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.
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.
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.
The notification style is chosen through Settings (Figure 2). In this case, Teams is running on a Windows PC.
After choosing OS notifications, Teams uses Windows notifications whenever a user selects banner notifications for an action (Figure 3).
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.
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.
When message preview is disabled, no snippet is included in the notification (Figure 6).
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 V188.8.131.520091301) 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.