Blog

  1. Introducing the Office 365 for IT Pros GitHub Repository January 21, 2021 1:00 am - Need a PowerShell script to do something with Office 365? You might find a script or at least an idea - in the Office 365 for IT Pros GitHub Repository. We have created over 80 scripts as examples and demonstrations of how to get stuff done in an Office 365 tenant with PowerShell. You're welcome to use anything in the repository and especially welcome to fix our bugs.
  2. How to Use Background Images and Blur in Teams Meetings April 6, 2020 12:09 am - Teams supports the selection of an image to use as the background for meetings. For now, you can choose from a set of images selected by Microsoft, but soon users will be able to upload their own images and use them in Teams meetings. While we wait for Microsoft to complete some work on admin framework to control image upload, a workaround is available to use custom images today.
  3. Dynamic View and Other Improvements Coming for Teams Meetings March 5, 2021 1:00 am - Microsoft plans to make the Dynamic View feature available for Teams meetings in mid-March. The signs are that the enhanced presentation of meeting content will make attending meetings a tad more engaging. Not much can be done with visual tweaks to rescue boring meetings where presenters drone on about stuff they should cover in a few minutes, but maybe the changes made by Dynamic View will brighten attendee spirits, We can but hope.
  4. The Goodness or Otherwise of Live Reactions in Teams Meetings March 4, 2021 1:36 am - Attendees of Teams meetings now have the ability to share their opinion of the proceedings through live reactions, a set of emoticons ranging from thumbs-up to laugh. Reactions appear on attendee cards or float up from the bottom of the screen when material is beiing shared. Tenants can disable reactions uising Teams meeting policies, but meeting organizers can change meeting settings to allow reactions in specific events. Although it seems like a feature that doesn't add much for a business user, reactions have their place - if used intelligently!
  5. Overflow Capability Now Available for Large Teams Meetings March 3, 2021 2:12 am - Now deployed to Office 365 tenants, large Teams meetings can support up to 20,000 view-only attendees, if an organization chooses to update its Teams meeting policies. Interestingly, this is a feature which Microsoft originally planned to license under its Teams advanced communication add-on, but the growth of large meetings in organizations might have forced their hand to bring the feature to mainline Teams.
  6. Teams Desktop Client Gets New History Menu March 2, 2021 7:54 am - Teams desktop clients are being updated with a new history menu to reveal the last 20 locations visited by a user in their Teams session. It's a much faster way to get back to something than the older back arrow method. Another example of how Microsoft is refining the Teams client UI to remove little bits of friction and make everything work more smoothly. Or so they say.
  7. Office 365 for IT Pros March 2021 Update Available March 1, 2021 1:24 am - The March 2021 update for the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook is now available. Office 365 for IT Pros is the only book updated monthly. which covers Microsoft's cloud office system. This update covers 23 of the 24 chapters and is packed full of new information and insights covering anything from Teams to Stream to Exchange Online and SharePoint Online.
  8. SharePoint’s Cryptic Sharing Errors and Removing the Outlook Send Link Option February 26, 2021 3:42 am - If you encounter an error when sharing a SharePoint file, you might see an error code like OSE204. What do these mainframe-like codes mean and why does SharePoint show them? Or more importantly, how did the sharing capability of a site change through administrator incompetence? And why is Microsoft removing the option to send a sharing link via Outlook (OWA)?
  9. Microsoft Imposes Consistency for New Teams Settings February 25, 2021 1:18 am - Microsoft is changing the way new teams are created in the Teams admin center to make sure that their settings are consistent with teams created in other interfaces. It's a good idea because it means that all teams are then created equal. Organizations who wish to use different settings can update teams once they're created using either PowerShell or the Graph API.
  10. Fluent Version of Teams Desktop and Browser UI Rolling Out February 24, 2021 3:22 am - Microsoft is giving the Teams desktop and browser clients a makeover with their Fluent design system. If you look closely, you'll see some changes in app icons, but the other changes are too subtle for many, including me. Up on the upside, while those of us who write about Teams will have to refresh some illustrations, the documentation for the Fluent design system is an interesting read. Well, it is late at night when you've nothing better else to do...
  11. How to Create a Report About the Membership of Microsoft 365 Groups (and Teams) February 23, 2021 1:45 am - There are many examples of PowerShell scripts which create reports about the membership of Microsoft 365 Groups. Most are slow. This version is faster because of its per-user rather than per-group approach to processing. The output is a nice HTML report and two CSV files containing a list of memberships in Microsoft 365 Groups and summary data for each user in the tenant.
  12. Blocking Download Permission for Teams Meeting Recordings February 22, 2021 12:35 am - Microsoft has announced that recordings of Teams meetings stored in OneDrive for Business will be blocked for download by anyone except the owner. The change will roll out in mid-April and should be complete by mid-June. Microsoft's post draws attention to the fact that you shouldn't use channel meetings to discuss confidential topics. It's all to do with the Microsoft 365 Groups membership model.
