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The Symbols and Icons on Microsoft Teams: What Are They?

What do the Microsoft Teams icons mean?

The Symbols and Icons on Microsoft Teams: What Are They?

Key Points

  • The Microsoft Teams icon bar is located on the left side of the dashboard and includes important icons for different features.
  • The Activity icon displays recent interactions within your Teams environment, including notifications and reactions to your messages.
  • The Chat icon opens your chat conversations, allowing you to send and receive instant messages, files, and GIFs.
  • The Meetings section includes icons for joining a meeting with an ID, starting an impromptu meeting, and scheduling a meeting for the future.
  • When in a Chat conversation or Team Channel, you can use icons for formatting text, attaching files, adding emojis and GIFs, and creating polls.

If you’re new to the platform, it may take some time to familiarize yourself with the Microsoft Teams icons. However, with a bit of guidance and practice, you’ll quickly become proficient in navigating this collaborative tool.

In this article, we’ll walk you through all of the features, explaining what the symbols and icons mean in detail.

Teams Icon Bar

The Teams icon bar is located on the left side of the dashboard. It includes the most important Microsoft Teams icons.

Activity

The Activity icon looks like a bell.

Clicking on this icon will display your recent interactions within your Teams environment. This includes notifications, mentions, and reactions to your messages.

The Symbols and Icons on Microsoft Teams: What Are They?
The Activity icon is a bell.

Community

The Community icon looks like three people standing together.

With this relatively new feature, you can join a community and connect with others over shared interests.

If you are a member of a professional organization, this icon may say Teams instead of Community. Nonetheless, the features in this section remain the same.

The Symbols and Icons on Microsoft Teams: What Are They?
The Community icon is three people standing together.

Chat

The Chat icon looks like a speech bubble.

Clicking this will open your chat conversations, enabling you to send and receive instant messages, including text, files, and GIFs, within both individual and group chats.

The Symbols and Icons on Microsoft Teams: What Are They?
The Chat icon is a speech bubble.

Calendar

The Calendar icon will open up your schedule.

With this time management tool, you can view, schedule, and manage meetings and appointments.

The Symbols and Icons on Microsoft Teams: What Are They?
The Calendar icon looks like, well, a calendar!

Meetings

Meetings refer to either scheduled or unscheduled gatherings where team members virtually connect via video conference.

You will see the following Microsoft Teams icons for this section in the upper right-hand corner of your dashboard.

Join with an ID

This button features a # symbol.

It allows participants to join a meeting by entering a code, ensuring that participants can access a meeting even if they don’t have an invitation. It is meant to simplify the process of joining meetings.

The Symbols and Icons on Microsoft Teams: What Are They?
Join with an ID lets you put in a code to gain access to a meeting.

Meet Now

The Meet Now button looks like a video camera icon.

If you click this, you can start an impromptu meeting without scheduling in advance. After you start the meeting, you can invite participants.

The Symbols and Icons on Microsoft Teams: What Are They?
The Meet Now button lets you start an impromptu meeting.

New Meeting

The New Meeting button features a + symbol.

By clicking this button, you can schedule a meeting for a future time. It ensures that you can plan and organize meetings efficiently. Once you invite participants to a scheduled meeting, it will show up on their Teams calendar.

The Symbols and Icons on Microsoft Teams: What Are They?
New Meeting lets you schedule a meeting in advance.

Chat Conversation/Team Channel

When you’re inside a Chat conversation or Team Channel, you’ll encounter the following additional icons and symbols.

Format

The Format icon looks like a pen beside the letter “A.”

This icon allows you to change the format of your text. You have options like resizing, bolding, italicizing, or underlining text.

The Symbols and Icons on Microsoft Teams: What Are They?
The Format feature lets you change your text’s format.

Attach Files

The Attach Files icon looks like a paperclip.

Clicking on it allows you to upload and share files, documents, and other resources with your chat or channel participants.

The Symbols and Icons on Microsoft Teams: What Are They?
Attach files by clicking on the paperclip icon.

Emoji

The Emoji icon looks like a smiley face.

Clicking it brings you to the emoji library. This feature allows you to add expressiveness to your conversations.

The Symbols and Icons on Microsoft Teams: What Are They?
Emojis allow you to liven your text!

Giphy

The GIF icon allows users to express themselves through looped, moving images.

Clicking this icon will open up the Giphy library where choose GIFs to represent reactions and emotions. These are typically humorous in nature.

The Symbols and Icons on Microsoft Teams: What Are They?
Find fun gifs to include in your text as well!

Polls

The polls icon looks like three vertical bars.

This feature gives you the option to create a multiple-choice poll.

The Symbols and Icons on Microsoft Teams: What Are They?
Clicking the three vertical bars lets you create a poll.

Status Indicators

Next to user profiles, you’ll also notice the following Microsoft Teams icons.

