How to block the meeting chat function in Microsoft Teams?

Here’s a question from Liam:

I was asked by management to help run a series of town hall meetings using Microsoft Teams. During the first meeting there was quite a bit of activity in the meeting chat, including pop up notifications coming up. That all drove the attention away from the meeting content. I guess that my question is whether there is a way to suppress the chat function in Teams for specific meetings so that employees can focus on the content?

Blocking the meeting chat in Microsoft Teams

Thanks for the question, to your point, you can easily turn off the chat capability for selected Teams meetings. Actually, we received this question several times, also from university faculty delivering online classes for their students.

Microsoft Outlook Calendar users

  • Navigate to your Outlook calendar.
  • Create a new Teams meeting, or locate you existing meeting occurrence or series.
  • From the upper menu hit Settings.
  • Select Meeting options.
  • The Meeting options dialog will open up.
  • In the Allow meeting chat drop down select the Disabled option.
  • Lastly, go ahead and hit the Save button.

Microsoft Teams Calendar users

  • From the Teams left hand side task bar hit on the Calendar icon.
  • Create a Teams meeting or find your meeting series or occurrence.
  • Right click the meeting and choose Edit, then hit Meeting options.
  • In the Allow meeting field, choose Disabled.
  • Hit Save.

Important notes

  • Turning off the chat can be done only by the meeting host.
  • Once chat is disabled, both the host and participants won’t be able to post chat messages.
  • There is an option to allow only in-meeting chat. This enables meeting participants to chat only during the meeting and disables the chat before and after the meeting.