Hello Readers, I hope you are well.

A couple of weeks ago I posted a screenshot of this feature as it was rolling out on Twitter and it got a lot of attention. So I know it is a popular feature for a lot of people.

At the time it was only rolling out so not fully baked. It is now and it’s an excellent feature. So I thought I would write a quick post.

Background

Hard Mute gives meeting organisers more control over attendees and their permissions.

If you’ve ever been in a large Teams meeting and presented you’ll know why this is useful. There always that one person that’s multi-tasking and all you can hear is them having another conversation or typing. Or playing with their dog and you can hear “good buy” and ruff. Or standing in the middle of a busy train station and all you can hear is “the 10:38 train to London is on platform…”. You know who you are ūüėČ.

Or what about a teacher using Teams to teach remote students? I suspect this is where it will be the most popular.

Now you can do something about it. You can either set this when you organise the meeting or do it after the meeting has started.

Here’s how you do it before the meeting starts

Step 1: schedule the meeting

Step 2: go in to Meeting Options and flip the switch

When the meeting starts, participants will all join on mute and they won’t have the ability to un-mute themselves. I’ll show how you can allow them to later on.

Here’s how to set it during a meeting

Step 1: join your meeting

Step 2: Open the participants list, hit the ellipses (more) menu and select “Don’t allow attendees to unmute”. And confirm the popup

Attendees in the meeting will be immediately muted and the control will be greyed out

UPDATE

You can now open meeting options directly inside the Teams meeting as a sidebar rather than the separate web page.

What happens when someone wants to speak?

The attendee just raises their hand. Next to the attendee, hit the ellipses and choose “allow to unmute”

When they are done speaking or you want to stop them ūüėČ just hit the ellipses and mute or select “Don’e allow to unmute”

And that’s it. I think this will be a super popular feature for training and webinar scenarios and in particular in the education space. Would love to hear your thoughts. Drop me a comment if you like.

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