, it would be better if you didn’t have to hover over a user to get the status message. On the Microsoft Teams User Voice, there are some good examples of use cases.
  3. Ability to specify Microsoft Teams or Channels in the status: Another useful addition would be being able to specify a Microsoft Teams status per team or per channel so that if a user has a question they could be redirected to the best resource.

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