Microsoft Teams problems and how to fix them

Microsoft Teams was introduced in 2017 as a unified communication and collaboration platform, helping businesses and organizations get things done. Microsoft leveraged the company’s existing Office software experience, creating a unified experience between Teams, Office 365, and Skype for Business. However, as with all software, things don’t always go according to plan. If you’re having problems with Microsoft Teams, here’s how to fix some of the most common issues.

Glitch: Teams only shows older messages and threads

If you aren’t receiving the latest messages from your colleagues, or your feed appears to be frozen in time, we would recommend restarting the application.

To restart Teams on Windows 10, look for the Teams icon (a small purple icon of two people) in the taskbar in the lower-right of your screen — you may need to click a little arrow to expand the taskbar. Once the icon is located, right-click it and select Quit. On MacOS, right-click the Teams icon in your Dock, then choose Quit. Now, reopen the application to see if your problem has been solved.

Problem: Microphone or webcam refuses to work correctly

If you’re having problems with your webcam or microphone, begin by ensuring that your hardware is plugged incorrectly. Next, ensure that during a meeting, your microphone and webcam are enabled — you will see toggle switches for these options when you join a new call.

If other applications can see your webcam and microphone, but Teams cannot, you may need to allow permissions for Teams. To alter permissions on Windows 10, click the Windows Search Bar then type in Webcam. Under the Choose Which Apps Can Access Your Webcam, make sure Teams or the web browser you are using to access Teams is enabled.

To alter Teams’ permissions on MacOS, click the Apple menu icon in the upper-left corner of the screen, then choose System Preferences. From here, select Security and Privacy, then Camera — you may need to click the lock icon to make changes here. Ensure that Teams or the web browser you are using to access Teams is enabled.

Issue: You are unable to create a new team in Microsoft Teams

If you are attempting to create a new team in Microsoft Teams, but cannot, check with your system administrator. Companies and organizations have the option to disallow individuals from creating new groups or teams. Reach out to your IT department for further assistance with the matter.

Glitch: Removed user shows as “Unknown user” in Teams

Microsoft is currently aware of an issue in which a removed user will show as Unknown user in the Teams application. The conversation tab may also say Unknown user has been added to the team. There is no fix at this time, but Microsoft is working on the problem.

Issue: Unable to establish a connection to Microsoft Teams

If you’re having problems accessing Teams, make sure that your Mac, PC, or mobile device can access other networks or internet content. If your computer is connected to the internet but Teams is still inaccessible, the service might be down. Check with the Microsoft’s Support page to see if they are having problems with the Teams service.

Problem: Teams is stuck in a login loop in Microsoft Edge

If you are using Microsoft Edge, or the older Internet Explorer, you may find that your login screen for Teams is stuck in a loop. This is likely because your organization uses the Trusted Sites option and hasn’t enabled Microsoft Teams. You can follow these steps to allow Teams; if you are blocked from the process, you may need to contact your system administrator or IT help desk for further assistance.

Instructions for Microsoft Edge

Step 1: Open Microsoft Edge.

Step 2: Open the Settings window, then select Site Permissions.

Step 3: Next, select Cookies and Site Data.

Step 4: Choose to Allow Sites to Save and Read Cookie Data.

Step 5: Then ensure that Block Third-Party Cookies is off.

Step 6: Under the Allow section, add the following sites:

  • [*.]microsoft.com
  • [*.]microsoftonline.com
  • [*.]teams.skype.com
  • [*.]teams.microsoft.com
  • [*.]sfbassets.com
  • [*.]skypeforbusiness.com

Instructions for Internet Explorer

Step 1: Open Internet Explorer.

Step 2: Open the Internet Options window.

Step 3: Select Privacy, then Advanced.

Step 4: Under First-Party Cookies, choose Accept.

Step 5: Under Third-Party Cookies, choose Accept.

Step 6: Ensure Always Allow Session Cookies is checked.

