Start a Chat

How to start a chat

Remote collaboration is all about effective communication – in Teams you can securely and instantly exchange messages with colleagues.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to find and contact your colleagues.

1. Find & message your colleagues

Teams allows you to quickly search for the person you want to message by selecting the chat icon at the top of the page. You can then type the name of the person you want to contact.

Once you’ve found the right person, and type your message in the chat box and hit send.

2. Create a group chat

To contact more than one person, you can create a group chat. Click the chat icon at the top of the page.


Select the down arrow on the far right of the field and add in your group name (i.e. Daily Team meeting).


In the To field, enter in the names of the people you want to include in your group chat.

Now you can send a message to your group!


 Top tips

 Stay on top of your chats!

Sometimes as chats accumulate it can be hard to keep a track of them, and difficult to find the conversation you need in the chat panel.

In Teams, you can Pin your favourite chats so that they clearly appear at the top of your chat bar to help you stay on top of your important conversations!


Click on the three dots ‘…’ on the right-hand side of the conversation window and select the Pin icon.

Quickly locate your favourite contacts

To find a person quickly, add them to your contacts. Click on the three dots next to their name ‘…’ and click Add to favourite contacts.   

To access your list of favourites, click Contacts


Set up alerts to see when someone is available on Teams. 

Click on the three dots next to the name and select ‘Notify when available’.


Create contact groups for specific purposes to help you organise your list of contacts.

 Click ‘Create a new contact group’ at the bottom of the screen.



You will be prompted to enter a name for your new contact group. Once you have done that, you can now enter in the names of people you will like to add to this group.

Manage your contact groups

Clicking on the three dots ‘…’ on the right-hand side of the group name to rename or delete the contact group.




Top Tips

  • You can use Microsoft Teams for private 1:1 and group chats without the need to create a team.
  • Any IMs you receive whilst offline will be available next time you come online.
  • Conversation history and chats are persistent. This means that your conversations stay around even after closing the application
  • Make sure you do not share sensitive information that you do not want all invited participants to see within a chat. They will be able to read the chat even if they do not join the meeting, or, if they have already been disconnected
  • You should use a separate email or Teams chat for private conversations amongst a sub-group of colleagues
Last Reviewed Date 13/05/2020


Updated on 29/06/2022

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