Teams Desktop Client Gets New History Menu

Get Back to Where You’ve Been

Office 365 notification MC234245 published January 13 (Microsoft 365 roadmap item 70545) covers the introduction of a new navigation capability for the Teams desktop clients. According to the notification, this feature should have rolled out by now, but some delays are holding things up.

The problem being addressed is that the current back arrow in the client isn’t good enough at moving to an activity which you might want to return to after a while. Moving back through your history an item at a time forces the client to reload data (for instance, the conversations in a channel), so moving back using this method is both slow and inefficient.

Last Twenty Locations

The solution is to reveal a list of the last twenty locations you’ve visited in the current session (since you signed into Teams). Locations mean a specific place in a channel conversation or personal chat, and apps, both first-party Microsoft apps like Tasks by Planner and the Teams Calendar and third-party apps. In effect, it’s a breadcrumb trail of the last twenty places you’ve visited in the client.

Figure 1 shows an example. You can see conversations in channels, chats with local users in the same and other tenants, and apps like Calls, the Files channel tab, and Yammer Communities.

The Teams history menu in the Windows desktop client
Figure 1: The Teams history menu in the Windows desktop client

The roll-out of the history menu is due to start in early February. Microsoft says that it will finish later that month. Teams updates tend to involve a mixture of server and client components, so make sure that you run the latest client software and be patient for Microsoft to update the backend.

Getting to the List

To see your Teams history list, hover over the back arrow in the Teams menu bar (there’s no need to click). Or, if you’re like me and like keyboard shortcuts, use the Ctrl-Shift-H combination. Too many keyboard shortcuts exist in Windows and Teams to remember, but I think this is one that I’ll use a lot.

Teams keeps a history list for guest users when they work in host tenants. One glitch I’ve noticed is that invalid entries show up in the list for guests – like the calendar or tasks, neither of which is available to guests. I suspect that this is a bug in how the list is populated that Microsoft will quickly squash.

Stuff like this doesn’t turn up in the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook because it’s a user-centric feature. That doesn’t mean we’re not interested. It does mean that we pay a little less attention to something like this than we do to more technical topics.

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