  13. Printing a Report of Microsoft 365 Group (Team) Membership February 19, 2021 8:15 am - Many people want to print off membership details of Microsoft 365 groups, which makes it curious why Microsoft doesn't support the option in Teams, OWA, or other applications. Fortunately, it is very easy to extract and report membership with PowerShell. Here's how to generate a HTML report with a CSV file on the side.
  14. How to Discover New Audit Events in the Office 365 Audit Log (Including App Consents) February 18, 2021 3:03 am - The Office 365 audit log is packed full of information about what happens inside workloads. New events show up all the time. The question is how to understand what actions these events relate to. We outline a simple procedure to discover the presence of new audit events and dive into the investigation of an event called Consent to application, which is pretty important in the context of recent high-profile attacks.
  15. Exchange Online Clamps Down on High-Volume Mailboxes February 17, 2021 1:03 am - From April 2021, Exchange Online will apply hard limits for the number of messages a mailbox can receive per hour. The limit remains the same (3,600), but now Exchange will block the mailbox receiving any more email for an hour. The new version of the Exchange Admin Center (EAC) promises to highlight problem mailboxes so that admins can ask owners why their mailboxes receive so much email.
  16. How to Report Audit Events Generated for Sensitivity Labels February 16, 2021 1:53 am - Audit records are a great way to gain an understanding of what happens inside Office 365. We use PowerShell to report actions taken with sensitivity labels such as protecting files and containers. The latest development is the addition of support in the Microsoft 365 apps for enterprise (Office desktop) to log audit events when users interact with sensitivity labels. Unsurprisingly, more events are often logged by the desktop apps than their online equivalents.
  17. Teams Desktop and Browser Clients Get Offline Sending Capability February 15, 2021 2:43 am - The Teams desktop and browser clients are gaining an offline send capability. Messages sent offline are queued locally and go when the network reappears. Connectivity must be resumed within 24 hours. If not, users need to review the messages to make sure that it still makes sense to resend them.
  18. How Edge Sleeping Tabs Affect SharePoint Online and Other Pages February 12, 2021 1:02 am - Microsoft's Edge browser recently introduced sleeping tabs to conserve resources. Although this is a good idea, putting SharePoint Online tabs to sleep stops them reconnecting. I suspect it is because a refresh token times out and isn't renewed. The solution is to add SharePoint Online sites to the list of sites that don't sleep. Always-on document management is the best approach.
  19. Teams App Messages Captured by Microsoft 365 Substrate for Compliance Processing February 11, 2021 1:00 am - The Microsoft 365 substrate now captures Teams app card data in compliance records to make the data available for eDiscovery, content searches, holds, and retention. The compliance records are stored in user and group mailboxes. Audit records for card interactions are also logged in the Office 365 audit log. Using compliance records means that some app data context is lost, but at least you can find the information.
  20. How to Run a Trial of Viva Topics February 10, 2021 1:32 am - Viva Topics is one of the four modules in the Microsoft Viva employee engagement platform. You can run a 25-user trial for 30 days to create some topics and see how things work. A trial should help an organization decide if they want to pay the $5/user/month Microsoft asks for Viva Topics licenses - and everyone needs a license to see topic cards, which is the point of Topics.
  21. Microsoft Changes Storage Location for Email Sent to Teams Channels February 9, 2021 1:06 am - A change made to the storage location in SharePoint Online for email sent to Teams channels caused problems for people who created Flows based on a known location. Instead of having one big folder for email messages sent to a folder, it seems like Microsoft plans to use a new folder for each month. There's nothing wrong with this approach, but it would have been nice if Microsoft warned people using the folder for automated processing that a change was coming. They didn't.
  22. New Format Launched for the Teams Meeting Attendance Report February 8, 2021 1:05 am - Microsoft has updated the format of the Teams attendance report to include more data about who attends meetings. The new report is persistent and available after a meeting ends. The new format will no doubt be popular with teachers who need to track who attends their online classes, but it's likely to be also popular in the enterprise for those who organize meetings with mandatory attendance.
  23. Exchange Online Adjusts Schedule for Removal of Basic Authentication February 5, 2021 1:02 am - Microsoft wants to remove basic authentication from Exchange Online connection protocols. But pressures have forced Microsoft into a new strategy and away from the mid-2021 date for deprecation of basic authentication for five protocols. Instead, Microsoft will disable basic authentication for protocols where it's not used, include four addition protocols in its target set, and pause action for tenants where basic authentication is in active use. When they restart, Microsoft will give tenants 12 months' notice that basic authentication will be blocked for a protocol. You can argue that Microsoft should have pressed ahead with their original plan, but would widespread disruption of service be worth the benefit gained from blocking vulnerable protocols? Balancing risk versus reward is often not easy.
