How to access the Microsoft Teams admin center

Microsoft Teams can be used as a stand-alone app with no subscription needed. You don’t even need a Microsoft 365 subscription. The app won’t allow you to use all its features but for basic messaging, online conferences, and file sharing and collaboration, it will do the job just fine. If you have a personal Microsoft 365 subscription, you still only get the free version of Microsoft Teams. You have to upgrade in order to take advantage of its more advanced features. Users with an enterprise license, however, have access to Microsoft Teams’ premium features.

Microsoft Teams admin center

Microsoft Teams is quite a complex app, especially if you’re using the enterprise version of it. It’s meant for large organizations and offers extensive control over users, as well as the files that are shared and which features are enabled. Setting all of this up isn’t possible from the Microsoft Teams’ settings. Instead, there is an extensive console that’s available for managing users, policies, permissions, and more.

Direct access

The Microsoft Teams admin center can be accessed directly.

  1. Open your browser.
  2. Visit this link.
  3. Sign in with an admin account for Microsoft Teams.

Access via Microsoft 365 admin center

The Microsoft Teams admin center can also be accessed from the Microsoft 365 admin center.

  1. Visit the Microsoft 365 admin center.
  2. Sign in with an admin account.
  3. In the column on the left, click ‘Show all’.
  4. Click ‘Microsoft Teams’.
  5. A new tab will open and take you directly to the Microsoft Teams admin center.

FAILED_TO_AUTO_DISCOVER_DOMAIN

If the Microsoft Teams page opens, and it shows you the ‘FAILED_TO_AUTO_DISCOVER_DOMAIN’ error, that means you are not using the correct account to sign in and access it. Click Sign Out, and sign in with the correct account. If you’re not sure what the correct account is, talk to your system admin or sign in to the Microsoft 365 admin center with the account you used to purchase the subscription. Go through the list of users to find your user account, and then sign into it.

Only users with admin access can open the Microsoft Teams admin center.

Microsoft 365 vs Microsoft Teams admin center

The controls available in the Microsoft 365 admin center e.g., those for managing users, adding a user, deleting a user, enabling an add-on, assigning roles, etc, are similar to controls you will see in the Microsoft Teams admin center.

That does not mean that the Microsoft 365 admin center is a stand-in for the Microsoft Teams admin center. The Microsoft Teams admin center contains many other settings and it’s only accessible if you’ve upgraded Microsoft Teams.

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How to enable Microsoft Teams for users

Microsoft Teams, both the paid and the free version, allow a Team admin to invite other users. When you invite a user, you can assign them licenses, if they’re available, or you can simply grant them access to certain features in Teams.

Enable Microsoft Teams for User

Enabling Microsoft Teams for users can be simple if you’re using the app’s free version. If you have a business/enterprise/education license, it’s a bit more complicated.

1. Invite users Microsoft Teams – Free

To enable Microsoft Teams for users when you’re using the free version, all you have to do is invite them to join a team.

  1. Open Microsoft Teams.
  2. Go to the Teams tab.
  3. Click the more options button next to the team’s General tab.
  4. Select ‘Add member’.
  5. Enter an email address and select ‘Add [email] as member’.
  6. Click Add.
  7. An email will be sent to the new member and it will have a link that they can click to join the team.

2. Invite users Microsoft Teams – Enterprise/Education

With an Enterprise or Education license, enabling Microsoft Teams for users may be two-step process; a user must be added to the team, and then a Microsoft Teams’ license for the user must be enabled.

  1. Open Microsoft Teams.
  2. Select the Teams tab.
  3. Click the more options button next to the General channel.
  4. Select Add member.
  5. Enter an email, and select ‘Invite as member’.
  6. Click Add.
  7. Have the user accept the invite.
  8. Open the Microsoft 365 admin center.
  9. In the column on the left, select Users>Active Users.
  10. Select the newly added user.
  11. In the pane that opens on the right, go to the Licenses and Apps tab. If you have an Education license, you will have to choose the license type as well.
  12. Select a Microsoft Teams license to assign to the user.

  1. In the column on the left, expand Settings.
  2. Select Services & add-ins.
  3. Click Microsoft Teams in the pane on the right.
  4. In the panel that opens, make sure Microsoft Teams is On for your organization.

Conclusion

Users, especially those connected via AD accounts, will likely already be part of their respective organization’s team in Microsoft Teams however, they may only see features that are available for free. An organization must purchase licenses for each individual user and those licenses then have to be assigned to a user which isn’t something that can be done automatically. If a user can’t use certain features in Microsoft Teams, then it is likely because they haven’t been assigned a license or the license is newly assigned. A license will take 24 hours to activate.

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How to access Microsoft Team admin center

Microsoft Teams is a complex collaboration tool. You can use it for free, or you can use it with a paid Microsoft 365 license.  When you use the free version of Microsoft Teams, you do not have access to the same Microsoft Teams admin center that business users have access to. The Microsoft Team admin center is available for premium/business accounts and it allows them to manage teams, tabs, file permissions, and more.

Microsoft Teams admin center

There are two ways to access the Microsoft Teams admin center; direct access or via the Microsoft 365 admin center. You will need;

  • A web browser.
  • Access to the admin user’s email and password.

Microsoft Teams admin account

If you’re unsure which email the admin account for Microsoft Teams is linked to, use the account that was used to purchase the license. Other admin users can be added from the Microsoft Teams admin center once you have access to it.

Access Microsoft Teams admin center – Microsoft 365

You can access the Microsoft Teams admin center by following these steps.

