Pin Apps to the Left-Hand Rail in Microsoft Teams

As Microsoft Teams rapidly expands within your organization, one common complaint that I hear from information workers and MVPs alike is that there is too much on the page: too many teams, too many channels, too many alerts. Of course, Microsoft has added several features to clean up the clutter and help people get more organized, such as the header search bar, improved search filters, the ability to add and remove favorites (hiding teams and channels from view), the ability to pin channels (I love this feature!), and now – the ability to also pin your favorite apps!

That’s right: you can now pin personal apps to the left-hand rail (also known as the Teams app bar). Simply find the app you’d like to pin, right-click the app icon, and select “pin”. Even after you navigate away, the app icon will remain on the left-nav so you can easily return to it. I shared this tip in the most recent (March 2020) Office 365 Productivity Tips webinar, which you can find on the blog, on the CollabTalk YouTube channel, or jump to this specific tip in the video by clicking here.

Pinning an App

To pin an app to the left-hand rail, click on the ellipses () to find your app.

Pin an App to the Left_Rail in Microsoft Teams

 

 

A dialog box will open showing your most recently added/used apps, which you can select from, or click on More Apps to see the full list of available apps.

Once you’ve selected your app, it will appear in the left-hand rail, and any recent activity of the app will appear on the right.

Pin an app in Microsoft Teams

Removing an App from the Left-Nav

To remove or “unpin” the app, simply right click on the app and select Pin. The app remains on your system, but when you move away from the app (click on another left-rail item) it will disappear from your left-rail. Additionally, you can pin apps to relevant channels or chats for easy access.

Pin an app in Microsoft Teams

 

Admin Controls

If you are a Team admin and do not want an app used within your Team, you can block the app altogether. You can also remove the app from your Team by selecting Uninstall.  Not only that, but your Teams Admin can also create group policies so certain apps appear on everyone’s Teams app bar.

Learn more about Admin app pinning at https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/microsoft-teams-blog/four-more-reasons-to-love-apps-in-microsoft-teams/ba-p/1119114

Learn more about the admin capabilities at https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoftteams/teams-app-setup-policies

This is a quick and simple productivity tip, but glad I can help you to streamline your Teams UI!

Christian Buckley

Christian is a Microsoft Regional Director and Office Apps & Services MVP, and the Founder & CEO of CollabTalk LLC, an independent research and technical marketing services firm based in Lehi, Utah, through which he provides fractional-CMO for partners in the Microsoft ecosystem.