  24. Understanding the Good and Bad of Teams Meeting Notes February 4, 2021 2:19 am - Teams meeting notes are a form of the Teams wiki with much the strengths and weaknesses of the wiki. Good enough for small meetings but limited for larger gatherings when you'll probably want to capture details using a tool like Word or OneNote.
  25. Yammer Launches Inclusive Reactions February 3, 2021 8:06 pm - Yammer now boasts inclusive reactions, the ability to select a person-appropriate skin tone for thanks and like reactions. The feature is only available in the new Yammer UI. Being able to select a skin tone for reactions is not a new idea and now that Yammer has it, Teams can't be far behind.
  26. New Format Rolls Out for Incoming Webhook URLs Used by Teams and Groups February 3, 2021 2:12 am - The inbound webhook connector used by Teams and Microsoft 365 Groups to accept information from external sources is getting a new format. Existing connectors must be updated by April 11, 2021. If not, data will stop flowing into the target channel or group, and that would be a bad thing.
  27. Teams Gives Meeting Organizers More Granular Control Over Meeting Chat February 2, 2021 1:22 am - A new control over Teams meetings allows meeting organizers to choose if participants can chat before, after, during, or not at all. Stopping people chatting during online meetings is one way to try and keep their attention, but this feature is likely to be more popular in education than in the enterprise.
  28. February 2021 Update Available for Office 365 for IT Pros (2021 Edition) February 1, 2021 5:10 am - The February 2021 update for the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook is now available for subscribers to download. Office 365 for IT Pros is the only book with monthly updates covering the Office components of the Microsoft 365 ecosystem. Subscribers to the 2021 edition can now download updates PDF and EPUB files from Gumroad.com.
  29. Tip: Set a Daily Teams Status to Keep Co-Workers Updated January 29, 2021 2:24 am - Setting a daily status message in Teams is a great way of keeping your coworkers informed about your overall availability during the coming day. Another tip to consider is to advise people who want to chat with you that they should start the conversation in a meaningful way by setting the context. Don't start chats with Hi or Hello.
  30. Office 365 Insights from Microsoft’s FY21 Q2 Results January 28, 2021 1:00 am - Microsoft released their FY21 Q2 results on Tuesday. Buried in the details were several nuggets relating to Office 365.. Here are the interesting bits including some detail on the penetration of Teams into large organizations and a new number for Azure AD users.
  31. Use Distribution Lists or Security Groups to Add Accounts to DLP Policies January 27, 2021 5:24 am - Teams Data Loss Prevention (DLP) policies help to stop users sharing confidential information through chats and channel conversations. A recent update means that accounts to be included or excluded in DLP policies can be specified using distribution lists or mail-enabled security groups. While this doesn't sound very exciting, it is if you need to deploy DLP policies to targeted sets of Teams users. Feb 24 2021 Update: The picker used for OneDrive for Business accounts will support distribution lists and security groups in March.
  32. Use the Graph API to Work with Azure AD Access Reviews January 26, 2021 1:19 am - You can create an Azure AD Access Review for all guests in teams and groups in your tenant and then see what's happening with the Graph API. In this case, we use PowerShell with the API to grab the access review data and create a report about the overall status of the review in a tenant.
  33. How to Use Lobby Bypass for Teams Meetings to Admit “Only the People I Invite” January 25, 2021 4:55 am - A new setting for Teams meetings allows organizers to limit the ability to bypass the meeting lobby to people explicitly invited to the meeting. Precise control is important when you set up meetings to review confidential or sensitive data. After all, you don't want anyone who gets a copy of the meeting link turning up to listen in to what's going on.
  34. Designer Generates Smart Backgrounds for Planner January 22, 2021 1:00 am - The ability to assign "smart backgrounds" generated by Designer to a Planner plan is now rolling out to Office 365 tenants. The smart part of the background is that the plan name is used to generate the image. Any plan member can change the background, which should lead to some entertaining conflicts when people differ over the choice of background.
  35. How to Rebuild Delegate Access for a Calendar with PowerShell January 20, 2021 9:08 am - Sometimes delegate access for an Exchange Online calendar goes awry due to corrupted items in the mailbox. To help sort out problems, Microsoft has upgraded the Remove-MailboxFolderPermission cmdlet to do the work that used to be done by a multi-phase fix performed using the MFCMAPI or EWS editor utilities. The nice thing is that this method is quick, simple, and works well.
  36. How the Teams Meeting Recap Highlights Important Meeting Resources January 19, 2021 10:25 am - The Teams meeting recap feature highlights some of the important resources which can be generated for meetings. The recording, transcript, and attendance report are displayed under the Details tab for meetings accessed through the Teams calendar app.
