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What’s New in New Teams: a User Guide to Making the Switch 

By: Dataprise

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Microsoft is laying classic Teams to rest and replacing the workspace tool with New Teams. The latest version eliminates many of the most common pain points of the old app, ensuring a more fluid experience for users on every level.  

Dataprise, a consummate Managed Service Provider (MSP) and proud Microsoft partner, recently reviewed the most important features of New Teams to help everyone get a better sense of why changes were made and what organizations can do to extract more value from its many layers.  

Rollout Timelines  

Microsoft began the process of sunsetting classic Teams March 31st, 2024. Depending on the “Use New Teams Client” policy your organization has set in the admin center, your organization may fall on two different timelines.  

For companies set to follow the Microsoft-controlled New Teams policy, New Teams will automatically be installed and set as the default app for users not already using it. After 14 days have passed, Classic Teams will be uninstalled.  

For companies using other policies—New Teams not enabled or Classic Teams as default—those policies will be overridden, and New Teams will become the default with users still able to switch between New and Classic Teams for a limited time.  

There are exceptions to these two main timelines, so organizations with special tenants like GCC, GCCH, or DoD or using VDI should investigate the updated timelines from Microsoft. New Teams affects the desktop and web apps, with no major changes planned for the mobile app at this time.  

Why Microsoft Is Automatically Installing New Teams  

There are a few key reasons why Microsoft is pushing New Teams:  

  • Installs/loads faster: It’s easier to jump from one tool to the next without lag, making it a more seamless experience for the user.  
  • Efficiency: New Teams runs faster while taking up less CPU. This helps your equipment run more efficiently.  
  • Intuitive: Microsoft Teams is rolling out more intuitive features across the board, including the ability to link multiple accounts.  

Organizations may all use Teams differently depending on their priorities and workflow, but these changes were made based on broad feedback and requests. Despite the inevitable initial discomfort for some users, New Teams is poised to solve far more problems than it creates.  

How to Prepare  

While New Teams offers many new features to help you work more efficiently, there will still be a learning curve for many employees. Getting to know these changes before they’re set in stone will make it easier to transition from Classic Teams to New Teams.  


The Settings of Microsoft Teams can be reached by clicking the three dots in the right-hand corner of the application. If the light, bright new look and feel of New Teams doesn’t feel quite right for you, you can visit the Appearance and Accessibility settings to change your theme to Classic, which brings back some of the iconic purple design elements from Classic Teams and may make the program instantly more familiar and easier to navigate.  

Microsoft will automatically migrate your default settings from classic Teams, though users are encouraged to check out the newest setting features available to them. Adjusting your settings can make it easier to organize and optimize your workflow.  


Channels were redesigned in New Teams to put the most updated information right up front. In classic Teams, new posts were at the bottom, but they’ve now been moved to the top. Just like before, you can create regular posts or, for more important information, create eye-catching headlines with the help of the announcement feature. (If you’re no so sure about this new layout yet, you can use the three dots at the top of the channel to revert to the classic Teams structure of posts at the bottom.)  

Users can also now find quick summaries of channels, including the list of current members and pinned posts in the Channel Details pane, available at the top right of each channel. Posts can be docked in the Channel Details pane for easier access to team members. 

In addition, Loop Components, which are shareable content blocks that can be shared and edited across many Microsoft 365 apps, have been added to Channels (previously only accessible via Chats). These features can help leaders and teammates provide more structure when making ad-hoc requests to different team members.  


In New Teams, it’s now possible to forward information from one chat to another. This can come in handy when sharing information from one-on-one chats to group chats so everyone can get up to speed. With New Teams, users can also send up to a minute-long screen recording (handy for fast tutorials). For those who love to express themselves in chat, they can also customize their quick-select reaction emojis, making it more seamless to react to peers in using the emojis that speak to you and your style.  


