How to Keep Your Teams Light Green (Maintaining Active Status)

productivity apps

How to Keep Your Teams Light Green (Maintaining Active Status)

Key Points

  • There isn’t a native way to keep Microsoft Teams active, but you can keep your Teams light green by setting your computer to stay awake and starting a private meeting.
  • On Windows, you can go to Settings, Personalization, Lock Screen, Screen Timeout Settings, and select ‘Never’ to keep Teams active.
  • On Mac, you can go to System Settings, Lock Screen, and set the Lock Screen Timer to ‘Never’ to keep Teams active.
  • Unfortunately, there is no way to keep the Teams light green on the mobile app, but you can set a custom away message to let others know you’re available.

Sometimes we must appear online even when we step away from our computers. Unfortunately, when you step away from your computer for too long, your Teams active status light turns from green to yellow. So how do you stop Microsoft Teams from showing away after five minutes? How do you keep your Teams light green?

First, there isn’t a native way to do it, so we had to scour the internet for resources and perform quite a few tests before we finally got the light to stay green. However, we did manage to keep our Teams light green on both Mac and Windows devices.

We’ll show you all the steps below, but the method consists of setting your computer to stay awake and starting a private meeting. When you do this, Teams will show you active for as long as you need it to. Now we’ll walk you through the steps to make Teams stay green longer.

How to Keep the Teams Light Green on Windows

We often use Microsoft Teams on Windows more than any other app. Fortunately, we were able to keep our Teams status active for more than six hours after tweaking a few settings and starting a meeting.

Hopefully, you don’t need to be active for that long, but if you do, you can follow these steps to do it:

Step 1: Go to Settings

Before we can stay active, we must ensure that our computer doesn’t go to sleep. We can start that process by clicking the Windows icon in the lower left corner and selecting Settings from the menu.

Keep Teams green
Click the Windows icon in the lower left-hand corner and select Settings.

Step 2: Go to Personalization

The initial settings page will show you all sorts of icons and options. Click on Personalization to open the next menu.

Keep Teams green
Under Settings, click on the Personalization option to open up the next menu.

Step 3: Click Lock Screen

Under Personalization, click Lock Screen in the menu on the left side of your screen.

Keep Teams green
Click “Lock Screen” in the menu on the left side of your screen.

Step 4: Click Screen Timeout Settings

Scroll down to the bottom of the Personalization page and click the Screen timeout settings at the bottom (it looks like a hyperlink).

Keep Teams green
Click the “Screen timeout settings” text toward the bottom of your screen.

Step 5: Click Never

Select the drop-down menu under Sleep and choose Never.

Note: to keep Teams active on your laptop, also select the Never option under Screen.

Keep Teams green
Select “Never” from the drop-down menu under Sleep.

Step 6: Start a Meeting

Now, head over to Teams and start a meeting, but don’t invite any attendees (unless you have a friend who also wants to stay active). Your meeting will open in another window.

Keep Teams green
Open Teams and click on the “Meet Now” button.

Step 7: Set Your Activity Status to Available

Minimize or move the private meeting window, but don’t close it. Click your Activity status in the top right. Now, select Available. Leave the Teams meeting running in the other window and go about your day.

Keep Teams green
Click your Activity status in the top right and select the green “Available” light.

How to Keep the Teams Light Green on Mac

Our Mac readers can also keep their Teams light green when away from their keyboards. Of course, we’ll use the same workaround that we used above. You must turn off your screen timeout settings and start a private Teams meeting. Here’s how to do it on a Mac:

Step 1: Go to System Settings

Click the Apple Icon in the top left corner and select System Settings (users with older OSX versions will see the System Preferences option, if that’s what you see, click it) from the dropdown menu.

Keep Teams green
Click on the Apple Icon in the top left-hand corner, then select System Settings from the menu.

Step 2: Click Lock Screen

Click the Lock Screen option or type “lock screen” into the search bar to get to it quickly.

Keep teams green
Click on “Lock Screen” or type “lock screen” into the search bar at the top left.

Step 3: Set the Lock Screen Timer to Never

Click the drop-down menu next to Start Screen Saver When Inactive. Then, select Never.

