How to Stop Teams From Starting Automatically

A Surplus of Teams Clients after Installing Windows 11

Following the successful upgrade of my PC to Windows 11, I have too many Teams clients, and I wanted to stop Teams from starting automatically. The Teams desktop client is an important part of my daily workload, and I also have the Teams personal version, more because of curiosity than usefulness. These have now been joined by the Windows 11 chat client, the first client iteration built on the Teams 2.0 architecture. Interestingly, Microsoft’s October 4 post covering the Windows 11 chat client says that “Windows 11 also includes the full Teams app experience for personal accounts, which powers Chat.” Later, they say “Chat on Windows 11 is powered by the version of the Teams app that uses your personal Microsoft account.”

In other words, if you use the Teams enterprise client for work (or school) and have a Microsoft personal account, Windows 11 ends up with two Teams clients.

The post then goes on to explain how users can identify which client is which by examining the logos used for the two clients. This is at the very least mildly confusing. It seems more natural to select the first Teams client found (the best match in Figure 1), but that launches Teams personal because its name comes first alphabetically.

Windows 11 finds two Teams clients
Figure 1: Windows 11 finds two Teams clients

In any case, multiple Teams clients running together is too much of a good thing for any workstation. I can’t possibly collaborate so extensively and there’s altogether far too many processes running (Figure 2). Something must be done.

So many Teams processes running on a Windows 11 PC
Figure 2: So many Teams processes running on a Windows 11 PC

Removing the Windows 11 Chat Client from the Taskbar

I don’t need the new chat client. Skype consumer remains available and that’s where my available credit is, so that’s what I will use (for now). If you want to stop the client appearing in the Windows 11 taskbar, this easily done by moving the slider for Chat to Off in the Personalization section of Windows settings (Figure 3).

Removing the chat client from the Windows 11 taskbar

Stop Teams starting automatically
Figure 3: Removing the chat client from the Windows 11 taskbar

Stopping Teams Enterprise Auto-Launching

In 2019, Microsoft added Teams to the Office click-to-run desktop apps (now Microsoft 365 apps for enterprise). This caused lots of grief for people who wanted to use Office but had no desire to see Teams start up every time the PC rebooted. Among the suggestions made then was a registry hack to stop Teams launching. Things are more elegant now and you can update the settings for the Teams enterprise client to suppress its willingness to start up automatically (Figure 4).

Stopping the Teams enterprise client from auto-starting
Figure 4: Stopping the Teams enterprise client from auto-starting

Stopping Teams Personal Auto-Launching

Although you might have removed the Teams personal client from the Windows taskbar, you might also want to stop it starting up. Fewer settings are available in the Teams personal client, but you control auto-starting in the same way (Figure 5).

Stopping the Teams personal client from auto-starting
Figure 5: Stopping the Teams personal client from auto-starting

Happiness is a Single Client

My Teams client surplus is trimmed and I’m happily coping with a single Teams enterprise client. In time, I look forward to a new full enterprise-ready desktop client when Microsoft moves all the features now in the enterprise client over to the 2.0 architecture. Microsoft has promised that the new client will be able to deal with signing into accounts in multiple Microsoft 365 tenants. It would be nice if that client had the ability to deal with personal Teams usage too.

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