  37. How to Create Exchange Dynamic Distribution List with Custom Recipient Filters January 18, 2021 9:02 am - Exchange dynamic distribution lists allow messages to be sent to sets of recipients determined by a query against the directory. A custom filter is a powerful way to find the right set of recipients. In this case, we want to find mailboxes with certain job titles whose Azure AD accounts are not blocked for sign-in. Here's how to create the filter, make sure it works, and create the DDL.
  38. How to Use Microsoft 365 Priority Accounts for Access Checks January 15, 2021 2:02 am - Microsoft 365 priority accounts are a way to mark accounts for special processing. Microsoft is building features to exploit priority accounts, but they can be used for other purposes, like checking if an account has account to a resource. Of course, multiple other methods exist to do the same job, but that's not reason to exclude priority accounts from the mix.
  39. Why New TLS Requirement Stops PowerShell Scripts Sending Email January 14, 2021 2:00 am - Exchange Online now insists on TLS 1.2 connections between email clients and servers. PowerShell scripts using the Send-MailMessage cmdlet will fail. The problem is easily solved by forcing PowerShell to use TLS 1.2 to connect, but it does mean that some work is needed to check scripts (before they fail).
  40. Outlook for Windows Gets Meet Now Button for Microsoft Teams January 13, 2021 9:58 am - Outlook for Windows is gaining a new Meet Now button in the Teams meeting add-in. You can use the add-in to launch impromptu private Teams meetings. That is, if the settings in the Teams meeting policy assigned to your account allows. And guests better not try to Meet Now when they're signed into a host tenant because they'll probably end up frustrated down a black hole, which is a horrible place to be.
  41. How to Retrieve Information About Microsoft 365 Service Incidents January 12, 2021 9:56 am - All services suffer outages or incidents. The Service Communications API allow Office 365 tenants to retrieve information about incidents programmatically and report details in whatever way they want. In this post, we show how to use PowerShell to fetch service messages with the API and filter for recent incidents. After that, it's just a matter of presenting the details.
  42. Teams Channel Calendar App Makes Channel Meetings Easier to Access January 11, 2021 12:08 am - The Teams channel calendar app highlights meetings scheduled for a calendar and makes it easier for team members to attend these events. Meetings for all channels in a team are stored in a single calendar, so the app applies a filter to display the meetings belonging to the channel it is installed into.
  43. Finding the Version and Location of the Teams Meeting Add-in January 8, 2021 2:19 am - The Teams meeting add-in allows users to schedule online Teams meetings from Outlook. While you might know that the add-in exists, do you know how to find its version number and where the add-in DLL is stored? These questions and others are answered in this post.
  44. How to Share Files in Teams Meetings – It’s Different to Outlook January 7, 2021 1:37 am - Long-term Outlook users have probably noticed that they can't attach files in events created as Teams meetings. Teams like cloudy files, not email attachments, so if you want to send some important information along with a meeting invitation, you can include links to the data or paste it into the body of the invitation. And once the meeting is created, you can share files with meeting participants, which is really the Teams way of getting the job done.
  45. Microsoft Releases New Sensitive Information Types January 6, 2021 10:30 am - Microsoft has released a set of new sensitive information types, used to locate sensitive data by Microsoft 365 DLP policies. Many are country-specific versions of previous generic types (like passports or identity cards). The recommendation is to consider upgrading DLP policies to use the new types to get better (more accurate) matching.
  46. How to Make Teams Online Meetings the Default in Outlook for Windows January 5, 2021 1:48 am - Outlook for Windows has the option to make Teams online meetings the default for all new meetings. Users can edit meeting settings through Outlook too. Unlike the other Outlook clients, Outlook for Windows depends on a registry setting to control whether an online event should be created. And there's no support for third-party meeting platforms.
  47. How the New Stream Handles Storage Quotas January 4, 2021 9:46 am - Storage for videos stored in the new Stream will be charged against SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business accounts. This shouldn't make much difference for Teams recordings, as there's plenty of storage available for OneDrive accounts. You can increase the default amount to 5 TB in enterprise tenants, and that should be enough for even the most copious of Teams meeting recorders.
  48. Available Now: January 2021 Update for Office 365 for IT Pros January 1, 2021 2:08 am - The January 2021 update is available for Office 365 for IT Pros, the only eBook about Microsoft's cloud Office service that's updated monthly. Twenty-one of the 24 content chapters are updated as change keeps on happening in Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Teams, Planner, Stream, Azure AD, and more.
  49. How to Use Bing Images as Custom Backgrounds in Teams Meetings December 28, 2020 12:48 pm - Bing publishes a new image daily in its home page. You can download the images and use them as custom background for Teams meetings. A PowerShell script automates the task and downloads the images for the last seven days and cleans up any Bing images older than 30 days.. It's a nice way to use some attractive images to liven up Teams meetings.
