How To Change When Microsoft Teams Shows Away

How To Articles

Microsoft Teams is a popular platform for collaborating and working together, providing individuals and teams with seamless communication. A useful feature in Teams is the availability status, which indicates whether a user is currently available, busy, away, or offline. However, the default setting in Teams will automatically switch your status to “Away” after a designated period of inactivity. This article will walk you through the steps to adjust when Microsoft Teams displays you as away, giving you the ability to customize your availability status.

Step 1: Changing Your Status

To change your status in Microsoft Teams, follow these simple steps:

  1. Open Microsoft Teams on your desktop or web browser.
  2. Click on your profile picture or initials located in the top right corner of the screen.
  3. A dropdown menu will appear. Select “Set status message”.
  4. Choose the status that best reflects your availability from the provided options.

By manually setting your status, you have more control over how others perceive your availability. You can choose “Available” when you are actively working and open for communication, or “Busy” when you need uninterrupted focus time. However, to prevent Teams from automatically setting your status to “Away”, we need to make some additional changes.

Step 2: Changing Your Away Status Timeout

By default, Microsoft Teams considers a user as “Away” after five minutes of inactivity. However, you can change this timeout period to a duration that suits your work style and preferences. Follow these steps:

  1. Click on your profile picture or initials in the top right corner of the screen.
  2. From the dropdown menu, select “Settings”.
  3. In the Settings menu, click on “Privacy” on the left-hand side.
  4. Scroll down to the “Change your status automatically” section.
  5. Adjust the slider to increase or decrease the timeout duration as desired.

By extending the timeout duration, Teams will wait longer before setting your status to “Away”, giving you more flexibility and reducing unnecessary status changes. Remember to find a balance that works for you, considering both productivity and the need for accurate availability information.

Personalizing Your Status Message

In addition to changing your availability status, you can also personalize your status message. This allows you to add a custom message to provide more context to your colleagues about your current situation. To set your status message:

  1. Click on your profile picture or initials in the top right corner of the screen.
  2. Select “Set status message” from the dropdown menu.
  3. Type in your desired status message in the provided text box.

Feel free to get creative with your status message! You can include information like “In a meeting until 11 am” or “Taking a quick break, be back soon.” Adding a personal touch to your status message helps create a more human connection in remote work environments.


Microsoft Teams offers various options to personalize your availability status and provide context to your colleagues. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can change when Teams shows you as away, allowing for a more customized and accurate representation of your availability. Remember to find the right balance between being available and having focused, uninterrupted work time to maximize productivity.