There are multiple ways you can send an instant message in Teams, which is one of the ways Microsoft is aiming to make communication more effortless than ever.

Sending a Chat in Microsoft Teams from the Chat Tab

  1. From the Chat tab, select a recent conversation from the list to jump back into, or click the New Chat button next to the Chat dropdown menu.
  2. Type your message in the Message box and hit the Send icon to send.

Note: If you need to move the conversation past a chat, you can start a voice call, video call, or screen share session from your conversation.

Start a chat from the chat tab in Teams.

Chatting from the Contacts Pane

On the Chat tab in Teams, you can use the Contacts pane to organize company contacts for easy access. Once you’ve added contacts to your list, it’s only one click to start a chat conversation.

  1. Find the Contact you want to chat with on the Contacts pane of the Chat
  2. Click on a contact to open your message history.

Type your message in the  message box and hit the Send icon to send your chat.

Send a message from the contacts page from the chat tab.

Creating a Group Chat in Microsoft Teams

There are a few different ways you can make a group conversation in Microsoft Teams.

You can click the New Chat button next to the Chat dropdown menu and add multiple contacts to message.

Another way you can create a group chat is by adding participants to an existing conversation.

  1. In a chat conversation, choose the Add Participants button on the top right of the screen.
  2. Type the name of the person or people you’d like to add to the conversation.
  3. Click Add to add your contacts to the conversation.

If you’re already in a group conversation, you’ll be able to choose how much of the conversation history you’d like your new participants to be able to see.

Note: Name your different group chats to make them easier to find in the Chat tab.

Start a group chat in Teams.

Sending a Chat in Teams Using the Command Bar

This method is also not covered in the video above, but it’s really helpful for sending quick messages without leaving the tab you are working in.

The Command bar (or Search bar) has a lot of different functions in Microsoft Teams. You can use it to change your presence, search through conversations, and start new conversations like calls and chats.

  1. Type a backslash into the Command bar at the top center of your Microsoft Teams window. This lets Teams know you’re giving it a command.
  2. Type Chat and hit Enter on your keyboard.
  3. Type the name of the person you’d like to send a message to and press Enter
  4. Type your message in the message box and click the Send icon to send.
Send a chat from the command bar in Teams.

Sending an Instant Message in Microsoft Teams using Contact Cards

This method is also not covered in the video above, but it’s really helpful for quickly starting conversations while you’re collaborating with someone. Anywhere you see a contact’s picture and presence, you can start an instant message conversation using their contact card.

  1. Hover over a person’s image in Microsoft Teams and wait for their Contact Card to appear. You can use the Contact Card to start any type of conversation (depending on your licensing).
  2. Select the Chat icon to start an instant message conversation.
  3. Type your message in the message box and press the Send icon to send your message.
Send a chat through a contact card in Microsoft Teams.

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  • Robert says:

    I see how to add individual chats while in MS Teams. I also understand manually adding people to each chat. What I did was create different Contact Groups under Chat is Teams but do not see how I can chat to that whole group at once. I do not want to add all team members to every chat each time I need to communicate. If Teams can’t do that I’m back to Skype or Slack.

    • Stephanie Hamrick says:

      Hi Robert, use the pencil icon in that group chat to give your group a name. Then, you can use that group name to send a chat to the group in the future. The groups on the contacts pane can be a little misleading because they don’t function the same way as they did in Skype, but rest assured the functionality is there if you know where to look for it. In addition, consider pinning your group conversation to the Recent tab so it’s always just one click away!

      • Trevor J O'Jibway says:

        In my job, I need to make new chats with a specific set of contacts multiple times per day because each time I create a chat it is for a different issue, like trouble ticket handling. Each trouble ticket would need it’s own chat.

        • Stephanie Hamrick says:

          Hi Trevor, Teams is a little difficult to use as a ticketing system since it’s default behavior is to always merge one-on-one chats. It’s not really intended for this use, but our advice would be to start each new trouble ticket either as a meeting (which has it’s own separate chat that won’t be merged–just do a Meet Now with yourself, rename it, and add your person as a chat participant after hanging up) or by creating a group chat and giving it a name. This will keep it separate from other chats. You can play around with having a dummy account to add or just adding someone and removing them after you’ve named it. Hopefully this helps! Thanks for reading, and let us know if you have any questions!

  • Gabe says:

    Um, when I put in chat it doesn’t work. It says that there are no commands like that. Can you please help?

    • Stephanie Hamrick says:

      Hi Gabe, are you a student? The IT admin at your district might have turned off the private chat feature in your school.

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