  50. Hitting the Million Messages Limit in an Aggregate Group Mailbox December 23, 2020 6:48 am - A curious problem happened when a mailbox reported hitting a folder item limit (one million items). The mailbox was an aggregate group mailbox, a system mailbox used to make it easier to search Microsoft 365 Groups. Microsoft now uses a different method to search group mailboxes and will remove these arbitration mailboxes by the end of 2021. If you meet the problem, use a mail flow rule to stop messages being delivered to the mailbox.
  51. Teams Tailors Compliance Records for eDiscovery December 22, 2020 1:09 am - The format of the Teams compliance records generated for personal and group chats and stored in Exchange Online mailboxes is changing. Microsoft is removing a bunch of unnecessary attributes from the records to reduce the processing load on the service to retrieve the attributes from Azure AD. The change is unlikely to affect most tenants. Compliance records for older chats are not affected.
  52. Skype for Business Online Connector Retires in February 2021 December 21, 2020 1:00 am - Microsoft will retire the Skype for Business Online (PowerShell) Connector on February 15, 2021. Office 365 tenants need to check scripts to replace the connector with the Teams PowerShell module, which contains the necessary cmdlets to connect to the policy management endpoint. Once connected, scripts can interact with objects like Teams messaging and meeting policies.
  53. Why Exchange Online Dehydrates an Organization Configuration December 18, 2020 8:47 am - Exchange Online has the Enable-OrganizationCustomization cmdlet to "hydrate" the settings in an organization. Most Exchange Online organizations use common configurations, which saves the Office 365 infrastructure some directory space and CPU cycles to deal with custom settings. A hydrated organization has customized settings. The one-time cmdlet switches organizations from a dehydrated state to a hydrated state. Forcing administrators to run the cmdlet is just a little odd.
  54. How to Use PowerShell to Remove Calendar Items from Exchange Online December 17, 2020 1:00 am - Microsoft wants to retire the Search-Mailbox cmdlet from Exchange Online. But while the cmdlet available, it does a great job of removing mailbox items. If you get the search query right! In this example, we explain how to write a script to clear out calendar items from the mailboxes of multiple users.
  55. Teams Meet Now Feature Available in Mobile Clients December 16, 2020 9:42 am - The Microsoft Teams Meet Now feature is now available in mobile clients and can be used to start impromptu meetings from a user's calendar or in a channel. Tenants can control the ability of users to schedule Meet Now meetings with a Teams meeting policy where settings are available to control meetings scheduled from the calendar or a channel.
  56. How to Use Forms to Poll Participants in a Teams Meeting December 15, 2020 12:59 am - Organizers and presenters of Teams meetings can add simple polls created with Microsoft Forms to collect feedback and information during meetings. It's a small but useful improvement which will add value to many meetings in the education and other sectors.
  57. Better Membership Synchronization Between Azure AD and Teams December 14, 2020 9:12 am - A new Graph API and the Teams AadSync process improve how Teams synchronizes group membership information with Azure AD. The older background sync process was tied to the Teams client and didn't work so well in practice, especially when scaled up. Things look good for the new mechanism.
  58. Customizing the Browser Theme for a Microsoft 365 Tenant December 11, 2020 1:00 am - It's easy to create a custom theme for the Office 365 browser apps (except Teams, which does its own thing). All you need is a corporate logo, some colors, and perhaps a sense of how colors go together. You can also block users from selecting from the default set of themes that come along with Office 365, an action that might just remove some light from some peoples' lives.
  59. Teams Drives SharePoint Online Growth to 200 Million Active Users December 10, 2020 1:34 am - Microsoft says that SharePoint Online now has 200 million monthly active users. Teams is the major influence driving SharePoint growth with an increasing number of touchpoints between the two Microsoft 365 workloads.
  60. Sensitivity Labels Control External Sharing for SharePoint Online Sites December 9, 2020 1:12 am - The container management settings of sensitivity labels can now manage the external sharing capability of SharePoint Online team sites. The same settings as available in the SharePoint admin center or PowerShell can be applied through a label. Caching means that new settings in a label might not be picked up by SharePoint Online for up to 24 hours.
  61. Change in Guest Access for Teams: No Effect on Tenants Already Using Teams December 8, 2020 3:19 am - Microsoft is changing the default setting for guest access to Teams from Off to On. This won’t affect tenants already using Teams, but it’s a good opportunity to review how guest access is used in tenants and consider whether existing guest accounts are needed or can be removed. This post offers some ideas about using policies to control guests and how to check what these accounts are used for.
  62. How to Anonymize User Data in Microsoft 365 Usage Reports December 7, 2020 6:14 am - The data used for Microsoft 365 usage reports comes from the Microsoft Graph. You can anonymize the data to replace references to user, group, and site names with system-generated values to protect user privacy. This works, but it reduces the usefulness of the reports by a large degree, so you should be prepared to switch to show full user data sometimes.
