Hiding Teams (Office 365 Groups) from Outlook

What It Is:

In the first half of 2018, Microsoft deployed a feature to automatically hide, by default, all new Teams workspaces from the Outlook Global Address List (GAL) and the Groups section within Outlook. They can be added (one or both) via PowerShell.

My perspective: Arguably, one of the biggest complaints about working with Microsoft Teams is how quickly overwhelming the navigation can become for users who create or are members of many team workspaces. Within a large organization, for example, with project-based teams, ongoing initiatives, and corporate (HR, finance, etc) teams, an end user could easily become a member of dozens of team workspaces. Since its launch, one of the most frequently requested administration capabilities has been the ability to archive teams — but what most organizations are actually looking for is a way to clean up / organize / personalize the navigation. Initially, your only option was to manually “hide” a team. A couple of the more recent improvements were the addition of the AI-driven, dynamic “hiding” of less-visited teams, and the cross-tenant “Your Teams” view. I’ll talk about those in a future post.

The Teams “clutter” also extended over into Outlook, which was frustrating. This auto-hide feature didn’t receive much fanfare, and was a much-needed update that most people weren’t aware of — nor do they know how to toggle back on, if needed.

High-level Description:

From michev.info:

The clutter created by Office 365 Groups adoption across organizations is slowly turning into a problem, and Microsoft is taking the first steps to address the issue. In case you have missed it, the following message appeared on the Office 365 Roadmap recently (Item ID 26955)… [Read More]

From Petri.com:

Microsoft issued Office 365 Message Center update MC133135 on March 30 to inform tenants that Office 365 will hide groups created by Teams from Outlook by default. This is to end the potential confusion that can occur when a group used by Teams also appears in Outlook and OWA. Users then have the choice of collaborating through Outlook-based conversations or Teams. It’s possible that a team member might then make a mistake and post important information in the wrong place.

Hiding the Office 365 Groups used by Teams to manage membership and for access to resources like the group calendar and SharePoint team site cleans up the situation and focuses collaboration on Teams, which is what you’d expect when Teams creates a new group. [Read More]

From tremblayse.wordpress.com:

In order to show the team in Outlook you need to use the new property in the Set-UnifiedGroup cmdlet called HideFromExchangeClients. This command will show your Team in the Outlook Global address list and in the Group section in Outlook.

Set-UnifiedGroup -Identity “Your Team’s name” -HiddenFromExchangeClientsEnabled:$False

Note: there might be a delay before the Team is shown in Outlook.

If you only want to show the Team in the Outlook Global Address list and not in the Group section, you need to execute the following command instead.

Set-UnifiedGroup -Identity ” Your Team’s name ” -HiddenFromAddressListsEnabled:$False [Read More]

From Jeff Schertz’s Blog (including details on the related PowerShell commands):

Microsoft has recently implemented a change in how Office 365 Groups are handled by default in Exchange Online. Since the release of Microsoft Teams, which uses Office 365 Groups as the core membership list for individual Teams, when a user created a new team then the associated Office 365 Group was automatically Exchange-enabled with distribution group capabilities. This meant that every single Team created in an organization would appear in the Exchange Online Address Book, thus offering the potential to rapidly clutter up the Global Address List. This default behavior was hotly contested by the overall community and in response Microsoft has reacted by essentially reversing this, but not retroactively.

Now when a new Office 365 Group or Team is created it will no longer appear in the Exchange Address Book, nor will it be displayed in the Outlook Groups section in the navigation pane. This only applies to new groups though as no changes have been applied to any of the existing groups in Office 365 tenants today. [Read More]

From synigopulse.com (focusing on re-enabling in Exchange):

If you’re using Microsoft Teams to create teams (and as a result also Office 365 Groups) and you want to have the Outlook Online features enabled, there are mainly two options… [Read More]

Recent News/Media:

“What’s new in Microsoft Teams – July Roundup”

Based on customer feedback, new Office 365 Groups generated as a result of creating a team in Microsoft Teams will no longer show in Outlook by default. Since these groups are predominantly used in Teams, this change will reduce clutter by removing the entries from the Global Address Book. These groups will also be hidden from the Outlook left hand navigation and will not resolve in the ‘To:’ line when authoring email. Groups created through Outlook, and then later enabled for Teams, will continue to show in both Outlook and Teams. If you want to create a team in Teams and want to show the associated group in Outlook, then you can run the Set-UnifiedGroup Exchange Online PowerShell cmdlet to update the -HiddenFromExchangeClientsEnabled parameter (this will enable the group for the Outlook experience). Learn more about this process here. [Read More]

Relevant Videos:

Microsoft Tech Community Discussions:

UserVoice: “Settings options to hide or show Team in Outlook

Teams are not shown in the Global address list and under groups in Outlook by default. In order to change this, we need to run a PowerShell command. It would be great to have an option in the Teams settings to show or hide the team from Outlook, so the Team Owner can change the settings instead of requiring PowerShell [Read More & vote up!]

“Hiding Office 365 Groups Created by Teams from Exchange Clients”

Teams now hides the Office 365 Groups that it creates from Exchange clients (Outlook, OWA, and the mobile apps). That’s as it should be for groups created for new teams. If you want to hide groups created for older teams, you can run the Set-UnifiedGroup cmdlet, but that soon becomes boring when you might have hundreds of groups to process. PowerShell to the rescue once again. [Read More]

 

Christian Buckley

Christian is a Microsoft Regional Director and Office Apps & Services MVP, the Founder & CEO of CollabTalk LLC, an independent research and technical marketing services firm based in Salt Lake City, Utah, and fractional-CMO for revealit.io, tyGraph, and Extranet User Manager.