If you schedule a lot of virtual meetings, you might be able to take advantage of more readily accessible templates for different types of meetings like webinars or virtual appointments using the drop-down menu next to the New Meeting button on the Calendar page. These templates can save you time by automatically editing some of the meeting options to match the style of meeting you want to host (e.g., who can bypass the lobby, which invitees have screen-sharing privileges, etc.). It’s easy to deploy templates for different types of meetings, and it’s possible to edit the meeting options before and after the invite is sent (and even during the meeting if necessary). 

In Teams, starting a new meeting is as simple as clicking a button, choosing a video background, and starting the camera. To improve the visual experience for users, Microsoft added new background options, including animated backdrops, fun filters, and portrait blur. Users can also create up to three virtual avatars for use during meetings.  

Finally, the New Teams comes with many different meeting views and experiences. It’s now possible to see up to 9 video feeds on the screen in a meeting, regardless of the browser they’re using. Previously, users on the Teams web app were limited to four. Organizations can also take advantage of the Immersive Spaces in Teams, which simulates face-to-face interactions. There are two more formal meeting spaces as well as a casual lakehouse space where coworkers can relax and connect with one another using their avatars.  

Annotation Experience 

New Teams takes screensharing a bit further with the option for live annotations to help everyone understand a concept or what’s expected of them. You can annotate alone or give everyone the option to draw on your screen, giving each user a trackable cursor so employees know who is making the changes. 

There are a few limitations to the annotation feature. For instance, it’s currently not available in recordings, nor is there an intuitive way to save the changes as the meeting presenter (we recommend inviting a friend to take a screenshot from their end). However, Microsoft may be rolling out new functionality as soon as May, so organizations may see helpful adjustments in the very near future.  

New Applications for Organization  

In classic Teams, organizing information from meetings, particularly if they took place several months ago, was labor-intensive. Now, New Teams comes with the Meet app, where it’s easier to view meeting chats, search by keywords, and pin down files from meetings. It’s also easier to clean up your chat area as you no longer have to pin conversations to save the most important information from different meetings.  

In the new People app, you can find and pin your favorite contacts. While this is not new in Teams, New Teams makes it easier to list everyone, prioritize close colleagues, and still preserve even the most distant acquaintances or contacts in easily accessible places. 

In the OneDrive app, you can now access and work on all your files directly in Teams, even those in collaborative spaces. 

While there is still no monthly view in New Teams, Microsoft did add an Agenda option where users can see up to several weeks of all their appointments.  

Multi-Account Experience  

For organizations who collaborate in many Teams environments, it can get frustrating to keep everything straight. With the Multi-Account Experience in Teams, you can organize your work accounts and guest accounts for easy access and tracking. Click into chats, access files, and receive alerts without having to keep multiple browsers open.  

If you get a notification in an account you’re not currently in, New Teams allows you to click on banner notifications to respond in a flyout window. If you decide to come back later, the notification icon remains until you engage with it, so you don’t forget to get back to your colleagues in other accounts.  

One key drawback of the Multi-Account Experience is that you will still need to manually update your presence status and status message individually in each account to ensure everyone knows when you’re available and when you’re not. You can set custom durations for your presence and status message though, which can make it easier to tell everyone that you’ll be busy until a certain time.  

How an MSP like Dataprise Can Help  

Microsoft Teams may be easier to use now thanks to their latest rollout, but there will inevitably be questions about how to best use its many features within organizations. At Dataprise, the team has already been seeing plenty of inquiries about not just New Teams, but other Microsoft programs that are set to be unveiled in the very near future—like New Planner and New Outlook. 

Dataprise’s Training Services Team can help you develop a plan to help your users get ready for what’s ahead. User Training Specialists at Dataprise are busy testing out the capabilities and workarounds to share helpful tips and tricks with leaders who don’t want to waste any time.  

Microsoft is a juggernaut in IT thanks to the company’s ability to change with the times. While there are still some drawbacks to using Teams, the Dataprise staff are confident that their newest features are all moving in the right direction. If you’re looking for a partner that can support your networks and infrastructure, we’re here to fill in the gaps and give your IT staff back more time to focus on what they do best.  Contact us to see how Dataprise can help your team adjust to the new Teams!

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