Keep Teams green
Select “Never” from the drop-down menu next to “Start Screen Saver When Inactive.”

Step 4: Start a Meeting

Now, start a private meeting in the Teams app. The meeting will open in another window.

Keep Teams green
In the Teams app, click the “Meet now” button to begin a private meeting.

Step 5: Change Your Teams Activity Status to Green

Shrink or move the meeting window but don’t close it. Now, set your activity status to Available.

Your Mac won’t go to sleep and the meeting will make the program think you’re active without having to move your cursor. Leave the meeting up, but you can still navigate to other apps without losing your Teams green light.

Keep Teams green
With the meeting open in the other window, set your Teams activity status to Available.

How to Keep the Teams Light Green on a Mobile App

Naturally, we tested the Teams mobile app for iOS and Android as well. Unfortunately, any time we switched to another app or locked our phone screens, the Teams light went from green to red. We tried the meeting trick, opening the desktop version of our mobile web browsers, and more. Unfortunately, none kept our active status.

While there are some workarounds, they all involve leaving Teams open on your home screen and tapping the screen occasionally. For our readers who want to maintain an active status on the Teams mobile app, your best bet is to set a custom away message so your colleagues and clients know it’s ok to message you. Here’s how to do that:

Step 1: Tap Your Profile Icon

Launch the Teams app on your mobile device and tap on your profile icon in the top left corner.

Step 2: Tap Set Status Message

Tap the Set status message option in the menu.

Step 3: Save the Message

Type your message (it can say anything you like). Then, adjust the expiration period at the bottom and hit Done.

Now, when anyone comes looking to message you, they’ll see the red light on Teams, but they’ll also see a status message letting them know that you’re available.

Other Nifty Teams Workarounds to Keep the Light Green

One thing about us tech geeks, we’re always coming up with some new fun way to get around developers’ limitations. Fortunately, there are a few honorable mention-type workarounds we’ve come across, and we’ll share them with you.

If, for any reason, the methods above don’t work, you can try these:

  • Teams changes your status anytime you quit moving the mouse or keys on your keyboard. So, open a Word Doc and place an object on one of the keys. Let the object type for you while you step away for a much-deserved break.
  • You can use a jiggler to make your computer think you’re moving your mouse. You can purchase a jiggler device on Amazon, or download an app. Just be sure to read reviews first.
  • Play YouTube, Spotify, or Pandora while Teams is active. Of course, you’ll want to test this method first to ensure that it will work.

Anytime you run into a headache with tech, get creative and you’ll soon overcome whatever limitations you face. Of course, simple is usually better. So, stick a calculator on the space key and go get coffee. You’ve earned it.

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01/17/2024 12:54 am GMT

Wrap Up

Microsoft Teams is notorious for causing headaches. Some of the more seemingly simple tasks can become a nightmare in minutes. Fortunately, there are workarounds for everything. You can use the native settings to your advantage, or get creative with some office supplies and the right settings. Either way, now you can stop Teams from showing away when idle and let all of your contacts know you’re staying active on Teams.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will Teams stay active?

Teams will stay active for about five minutes after inactivity. Then, your Teams light will turn to idle, unless you use the workarounds above to keep it from going idle.

How do I keep my Teams light stay active longer on a laptop?

If you’re using a laptop, you can follow the same steps as above. However, be sure to plug it into its power supply before leaving it. That way, the battery won’t die.

Will YouTube keep my Teams light from turning yellow?

The answer to this question depends on your Settings. You could play music in the background, or play a YouTube video and minimize it to keep your Teams light green. However, you need to ensure that the media player can keep the screen from going to sleep.

Follow the steps above to ensure that your screen won’t go to sleep.

How do I manually change my active status on Teams?

You can manually set your active status on Teams by tapping your profile icon on the mobile app and selecting Activity Status. Or, you can click the activity light on the Teams desktop app (on your profile icon) and select the activity status.

However, even if you select the activity status that meets your needs, it will still go idle if you don’t prevent it from doing so.

What do I do if I don't want to be bothered on Teams?

If you don’t want people to bother you on Teams you can set your activity to Do Not Disturb. This lets others know that you’re busy and not available to respond.

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