  63. Understanding Partially Indexed Exchange Online Messages and Attachments December 4, 2020 3:45 am - Exchange Online indexes the items stored in mailboxes. Some of the items are partially indexed, meaning that not all of their content is indexable. Microsoft has a PowerShell script to analyze the number of partially indexed items found in mailboxes. The output is kind of esoteric, so we worked it over to create something more understandable.
  64. Why Recurring Teams Meetings Share the Same Online Workspace December 3, 2020 9:36 am - A recurring meeting is a series of events. For Teams, each event might be different, but all events share the same online workspace. The advantage for this approach is that the participants see resources shared for all meetings; the downside is exactly the same because some people might not want this to happen.
  65. Make Sure Users Can Continue Recording Teams (1:1) Calls December 2, 2020 2:00 am - In mid-March 2021 Microsoft will switch control over Teams 1:1 meeting recording from meeting to calling policies. By default, this stops users recording 1:1 meetings, meaning that tenant admins will have to update the default calling policy and any custom calling policy to allow recordings to continue. Of course, you might think it a bad idea to allow people to record 1:1 calls, in which case you don't need to do anything.
  66. December 2020 Update for Office 365 for IT Pros Available December 1, 2020 1:00 am - The December 2020 update for the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook is available for subscribers to download. EPUB/PDF files are on Gumroad.com while Amazon Kindle users must contact Amazon to have the updates released to their device. As usual, the update contains a mixture of new information, rewritten content, new tips and techniques, and a few bug fixes.
  67. How to Make Teams Public Preview Features Available to Users November 30, 2020 5:50 am - Teams supports the ability to allow selected users to enable Public Preview features in the desktop and browser clients for an early view of functionality. You'll need to create a new update policy in the Teams admin center and assign it to the people you want to access public preview. It's all very easy and very useful, which is nice.
  68. Tracking Down the Blueberry in Microsoft Teams November 27, 2020 2:00 am - Browsing a Teams configuration file uncovered a reference to a blueberry. There's no obvious link between Teams and a small fruit, so it's some form of in-joke among the product designers or developers. A point of trivia for a holiday Friday!
  69. How to Enable the First Contact Safety Tip for Exchange Online Protection November 26, 2020 2:00 am - Exchange Online Protection (EOP) and Microsoft Defender for Office 365 support anti-phishing policies which generate safety tips for users. The first contact safety tip warns users when they receive email from someone they don't usually get messages from. It's a way to put the recipient on their guard, just in case it's someone trying to impersonate someone else whom the recipient actually knows.
  70. Keeping an Accurate Office 365 Tenant Directory is Important November 25, 2020 9:09 am - Many Office 365 features depend on accurate user account data in Azure AD. Here's how to use PowerShell to track down accounts with missing properties. Once you know which accounts need to be updated, it's easy to insert the missing properties. Boring, but easy...
  71. New Access Rules for Teams Meeting Chat Membership November 24, 2020 9:32 am - Participants in Teams meetings can use the meeting chat to discuss topics, post pointers, and so on. The access rules are changing for some added to a meeting to make sure that people don't get too much access to meeting resources (like chat) once the meeting finishes. It's a small but important point for Teams administrators to understand.
  72. The Power of Exchange Online Dynamic Distribution Lists November 23, 2020 1:17 am - Exchange Online Dynamic Distribution Lists are a powerful way to address changeable groups of recipients. The query against the directory is the big thing to get right, but you've also got to make sure that the directory data is accurate and reliable. Once you've got a good directory, it's easy to create dynamic distribution lists which are easy to use and never go out of date.
  73. Outlook’s Groups Menu Bar Now Includes Teams November 20, 2020 8:53 am - Outlook for Windows has a Groups menu bar which is displayed when conversations in a Microsoft 365 group are accessed. A new Teams button is available to bring users to the General channel of team-enabled groups. It's an interesting decision by Microsoft to add the button because I am not quite sure if any need exists for such a facility.
  74. EOP Escalates the Fight Against High-Confidence Phish November 19, 2020 9:44 am - A change due in December will improve how Exchange Online Protection suppresses high confidence phish messages and stop them being delivered to user mailboxes. The old-fashioned allowed sender and allowed domain lists are being taken out of the equation and ignored when EOP is sure that it's dealing with some high-confidence phish. It's time to check your anti-spam policies.
  75. Exports of Exchange Online Search Results Now Decrypt Attachments November 18, 2020 9:32 am - When you use an Office 365 content search to find items, the results from Exchange Online might include some encrypted attachments. A change means that the attachments can now be decrypted to make it easier for investigators to review the information. It's a small but important change, just like the update to Edge which stops ClickOnce programs running unless an Edge setting is enabled. All good, clean, honest fun.
