Most regular users of the Microsoft Teams calling faeture have come across a common problem – unwanted background noise. Most online conferencing tools tend to enable the mic by default during a call session. This can promote collaboration by allowing users to speak up whenever they have something to say, but it can also lead to a noisy and distracting call experience. Microsoft Teams is no exception here.
Of course, there is a solution to this problem. Users can manually mute their mic when they’re not speaking and un-mute it when it’s their turn to speak. However, this solution isn’t ideal either. Anyone who has spent considerable time in Microsoft Team calls (and who hasn’t over the last year?) will be familiar with the pitfalls of this solution. You ask someone to speak and hear silence. You realize that person is probably talking, but they’re still on mute. And the opposite is also a frequent occurrence. You’re talking away and hear someone munching on chips in the background because they forgot to mute.
But there is another option; Microsoft Teams Push To Talk, otherwise called the Walkie Talkie approach.
Push To Talk (PTT) functionality has been in the works for Microsoft Teams since 2017, with many users calling for its inclusion. Now in 2021, users finally have a way to use this feature, if they know how to find it.
Here’s how to enable Push To Talk (Walkie Talkie) on Microsoft Teams:
Step 1: Enable the Feature
Currently, the Walkie Talkie feature is only available on Android, but don’t fear if you’re an iOS user. Microsoft has announced that the Walkie Talkie app will be coming to iOS in June of 2021.
The feature is not pre-installed, so here’s what you need to do.
- Wait up to 48 hours for the app to become available.
Step 2: Add Walkie Talkie to Your App List
- In the Microsoft Teams Admin Center, navigate to Teams app, then Setup policies.
- Set Allow user pinning to on.
- Just below, on the Pinned apps panel, use the Search box to look for Walkie Talkie.
- Add Walkie Talkie to the list and hit save.
It’s also important to note that the people you want to communicate with also have to add Walkie Talkie to their channel.
A PTT button for Desktop users is still in the works but should be coming sometime this year. Microsoft has highlighted Walkie Talkie as an excellent feature for workers on-the-go during the pandemic. For example, people who work in construction, retail, warehouses, and so on. This is likely the reason the feature has been pushed to mobile devices first. However, there is a workaround if you want to use PTT in Microsoft Teams on Desktop.
If you’re using Microsoft Teams on Windows 10, you can use an AutoHotKey script to enable PTT functionality.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Install AutoHotkey.
- Open a new file in Notepad.
- Copy and paste the following into the file:
setKeyDelay, 50, 50
while (getKeyState(“MButton”, “P”))
- Hit return
- Save the file with an AutoHotkey extension, and run the script.
Now you’re ready to conquer those remote meetings! Still need help? Contact Hexis Consulting today!