New Meeting and Calling Experience in Microsoft Teams!
Published Jul 22 2020 08:00 AM 1.8M Views

You may have seen the recent announcement of new meeting features in Teams in Reimagining virtual collaboration for the future of work and learning (if not, check it out!). Today, we’re pleased to share that we’re making several of these features available to most users of Teams over the next few days.

We’re gradually rolling the features out. Once you’ve got the build that has the new experience (Teams desktop app only), you’ll have the option to turn it on. Read on to learn how to turn it on, what comes with it, how to use it, and answers to some common questions. Let’s get right to it!

Turn on the new experience
You do this via a checkbox in Teams Settings. Here’s how:

  1. Select your profile pic at the top of the Teams app, then Settings > General. (General should be what’s showing when you open Settings, so you probably won’t have to select it.)
  2. Select Turn on new meeting experience.
  3. Restart Teams by doing the following:

a. Right-click or Cmd-click the Teams icon in the Windows task bar or Mac System Tray.
b. Select Quit.
c. Start Teams again like you normally would.

You might also see a notification that announces the new experience or reminds you to turn it on. Then it’s even easier—in that notification, choose Turn it on now if you’re ready at that point, or Maybe later if you’re in the middle of something.




What happens after you’ve turned it on
After turning on the new experience and restarting Teams, the biggest thing you’ll probably notice is that any calls and meetings will pop out into their own window, separate from the main Teams window. Like this:


If you’re still seeing calls and meetings in the main Teams window after turning the setting on and restarting, go to your profile pic again and select Check for updates. Once that is done, do the same quit and restart procedure per above. That should do the trick.


But wait, there’s more
Here are the other new things you’ll see and can try out:

  • Meeting controls are moved to the top of the meeting screen. They’re docked there so you always have access to them (without jiggling your mouse) and they’re out of the way of the content and video that’s being shared.


  • Large gallery view lets you see up to 49 video streams at once. This view is available when there are 10 or more attendees who are sharing video. To switch to large gallery, go to More options (…) in the meeting controls > Large gallery.


Here’s what it looks like—pretty cool to see all those faces!



  • Together mode lets you feel like you’re in the same shared space with everyone in the meeting. (It might be even more fun than Large gallery.) It’s in the same menu as Large gallery, just below it. Here’s Together mode:


Together mode is available when 5 or more participants are sharing video.

Both Large gallery and Together mode are being rolled out gradually over the next few weeks. If you don’t see them right away, check again later.


  • Meeting notes are now taken directly on the meeting’s Meeting notes tab in the main Teams window. (This is one of the benefits of having the meeting in a separate window.) To access or take notes from within the meeting window, select More options (…) > Show meeting notes and you’ll see the usual side pane come up. In the pane, there is a Take notes button that brings you to the Meeting notes tab.



  • Focus mode is available when content is being shared. If you’d like to pay close attention to content, without the distraction of seeing video feeds, Focus mode is for you. It’s available in the meeting controls under More options (…) > Focus mode. Give it a whirl!


Common questions

  • Has screen sharing changed? How do I share my screen?

No big changes here. In the meeting controls at the top, select Share screen. The screen choices you have will come up from the bottom of the meeting window just like they did before.


To stop sharing your screen, select Close screen share in the meeting controls. It’s the icon next to the Leave button.


  • Why are message extensions grayed out? I like to send polls in meeting chat.

We’re working on it! For now, if you want to send a poll or use other message extensions in the meeting chat, go back to the main Teams window, select the meeting chat (either via the Calendar or the list in Chat), and do it there.


  • What about InVision Freehand whiteboard?

Yup, we’re working on that, too.


  • Will live events also open in their own window?

No, not yet—that functionality is coming soon.


  • Focus mode is nice, but what about Full screen view?

We like Full screen view, too! (It’s available currently in meetings that happen in the main Teams window.) We’re working on bringing that to the new experience as well. When we do, you’ll have both Focus mode and Full screen view to choose from.


  • Is this available for any license type?

The new experience isn’t available for Teams for Government or Teams free just yet. But soon.


  • Which platforms?

The new meeting and calling experience is available for the Teams desktop client on both Windows and Mac. It’s not available for Teams on the web. (If you need to download the desktop client, go here.)


  • What if I don’t turn the new experience on?

We’d love for you to try it out. We’re making it available in this way partly because in the near future, we’ll turn the experience on by default. Eventually, the setting to turn it on and off will go away. At that time, the experience of meetings in separate windows, with the meeting controls at the top, will become the norm. So we want you to have ample time to get familiar with it.


  • What happens to the new meeting experience if I sign out of Teams or switch to a different Teams org?

If you sign out or switch to a different Teams org (also known as a "tenant"), you'll have to turn on the new meeting experience again. Follow the instructions for turning it on in Settings and restarting Teams.


That’s our overview and how-to for this new meeting and calling experience. We hope you’ll try it. Remember to check for updates and restart the Teams client after you turn it on. Enjoy! 