  76. How Noise Suppression Works in Teams Meetings November 17, 2020 1:42 am - An update to the Teams Windows client introduces automatic noise suppression for Teams meetings. You can tune suppression up or down to reflect your environment. The feature works by analyzing the audio feed from the microphone used in a meeting and removing unwanted noise. The more suppression is done, the more resources are used, so this is something to keep an eye on.
  77. Microsoft Makes Endpoint Data Loss Prevention Generally Available November 16, 2020 9:00 am - Microsoft has made Endpoint DLP generally available. Leveraging Windows 10 workstations and the Edge browser, Endpoint DLP sends signals for evaluation to detect possible violations. The solution requires Microsoft 365 licenses and only supports Windows, so it's not for every tenant. But those who have Microsoft 365 licenses will find this an attractive solution.
  78. Workaround Moca Mobile Deficiency with To Do Tasks November 13, 2020 3:09 am - Project Moca is a new Office 365 personal productivity app which doesn't have a mobile app. It's hard to be productive if you can't be when mobile. Which is why To Do allows people to capture thoughts. A workaround of sorts is available through To Do tasks. Whether this is enough for you to switch to Moca is debatable.
  79. Microsoft Clamps Down on Automatic Mail Forwarding in Exchange Online November 12, 2020 6:15 am - Microsoft has updated the Exchange Online outbound spam filter policy to stop automatic forwarding of email from user mailboxes. The change is now effective with the default set to block automatic forwarding. You can create a custom policy and apply it to selected mailboxes and distribution lists if they need to forward email.
  80. Microsoft Improves Teams Together Mode with New Background Scenes November 11, 2020 8:41 am - Together Mode is a more immersive way to present participants in a Teams meeting. The original theater scene is being augmented with new scenes including boardrooms (suitable for small meetings) and amphitheaters (for large meetings). At the same time, the view used for Teams meeting recordings is changing from 2x2 to 3x3.
  81. Quadrotech and Quest Combine November 10, 2020 3:28 pm - Quest has acquired Quadrotech to add to their portfolio of Office 365 applications designed to help organizations get date into the cloud and manage it when it's there. Recent Quest acquisitions of Metalogix, Binary Tree, and now Quadrotech give it a bunch of technology, notably in the area of tenant-to-tenant migrations.
  82. How to Support Manager-Assistant Scenarios in Teams November 10, 2020 8:29 am - Unlike email systems, Microsoft Teams doesn't support user delegation, or assigning the right for someone to act on behafl of someone else. Here's how to workaround some of the issues involved in helping managers and their assistants work effectively together, including personal chat, channel messages, and scheduling calendar meetings.
  83. Adding a Personal Account to the Teams Desktop Client November 9, 2020 1:00 am - The Teams Windows and MacOS desktop clients will soon allow users to add a personal account to the set of Office 365 tenants they connect to. A great deal of excitement ensued after people saw Microsoft 365 roadmap item 68845 and assumed this meant that Teams would support connections with multiple work accounts. The ability to add more than one work account to your Teams profile isn’t available now as the update is to support connectivity to Teams at home (personal), but support for multiple work accounts is coming in the future.
  84. Microsoft Removes EEEU Permission from OneDrive for Business Accounts November 6, 2020 12:21 am - Microsoft is rolling out an update to remove the Everyone Except External Users (EEEU) permission from OneDrive for Business accounts created before August 1. They're also doing a permissions reset of lists created in those accounts, meaning that some folks might lose access to lists. It's hard to know how much impact this will have on Office 365 tenants, but it's probably a good ideas to ask.
  85. How to Resolve Duplicate Outlook for iOS Contacts November 5, 2020 1:00 am - Outlook Mobile synchronizes contacts from Exchange Online to iOS. Sometimes errors happen and duplicate contacts result. It's easy to resolve the problem by forcing a complete resynchronization of contacts to rebuild what's on the iOS device.
  86. Teams Updates for Presence Duration and Meeting End Notifications November 4, 2020 1:00 am - Two recent updates released for Microsoft Teams gives users the ability to set a duration for their presence status and five-minute end of meeting notifications. The notifications are just a nagging prompt that the meeting will end soon. It doesn't mean that everyone will be forced out of the meeting when the five minutes expire, even if you'd like this to be the case.
  87. How to Leave a Microsoft 365 Tenant by Removing Your Guest Account November 3, 2020 1:00 am - Over time, you might join several Office 365 tenants as a guest. Some of those Azure AD guest accounts probably won't be needed forever and you want to clean them up. This is easy for individuals to do through their MyAccount page, which might just be a page that they never knew existed.
  88. Office 365 for IT Pros Issues November 2020 Update November 2, 2020 1:00 am - The November 2020 update for the world's best Office 365 book is available. Subscribers to Office 365 for IT Pros can now download updated files. The companion volume has also been updated. Full details of the updates to 222 chapters can be found in the Office 365 for IT Pros change log.
