Setting Free-form Status Messages for Teams Users

A New and Useful Teams Feature

One small but useful feature added to Teams recently is the ability for users to set their own status. This is different to setting a user’s presence status (Available, Busy, Do Not Disturb, etc.), which is intended to show if the user can join a meeting or chat. The free-form status of up to 280 characters is intended to give more personal or detailed information to co-workers, such as when you are traveling and won’t be able to respond to messages quickly.

User status messages support plain text and emojis and can be set using the desktop, browser, and mobile clients. On Windows, press the Windows key and period (.) to expose the set of available emojis. On Mac, use the Command-Control-Spacebar sequence. You can’t enter HTML-formatted text.

The feature appeared in my tenant last week. I’ve also seen it in other tenants (and other folks are reporting it), so I assume it is rolling out to Office 365 tenants at present. There’s no trace of the feature in the Office 365 Roadmap.

Setting Your Status in Teams

To set the user status, click on the avatar (picture) in the top right-hand corner of the client and select Set status message from the menu (left-hand screen below). Then enter the text that you’d like to display to co-workers (for example, “I am in the San Francisco office this week, so I am working in that time zone.” Then select how long you want the status to be display. The options are:

  • Today (until midnight)
  • 1 hour
  • 4 hours
  • 8 hours
  • 12 hours
  • 2 days
  • 5 days
  • Always
Set user status message in Teams
Setting and viewing user status

Viewing User Status

Teams displays the status message when the user’s people card is viewed (see right-hand screen above). For example, if someone is @mentioned in a message, you can right-click on their name to see the card. Or you can see the people cards for members of a team by using the Manage team option to view the membership and then hovering over each member.

Interestingly, guest users can set a status. This probably means that the status is stored as a property of the user in the Teams directory rather than Azure Active Directory


For more information about Teams, see Chapter 13 of the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook.

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8 Replies to “Setting Free-form Status Messages for Teams Users”

  1. This is useful if you use the Teams client.
    Does anyone have any idea whether custom status messages can be edited or set via the web interface?
    You can certainly view your custom status message on the web interface but so far I cannot see a way to edit it.

    1. I just did this with Chrome… the browser client works the same way as the desktop. There’s a small pencil icon to click to edit a status message.

  2. Is there a way of setting this “Status Message” through PowerShell? E.g. through the PS Module: MicrosoftTeams.

  3. I set my status message and now I can’t edit it. I had put that I was out of the office until October 2nd but now I can’t clear it. Any suggestions?

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