Online Meeting Features and Security in Microsoft Teams

Tags Teams

The following features can enhance and secure your online meetings in Microsoft Teams.

Breakout Rooms

Breakout rooms allow organizers to divide the meeting into sub-groups to facilitate discussions and brainstorming sessions.


  • The breakout room feature is available only to meeting organizers on the desktop client only.
  • To use the breakout room feature, ensure that the new meeting experience is enabled under Teams menu > Settings > General.


  • The meeting organizer can create up to 50 breakout rooms and choose to automatically or manually assign participants into rooms either in a Teams meeting or a Teams channel meeting.
  • Under the breakout room settings, the meeting organizer can choose to allow participants to come back to the main meeting at any time, then return to the assigned breakout room. This way participants can ask a clarifying question without disturbing the breakout room discussions. The meeting organizers can use the setting to re-create breakout rooms in the same meeting. This allows them to assign participants into new room setups.
  • The meeting organizer can create, rename, and delete rooms as needed.
  • Once the breakout rooms are open, meeting organizers can join any of the breakout sessions. Organizers can also quickly switch attendees in between breakout rooms.
  • Organizers can send announcements to the breakout rooms, and recall all participants back to the main meeting at any time.
  • Any files from the breakout rooms can be shared in the main meeting once everyone is back together and will be available afterward in the meeting chat.

This is a screenshot of the Teams breakout rooms feature.

Desktop Sharing

If you want another meeting participant to change a file, help you present, or demonstrate something, you can give control to that participant. You will both be in control of the sharing, and you can take back control any time.

Give Control

  1. While in an online meeting, hover at the top-center of Microsoft Teams. On the sharing toolbar, select Give Control.
  2. Select the name of the person you want to give control to. Teams sends a notification to that person to let them know you’re sharing control. While you’re sharing control, they can make selections, edits, and other modifications to the shared screen.
  3. To take back control, select Take Back Control in the sharing toolbar.

Take Control

  1. While in an online meeting, hover at the top-center of Microsoft Teams. On the sharing toolbar, select Request Control. The person sharing will approve or deny your request. While you have control, you can make selections, edits, and other modifications to the shared screen.
  2. To give up control, select Release Control in the sharing toolbar.

Live Captioning

Use automatic live captions to detect what's said in a meeting and present real-time captions for anyone who wants them. Live captions can make your meeting more inclusive to participants who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, people with different levels of language proficiency, and participants in loud places by giving them another way to follow along.

Live captioning is only available on the Teams desktop application for now.

A screenshot of live captioning enabled within a Microsoft Teams meeting.

To turn on captions in a meeting:

  1. Click the ellipses ...
  2. Click Turn On Live Captions

A screenshot showing the location of the live captioning feature within Microsoft Teams

Live Captioning Tips

  • Speak clearly, slowly, and directly into your microphone.
  • Avoid background noise interruptions.
  • Avoid having multiple people speak at the same time.

Meeting Notes

To take meeting notes (e.g. agenda, discussion points) before a meeting:

  1. Click Calendar on the left side of the desktop application.
  2. Click on the meeting.
  3. Click Chat with Participants.
  4. Click the Meeting Notes tab and then start taking meeting notes.

To take meeting notes during a meeting:

  1. Click the ellipses ...
  2. Click Show Meeting Notes in your meeting controls.
    An example of someone taking notes during a Teams meeting.

Meeting Note Tips

  • Meeting notes are not available in meetings with more than 20 people.
  • In a recurring meeting, the notes persist from meeting to meeting. Each new meeting becomes a new section in the notes.
  • To add a new note, click + Add a New Section Here.
  • Use @mentions to draw someone's attention to a specific note or assign an action item.
  • If you want to access notes from a channel meeting, go to the channel where the meeting occurred and find the meeting. Beneath it, click Show Notes in Fullscreen.
    An example of accessing meeting notes after the meeting.
  • If you want to access notes from a private meeting (e.g. from a chat), go to the chat where the meeting occurred and click Show Notes in Fullscreen.
  • Additional details on meeting notes >


Stay on mute when you are not talking. To mute other meeting participants or everyone else if they are a distraction:

  1. Click Show Participants in the meeting toolbar once you've begun the meeting. The participant list appears on the right.
  2. To mute a participant, click on a participant and click Mute.
  3. To mute everyone, click the Mute All link and then click Mute.

An example of a participant list in Microsoft Teams.

Participant Settings

As a meeting organizer, you may want to change the default participant settings for a specific meeting. You can make changes to your meeting settings before a meeting by going to Meeting Options. There are two ways to change this:

  1. In Teams, click Calendar.
  2. Click to open a meeting you organized.
  3. Click Meeting Options.


  1. In the meeting invitation for a meeting you organized, click Meeting Options.

Attendees and Presenters

You can select who can present and be an attendee during your meeting as a meeting organizer. Select Who can present drop-down to modify the presenter settings.

Lobby Bypass

You can define who can bypass the meeting lobby as a meeting organizer. Select Who can bypass the lobby drop-down to modify the lobby bypass settings:

  • People in my organization: Only people at IC can get into your meetings directly. This is recommended when you want all external guests outside of IC to wait in the lobby so you can approve them one by one.
  • People in my organization and trusted organizations: Only people at IC and external guests from trusted organizations can get into your meetings directly. This is recommended when you want some external guests outside of IC to wait in the lobby so you can approve them one by one.
  • Everyone: Anyone who has access to the meeting link gets into the meeting directly, including people who call in. This is recommended when you don't want anyone to wait in the lobby, and you want everyone to be able to join your meetings without specific approval.

Video Background Effects

Use background effects during meetings to customize your video background or minimize distractions in your video.

  • ​​If you start an instant meeting via the Meet Now feature, you can start a meeting with background blur by clicking the blur slider to the right.

An example of how to blur your background before a meeting.

  • During a meeting, click the ellipses ... click Show Background Effects, and then click the desired background effect.


Article ID: 806
Thu 3/12/20 1:27 PM
Thu 12/10/20 7:54 PM