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How to get started with the Chat app on Windows 11

Windows 11 Chat from Microsoft Teams
Windows 11 Chat from Microsoft Teams (Image credit: Windows Central)

Windows 11 also comes with Chat, a new communication experience that's part of the consumer version of Microsoft Teams. The integration is meant to include a user-friendly application to allow Windows users to connect with friends and family outside of work with text messages and video calls without downloading or installing anything else.

In addition, the integration lets you create and schedule meetings and make group video and audio calls. The Chat from Microsoft Teams integration is straightforward, but there's an initial setup you need to go through and some features you need to know to make the most out of it on Windows 11.

In this Windows 11 guide, we will walk you through the steps to remove the Chat button from the Taskbar and uninstall the consumer version of Teams.

How to set up Chat on Windows 11

To set up Chat for the first time, use these steps:

  1. Click the Chat button in the Taskbar.
  2. Click the Continue button.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Get started button.Quick tip: A phone number is required to use this application. If you already have a number in your Microsoft account, you are all set. Otherwise, the app will request you to enter a phone number to continue.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. (Optional) Check the Sync Outlook.com and Skype contacts option.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Let's go button.

Once you complete the steps, you can begin sending text messages or starting video calls.

How to use Chat on Windows 11

Using the Chat app, you can connect using text, video, or audio with one or multiple people.

One to one text chat

To start a text conversation, use these steps:

  1. Click the Chat button in the Taskbar.
  2. Click the Chat button.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. In the "To:" field, type the email or phone number of the person you want to contact, and press Enter.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. In the text box, compose your message.Quick tip: Using the commands at the bottom, you can also insert emojis and GIFs.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. (Optional) Click the Format button to bring up the tools to customize your text with different styles similar to sending an email.
  2. (Optional) Click the Attach Files button to send images and other types of files.Quick tip: You can drag and drop files to the text box to attach them.
  3. Click the Send button.

You can also hover over a message to react to it using emojis, and you can use open the menu to access the other options, such as to reply, edit, or remove the message. If you want to add more people to the conversation, click the Add people button on the top-right corner.

One to many text chat

To start a group chat on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Click the Chat button in the Taskbar.
  2. Click the Chat button.
  3. In the "To:" field, type the email or phone number of the person you want to contact, and press Enter.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Repeat step 3 to add more people.
  2. Confirm the chat group name.
  3. In the text box, compose your message.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. (Optional) Click the Polls button to send a question in the form of a poll.
  2. Compose the question and the answers.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Save button.
  2. Click the Send button.

Start group video call

To start a video call with Windows 11 Chat, use these steps:

  1. Click the Chat button in the Taskbar.
  2. Click the Meet button.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Turn on the microphone toggle switch.
  2. Turn on the webcam toggle switch.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. (Optional) Click the Background filters option.
  2. Select the Blur option to blur the background.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. (Optional) Click the Settings (gear icon) button to change the microphone, camera, and speakers settings.Quick tip: On this page, you can also control the background noise during a call if the default setting isn't enough.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Join button.
  2. Click the Copy meeting link button.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Send the link to the people you want to join the call.

Once you complete the steps, people should be able to join the video call. The interface for video calls is similar to the full version of Teams with options to show participants, chat using text messages, raise your hand, share screen, turn on or off the microphone and camera, and end the call.

You can use these steps to start a video call with one or multiple people. If you have a recent chat with a particular person, you can click the Chat button, hover over the recent conversation, and click the Video call button to start the call. While in the chat, you can also click the Video call or Audio Call with the buttons at the top right.

How to use Microsoft Teams on Windows 11

As part of the integration, you also get the consumer version of Microsoft Teams, which you can use to view your activities, chat with multiple people, view the calendar, join or create a meeting, and customize various settings.

To navigate the Teams apps, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Microsoft Teams and click the top result to open the app.
  3. Click the Activity tab to view mentions and other activities with Chat.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Chat tab to view and access your recent conversations.Quick note: You can use this interface to continue the conversation, and you can even start video and audio calls with the buttons available in the top-right corner. You can also create new conversations from within this area.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Calendar tab to view any upcoming events or schedule new meetings.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Change settings

The consumer version of Microsoft Teams also lets you adjust various settings. For example, you can stop the app from always starting automatically as you sign into your account. You can customize the notification experience, contacts, and more.