Green Dot

If you see a green dot next to a user’s profile picture, it means that they are currently online.

Yellow Dot

A yellow dot next to a user’s profile picture indicates that the user has either set their status to Do Not Disturb or has been inactive for a short period of time.

Red Dot

A red dot signifies that a user is in a meeting or has set their status to Busy.

online status indicators
Online status indicators allow users to see when others are available for communication, facilitating timely and efficient interactions.

Settings

The following Microsoft Teams icons are applicable to your Settings, where you can configure your platform preferences.

General

The general icon looks like a gear.

Within the General section, you can configure your display language, theme, and default settings that apply across the application.

The Symbols and Icons on Microsoft Teams: What Are They?
The General section gives you access to your general settings.

Accounts

The accounts icon looks like an identity card.

In the Accounts section, you can manage your profile information, sign-in options, and account security settings.

The Symbols and Icons on Microsoft Teams: What Are They?
Accounts is where you can manage your accounts.

Plans and Upgrades

The Plans and Upgrades icon looks like a diamond.

This section may provide information about your current subscription plan, as well as options for upgrading or changing your plan.

The Symbols and Icons on Microsoft Teams: What Are They?
You can manage the details of your subscription plan here.

Privacy

The Privacy icon looks like a lock.

In the Privacy section, you can control who can contact you, see your status, or access your profile information. This is important for managing your online presence.

The Symbols and Icons on Microsoft Teams: What Are They?
Take control of your account’s privacy by clicking on the lock icon.

Notifications

The Notifications icon looks like a bell.

The Notifications section allows you to customize how you receive notifications from Microsoft Teams. You can specify which events trigger notifications and how they are delivered, such as a sound, banner, or email.

The Symbols and Icons on Microsoft Teams: What Are They?
Clicking on the bell icon brings you to the page where you can control your notification settings.

Accessibility

The Accessibility icon looks like a person.

The Accessibility section ensures that Microsoft Teams is usable by individuals with disabilities. Here, you can configure accessibility options such as screen reader support and keyboard shortcuts.

The Symbols and Icons on Microsoft Teams: What Are They?
Accessibility allows you to change your ability to display and engage with your account.

About Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams has become particularly important in the context of remote work and digital collaboration, providing a central hub for team members to work together seamlessly, regardless of their physical location.

It offers file-sharing capabilities, scheduling, video conferencing, and instant messaging. The platform can help you and your team stay organized so that projects are completed efficiently and on schedule.

Its biggest competitors are Slack and Zoom. However, Microsoft Teams offers a more expansive set of features, making it a go-to choice for many organizations, big and small.

Microsoft Teams icons
Using video conferencing can enhance collaboration.

Best Practices on Microsoft Teams

To be more effective on Microsoft Teams, users should follow these best practices.

Organize Your Workspace with Channels

Channels allow you to segment resources into focused areas. You should think of these as virtual rooms for specific topics. Best practices for organizing your channels include:

  1. Create Channels for Significant Topics: To help you access Teams resources quickly, create a channel for significant topics.
  2. Use Descriptive Names: Give your channels clear and descriptive names that make it easy for team members to understand their purpose.
  3. Avoid Overcrowding: Resist the temptation to create too many channels by limiting it to a manageable list.

Streamline Communication

One of the main purposes of Teams is to facilitate efficient communication. To streamline your communication:

  1. Use @ Mentions: To ensure the right people see your messages, use the @mention feature.
  2. Utilize Chat Conversations: Do not clutter group messages with messages meant for individuals unless it’s important to keep the whole team in the loop. Instead, send a private message to the individual.
  3. Use Emojis and GIFs Sparingly: While emojis and GIFs can add some humor to conversations, use them judiciously in professional circles.
icons on Microsoft Teams
Regardless of where your team members are located, Microsoft Teams can help you collaborate and make progress on projects.

Up Next:

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I create a Team?

  1. Select Teams.
  2. Click Join or create a team.
  3. Select Create a new team.
  4. From there, choose whether to create the team from scratch or from an existing group.
  5. Then, choose whether to make the team private or public.
  6. Add a name and description, then select Create.

What kind of teams can I create in Microsoft Teams?

Common teams include educational groups, professional teams, study groups, and clubs. However, you can create a team for any type of group that would benefit from collaboration or shared communication.

Why are there two Microsoft Teams icons?

If you notice that new Microsoft Teams icons are appearing on your desktop when you start your computer, you fix this issue by following these steps:

1. Open the Task Manager by right-clicking on the taskbar and selecting Task Manager.

2. Go to the Startup tab.

3. Look for Teams in the list of programs.

4. If you see Teams and it’s set to start when your computer starts, you can disable it by right-clicking on it and selecting Disable. This will stop Teams from creating new shortcuts on your desktop every time you log in.

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