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How to mark a message as important or urgent in Microsoft Teams

Logo of Microsoft Teams

When you flash channel and message notifications in Microsoft Teams, it is difficult to know which ones have priority. Mark your message as important or urgent so your teammates know to pay attention to it.

Being able to send direct messages to and chat with people in channels within Microsoft Teams is a double edged sword. Of course, being able to contact a person or a group when needed is great, but the downside is that everyone else can get in touch with you too.

This leads to a common problem ̵

1; notification bloat. If you have multiple chat and channel notifications, how do you know at a glance which one has priority? And how will your teammates know when a message from you is really important, or just an update on your fantasy soccer team?

The answer to these questions is that you don’t. But Teams makes it easy to mark a message as Important or Urgent with a corresponding icon so you can communicate the message’s priority.

Important messages have a red exclamation mark.

A channel with the

Urgent messages are given a red bell.

A chat with the

Don’t use these options too often or people will ignore them. After all, if everything you send is marked as Important or Urgent, they will just become a new message. But when used sparingly, these team members can really help prioritize messages.

As a reminder, messages to a channel can be marked as Important, messages in chat (direct messages or DMs) can be marked as Important or Urgent.

Mark channel posts as important

Marking a channel post as important is pretty easy. After opening the Microsoft Teams application, click the “Format” option under a new message, select the three-dot menu icon on the right, and choose “Mark as important” from the menu.

A new channel message with the

If you have a widescreen monitor, the option is not hidden under the three-dot icon and is visible on the toolbar as an exclamation mark.

An important! ”Header is added to the message and the left border turns red.

A new message with the

Type your message as normal and post it. It appears in the channel with an exclamation mark on the right.

A message marked as

Your teammates will see a red exclamation mark next to the channel, indicating that someone has posted an important message.

A channel with the

Mark chat messages as important or urgent

Marking a message as important or urgent in a chat is even easier than in a channel. Click on the ‘Set delivery options’ option under a new message, then choose ‘Standard’, ‘Important’ or ‘Urgent’.

A new chat message with the

An urgent! ”Header is added to the message and a red banner appears at the top of the window.

A new message with the

Type your message and send it as usual. It will appear in the chat with a bubble on the right.

A message marked as

The person you sent the message to will see a red bubble next to the chat to indicate that you have sent them an urgent message.

A chat with the

An important message works in the same way as for a channel message marked as ‘Important’. An urgent message is similar, but with one important difference: the recipient receives a warning message every 2 minutes for 20 minutes until they have read the message.


Therefore, use “Urgent” with caution, as people generally don’t appreciate getting an “Urgent” notification for something that isn’t really time sensitive.

If you are using Microsoft Teams as a guest, you cannot mark a message as Urgent. This option is only available to owners and members of a team.

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