To change the Microsoft Teams settings, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Microsoft Teams and click the top result to open the app.
  3. Click the Settings and more (three-dotted) button from the top-right corner and select the Settings option.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the General tab.
  2. (Optional) Clear the Auto-start Teams box to prevent the app from launching in the background as you start the computer.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Notifications tab.
  2. (Optional) Turn off the Show message preview toggle switch if you don't want to see notification previews for new messages.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Edit button.
  2. Configure the notifications for mentions, messages, likes, and reactions.
  3. Click the Appearance and accessibility tab.
  4. (Optional) Change the theme color to light, dark, or high contrast.Quick note: The dark theme will also apply to the Chat interface in the Taskbar.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. (Optional) Turn on the Follow operating system theme toggle switch.Quick note: On this page, you can also turn animations on or off, and you can change the default language.
  2. Click the Privacy tab.
  3. Under the "Sync contacts" section, click the Manage button to choose where to sync the contact from.
  4. Under the "Manage blocked users" section, click the Manage blocked users button to view and unblock users as necessary.
  5. Under the "Manage how people can find you" section, click the Manage contact information button to device how people can find you through Teams.
  6. Turn off the Read receipts toggle switch if you don't want people to know when you've seen their messages and when they have seen yours.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Once you complete the steps, the new settings will apply to the Chat from Microsoft Teams experience on Windows 11.

Schedule group call

To schedule a video call (or meeting), use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Microsoft Teams and click the top result to open the app.
  3. Click the Chat tab.
  4. Click the New meeting button in the top-right corner.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Specify a title for the meeting.
  2. Specify the date and time.
  3. (Optional) Choose whether or not this is a repeat meeting.
  4. (Optional) Specify a location.
  5. Compose the meeting's details.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Save button in the top-right corner.
  2. Click the Copy link to copy the link to the clipboard.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Send the link to the people you want to invite via email, text message, etc.

Once you complete the steps, the meeting will appear in the Calendar section. At the time of the meeting, participants only need to click the link to join via the web or Chat integration of Windows 11.

Set availability status

To set a status for Chat from Microsoft Teams experience, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Microsoft Teams and click the top result to open the app.
  3. Click the Profile button from the top-right corner.
  4. Select the Available menu and set your status, including Available, Appear Away, or Appear Offline.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Set status message option.
  2. Compose a status message.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Select when to clear the status message (Never, Today, 1 or 4 hours, or This week).
  2. Click the Done button.

After you complete the steps, the new status will be reflected on your profile.

How to remove Chat on Windows 11

You have two ways to remove Chat. You can simply remove the button from the Taskbar, or you can completely uninstall the integration.

Remove Chat button from Taskbar

To hide the Chat button from the Taskbar, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Personalization.
  3. Click the Taskbar page on the right side.Quick note: You can also right-click the Taskbar and select the Taskbar settings option to access the settings page.
  4. Under the "Taskbar items" section, toggle off the Chat switch.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Once you complete the steps, the Taskbar will no longer show the Chat button, but the consumer version of Teams will still be available on Windows 11.

If you never set up the application, you do not need to do anything else. Otherwise, after removing the Chat button, the Teams app will continue to run in the background. If you want to keep the app, but you don't want to run in the background, open the Microsoft Teams app, click the three-dotted menu button, select the Settings option, and clear in the General tab the Auto-start Teams option.

Uninstall Chat

To completely remove the Chat from Microsoft Teams with the Settings app, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Apps.
  3. Click the Apps & features page on the right side.
  4. Select the Microsoft Teams app.
  5. Click the three-dotted button next to the app and select the Uninstall button.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Uninstall button again.
  2. Open Settings.
  3. Click on Personalization.
  4. Click the Taskbar page on the right side.
  5. Under the "Taskbar items" section, toggle off the Chat switch.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

After you complete the steps, the Chat from Microsoft Teams integration will be removed from Windows 11.

More Windows resources

For more helpful articles, coverage, and answers to common questions about Windows 10 and Windows 11, visit the following resources:

Mauro Huculak is technical writer for WindowsCentral.com. His primary focus is to write comprehensive how-tos to help users get the most out of Windows 10 and its many related technologies. He has an IT background with professional certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTIA, and he's a recognized member of the Microsoft MVP community.

