How to keep your Microsoft Teams status active

Microsoft Teams has a bad habit of changing your status from Available to Away after a while. And if your computer goes to sleep, or even if you just put Teams in the background while you work (or watch) something else, it will automatically change its state. Here’s how to keep Microsoft Teams active so it’s clear how hard you’re really working.

The bad news is that there is no setting in the Microsoft Teams app to keep its status as Available when your computer goes to sleep. The good news is that there are ways around this, whether you’re using Windows or a Mac. But first you need to learn about user presence.

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user presence

The first step in keeping Microsoft Teams active is to understand the user’s appropriately named presence options. These are preset statuses that tell other team members what you are doing. It also lets Microsoft’s artificial intelligence engine, Cortana, know what you’re doing so it can help you with other tasks.

Cortana can also automatically assign a user’s presence status based on what they’re doing. For example, if you have a meeting scheduled in your Outlook calendar, Cortana will automatically set your status to In Meeting. Little tricks like this are extremely useful for some people.

Here are all the user presence states:

  • Available
  • out of the office
  • employee
  • At the meeting
  • by invitation
  • Approach
  • Far
  • Disconnected
  • Do not bother
  • I’ll be right back
  • Disconnected
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Not all of these statuses will be available to everyone. Your organization may decide to restrict some states. However, most of them are standard. Cortana AI will try to figure out what you are doing and configure your user presence accordingly.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t work when you need to be available no matter what.

Set your user presence to Available

The first thing to do is set User Presence to Available. That is how.

Step 1: Click on your Profile picture in the upper right corner of the Teams screen.

MS Teams with a red arrow pointing to the profile photo
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Step 2: Click on your current state.

MS computers with a red arrow showing where to click on the current state.
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Step 3: Choose Available from the drop down menu.

MS computers with a red arrow pointing to the Available status
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How to reduce the sleep timer in Windows 10.

Change power settings so they are always available

Microsoft won’t allow you to directly adjust your Teams status settings, so you’ll need to use some workarounds. One of the easiest ways is to change your computer’s power settings so that it never hibernates. The only drawback to this method is if you forget to change the settings after you’re done using Teams for the day.

Step 1 – In Windows, open settings pressing menu windows + Yo keys or by searching for “settings” in the Windows search bar. then choose System.

If you’re on a Mac, open System settings > Battery.

Step 2 – On Windows, select Power supply and battery > screen and sleep. You can configure when your system goes to sleep when plugged in and when it’s running on battery. Turn off the sleep setting to ensure that Teams doesn’t automatically set you to Away, or at least limit participation to only after an extended period of time.

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On a Mac, select Power adapter and adjust the slider below After that, turn off the screen.. If you have a MacBook, choose Battery and do the same.

Caffeine app website with light yellow background
image: The team of twenty-one

Install Caffeine in Windows to keep your computer’s state active

Windows users can install a fantastic little app called Caffeine to keep their computer awake and their computers state active. Caffeine works by simulating a keystroke every 60 seconds to make your system think you need to stay awake because you’re still attached to the keyboard.

The best thing about caffeine is how unobtrusive it is. It’s in the bottom right corner of the screen, minding its own business and you can turn it on or off depending on your needs.

Step 1: Go to the official website and download the Caffeine app.

Step 2 – Extract the download from your Downloads folder.

Step 3: Double click on the extracted caffeine launcher and go through the installation process with the on-screen wizard.

Step 4: Once installed and running, Caffeine will appear in the bottom right corner of the toolbar. Hover over the icon and a popup will appear where you can choose how long it will be active.

The Amphetamine Mac application displays the menu bar items and the settings window.

Install Amphetamine for Mac to keep teams active

If you are using a Mac computer, you can install a handy toolbar application called Amphetamine. This little app will prevent your system from going to sleep for a certain period of time, thus keeping your Microsoft Teams status active.

Step 1 – Open the Mac App Store.

Step 2: Search for “amphetamine.”

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Step 3: Click Get on the request for amphetamine.

Step 4: Open Launchpad and click on Amphetamine app after installing it. It will automatically appear on the top toolbar.

Step 5 – Click on the application toolbar icon to display the dropdown menu. Choose how long you want your Mac to stay awake.

Microsoft may not offer direct ways to keep Teams active, but there are a few workarounds you can use. Whether it’s adjusting your computer’s settings so it doesn’t go to sleep or installing a third-party app like Caffeine or Amphetamine, there are easy ways to keep you awake in Teams.

If you’re having trouble with Teams, we also have a guide to the most common Teams problems, which might have a solution for you.

Editor’s Note: The article was revised on April 6, 2023, and all steps were confirmed to be correct and still working.

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