How to Change Away Time in Microsoft Teams

Just like any other communication app, Microsoft Teams gives you the option to set your own availability status. This is useful for letting your colleagues know if you are currently online or if you’re busy doing something else.

How to Change Away Time in Microsoft Teams

In this article, we will walk you through the steps to change your away time or any other status on Microsoft Teams. In addition to this, we will also go through some other Microsoft Teams options that you can use to customize your user presence.

How to Change Away Time in Microsoft Teams?

Microsoft Teams is an online chat-based workspace that allows colleagues and students to hold meetings, exchange ideas, and share content. 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.

There are different types of status that Microsoft Teams uses to label its member:

  • 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.
  • Appear away – this status informs your colleagues that you aren’t available to chat and that you are busy working.

Note: If you are using the mobile app, your status will be automatically set to Away every time you exit the app or move it to the background.

  • Appear offline – this status appears when you log out, or if you turn off your device.
  • Status unknown.

You will still receive messages normally, regardless of your availability status. The only exception to this is when you’re offline, in which case you will receive all your messages once you log in to your Microsoft Teams account.

Even though Microsoft Teams changes your availability status automatically, in accordance with your recent activity, you still have the option to change your status manually.  This is especially useful when Microsoft Teams changes your status incorrectly.

This mainly refers to the “Appear away” time, which Microsoft Teams sets every time your device goes to sleep mode, you’re inactive for a short period of time, or if you don’t contact any other Team member within 5 minutes. This function is also referred to as an inactivity timeout.

This can create problems for Team users, especially when their daily workload and productivity are being measured. But the good news is that you can change your status in a few ways.

To begin with, you can just change your activity status manually. This is how it’s done:

  1. Open Microsoft Teams.
  2. Log in, if you haven’t already, and then go to your profile picture, which is in the top right corner of your screen.
  3. You will see your current status, click on it.
  4. When the list of status options appears, choose the one you want.

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 three horizontal lines at the upper left corner of your screen.
  3. Tap on your current status and a list of status options will appear below.
  4. Select the status option you want.

That’s all there is to it. This will prevent Microsoft Teams from changing your status to Appear Away if you aren’t active for a certain period of time.

Another way to do this is by setting the duration of your status. Follow these steps to find out how:

  1. Open Microsoft Teams.
  2. Click on your profile picture.
  3. Next to your status, click on the arrow that will take you to the Duration option.
  4. Set the exact time period for your status.

You can set your status duration for 30 minutes, 1 hour, 2 hours, all of today, all of this week, and custom time.

How to Keep Microsoft Teams Active?

Microsoft Teams automatically changes your availability status every time you don’t interact with the platform, even though you are still technically online. This can be irksome for many, but there is a solution. By changing your availability status by yourself, by following the instructions above, your active status won’t be altered again, unless you change it.

Microsoft Teams also allows you to reset your status. This option will once again allow Microsoft Teams to change your status automatically. This is how it’s done:

  1. Open Microsoft Teams.
  2. Log in, if you haven’t already, and then go to your profile picture in the upper right corner of your screen.
  3. Click on your current status, which is below your profile picture.
  4. Click on the Reset status option.

Additional FAQs

How Do I Change the Status of Microsoft Teams?

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

You also have the option of tracking your contacts’ activity status by receiving notifications whenever they are online. This is how it’s done:

1. Open Microsoft teams.

2. Now, go to your profile picture and click Settings.

3. Click on Notifications.

4. Scroll down to Status and click Manage status notifications.

5. Here you have the options to edit chat, meetings, people and other notifications. Click on Edit next to the People section.

6. Add the people you want to receive notifications for when they’re active.

7. If you want to remove someone from that list, click Turn off next to their name.

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.

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