Step 7: Click OK.

Step 8: In Internet Options, choose Security, then Trusted Sites.

Step 9: Select Sites, then add the following sites:

  • [*.]microsoft.com
  • [*.]microsoftonline.com
  • [*.]teams.skype.com
  • [*.]teams.microsoft.com
  • [*.]sfbassets.com
  • [*.]skypeforbusiness.com

Issue: Can’t access a Microsoft Teams OneNote notebook

If your document libraries contain more than 5,000 OneNote items, Teams may deliver this message: “One or more of the document libraries on the user or group’s OneDrive contains more than 5,000 OneNote items.” This is a known limitation of the service, and Microsoft is aware of the issue.

For the time being, you will need to reduce the number of items in OneNote below 5,000. Microsoft provides this tool for counting the number of items in a specific document library, which may assist you at this time.

Problem: Teams won’t allow you to log in to the service

If you are having issues logging in to the Teams service, begin by ensuring that you are entering the correct login information. You may receive one of the error codes listed below if you are entering the accurate information but are still being denied access. Contact your IT department with the given error code, as the issue will need to be removed by your system administrator.

Common login error codes:

  • 0xCAA20003: Authorization problem — make sure the date and time are set up correctly.
  • 0xCAA82EE2: Request timed out — ensure you are connected to the internet, and firewalls aren’t preventing access to the service.
  • 0xCAA82EE7: Server not resolved — ensure you are connected to the internet, and firewalls aren’t preventing access to the service.
  • 0xCAA20004: Request requires approval — confirm that organization is complying with Azure Active Directory configuration policies.
  • 0xCAA90018: Incorrect credentials — you are using the wrong credentials to sign in to Microsoft 365 services.

Issue: Notifications are not being delivered to your desktop

If you’re not receiving notifications from Microsoft Teams anymore, it may not be a glitch—the permissions just might’ve been changed. Begin by checking that the Teams app has the correct settings enabled. Open the Microsoft Teams app, click on your profile photo in the top right, and choose Settings. Next, select the Notifications option. Make sure that your notifications are still on, and the permissions are what they should be. If notifications aren’t on, you may need to hit Allow or Enable to turn them on.

Skype

Bug: Unable to send a message in Skype for Business

If you are sending a message to an individual Skype for Business account, but the operation fails, there are two likely culprits. First, ensure that the recipient’s status is set to Available, or another active state. Otherwise, if both users are available, ensure that both users are using Microsoft Teams to send messages. The good news is that Microsoft is aware of the problem, but the bad news is that they’re still working on a fix for it.

Error Message: “We weren’t able to connect. Sign in and we’ll try again.”

One of the most frustrating problems that you might run into with Microsoft Teams is the “We weren’t able to connect. Sign in and we’ll try again” issue. This notification appears when you leave the Teams app idle for too long. If you don’t notice when this banner notification pops up, you could miss out on any announcements and meeting prompts until you address it. 

Unfortunately, restarting the app won’t solve the problem, but you can usually fix it by resetting the app’s cache. Just follow these steps:

Step 1: Completely quit the Teams application py right-clicking the Teams icon in the system tray (next to the clock on your taskbar) and selecting Quit

Step 2: Right-click the Start Menu icon and click Run

Step 3: In the Run window that appears, type %Appdata%Microsoft. Click Enter

Step 4: In the new window, right-click the Teams folder and select Rename.

Step 5: Type in TeamsBackup, then hit Enter on your keyboard.

Now, try to open the Microsoft Teams app and use it again. You’ll have to configure your settings from scratch again, but you should finally have resolved the problem.

Issue: None of the above solutions fixed your problem

If Microsoft Teams is still giving you problems, it may be time to reach out to your organization or business’s system administrator. If you’re the administrator in charge of Teams and need additional help, you should instead refer to Microsoft’s support documentation. If all else fails, you can always reach out to Microsoft’s technical team for extra assistance. 

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