The most common 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 and created 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 in correctly. 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 (located within the left side of the taskbar) then type in Webcam. After selecting Choose Which Apps Can Access Your Camera, make sure the toggle underneath Allow Desktop Apps to Access Your Camera is switched to the On position. Then scroll past the toggle to make sure that Teams and the browser apps you use to access the web version of Teams are included in the list of apps that have been granted this permission.

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 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: Go to Settings, then select Cookies and Site Permissions.

Step 3: Next, select Manage and Delete Cookies and Site Data.

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

Step 5: Then ensure that Block Third-Party Cookies is off. If you need to keep this setting on instead for some reason, go to step 6.

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: Click on the Gear icon in the top-right corner. Then select Internet Options from the menu that appears.

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. If you needed to keep third-party cookies blocked for some reason, go to steps 8 and 9.

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

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

  • https://*.microsoft.com
  • https://*.microsoftonline.com
  • https://*.teams.skype.com
  • https://*.teams.microsoft.com
  • https://*.sfbassets.com
  • https://*.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 OneNote API Diagnostic 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 — confirm you’re connected to the internet, and firewalls aren’t blocking access to the service.
  • 0xCAA82EE7: Server not resolved — confirm you are connected to the internet, and firewalls aren’t stopping access to the service.
  • 0xCAA20004: Request requires approval — make sure 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 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 they aren’t, adjust these settings as necessary.

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. 

Sadly, restarting the app isn’t enough to fix the problem, but you can typically solve it by resetting the app’s cache. To do this, simply follow the below steps:

Step 1: Completely quit the Teams application by 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 OK.

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

Step 5: Type in TeamsBackup, (or whatever else name you want) then hit Enter on your keyboard.

Open the Teams app and try to use it once more. You’ll likely have to reconfigure your settings from the beginning, but you should finally have this issue resolved.

Issue: None of the above solutions fixed your problem

While Microsoft Teams has its fair share of bugs that you’ll regularly experience, having more consistent problems might be something you need to get your company’s IT administrator to solve.

If you happen to be the administrator for your company, you can read through Microsoft’s support documentation, which is made readily available to anyone in need of assistance. If none of the troubleshooting options from the doc work for you, you’ll have to contact Microsoft’s technical team for hands-on help with your specific issue.

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