Teams Recordings of 1:1 Calls Now Available

Closes Gap in Teams Meetings Recording Spectrum

In a surprise announcement (MC210451), Microsoft said that Teams “convenience recording” is now available for 1:1 calls. The feature seems to be already available, but this might depend on some software reaching your tenant, a process that can take some time given the distributed nature of Office 365.

Support was already available to record group calls (more than two people), but now you can record Teams calls with just one other person. I have no idea why Microsoft calls this convenience recording.

There doesn’t seem to be a Microsoft 365 roadmap item for this development, which might account for why Microsoft apologizes “for not communicating sooner.”

How 1:1 Call Recording Works

Recording happens with any other Teams call. One of the two people on the call selects the Start Recording option in the call menu. For now, the Allow Cloud Recording setting in the meeting policy assigned to the account must allow them to record, but Microsoft says that they’re working on a separate policy setting to control 1:1 calls.

When the call completes, the recording is processed in Stream (Figure 1), from where it can be shared or added to a channel. The person who starts the recording is deemed to be the owner of the recording, which is important because they’re the only one who can manage the recording in Stream. They also receive the email notification the recording is processed.

A recording of a Teams 1:1 call in Stream
Figure 1: A recording of a Teams 1:1 call in Stream

Recording Posted in Chat

The call is also posted to the 1:1 chat and both participants can access it there (Figure 2) by opening the file stored in Stream. This works well when both participants have accounts in the same tenant, but the lack of external sharing capabilities in Stream is one of the reasons why Teams is moving its storage for recordings to OneDrive for Business.

Recording posted to a Teams 1:1 chat
Figure 2: Recording posted to a Teams 1:1 chat

However, only the owner can share the recording from the chat. At first glance, the only sharing option seems to be to make the recording available to the entire organization, which seems bizarre given that 1:1 calls tend to be private. The … link brings you to the Stream Manage permission dialog, which is where you can apply some granular permissions.

Teams dialog to share a call recording
Figure 3: Teams dialog to share a call recording

Known Limitations

Microsoft document a couple of limitations in the current implementation.

  • Calls can only be recorded between two Teams clients. You can’t record calls if they involve people dialing in or if the call is federated to Skype for Business Online or Skype consumer users.
  • If you add extra people to a 1:1 call (thus creating a group call), the recording is posted in the 1:1 chat where the call starts instead to the expanded chat. To make the recording available, the owner must share the Stream recording with the added participants (or the file in OneDrive for Business, if that’s where the recordings are stored).

Rushed for Now

Although welcome, the oddly branded convenience recording seems a little rushed. Perhaps Microsoft is responding to a need to help people working from home who must record calls for certain topics, like financial transactions. In any case, it’s good to have the feature.

New developments come thick and fast in Office 365. This one affects two or maybe three chapters of the Office 365 for IT Pros ebook. Luckily we release an update every month to make sure our subscribers are always up to date.

4 Replies to “Teams Recordings of 1:1 Calls Now Available”

  1. Used the call recording for proctoring an online test, but I didn’t realize the student would have access to the recording and all the test questions afterward! I thought it would be like a meeting where I could remove viewing permissions in stream! In the Stream settings it doesn’t list the other person as an owner or viewer, but they can still see it?! There’s no way to delete it from the 2 way chat!

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