  89. How to Use the Teams Meeting Add-in for Outlook October 30, 2020 1:00 am - The Teams Meeting add-in for Outlook schedules online private Teams meetings. A recent update for Outlook for Windows allows meeting settings to be changed. It's a logical and useful update to allow people who prefer to work in Outlook to maintain their meetings without needing to go to the Teams calendar app.
  90. Signs of a Phishing Attempt Based on Office VoIP Voicemail Notifications October 29, 2020 1:01 am - A crude phishing attempt based on voicemail notifications from a VoIP service arrived in mailboxes. It's easy for experienced users to pick up signs to stay away, but the unwary can be trapped. Report samples of phishing attempts to Microsoft to make Exchange Online Protection better and keep on educating users.
  91. Half of Active Office 365 Users Now Use Teams October 28, 2020 7:22 am - Microsoft's FY21 Q3 results told us that Teams now has 115 million users, a 53% uptick since April. Office 365 keeps on growing in numbers, revenue, and profit. While growth might be slowing, there's still a ton of accounts to be moved to the cloud, where they'll probably end up as Teams users.
  92. Planner Leak Allows External Recipients to Receive Task Comments October 27, 2020 1:00 am - An unfortunate problem in the Office 365 Planner app allows external recipients to be added to to email so that they receive and see comments posted for tasks. Although this doesn't sound like such a big problem, it is because it can lead to confidential information leaking outside the organization in an uncontrollable manner. Microsoft support says that Planner is working by design. We don't believe that this could possibly be the case.
  93. Revocation of Email Protected by Office 365 Message Encryption October 26, 2020 1:00 am - Office 365 Message Encryption (OME) allows OWA users to revoke some messages after they are delivered to recipients. But if the message goes to Office 365 or Outlook.com, you can't revoke it. And there's the slight matter of needing an Office 365 E5 license too. Even so, it's still nice to be able to revoke messages if they go to the wrong place.
  94. Microsoft Will Finally Retire Site Mailboxes in April 2021 October 23, 2020 1:51 am - Site Mailboxes were the face of Microsoft collaboration at one time. But that's long in the past and it's time for these archaic mailboxes to be dispatched. Microsoft will retire them from Office 365 in April 2021, probably two years after they passed their best-by date. I tried to clean up my tenant and failed utterly, so I'm leaving the mess for Microsoft to sort out.
  95. Teams Notifications Updated for Native OS Support and Better Privacy October 22, 2020 7:41 am - Teams notifications can now be handled by Windows and macOS, and you can get better privacy by disabling message preview in the notifications, including on Teams mobile clients. The privacy updates are available now and support for the native OS notifications in both Windows and macOS should be available in mid-November.
  96. How to Update Teams to Send Meeting Invitations to All Members October 21, 2020 8:13 am - Teams depends on Microsoft 365 groups. You can add groups as meeting attendees and expect that members of those groups will receive meeting invitations. But they won't unless you update group settings to force Office 365 to send invitations to all members. The job is easily done with PowerShell, and we show how in this post.
  97. How to Store Teams Meeting Recordings in OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online October 20, 2020 1:00 am - Teams gives Office 365 tenants the option to store meeting recordings in Stream or OneDrive for Business (including SharePoint Online). Now configurable through Teams meeting policies, new meeting recordings are dealt with like any other file, meaning that you can share recordings, apply labels, update metadata, and so on.
  98. Teams Now Has Basic Offline Capabilities October 19, 2020 1:00 am - In an update posted to Teams User Voice, Microsoft said that they had enabled offline capabilities for messaging with access to recent chats and channel conversations. This is good, but the problem is that Teams is much more than chats and offline access remains problematic for many of the components people access through Teams. Until all apps support offline access, functionality will remain limited.
  99. Native ARM64 Version of Teams Now Available October 16, 2020 1:45 pm - Users of ARM64 devices like the Surface Pro X can now download a native ARM64 Teams desktop client. According to users, the native client is faster and more stable than running the Teams 32-bit client under emulation. It's good news for people who like the battery life and mobile connectivity of ARM devices while also giving developers who might have ignored ARM on Windows up to now something to think about.
  100. Millions of Microsoft 365 Groups Fail Auto-Renewal Annually October 16, 2020 1:00 am - Among some interesting statistics offered at the Ignite 2020 conference, we learned that 79% of Microsoft 365 groups successfully auto-renewed because of their activity. That leaves 21% of groups which didn't meet the bar to be automatically renewed. Only groups within the scope of an expiration policy are included, but even so millions of groups weren't renewed. Is that a problem?
  101. New Exchange Online Admin Center Loses Some Magic, But It’s the Future October 15, 2020 1:00 am - Microsoft says that the new EAC is ready to use. While we don't deny the fact, we think some of the magic that existed in previous portals has gone. PowerShell is replaced by the Graph as the foundation for the EAC. Progress happens, but it's sad when a feature like command logging is left in the mists of the past.

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