Microsoft Teams does a great job of notifying you about new posts and other activities, but it can get a bit overwhelming when you’re on a lot of teams. Here’s how to turn off or adjust the Microsoft Teams notification.
Teams provide notifications about chats, meetings, direct messages, mentions, other people̵
If you work in a place where Microsoft Teams is widely used, this can become a barrage of alerts that constantly interrupt you with information you don’t need to know. Being taken out of your focused zone by a warning that Geoff from Accounts just got online is really not helpful or productive. You need to decide what’s worth breaking your concentration, not your software.
RELATED: How to disable or customize new email alerts in Outlook
Fortunately, you can change all of these settings and make Teams alerts as loud or as quiet as you want, and that’s easy to do. You can also change notifications for specific conversations and chats, or change notifications for specific time periods.
Manage general notifications
Open Microsoft Teams on your computer, click on your profile picture and select “Settings” from the menu.
In the ‘Settings’ window, click ‘Notifications’.
Here you can adjust all your notification settings. Let’s start at the top and work your way down.
At the top of the notifications are three options, all of which can be turned off:
- Missed activity emails: The frequency of emails sent to you when you miss an instant message, channel listing, or anything else that deserves an alert. This can be turned completely “Off” if you don’t want to be bombarded with emails, or at best “Daily” so that you only receive one email per day.
- To view message preview: Whether or not a “toast” popup (the notifications that appears at the bottom right of the screen) with a preview of the messages you have received is displayed. These are distracting at best and get in the way when you try to type messages into Teams, so disable them.
- Play sound for notifications: Nothing breaks your concentration like a loud “thing” going off in your headphones, and while the Teams alert doesn’t most irritating warning sound, it’s still annoying. Turn it off here and get your peace and quiet back.
The next section, “Teams and Channels”, covers messages on the standard “Messages” tab in each channel.
It is not entirely clear what the first two options will include and what not. For example, does “Mentions and replies” alert you to comments? It’s not clear. That’s far from ideal, so choose ‘Custom’ instead.
This opens the individual settings for all teams and channels.
All drop-down menus (except ‘Personal @mentions’) have three options:
- Banner and feed: Show the “toast” pop-up and mark the channel with an icon as well
- Show only in feed: Mark the channel with an icon
- From: Do not show the toast popup or mark the channel with an icon. “Personal @mentions” doesn’t have this option because Teams doesn’t let you turn off alerts completely for mentions.
You can choose different values for different drop-down lists here. “All New Messages” is off by default, which makes sense unless you’re checking a channel for some reason. But you probably want at least ‘Show in feed only’ for ‘Replies to conversations I’ve started’.
When you are done changing the drop-down lists, click ‘Back to Settings’.
The remaining four options pertain to specific areas of Teams.
- Chat: Includes notifications for mentions, replies, and comments in chat messages (that is, direct messages between you and someone else, not generic messages in the Messages tab of a channel).
- Meetings: Notifications for when a meeting starts or when someone posts a message in a meeting chat.
- People: Set up notifications to find out when specific people become available or go offline.
- Others: Choose whether you want to be notified when someone in your Outlook contacts joins Teams.
Click the “Edit” button next to each item and choose your notification options.
When you’re done editing the notifications, close the “Settings” panel and you’ll see Teams no longer yelling at you every few seconds.
Manage notifications for specific channels
After you’ve set up your general notifications, you can set notification rules for specific channels if you want more control over when you receive notifications.
Hover over a channel, click the three-dot icon to the right of its name and select ‘Channel Notifications’.
You can use these settings to change the notifications for this particular channel without changing the general notification settings that are the default for all other channels.
Manage notifications for specific conversations and chats
There will be times when you’ve set your notification settings just the way you want, but specific conversations or chats will still keep pinging notifications to you. This often happens when someone pulls you to a channel or chat to ask a question and then you get notifications about all the replies and responses, even though you’re not really involved.
Instead of changing your general notifications, you can turn off notifications for a specific conversation in a channel or mute a specific chat.
To turn off notifications for a specific conversation in a channel, hover over the first message in the thread, click the three-dot icon and select ‘Turn off notifications’.
From now on, you will only get notified about this conversation if someone mentions you directly. To resume the notifications, hover the mouse pointer over the first post in the thread, click the three-dot icon and select ‘Enable Notifications’.
To mute an entire chat with someone, hover over the name in Chat, click the three-dot icon and select Mute.
From now on you will not receive any notifications from this chat. To resume notifications, hover over their name in Chat, click the three-dot icon and select Unmute.
How to stop notifications for a specific time period
If you want to stop notifications completely for a while, you have a couple of options (except, of course, completely closing the Microsoft Teams app). The first option is to change your status to Do Not Disturb. This will mute all notifications so you don’t get pop-ups or sound notifications until your status changes.
To change your status, click on your profile picture, select your current status, then choose the “Do Not Disturb” option from the menu.
Microsoft Teams keeps you in Do Not Disturb status until you manually change it to something else, enter a scheduled meeting, or close the Teams app.
The other option to turn off notifications for a set amount of time is to use Focus Assist, a built-in Windows tool that hides alerts for all (or all) apps at times and situations you choose. We’ve covered Focus Assist in detail, but here’s what you need to do to make sure it does what you want for teams.
While you can access Focus Assist in a number of ways, we’ll get there from the “Settings” panel. Press Windows + i on your keyboard to open the “Settings” panel, search for “Focus Assist”, then select “Focus Assist Settings” from the drop-down menu.
Scroll down to the “Automatic Rules” section and check the options you want to enable.
Each option allows ‘Priority Only’ or ‘Alarms Only’, which can be changed by clicking on the option and changing the ‘Focus level’.
“Alarms” specifically refers to alarms generated by the clock or alert apps. If you don’t want to be disturbed at all, you can set the option to “Priority only” and remove all priority apps.
You can also customize “During These Times” by clicking it and changing the time options.
This is useful if you only want to enable Focus Assist at certain times of the day, such as a special focus time, or only during the week and / or on weekends.