Occasional Contributor

Great to see this now rolling out. What build number is it available from?


Keep up the great work!

Occasional Visitor

Muy interesante, seria bueno que agregaran eliminar llamadas o reuniones y que no se puedan volver activar con el link  y que no se pueda entrar a una reunion antes de la fecha programada esos serian cambios  muy importantes.

Occasional Contributor

That's great news. You should allow users to try out other features in the same way as well. 

Interesting and shall be quite useful.. Hope it actually will be  "over the next few days"

Senior Member

If I have 40 people on a call and only 4 of them have their video turned on will I only see 4 boxes (with the rest at the bottom, as currently shown) or will I see 40 boxes arranged as squares?  
It's annoying to have someone with video off talking, but not see their "square" in the main list.

Frequent Visitor

Very much looking forward to this for our large weekly team training meetings!  We've noticed limits on other platforms that we really just want to get away from. Having everything with Microsoft will be much much easier! I'm excited to be able to see our entire office staff again!

Senior Member

Happy about the move of the controls to the top. Ques: What if I don't see the "turn on new experience" in my general settings? Can someone please point out what can be done. Thx

New Contributor

Will these new features be rolling out now to GCC as well?


Never mind...

  • Is this available for any license type?

The new experience isn’t available for Teams for Government or Teams free just yet. But soon.

Senior Member

Just checked my Teams client and it's there... can't wait to try these out in my next meeting.


Good luck finding it, but this is the minimum required version (per UserVoice):


"I’m excited to announce that the new Large Gallery view, allowing users to see up to 49 participant in a meeting, has started rolling out! Large Gallery will release as an optional (preview) feature that can be turned on at any time during a meeting, and will be available in desktop Teams client on both Windows & Mac in version 19173 or later."


MS makes getting on the true latest version of Teams almost impossible. Many are marooned on ones from a month or two ago (check for updates says there are no updates available). Even a direct download from the site(!) doesn't yield 19173 or later (and there is at least one later one: 19565).

Senior Member

Thanks @getofmeland yes worked for me. I had to do the quit restart a couple of times. Yay! Thanks @Mansoor Malik 

Occasional Visitor

Any word on raising the limit on Teams meeting participants from 250 to more?

Occasional Visitor

@Mansoor Malik 

That blog post link takes me to a page not found. 

@Mansoor Malik wrote:

You may have seen the recent announcement of new meeting features in Teams in Reimagining virtual collaboration for the future of work and learning (if not, check it out!).

Frequent Contributor

@Ben Dodson @Mansoor Malik It takes more mouse clicks to find the Teams version number than to find if the "Turn on new meeting experience" option is available. So with no advice from Microsoft as to the build number, how much time will be wasted by people checking every day?

Occasional Contributor

Enabled the new meeting experience this morning (located in ASIAPAC region).  Noticed that not all the features discussed in this blog post are available.  Are they being turned on 'all at once' or one at a time?

Occasional Contributor

@Ivan Webb About half way down it says "Both Large gallery and Together mode are being rolled out gradually over the next few weeks. If you don’t see them right away, check again later."


Are those the features you're not seeing, or something else?

Occasional Contributor

Just got the new Meeting Experience live in my tenant! (US Region). Pop out is so useful. Controls are much easier to find. Keep up the great work on teams! Version number

New Contributor

More active video panes for large interactive meetings is a great improvement for Teams to finally match Zoom. But Teams still needs the ability to invite meeting guests outside each tenant as easily as Zoom. Until that happens, we have no choice but to continue using Zoom.

Regular Visitor

Glad to see something innovative like the together mode - good add.

keep it up. We do expect teams to be better than zoom with easier controls and more features. We still have a ways to go but this is a good step in the right direction...

Senior Member

This is great news... Looking forward to get the update....


@Russell Williams  the current behaviour with only people with active cameras taking up space is also very desirable to allow video to be a focus. Until there is ability for a host to pin people the screen for everyone to see, there is no other way to ensure certain people are the feature.


Maybe behaviour could be configurable in settings.



Occasional Contributor

Excelente Noticia, acabo de probarlo, pero seria genial si siguen manteniendo la opción "Programar una reunión" en "reunirse ahora" de cada Canal de equipos.

Super Contributor

I prefer controls at the bottom, so my mouse doesn't move above the content. Also agree that it is better to see empty boxes and some indication of who is talking instead of only those who has camera on. This is no inclusive! Invisible people should be recognized :D Also, why do we have to enable it manually?


@MichaelPariona Schedule a channel meeting option is coming very soon. It will actually be a button on the top right corner of the channel with the option of meet now and schedule for later. Looks like this:  





New Contributor

We activated it and wow. Looks better and now I can use my Macbook to heat up the whole room. We have some Macbook Pros and boy they are getting hot and have to make a lot of noise to be cooled, but the best are Macbook Air's. They just can't handle the CPU Load. Even with only 5 Participators the cpu cannot handle it. 


Its a good Design but it even needs much more CPU/Battery to work, so we need to switch it off.

