New features for Microsoft Teams – May 2020

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Microsoft have released some new features for Microsoft Teams, and this post covers the details.

You can see the latest release notes from Microsoft here, although beware the dates may not be exact as features are rolled out slowly by Microsoft over a few weeks.


Up to 9 Videos now supported!

Previously Teams only supported seeing up to 4 video streams in a video meeting/lecture. Now users can see up to 9 video streams. Please note:

  • Users now only appear on the main portion of your screen if they have their webcam switched on.
  • Users who don’t have their webcam switched on will appear at the bottom of the page (either their initials or user avatar is displayed)
a screenshot of 9 video streams in microsoft teams
9 video streams now supported!

Hands up!

During a video meeting/lecture, users can now click the ‘raise hand’ button to notify everyone that they wish to ask a question.

screenshot of Teams task bar, with raise hands button highlighted

Please note:

  • When a user raises their hand, everyone in the call can see this.
  • You will know if someone has their hand raised in a number of ways:
    • You will see a notification next to their name on screen.
    • You will also see a notification next to the participant’s button that shows you how many people have their hands raised.
    • When you click on the participant’s button, you see a list of your participants. Those with hands raised are clearly identified and will appear at the top of the list.
  • Users can click the same button to lower their hand, or other users in the call can click the 3 dots next to their name in the participant’s panel to lower for them.
  • Currently, it doesn’t look like the raise hand feature is available on iPhone.


screenshot of an indidual users avatar in teams with haid raised
Hand raise icon appears next to users avatar or webcam stream


Screenshot of task bar showing particiapnts button
Users can also see a numerical notification next to the participant button


screenshot of the participants panel with two raised hands
Those with raised hands can also be viewed in participants panel


Tools for Organisers – including attendance reports!

Whoever initiates a Team’s video call/meeting is designated the ‘organiser’. This person now has some additional privileges during a call. These can be viewed by opening the Participants panel and looking at the top right of the screen

Manage Permissions

Many of these features do not apply to us at the University of Brighton. However, one feature here does apply and is very useful. Organisers can now have some control over who is designated a ‘presenter’ and who is an ‘attendee’. Often by default, all users join as presenters. Restricting the ‘presenter’ role can be especially useful in large meetings or lectures.

Suggested workflow

  • A tutor initiates a Teams video lecture in advance of the agreed start time. The tutor clicks Show ParticipantsManage Permissions and sets presenter status to Only Me. All other users that join the call after this will be given ‘attendee’ status.
  • Attendees cannot initiate recordings, share their screen, mute others or remove other users from the call. More details about roles can be seen on Microsofts help pages.
  • Note an organiser or presenter can grant/withdraw the presenter role to others in the call.
  • This feature is unlikely to be supported on mobile devices as these users cannot initiate a call, and therefore cannot be an organiser.
screenshot of the new organisers buttons in teams
Only organisers will see these buttons appear during a Teams call.

meeting orgniser settings in Teams

Attendance Reports

Organisers can download an attendance report for a meeting. Organisers click Show ParticipantsDownload Attendee List. A .csv file is downloaded which can be opened in Microsoft Excel. This file will contain the name of each user who attended the call, what time they joined and left.

screenshot showing the steps to download attendance. Clicking the participants button, then clicking download attendance
To download attendance, click the show participants button, then download reports


Note: This report can only be generated during a Teams video call. Once the call has ended (everyone has left), you cannot generate this report.



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