Stopping the Teams App Starting Automatically on Windows

Office ProPlus Now Installs Teams Alongside Other Apps

Microsoft recently decided to include Teams in the set of applications automatically installed with the Office ProPlus (click to run) suite (Office 365 roadmap item 46444). At first glance, this seems like a benign change that shouldn’t cause many disruptions. That is, unless your organization doesn’t want to use Teams or people within the organization have no need to use Teams. Despite Teams now being used by 19 million active monthly users in 500,000 organizations, there’s a heck of a lot of Office ProPlus users who haven’t ever heard of Teams.

Take my wife for instance. She has an account in my Office 365 tenant and uses Office ProPlus. Well, she uses Outlook and an occasional Word document. I don’t think she has ever felt the need to fire up PowerPoint and the wonders of calculations via Excel remains a blessed mystery to her. She’s happy with the way she uses Office, which is as good as it gets.

That is, until the latest update arrived on her PC and left a Teams icon on her desktop. This wouldn’t have been too bad as it’s easy to remove an icon. What really ticked her off was the way that Teams automatically started after each reboot. She doesn’t want to use Teams, but there’s no obvious way for a regular user to suppress Teams and stop it starting.

Microsoft Gave Overlooked Advice

I hadn’t read the important note Microsoft included in its Deploy Microsoft Teams with Office 365 ProPlus document which said:

“Starting in July 2019, if you’re using Monthly Channel, then Teams will be added to existing installations of Office 365 ProPlus (and Office 365 Business) on devices running Windows when you update your existing installation to the latest version.”

The document goes on to explain how to use the Office Deployment Tool or a Group Policy Object (GPO) if you don’t want Teams to be added to existing Office installations. You can also add a DWORD value called PreventTeamsInstall to the system registry at HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Office\16.0\common\officeupdate. Set the value to 1 to stop Teams being installed.

Stopping Teams for a Single User

All of this is goodness until you have to deal with a single user who happens to be important to you who wants Teams stopped now. Teams is already on the PC and we don’t use the Office Deployment Tool or GPOs for family members (I know, I should). The need is therefore simple: find something to stop Teams starting up on individual PCs where Teams is already installed because Office is updated.

Another DWORD registry value called PreventFirstLaunchAfterInstall is available to stop Teams launching after an update. The value is at HKCU\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Teams and should be set to 1. I don’t know if this works when Teams has already been started on a PC, but a Microsoft Technical Community contribution led me to remove the value splendidly named com.squirrel.Teams.Teams from the system registry. The value is at HKCU:\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run (Figure 1).

Registry Setting to Stop Teams Starting Automatically
Figure 1: Registry Setting to Stop Teams Starting Automatically

The PowerShell command to do the job is:

Remove-ItemProperty -Path "HKCU:\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run" -Name "com.squirrel.Teams.Teams"

Removing the value stopped Teams and made my user happy. If you haven’t yet deployed the latest Office update to your tenant, you might want to think about controlling Teams with the Office Deployment Tool or GPO. Or just wait until users log those help desk tickets to ask why this new app turned up on their PC without asking.

Need more information about dealing with Office ProPlus with Office 365? We cover clients in detail in the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook.

10 Replies to “Stopping the Teams App Starting Automatically on Windows”

  1. Another option is to pre-deploy teams yourself using this command line option: OPTIONS=”noAutoStart=true” That way they can use teams if they want to but it wont autostart unless they choose to let it.

    1. Good idea. Except for my wife of course, who has made it very obvious that she has no interest in using Teams. Ever.

  2. There may be an easier way, at least in Windows 7. I used Windows’ “msconfig” utility to disable the Teams autostart sequence.

  3. This can also be done in Windows 10 by opening Task Manager (right-click on an empty space in the Task Bar), select Startup tab, right-click on Microsoft Teams, then Disable.

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