13 Comments
  • Has anyone noticed the 3D emojis in the set up pictures? 🤔
  • I need to rant on TEAMS personal. Why can't I make a TEAM? That's the name of the app, isn't it? Right now it's a chat app, with my calendar. Yea! How about letting me create a TEAM of the people in my Scout Troop and have a TEAM calendar. Anyone on that TEAM could see the calendar and the TEAM chat in their TEAMS personal app. How about a Family TEAM with a Family Calendar. Maybe a Little League TEAM. If I am in the Scout TEAM and the Family TEAM I can see calendar entries on the Family TEAM, and Scout TEAM on my calendar. If TEAMS personal were actually useful beyond yet-another-chat-app, adoption might be justifiable. Second irritant. I have Win 11 Pro installed on a 'company' laptop joined to a domain with enterprise management. Why does the CHAT function demand I attach to a personal MS/TEAMS account? I should be able to Chat with my colleagues. Yes, I can just open TEAMS to do that, but if the CHAT 'app' is default on my taskbar, why not let me use it to Chat with who I want? You do have Enterprise customers, MS.
  • Yeah, the complete split between "Work or School Account" and "Personal Account" ensures an entirely broken UX. I think most reviewers don't use Work tenants to understand this, or MS would get a lot more heat for this problem. They share the same names (e.g., Teams, Outlook, Skype (back when where was a Skype for Business), but run on entirely separate servers use different domain names and really have zero cross-connectivity. Teams for Personal is not Teams, it just looks like it. Worse, they also still have Skype, and as far as I can tell, Teams Personal and Skype still don't play together, which is just unbelievably bad UX and incredibly confusing. MS is fighting with itself, and just driving customers to other (non-MS) products.
  • I don't actually mind the work/personal split, though it being two distinct apps seems inefficient. On TEAMS business, you can be on more than one tenant (company) and just switch within the app. It is like you logged out of one and back into the other, but the UI stays the same. At least that's how it works in the WEB UI. I see no reason that persona selection couldn't include my personal account as well. It could limit capability just as switching to a tenant in which I'm a guest does. In fact, the iOS TEAMS app does this. I can have a personal and business account set up and just switch between them.
  • I've been testing what happens if you use this with someone not on Teams. They do get the Teams invite, but can continue to respond over SMS. However, it seems to be *only* SMS, not MMS. Strangely, some emojis go through fine, others say, for example, "wink" in text. But pictures do seem to work.
  • What about Skype contacts? At least in Windows 10, Teams Personal can't talk with Skype, which seems like a core failure to me. Is that any different in Windows 11?
  • Nah. They should be playing the long game. With Teams built in the convenience factor is greater than Skype. The issue is getting people off of Skype. Though the Phone Number requirement put me off entirely. I won't be using this. I still think this does too much. It should be like Mesages and FaceTime. Anything else should be handled by the OS share system and backend services like Outlook.com. I don't need yet another calendar interface, and I don't need rich text formatting toolbars in messages. Maybe just support markdown and allow us to turn the toolbar off? I can see some reason why they'd want this to work like the business version, but it also complicates the solution unnecessarily when aimed at the consumer market.
  • I don't necessarily want it to work like the business version, but I would like it to provide some features that set it apart from the dozen other chat apps I have at my disposal. (I don't use that many, but they are out there) I would like that to work with a random set of acquaintances, not just people in the same company/tenent/whatever.
  • Forcing me to give up my phone number to use it means it’s a NO from me.
  • This is the same here, whihc is why I will not use Whatsapp and other apps like it. I use Facebook Messenger now and again, but it doesn't need your phone number and there is no requirement to give it to Facebook . Mainly use SMS to be honest, Need my number to message me, so it is people I trust that I give my number too.
  • How will Chat work with texting? For example, I've got Your Phone on my Windows 10 machine and my Samsung phone. I've used Your Phone for over a year. Two things I know about it. First, it does work well for me and it only works with Android. I'm sure Chat in Windows 11 will work fine with my phone, but how about iPhones? In my family I'm the only one who has an Android phone, everyone else uses iPhones. So, Your Phone has been useless for them. Second question. After I upgrade to Windows 11, should I get rid my Your Phone?
  • 300mb of RAM for soemthing built in in the OS like the widgets? not thanks
  • “Open Start. Search for Microsoft Teams and click the top result to open the app.” Why do ALL of the instructions start with this? How about put a shortcut on the desktop or taskbar? Why are you searching for an app every time you want to run it? Why not just, you know, click on an icon? How brain dead is this?