Teams Notifications Updated for Native OS Support and Better Privacy

Improvements in Notification Center

Microsoft has steadily improved the control users have over the notifications generated by Teams for actions like @ mentions and channel activity. The default settings for notifications mean that users receive desktop (banner) and activity feed notifications for @ mentions, chat messages, and new channel conversations in their teams list. Teams can also send email to notify users when they’ve missed something. The notifications a user wants to receive are configured through their profile, available through Settings > Notifications.

Microsoft recently refreshed the Teams Notifications screen (Office 365 notification MC220702, 20 August) to make it easier to manage notifications. If you haven’t looked recently, you should review your settings and see if you can prioritize the notifications you receive and reduce the number of distracting interruptions, or maybe just disable notification sounds. Or indeed, to have Teams notify you when the presence status of selected users is offline or available.

Update July 22, 2021: Microsoft update MC271919 says the default notification type for new users will change from Teams to native O/S in late August 2021 and will be deployed worldwide by the end of September. The change in default type doesn’t affect existing users.

Moving Teams to Native Notifications

Traditionally, Teams generated its own notification like the “banner” shown in Figure 1. Usefully, the recipient can reply to the message.

Teams "banner" notification
Figure 1: Teams “banner” notification

What’s changing is that Teams will offer the choice to deliver its own notifications or native O/S applications. As described in Office 365 notifications MC224422 (Windows – roadmap item 66742) and MC222156 (macOS 10.14 – roadmap item 66743), this feature will roll-out in mid-November. According to comments on the Teams User Voice request for macOS notifications (pretty popular with 5,034 votes and over 700 comments), some folks have this running already.

Update (January 7): Microsoft’s new timeline to introduce native notifications for Teams in Windows is to start the roll-out in mid-January to complete in mid-February 2021.

Update (April 1). According to MC248006, the deployment timeline is now to complete this update by mid-April, 2021.

The notification style is chosen through Settings (Figure 2). In this case, Teams is running on a Windows PC.

Choosing between Teams and Windows notifications
Figure 2: Choosing between Teams and Windows notifications

After choosing OS notifications, Teams uses Windows notifications whenever a user selects banner notifications for an action (Figure 3).

Teams notification Windows-style
Figure 3: Teams notification Windows-style

And like all other Windows notifications, when the banner fades, it shows up in the Windows notification center alongside notifications from other apps (Figure 4) where the notifications can be reviewed and dismissed.

Teams notifications alongside Outlook notifications
Figure 4: Teams notifications alongside Outlook notifications

Remember that notification settings are tenant-specific. If you are a guest in other tenants, you’ll need to configure settings in that tenant to get the notifications you want.

Suppressing Message Preview in Notifications

In another development, MC22171 (15 September) reported the ability for users to disable the message preview in notifications. This is a privacy measure intended to prevent anyone else seeing potentially confidential information in the message preview (the first 30-characters) usually contained in a notification. The rollout of this update is now complete.

Disabling message preview for Teams notifications
Figure 5: Disabling message preview for Teams notifications

When message preview is disabled, no snippet is included in the notification (Figure 6).

No preview in this notification
Figure 6: No preview in this notification

Privacy Over Teams Previews for Mobile Clients

If privacy is a concern for your organization, you should also consider whether message previews should appear on Teams mobile clients. Office 365 notification MC223019 (September 29) describes a feature enabled in V2.0.22 of the iOS client and V1.0.0.2020091301) of the Android client (roadmap item 66744) to disable previews for chat notifications.

The feature depends on the value of the Org data notification setting in Intune app protection policies being set to Block Org Data. For more information, see this page.

6 Replies to “Teams Notifications Updated for Native OS Support and Better Privacy”

  1. May i know which version we can see notification style option…i could not see that option in below teams version.
    You have Microsoft Teams Version (32-bit).

  2. It hasn’t appeared yet in our tenant, but i have one problem with Action Center. It tends to accumulate a lot of notifications that quickly become useless after you have already read the message or email, so you have to constantly clean it up.. I might stick with disappearing built-in popups.

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