How to Change Status in Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams allows users to set a status to indicate whether they are available, busy, away, or offline. Your status appears next to your profile picture so other users can see it at a glance. Setting an appropriate status helps communicate your availability so colleagues know when it’s a good time to contact you.

Why Setting a Status is Important

Setting your status appropriately is an important part of collaborating effectively on Teams. It helps your coworkers determine:

  • When you are available for a quick chat
  • If they should expect an immediate response to a message
  • When it’s better to schedule a meeting for later

Without an accurate status, colleagues may message you at inconvenient times and become frustrated if you don’t respond right away. Setting your status prevents these issues.

How to Manually Change Your Status

You can manually change your status in Teams at any time. Here are the steps:

On Desktop

  1. Click your profile picture in the top right
  2. Select your current status from the menu
  3. Choose a new status from the list

On Mobile

  1. Tap the menu icon (3 lines)
  2. Tap “Set Status”
  3. Select a status

The options for status include:

  • Available: Online and free to chat or meet
  • Busy: Focused on a task and may be slow to respond
  • Do not disturb: Do not want notifications
  • Be right back: Stepped away briefly
  • Appear away: Appear offline but will respond later
  • Reset status: Return to automatic status based on activity

Set a Custom Status Message

In addition to the predefined statuses, you can set a custom status message to provide more details. Here’s how:

On Desktop

  1. Click your profile picture
  2. Select “Set status message”
  3. Enter your message
  4. Choose how long to display it

On Mobile

  1. Tap the menu icon
  2. Tap “Set status message”
  3. Enter your message
  4. Choose duration

Status messages allow you to share what you’re currently working on, when you’ll be back, who to contact instead, or other helpful details about your availability.

Automatic Status Changes

If you don’t manually set your status, Teams will automatically update it based on your activity:

  • Available: Active in Teams or no calendar events
  • Busy: In a meeting or call
  • Away: Computer/Teams is idle or locked

After 5 minutes of inactivity, Teams changes your status to “Away.” Once active again, it switches back to “Available.”

To prevent automatic changes, simply set your status manually to what you want. Just remember to reset it when done so it will update automatically again.

Best Practices for Setting Status

Follow these best practices to keep your status current:

  • Set your status manually when focused or unavailable
  • Use custom messages to provide additional details
  • Reset your status when available again
  • Update as your availability changes throughout the day

Keeping your status up to date ensures colleagues can see your availability at a glance before messaging you. It prevents frustrating interruptions and improves collaboration.

Other Tips for Effective Communication

In addition to setting your status appropriately, here are some other tips for communicating effectively in Teams:

Use chat features:

  • @mention colleagues to get their attention
  • React to messages to indicate understanding
  • Mark messages as urgent when needed

Enable notifications:

  • For chats and channels you follow
  • When specific people message you
  • When someone posts in a channel

Check activity feed:

  • Scan for important notifications
  • See if colleagues tried to reach you
  • Catch up on conversations from when away

Set working hours:

  • Indicate when you normally work in your profile
  • Discourage messages outside those hours


Setting your status only takes a moment but makes a big difference in collaborating effectively on Microsoft Teams. To recap, the key points to remember are:

  • Manually change your status when needed
  • Set custom status messages to provide details
  • Follow best practices to keep status updated
  • Use chat features for better communication
  • Enable notifications you want to receive

Setting your status appropriately and following other communication best practices will help you have more productive conversations on Teams. This allows you to collaborate seamlessly with colleagues when working remotely.