How to Change Away Time in Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is an online chat-based workspace that allows friends, colleagues, and students to hold meetings, exchange ideas, and share content. Just like any other communication app, Microsoft Teams gives you the option to set your availability status. This is useful for letting your others know if you are currently online or if you’re busy doing something else. However, Microsoft Teams also changes your status to “Away” when your PC gets locked, goes to sleep, or you have no activity on it for a specified time.

How to Change Away Time in Microsoft Teams

In this article, you’ll see the steps to change your Microsoft Teams Away status and keep it from auto-changing to “Away.”

Understanding Microsoft Teams Activity Status

On the list of Team members, you can see each user’s availability status in the form of icons, which indicate whether they are online, offline, or busy.

Microsoft Teams Status Options

There are different types of preconfigured statuses that Microsoft Teams uses to label its members, including the following:

  • Available – this means that you are online at the moment and that you are available if any other Team member wants to contact you.
  • Busy – you are online but you’re busy with something. You will still receive notifications, but Microsoft Teams will automatically change your status to In a meeting or In a call.
  • Do not disturb – you are online, but you aren’t available to other Team users. This status will turn off all your notifications.  Your status can also say Presenting or Focusing, in accordance with your calendar entries.
  • Be right back – this indicates that you’ve had to leave Microsoft Teams for a short period of time and that you will be back in a few minutes.
  • Away – this status informs your colleagues that you aren’t available to chat and that you are busy working.
  • Offline – this status appears when you log out, or if you turn off your device.

How to Keep Microsoft Teams Active to Prevent Away Status

Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent Teams from setting your status to “Away” every time you lock your PC, set it to “Sleep,” or let it sit idle for the currently set time limit by Teams. There is also no way to do it permanently, even when manually changing it. Regardless, manually changing your availability locks in the current status for a longer period: Busy (one day), Do not disturb (1 day), and other statuses (7 days). Your active status won’t be altered again unless you reach the specified time limit.

Manually Changing Your Availability Status

Even though Microsoft Teams changes your availability status to “Away” automatically, per your recent inactivity, you still have the option to change your status manually. This function is also referred to as an “inactivity timeout.” The scenario often creates problems for Team users, especially when their daily workload and productivity get measured. However, the good news is that you can change your status in a few ways.

It’s fairly easy to change your activity status manually. Here’s how to do it.

Manually Change Your Microsoft Teams Status in Windows

  1. Open “Microsoft Teams.”
  2. Log into Teams if needed, and then click on your “profile icon” in the top-right corner of your screen.
  3. Click on the “status” description.
  4. When the list of status options appears, choose the one you want, including “Available,” “Appear away,” or “Appear offline.”

Manually Change Your Microsoft Teams Status in Android, iOS/iPhone

If you are using the mobile app, you can alter your activity status by following these steps:

  1. Open the “Microsoft Teams” mobile app.
  2. Tap on the “hamburger icon” (three horizontal lines) in the upper left corner of your screen.
  3. Tap on your current “status” description, and a list of status options appear below it.
  4. Choose “Available” or “Away.”

The above steps prevent Microsoft Teams from changing your status to “Away” when you’re not active within the cutoff time.

Microsoft Teams Away Status FAQs

How Do I Create a Custom Status on Microsoft Teams?

Technically speaking, you cannot create a custom status, but you can create a custom status message. You can choose from a variety of status options (active, do not disturb, be right back, etc.). In case none of these options suit you, you can always create a custom status message.  

This is how it’s done:

1. Open up Microsoft Teams.

2. Go to your profile picture.

3. Select the “Set status message” option.

4. Type in what you want your message to be (for example, “I’ll be back in five minutes” or “Be back soon”).

5. Click the “Clear status message after” dropdown menu and set the duration of your status message. (Your options are never, 1 hour, 4 hours, today, this week, and custom.)

6. Finally, click “Done.”

Now you have a custom status message that will appear every time your colleagues try to contact you.

1.  When you want to change your custom message, go to your profile settings and click “Delete this status message.”

How Do You Change Idle Time in Microsoft Teams?

Idle time appears on your status when your device goes to sleep mode or if you have been inactive for a certain period of time. Microsoft Teams will set this automatically.

Your status will change to active once you interact with the application in any way. If this doesn’t happen, you can set your availability status yourself by following the steps outlined in the previous questions.

Optimize Your Experience on Microsoft Teams

Now you’ve learned how to change your availability status and customize your user presence in Microsoft Teams. By following our instructions and advice, you can elevate your work efficiency and overall productivity. You can customize almost anything in Microsoft Teams. You just have to figure out what works for you.

Have you ever changed your status on Microsoft teams? Did you follow the steps outlined in our article? Let us know in the comments section below.

4 thoughts on “How to Change Away Time in Microsoft Teams”

Thomas J yewcic says:
We use Teams as our small contact center for 4 reps and it is very frustrating since the Teams times out every 5 minutes (yellow status) and this prevents calls from being received. It creates a bad experience for our customers trying to reach us and also is a dissatisfying experience for our agents. Microsoft should allow an option to disable the timing out option. I would not recommend Microsoft for a contact center until they fix this issue.

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