Do you know who is joining your Teams meeting?

Do you know who is joining your Teams meeting? For some meetings it is critical that you know exactly who is joining your Teams meeting.

Luckily Microsoft Teams has a number of controls that let the meeting organiser stop the meeting invitation being forwarded and control who needs to wait the meeting lobby until admitted.

Read on to see how easy it is to control access to your Teams meetings.

So lets make sure you can answer ‘Yes’ if asked ‘do you really know who is joining your Teams meeting?’

It’s all to easy for people to forward Teams meeting invitations to other people. Resulting in additional people joining your meeting. For some meeting additional attendees is acceptable but for other meetings such as those discussing highly confidential information you want to be sure that only the invited meeting attendees join the meeting.

So what can you do?

Microsoft Teams provides a number of options to help you control who can attend your Teams meeting.

Know who is joining your Teams meeting by stopping your Teams meeting invites being forward

Did you know you can stop your Teams meeting invitation being forwarded to other people. As a result you can restrict meeting attendance to a confirmed list of users you directly invite.

This can be easily set up when creating your Teams meeting from Outlook. Note this option is not available if you create you meeting from the Teams calandar.

  1. Create a new Teams meeting
  2. Select the Response Options icon in the menu
  3. Untick the Allow forwarding
  4. Finally complete the meeting invitation and attendees as normal and send

Your meeting invitations will now display a message stating that the invitation cannot be forwarded. Importantly the meeting attendee is unable to forward the meeting invitation to anyone else.

Note that this will not stop someone copying the meeting details to another person. However my next recommendation can help manage this.

Know who is joining your Teams meeting by controlling who has to wait in the lobby

Teams meetings have a concept of a lobby. This is where non authorised people will wait until they are proactively admitted into the meeting.

The Who can bypass the lobby? default setting is normally People in my organisation and guests however IT administrators can change the default to one of four options detailed in the table below.

Importantly as the Teams meeting organiser you can change the Who can bypass the lobby? on a per meeting basis.

Who can bypass the lobby? What happens
Only youAs the meeting organiser, only you can get into your meeting directly. Everyone else will wait in the lobby
People in my organisation and guestsOnly people in your org and guests1 can get into your meetings directly
People in my organisation and trusted organizations, and guestsOnly people in your Teams org, external participants from trusted organisations2, and guests can get into your meetings directly
EveryoneAnyone who has access to the meeting link gets into the meeting directly, including people who call in

Note

  1. Guests are people who have are guests members in Teams and as a result have a B2B ‘guest’ account created.
  2. Trusted organisations are people joining from federated domains.

How to change the Who can bypass the lobby? meeting option 

There are three different ways to get to Meeting options for a scheduled meeting

The first option is when you are creating your Teams meeting invitation. In this scenario select Meeting options

The meeting option page will open in your browser and you and update the Who can bypass the lobby? option. For example if you select Only me then you will need to admit everyone into the meeting.

If you have already sent your meeting invitation then you can update the meeting invite from your Outlook Calendar using the same process as above.

In addition you can update the meeting options from the Teams Calendar Meetings button.

In this scenario select the meeting you want to update and then Meeting options. Again the meeting option page will open in your browser and you and update the Who can bypass the lobby? 

Finally you can update the Who can bypass the lobby? meeting options during your Teams meeting.

In this scenario select More actions More options button in the meeting controls and then choose Meeting options.

And then update Who can bypass the lobby? This will take effect immediately.

Hot off the press: New Who can bypass the lobby? setting coming soon

During Microsoft Ignite 2021, Microsoft announced a new Who can bypass lobby? setting called People I Invite which is due in April 2021.

The People I Invite option will mean that only people I directly invite as the meeting organiser will be able to join the meeting directly and everyone else will have to wait in the lobby.

This new meeting option will make life simpler for the meeting organiser. Currently if the meeting organiser wants to make sure they know who is joining their Team meeting they have to select Only Me option and make everyone wait in the lobby.

Once the new option is available the meeting organiser will be able to select People I Invite and be confident that only the people they directly invite can directly join the meeting. Everyone else, including people the invite is forwarded too, will wait in the lobby.

Details are show in the Microsoft 365 Roadmap and the message centre announces is show the feature is rolling out from the end of March to mid-April 2021.

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