How to Make Teams Online Meetings the Default in Outlook for Windows

Just Like the Other Outlook Clients

In mid-2020, Microsoft introduced new configuration settings to make Teams online meetings the default when scheduled by OWA, Outlook for Mac, and Outlook mobile clients. Office 365 notification MC230567 (updated January 20) brings the news that Outlook for Windows gains a similar feature. According to Microsoft roadmap item 66021, the feature will be available in January 2021. It depends on updates to the Teams meeting add-in for Outlook and Outlook click-to-run (current channel). As I write, I see the change in Microsoft 365 Apps for Enterprise build 13530.20218.

Updating the Organization Configuration

OWA and Outlook mobile use an Exchange Online organizational setting (which can be overridden for individual mailboxes) to know if they should schedule online meetings. If the organizational setting is configured, Outlook for Windows will respect that setting and make meetings online by default. To configure the organizational setting, run the Set-OrganizationConfig cmdlet from the Exchange Online management module as follows:

Set-OrganizationConfig -OnlineMeetingsByDefaultEnabled $True

All Outlook clients now use the same organization setting to control when they create Teams online meetings. The default for a tenant is $False, meaning that the decision is then up to the user.

Even if OnlineMeetingsByDefaultEnabled is updated to $True, Outlook users can remove the online components from individual meetings by selecting the Don’t Host Online option from meeting settings (Figure 1).

Remove Teams details from a meeting
Figure 1: Remove Teams details from a meeting

Outlook for Windows also includes a setting in the Calendar section of its options to control if the client should create Teams meetings as the default (Figure 2). This option is effective only if OnlineMeetingsByDefaultEnabled is set to $False.

The Outlook for Windows option to make online meetings the default
Figure 2: The Outlook for Windows option to make online meetings the default

Users who choose not to enable online meetings by default can still schedule online events by selecting the Teams meeting add-in when creating a new meeting.

Teams Online Meetings

When Outlook creates a Teams meeting, it sets up a Teams online space for the event and adds the necessary properties to the meeting (Figure 3).

Creating a new Teams online meeting with Outlook for Windows
Figure 3: Creating a new Teams online meeting with Outlook for Windows

A welcome change in the Teams meeting add-on is that Outlook for Windows no longer calls a web page when a meeting organizer wants to set or change the options for a Teams online meeting (Figure 4).

Amending options for a Teams online meeting
Figure 4: Amending options for a Teams online meeting

No Support for Third-Party Online Meetings

Unlike Outlook mobile, you can’t configure third-party add-ins for online meetings to have Outlook for Windows use services like WebEx, Zoom, or BlueJeans instead of Teams. To setup new Outlook events for meetings hosted on these platforms, you need to paste the meeting details into the Outlook meeting before sending the event notification to participants.

This is a great example of a change that warranted a four-word update in the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook. It’s not that the topic isn’t interesting; it’s just that we have so much more to talk about when it comes to running an Office 365 tenant.

18 Replies to “How to Make Teams Online Meetings the Default in Outlook for Windows”

  1. Is there a delay once the option is enabled? I’ve enabled it however Outlook is still not defaulting to adding the meeting. The build number is higher than the one that you quoted (we are on the monthly update cycle – click to Run).

      1. Thanks. I logged a call with them earlier and they said that it can take up to 24 hours (it had been about 6 hours at the time). I’ll wait a bit longer, if it hasn’t applied within that timeframe then they will investigate further.

  2. Hi Tony. In regards to this line:

    “If the organizational setting is configured, Outlook for Windows will respect that setting and make meetings online by default.”

    I logged a call with MS Premier Support and according to them Outlook for Windows does not honour the organisational setting. I had a response from another MS representative who said the following:

    “The Roadmap item referenced was for a feature released into Outlook to allow a user to manage their personal settings for making all meetings an online meeting by default. Not for something a tenant admin can configure for default across all users in the org.

    The config/article from does not deliver the outcome you are looking for. As suggested by the support engineer.

    There is currently no way for a tenant wide setting to force all meetings to be online/Teams meetings. The user can do it at their personal settings level if desired. ”

    Strange. Despite that, we have had this work for a handful of users, but not for the majority, despite being on the latest click-to-run build (we are on the monthly update channel).

    Just thought I’d pass that on. It’s frustrating as we want all meetings to default to online meetings and we don’t want to rely on each user having to enable that option themselves.

    1. Thanks for the heads-up. I shall go back to the development engineer who was my source for this info. In the meantime, the documentation for the cmdlet says:

      This parameter is available only in the cloud-based service.

      The OnlineMeetingsByDefaultEnabled parameter specifies whether to set all meetings as Teams or Skype for Business by default during meeting creation. Valid values are:

      $true: All meetings are online by default.
      $false: All meetings are not online by default. This is the default value.
      You can override this setting on individual mailboxes by using the OnlineMeetingsByDefaultEnabled parameter on the Set-MailboxCalendarConfiguration cmdlet.

      So something’s up…

    1. The same article says:

      The admin can’t check the client settings.

      The admin has no way to query your settings.

      So I don’t know how you could control the settings as Microsoft has obviously not published an API to support this.

  3. We are seeing this manifest in Exchange On-Prem/Hybrid with Outlook 2016 clients. This is unfortunate because 2016 does not contain the option to disable the feature. Our EXO configuration does not have OnlineMeetingsByDefaultEnabled set to true, it is null. If anyone has identified a GPO or Registry value that can be set to disabled online meetings by default at the desktop level, please share.

  4. We are also have Exchange On-Prem with Outlook 2016 32bit clients. 2016 does not have the option to disable this feature, neither does the OWA options. Is there any way to turn this off? The only recourse we have is to disable the add-on (not acceptable as it is widely used) or delete the Teams information and change the location on EVERY appointment made. Neither are good workarounds.

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