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How does availability status work in Microsoft Teams?

Published: 2 November 2021 Last updated: 11 March 2022

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Availability status

If you want to make sure people know when you’re busy or away from your desk, set your status in Teams. The little dot on your profile picture indicates if you’re available or not.

Teams will automatically set the availability status in some cases, like when you’re in a call. To explicitly set it yourself, click on your profile picture at the top of Teams and select one from the list.

Status menu

You can also update your status from the command box. Type /available/busy/dnd/brb/away, or /offline to set your status as AvailableBusyDo not disturbBe right backAway, or Offline.

Here’s more detail about each kind of status that you change:

  • Available is when you’re active in Teams and don’t have anything in your calendar (no meetings or calls, for example). Note that Teams will automatically set your status from Available to Away when you lock your computer or when it enters idle or sleep mode. On mobile, this will happen when the Teams app is in the background.
  • Busy is when you want to focus on something, and you do want notifications to pop up.  If you’re in a meeting or call, Teams will automatically change your status to In a meeting or In a call (Busy) when not set to Do not disturb.
  • Do not disturb is when you want to focus or present your screen and don’t want notifications to pop up.
  • Be right back is when you want to say you’re temporarily away. It’s never set automatically.
  • Appear away is when you need to work without responding right away.
  • Appear offline is when you want to indicate that you’re not signed in to Teams, so will not be responding until you’re back online. You’ll still receive notifications if anyone messages you.

Get notified when someone’s status changes in Teams

If you’d like to know when someone in Teams changes their status to Available or Offline, you can add them to your status notifications list either through a previous chat or in settings.

Note: You can add up to 15 people to your status notifications list.

After you add someone to your status notifications list, you’ll see a desktop notification banner at the bottom of your screen along with a notification in action center (if turned on in settings) whenever their status changes. 

Option 1: Create a status change notification through a chat

The chat option is convenient if you’ve recently had a one-on-one chat with the person that you want to get notifications about. 

  1. Choose Open chat button Chat on the left side of the app.
  2. In your chat list, choose a one-on-one chat that includes the person that you want to be notified about.
  3. Select  More options and then choose Notify when available.
Notify when available in Chat
  1. To stop seeing a person’s status, follow the previous steps, and then choose Turn off notifications  Turn off notifications.

Option 2: Create a status change notification in settings

The settings option allows you to search for someone in your organization and then add them directly to your notifications list.

  1. Select your profile picture in the top right of Teams. Next, select  Settings button  Settings >  Activity buttonNotifications to open notification settings.
  2. Select the Edit button to the right of People to open the manage status notifications screen.
People settings edit button

In the manage status notifications screen, type the name of the person that you want to be notified about in the Add people search box. Select their name when it appears.

Add person to status notifications

To remove someone from your status notifications list, follow the previous steps and then select the Turn off button next to their name.

Turn off status notifications button


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