First things to know about chat in Microsoft Teams

Chat is at the center of whatever you do in Teams. From individual chats with just one other person to group chats and conversations in channels—chat has you covered. 

Here are the first things to know:

1. Chats can be one-on-one or in a group

Sometimes, you’ll want to talk one-on-one with someone. Other times, you’ll want to have a small group chat. In Chat, you can do either.

You start one-on-one and group chats the same way: by selecting New chat Chat icon in Teams. at the top of your chat list. Once in a chat, you’ll be able to send messages that include files, links, emoji, stickers, and GIFs—whatever you need to get your point across.

Start chat UI image_520

The following are more details about each kind of chat:

One-on-one chat

Once you’ve selected New chat Chat icon in Teams. and entered the person’s name, compose your message in the text box and then select Send Send a message icon.. This starts the chat.

One-on-one chat

Group chat

Use a group chat when you need to talk to a small group of people. Start one the same way you start a one-on-one chat: select New chat New chat button in Teams at the top of your chat list. Select the down arrow to the far right of the To field and type a name for the chat in the Group name field. Next, type the names of the people you’d like to add in the To field.

Group chat

Once the chat has begun (whether group or one-on-one), just choose it in the chat list to resume the conversation and send more messages.

Resume chat

2. Press Shift+Enter to start a new line

If you keep selecting Enter to start a new line, which sends the message before you’re ready, try the following:

When you want to start a new paragraph, press Shift+Enter to insert the line break. If you’ve opened up all your formatting options (see step 3 for details), just select Enter to start a new line of text.

Chat start new line

3. Select Format to see all your formatting options

There are many formatting options for messages.

To open your formatting options, select Format Format button in Teams  beneath the box where you type your message. In this expanded view, select the text that you want to format, then choose an option like B, I, or U to bold, italicize, or underline the text. There are also options for highlighting, font size, font color, lists, and more.

Chat formatting

Beneath the box you'll also find delivery options, attach, emoji, stickers, schedule a meeting, and more. Select More options Format icon in Teams. to find more apps.

4. Chat happens in channels, too

When you go to any channel in Teams the very first tab is Posts. Think of this as one big group chat. Everyone who has access to the channel can see messages in Posts.

Chat posts

Based on your organization and culture, you'll need to decide which messages are suitable for the Posts tab in a particular channel.

Another important thing to know about messages in a channel is that replies to a channel message stay attached to the original message. This way, the whole thread of the conversation can be easily followed by anyone reading it. This is what's great about threaded conversations.

To reply to a channel message, be sure to use the little Reply link underneath the message.

Chat reply

5. There are several ways to search for and find messages

Depending on what you remember about the sender of the message or the characteristics of the message, a different way of searching might make more sense.

Find a chat based on a person’s name

Enter the person’s name in the command box at the top of the app. You’ll see their name and any group chats they're a part of with you listed. Select their name to go to your one-on-one chat with them, or a group chat to resume that one.

Find chat name

Find a message that has a keyword that you remember

Start typing a keyword into the command box at the top of the app and press Enter. You’ll see a list of results that include the keyword.

Filter to show certain types of messages

From the Activity feed, select Filter  Teams filter icon  and then More options Microsoft Teams more options icon  to show certain types of messages including unread messages, @mentions, replies, and reactions.

For a more specific search, go to the Feed menu, select the drop-down arrow, and then choose My Activity.

Chat feed and filter

Find your saved messages

To save a message, hover over it, select More options Microsoft Teams more options icon, and then select Save message Save message icon in Teams.

Chat save message

To see a list of your saved messages, select your profile picture at the top of the app, then choose Saved. Or, type /saved in the command box at the top of the app.

Chat saved profile

6. Hide or mute chats to keep them out of your way

While you can't delete an entire chat conversation in Teams, you can hide the chat from the chat list, or mute it so you stop getting notifications. For details, see Hide, mute, or pin a chat in Teams

Note that you are able to delete individual messages that you've sent.

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