Microsoft Teams Calling: How to start making and receiving calls

Microsoft Teams Calling: How to start making and receiving calls

Microsoft Teams is the collaboration hub that Microsoft offers for their users. You can collaborate with Team members in various ways, including chats, meetings, and audio and video calls. The new communication solution offered by the app turned into an entire business phone system, allowing businesses and individuals to connect seamlessly.

Today’s article will discuss Microsoft Teams calling, how to start making and receiving calls and some additional features to allow you to make full use of the app and its functionality.

Basic call configuration

To enjoy the full benefits of Microsoft Teams calling, you will need to set it up and go through the configuration process first. Most of the time, the administrator adjusts the main settings and permissions, but employees can enjoy a certain level of personalization.

First off, go to Microsoft Teams app, enter the Teams settings on the left-hand side, and look for the menu item named “Calls”, which is typically located below the “Captions and transcripts”. 

After you have accessed the call settings, you should be able to configure how you want to handle incoming calls, voicemail and accessibility. 

On this page, you can personalize:

  • Incoming calls and setting a forwarding automation
  • Ring only you or also ring someone else
  • What happens if you don’t answer
  • Ringing duration before redirection
  • Voicemail configuration
  • Choose ringtones for different types of calls
  • Turn on a TTY mode
  • Integrate additional devices

In case you want other Teams users to make and receive calls on your behalf, let’s say while you are on holiday or they are your assistant, you can do so on another page. You need to go to Teams – Settings – General – Delegation to access it.

How to start a call – the basics

Audio calls in Microsoft teams are perfect for contacting someone quickly, and you can start them in multiple ways. It’s important to note that you can call an individual Teams’ member and create a group call with several participants. 

You can start a Teams call at any time, but you can schedule them and set them up beforehand if you need to. 

You can start a call in Teams from a chat, from your voicemail, by using speed dial, from your contacts or through your call history. Microsoft made it easy and seamless to connect with colleagues. All you need to do is tap a button.

From a chat

Microsoft Teams supports a chat function, through which you can chat one-on-one or with a group of people. Fortunately, you don’t have to create a meeting to talk to them. 

You can directly call the person or people on the other side of the chat using an audio or video call. These calls do not appear in team conversations. Therefore, they remain private.

Desktop and mobile versions

If you use a desktop version of the Teams app and want to call someone from a chat, you need to go to the “Chat” section. You can either use an existing conversation or create a new one by choosing “New chat” and entering the other person’s name. 

Then, select the video or audio call icon. Keep in mind that you can select up to 20 people for video calls. If you are in a group chat with more than 20 people, your call buttons will be disabled.

From call history

Like a mobile phone, in Teams, you can call a number from your call history. To open the call history section in the app, go to “Calls” on the left sidebar. You will find all your previous call history, including incoming, outgoing and missed calls. You can select any item and press the call icon in the “Details” section.

From your voicemail

Another way to start a call is through the voicemail section, where you can see a list of people who left you a voicemail message. You need to go to “History” and find the voicemail icon in the upper right corner to access it. Choose who you want to call and select “More actions” on the side of the contact. Clicking on “More actions” will open a drop menu where you can choose the call icon.

From contacts

In the Teams app, you have all your contacts available right in front of you. Go to the “Calls” section on the left sidebar and select “Contacts” from the upper menu list to access the contacts list. Choose the contact you need to connect with and press “Call” on the right, almost like a regular phone call.

From dial pad

If you have a Microsoft calling plan, you will be able to use the dial pad option in Teams to call a contact. You can find the dial pad in the “Calls” section between your history and contacts. Enter the contact phone numbers or names and click the call icon.

From a photo/avatar

If you already use Microsoft Teams, you’ve noticed that each Teams member has their photo, avatar or initials. You can hover over their profile picture for a quick dial and select the preferred calling option.

From speed dial

Speed dial is a great way to dial your most important contacts quickly. You need to go to the “Calls” section and select the “Speed dial” on the right. You will see an area where you can add a new contact by typing a name.

From the command box

Yet another way to start a call is to use the command box located at the top bar of the Teams app. By typing the command “/call” and the name/number of your contact person, the command bar tells Teams to start dialling their account.

Options during a call

Making and receiving calls in Microsoft Teams is easy. We have already discussed the numerous ways to start a call. If somebody is calling you, you will get a notification that allows you to either accept or decline the call, just like a mobile phone. But what can you do during the call, and what are your available options?

The main call-related options you can access and are most often used are available by clicking on the three dots:

  • Access device settings
  • Mute or unmute your microphone
  • Hold the call (everyone will be notified, and you can resume the call when you wish)
  • Transfer the call (transfer calls to another person by typing his name)
  • Consult then transfer the call (an option allowing you to first consult people before transferring calls)
  • Turn on live captions (available for video calls)
  • Start transcription (available for video calls).

In addition to these options, you can also add, designate or share a line with a delegate and reduce background noise by using the “noise suppression” setting. You can leave the call at any time you want.

Video calls in Microsoft Teams

The Microsoft Teams app allows you to make and receive calls in audio or video versions. In addition to having various options during the call, you can also customize your video call to help you conduct business online.

Choose a video background

Working remotely doesn’t always involve the use of office space. Most people work from the comfort of their own homes, and luckily, Microsoft Teams offers a change in the video background. You can select your preferred image or upload your own before beginning the call.

Choose your video layout

If you need to make a video call to a group of people instead of one individual, there will be multiple windows on the screen. During the call, you are able to configure the layout to highlight specific information and elements.

Device integration

Microsoft offers various ways to start a call and enable video in the Teams app. However, they work with different vendors to provide a complete list of solutions for anyone who might need them. Products that support Teams calls include cameras, headsets, desk phones and more. Integrating additional devices can offer a complete Teams calling solution for your business.