Frequent Contributor

@Thorsten Lausch On my Win10 laptop this week, I was running video conversion tasks, but the Teams app sitting idle consumed more RAM and processor time! 

Occasional Contributor

Thank you for the instructions, @Mansoor Malik.

@Brian mentioned "MS makes getting on the true latest version of Teams almost impossible."

Does anyone know how to get version 19173 or later (as referred to in  I left a comment on the UserVoice suggestion to ask the same but saw mentioned here that "there is at least one later one: 19565" (perhaps referring to

Would be great to know how to get the latest, in this case "Preview" features :thumbs_up:

Frequent Contributor

@rs_oakford If the 64bit 13565 build is equivalent to the 32bit 19565, then I can tell you that it doesn't have the new features.

Senior Member
Super Contributor

Didn't you know that Teams must be run on a dedicated server? :D


I have version and enabled the new experienced. Except additional windows and the meeting controls in the top nothing changed for me. Not possible to enable gallery mode or together mode and focus mode looks disabled default. Does this take time?

Occasional Contributor

I installed version as per @Claudio Stallone 's link (see top of screenshot) and am unable to find the option to "Turn on new meeting experience" - perhaps @Mansoor Malik could clarify if there is any other way to enable the new meeting experience?


Can this be turned on for a whole company?

Occasional Contributor


Regular Visitor

We are experiencing the same as Brian above where our users' clients are not updating to the latest version (15561), as available on, as a result of the Check for updates stating that it is on the latest version.  They have not been updated to a newer version than 13565.

We currently have a case open with Microsoft to understand why the clients aren't getting updated to the latest version.

Occasional Contributor

That sound really great and I'm really looking forward to it!!!

Occasional Contributor

After upgrading to the newer client I can see the new experience in my personal tenant, but not in the work tenants yet. Apparently Microsoft is still rolling out the feature to more tenants. I guess we have to be patient.

Occasional Contributor

On our Tenant we have it working on 17173 on some machines but not others - even upgraded to 19595 still will not show the new experience ????

Occasional Visitor

Please give a little love to the Linux client. :unamused:

Occasional Contributor

@Jetze Mellema, out of interest, would you mind sharing which was set for the user who could access the "new experience" on your "personal tenant"?  I appreciate the Office 365 release may not have an impact on Teams functionality (it's not specifically listed unless Teams is part of "Skype for Business and related services"):


The Microsoft 365 updates described in this article apply to Microsoft 365, SharePoint Online, and Exchange Online. They do not apply to Skype for Business and related services.

I also appreciate the feature may not roll out to all "Targeted release" tenants/users at the same time, but wondered whether the Office 365 release might be a clue.


Anyhow, on our work tenant I've now been added into the "Targeted release for selected users" list (could take 24 hours for changes to take effect).

I just got it on version, which was updated on June 9th. It seems you don't need a client update as such, but that it is somehow enabled in the client we already have and it's a matter of a server side upgrade/update. I'm not targeted release, just a regular user, because I want to see the same as our end users :).

On a different note: Now that Meetings can pop out in a separate Window, might Microsoft be considering "popping" meetings out in a whole separate service called something like "Microsoft 365 Meetings"? I feel like the tight integration of Teams and meetings has always been awkward at best and downright user unfriendly at worst. If Meetings was a separate service, I think they could better flesh out features related to such a service - even have its own app for it, that didn't include everything else from Teams. You could still have Meetings tightly integrated into Teams, like today, more or less, but the meetings themselves would just always pop up in its own app. It would of course also be tightly integrated Outlook and other places. Having its own UI would help it become more user friendly and focused on doing that particular thing well. This would help people, who didn't already have the client, so when they download it, it isn't as bloated and only does one thing: get them into a meeting.

New Contributor

I'm on (64-bit) and do not see the "Turn on new meeting experience" option

Occasional Contributor

Update - this seems to be at turned on at User level - the May-latest releases work fine with User 1 but not User 2 - its not a machine/device or even software version issue seems to be dependant on luck pure luck!

Senior Member

Thank you for sharing.

Established Member

Had the update (19173) already this morning when I checked. Turned on the advanced features. Waiting to test with the Team. Cool changes if they work as advertised.

Regular Visitor

The version doesn't make a difference. One person on our team has the features/option and others do not but are on the same version. 

Established Member

Good to know Drahn, I'll make a note of that.


Also, one of our team noticed that once he turned on the new features, his meetings in his Teams calendar were off by an hour. Outlook still had the correct time for them though. Something to be aware of, anyway. He did a search and it seems to be a known issue. He's working on a VDI.

Occasional Contributor

For our org, as of today, our users are only seeing this if users are in the Targeted Release membership.  


@Mansoor Malik - My question is, if 1 user has the new meeting experience enabled, and is in a meeting with 10+ people that are all sharing video that don't have the new release, will the 1 user have the full new experience including 7x7?  Or does it require all users to have it that are sharing video?

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‎Jan 26 2021 11:52 AM
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