  1. Visit the Microsoft 365 admin center.
  2. Click sign in at the top right.
  3. Sign in with your admin account.
  4. In the column on the left, scroll down to the Admin Centers section.
  5. Click Teams to access the Microsoft Teams admin center.

Microsoft Teams admin center – direct access

You can directly access the Microsoft Teams admin center without going through the Microsoft 365 admin center. If your Microsoft Teams account is separate from your Microsoft 365 account, you should access the Teams admin center directly so that you can use the other account to sign in.

  1. Visit the Microsoft Teams admin center via this link.
  2. Sign in with the Microsoft Teams admin account.
  3. Once you’re signed in, you will be able to access the Microsoft Teams admin center.

Conclusion

There are only two obstacles to getting access to the Teams admin panel; finding the right link and knowing which account has access to it. If you’re a team member, it is possible that you’re able to sign into the Teams admin panel but you may not see the same options that an admin does. Team members have restricted access and if you find you often need to change settings that aren’t available to you, you should ask the admin to give you more management rights within Microsoft Teams. It will be up to the admin to decide what rights to grant to a user though they too will be restricted by the options that are available.

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How to update Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is one of many apps that have seen a steady rise in users since work has moved online for many people. The app is a fairly robust tool for collaboration and it helps that it’s from Microsoft and most of the Microsoft 365 suite is integrated with it. For those that aren’t working in the tech industry, it’s a simple tool to use and an even simpler one to set up.

With the increase in the number of users and the fact that Microsoft Teams is competing with Zoom and Google Meet, new features have been added to the app. All you have to do is update it.

Update Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is easy to update but it’s not obvious when/if it’s updating at all. To update Microsoft Teams, follow the steps below;

  1. Open Microsoft Teams.
  2. Maximize the app window.
  3. Once the app window has been maximized, click your profile icon on the title bar.
  4. From the menu, select ‘Check for updates’.
  5. You will see a banner below the title bar telling you the app will check for and install updates while you work.
  6. If you do not see the banner, quit Microsoft Teams.
  7. Open it again. Make sure the app window is maximized.
  8. Go to your profile and select Check for updates. 
  9. The banner will now appear and the app will check for and install updates.

Check for last update

If you want to check when Microsoft Teams was last updated, and which version of the app you’re running, follow these steps.

  1. Open Microsoft Teams and make sure the app window is maximized.
  2. Click your profile icon at the top.
  3. In the menu, go to About>Version.
  4. A banner will appear at the top, below the title bar, telling you the current version of the app and when it was last updated.

Conclusion

Microsoft Teams has its bugs and one of those odd little bugs is that if the app’s window is too small (subjective to the size of the screen), and there isn’t enough ‘room’ for the update banner, it won’t appear. This is why it’s imperative that the app is maximized first so that users can see the confirmation the app is going to check for and install for updates. As for the updates, they install almost silently. They will be downloaded in the background. When you quit and relaunch the app, the updates will be installed. You really can’t tell when the update was installed because there’s never a break in the workflow where it tells you it’s installing updates.

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How to run multiple instances of Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams allows users to join multiple teams and easily switch between them. What it doesn’t allow users to do is use multiple accounts. You can create more than one account for Microsoft Teams but you will have to sign out of one account and sign in to the other account you want to use when it’s time to switch between them. The only alternative is to use Microsoft Teams from the web browser where you can sign into different accounts across different browser profiles.

Need to disable multiple instances of an app? We’ve got a solution.

Multiple instances of Microsoft Teams

If you want to use the Windows desktop app for Microsoft Teams, but you’d like to use multiple accounts, you need to be able to run multiple instances of Microsoft Teams. You can’t do this out of the box however, there is a simple work-around.

  1. Make sure Microsoft Teams for Windows 10 is installed on your system.
  2. Download and run the free, open-source app called Multi MS Teams.
  3. Click the New Profile button at the bottom right.
  4. Enter a name for the profile; the name should tell you which account you’ll be using so that it’s easier to launch Microsoft Teams.
  5. Add a profile for each account that you plan on using.
  6. Select a profile, and click the Launch Teams button at the bottom left.
  7. When Microsoft Teams opens, sign in with your account.
  8. Go back to Multi MS Teams, and select another profile (after creating it).
  9. Click the Launch Teams button again.
  10. A second instance of Microsoft Teams will open.
  11. Sign in with the account you want to use.
  12. Repeat this for as many accounts/instances of Microsoft Teams you need.

Launch at login

If you need to open multiple instances of Microsoft Teams when you login to your desktop, follow the steps below;

  1. Open Microsoft Teams.
  2. Click your profile picture at the top and select Settings from the menu.
  3. On the General tab, uncheck the ‘Auto-start application’ option.
  4. Open Multi MS Teams.
  5. Enable the ‘Auto start’ option.
  6. When you next boot to the desktop, Multi MS Teams will open all configured Microsoft Teams accounts in their own separate instances.

Managing Notifications

For each instance of Microsoft Teams, you will get desktop alerts. The alerts alone will not be enough to tell you which account the message was sent to so that is a limitation you have to work with. There will be a system tray icon for each instance of Microsoft Teams that is running. The icon will have a visual indicator if you have unread messages but again, you cannot identify the account from just the system tray icon.

Conclusion

Multi MS Teams works really well however, you should know that in some cases, users have trouble signing into their account when they’re running a single instance of Microsoft Teams. You may run into some trouble if you’re trying to run multiple instances of the app. You can try troubleshooting the problem but if you’re unable to fix it, you might have to limit yourself to just one instance of Microsoft Teams.

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