Microsoft Teams problems, and how to fix them

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Microsoft Teams was introduced in 2017 as a unified communication and collaboration platform, helping businesses and organizations get things done. Microsoft leveraged the company’s existing Office software experience, creating a unified experience between Teams, Office 365, and Skype for Business. However, as with all software, things don’t always go according to plan. If you’re having problems with Microsoft Teams, here’s how to fix some of the most common issues.

If you aren’t receiving the latest messages from your colleagues, or your feed appears to be frozen in time, we would recommend restarting the application.

To restart Teams on Windows 10, look for the Teams icon (a small purple icon of two people) in the taskbar in the lower-right of your screen — you may need to click a little arrow to expand the taskbar. Once the icon is located, right-click it and select Quit. On MacOS, right-click the Teams icon in your Dock, then choose Quit. Now, reopen the application to see if your problem has been solved.

If you’re having problems with your webcam or microphone, begin by ensuring that your hardware is plugged incorrectly. Next, ensure that during a meeting, your microphone and webcam are enabled — you will see toggle switches for these options when you join a new call.

If other applications can see your webcam and microphone, but Teams cannot, you may need to allow permissions for Teams. To alter permissions on Windows 10, click the Windows Search Bar then type in Webcam. Under the Choose Which Apps Can Access Your Webcam, make sure Teams or the web browser you are using to access Teams is enabled.

To alter Teams’ permissions on MacOS, click the Apple menu icon in the upper-left corner of the screen, then choose System Preferences. From here, select Security and Privacy, then Camera — you may need to click the lock icon to make changes here. Ensure that Teams or the web browser you are using to access Teams is enabled.

If you are attempting to create a new team in Microsoft Teams, but cannot, check with your system administrator. Companies and organizations have the option to disallow individuals from creating new groups or teams. Reach out to your IT department for further assistance with the matter.

Microsoft is currently aware of an issue in which a removed user will show as Unknown user in the Teams application. The conversation tab may also say Unknown user has been added to the team. There is no fix at this time, but Microsoft is working on the problem.

If you’re having problems accessing Teams, make sure that your Mac, PC, or mobile device can access other networks or internet content. If your computer is connected to the internet, but Teams is still inaccessible, the service might be down. Check with the Microsoft’s Support page to see if they are having problems with the Teams service.

If you are using Microsoft Edge, or the older Internet Explorer, you may find that your login screen for Teams is stuck in a loop. This is likely because your organization uses the Trusted Sites option and hasn’t enabled Microsoft Teams. You can follow these steps to allow Teams; if you are blocked from the process, you may need to contact your system administrator or IT help desk for further assistance.

Instructions for Microsoft Edge

Step 1: Open Microsoft Edge.

Step 2: Open the Settings window, then select Site Permissions.

Step 3: Next, select Cookies and Site Data.

Step 4: Choose to Allow Sites to Save and Read Cookie Data.

Step 5: Then ensure that Block Third-Party Cookies is off.

Step 6: Under the Allow section, add the following sites:

Instructions for Internet Explorer

Step 1: Open Internet Explorer.

Step 2: Open the Internet Options window.

Step 3: Select Privacy, then Advanced.

Step 4: Under First-Party Cookies, choose Accept.

Step 5: Under Third-Party Cookies, choose Accept.

Step 6: Ensure Always Allow Session Cookies is checked.

Step 7: Click OK.

Step 8: In Internet Options, choose Security, then Trusted Sites.

Step 9: Select Sites, then add the following sites:

If your document libraries contain more than 5,000 OneNote items, Teams may deliver this message: “One or more of the document libraries on the user or group’s OneDrive contains more than 5,000 OneNote items.” This is a known limitation of the service, and Microsoft is aware of the issue.

For the time being, you will need to reduce the number of items in OneNote below 5,000. Microsoft provides this tool for counting the number of items in a specific document library, which may assist you at this time.

If you are having issues logging in to the Teams service, begin by ensuring that you are entering the correct login information. You may receive one of the error codes listed below if you are entering the accurate information but are still being denied access. Contact your IT department with the given error code, as the issue will need to be removed by your system administrator.

Common login error codes:

If you are no longer receiving notifications from Microsoft Teams, permissions may have changed. Begin by checking that the Teams app has the correct settings enabled. Open the Microsoft Teams app, click on your profile photo in the top right, and choose Settings. Next, select the Notifications option. Ensure that all notifications are set as expected. In a web browser, ensure that you choose to Allow or Enable if prompted for notifications.

If you are sending a message to an individual Skype for Business account, but the operation fails, there are two likely culprits. First, ensure that the recipient’s status is set to Available, or another active state. Otherwise, if both users are available, ensure that both users are using Microsoft Teams to send messages. Microsoft is currently aware of a bug preventing some users from sending messages from different applications; it’s working on a fix.

If you are still having issues with Microsoft Teams, reach out to your organization or business’s system administrator for assistance. Otherwise, if you have control over Teams in your organization and need additional help, be sure to use Microsoft’s support documentation and reach out to its technical team if required.

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