Scheduling a Teams call with external users

Usage of Microsoft Teams has been increasing for a while. But with the recent Covid-19 outbreak usage has soared – particularly for calls and video calls.

Calling a colleague when you need to is pretty straightforward. But what if you want to schedule a call, and add external people (such as customers, suppliers, partners etc.) to it. This isn’t so straightforward, particularly for those who are new to this sort of stuff. We’ve therefore produced a step by step guide to achieving this below.

You will only be able to schedule a meeting if you’ve purchased a Teams license, or been allocated one by your employer

1. Open and log into Microsoft Teams.

2. Click on the Calendar icon on the Teams Menu bar (left of screen).

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3. Use the navigation buttons to locate the date and time you want to schedule a meeting for.

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4. Click on the required Time slot on the required Day – the example below is Tues 28th at 3pm.

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5. Enter the details for the meeting. Give the meeting a meaningful title. To invite external attendees, add their email address to the ‘Add required attendees’ field.

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6. Check all settings and entries, and when happy click Send.

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7. You will now see this new meeting in your calendar. To join this meeting at any time, go back to the Calendar view in Teams, locate the meeting and click it. Finally select Join (top right corner).

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*You may want to share steps 8 to 11 with external users so they know what to do at their end*

8. Anyone you invited to the meeting will receive an invitation by email. That email will contain a ‘Join Microsoft Teams Meeting’ link. You may want to ask such users to check their Junk email folder if they do not receive the email.

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9. Clicking the link in the email will launch a new tab in the user’s web browser (usually IE, Edge or Chrome). The user will be given the options of ‘downloading the Windows App’ or ‘Join on the web instead’. Some external users may want to download the App, but most will want to join on the web – and we will assume that is what people will want to do from here.

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10. After clicking the ‘Join on the web instead’ link, the user will be asked if they give permissions for Teams to use their Microphone and Camera; they should click YES to this.

11. After a few seconds (and it may be a little slower first time) the user will then see a new Teams tab in their browser where they can enter their name.

At the same time as entering their name, the user can choose whether to switch on/off their camera and microphone. Once ready, the user can click the Join Now button.

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*End of steps to share with external users*

12. External users will need to be allowed into the meeting by the meeting organiser. The organiser will be prompted to let external users join the Teams call when they are in the call themselves, and an external person is waiting to join.

13. As the organiser, and as a Teams license holder, you can also blur or change your background when using your camera if you want to. To do this use the middle of the three toggles you see when joining a Teams meeting.

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Or if you want to do this after joining the call, click the 3 dots and select the ‘Show background effects’ option.

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We hope this helps you, particularly during these difficult times. Stay safe!

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