If you are working remotely, or even in a hybrid system, Microsoft Teams is probably part of your office life, as this is one of the best tools for video calls and professional collective remote work.
Among the issues reported, people had issues with notifications not working, searching for messages on Teams, migrating Teams, or Team status bugs – in which case you are confused in understanding how to keep your Teams status Green.
Back in August, a Reddit thread said “Dear MS Teams: Someone liking my comment in my active chat should not cause a notification in my “Activity” panel that can only be cleared by activating that panel”. It’s safe to say Teams had a fair amount of complaints and hateful comments coming their way, not only because of the issues mentioned above but just because we associate the app with work and the stress that comes along with it.
One of the most annoying bugs Teams has from time to time is the fact that it doesn’t accurately show your status. Sometimes it shows you as Away even if you are at your computer, or pretends you are on a call when you’re not.
You’re Gonna Wanna Show Your Boss This Reddit Thread Explaining Why Microsoft Teams Sucks
Let’s go ahead and see how to keep your Teams status Active.
We can’t stress this enough though: this guide is for avoiding MS Teams bugs and not slacking off or hiding your activity from your employer. Yes, you can do that too , but there are many risks – and some of them are outlined later on below.
How the Microsoft Teams green status and being idle works:
Presence is part of a user’s profile in Microsoft Teams (and throughout Microsoft 365 or Office 365). Presence indicates the user’s current availability and status to other users. By default, anyone in your organization using Teams can see (in nearly real time) if other users are available online. Presence is updated in real-time on the web and desktop versions when you refresh the page on mobile.
Your current presence state changes to Away when you lock your computer or when your computer enters idle or sleep mode. On a mobile device, your presence status changes to Away whenever the Teams app is in the background.
What Doesn’t Work to Keep Your Teams Status Active
Here’s the first idea to get out of the way on how you can keep your Teams status Active.
When a user selects a specific presence state, it takes precedence over any app activity update.
For instance, when you set yourself as Do not disturb, your presence will remain as Do not disturb even if you attend a meeting or answer a call. User-configured states have default expiration settings in Teams, in order to prevent users from displaying a status that may not be relevant after a period of time.
However, this doesn’t apply to your Available status, and the moment you’ll sleep away from your laptop the status will turn to Away.
Personalize your ‘Set Status Message’
Here’s something that will work, setting a customized status for an indefinite amount of time. How?
Show your availability during work by typing a personalized message like: ‘I’m here. Feel free to contact me as needed.‘
Tick the Show when people message me checkbox to make it available when your co-workers message you. Further, set the Clear status message after to Customized and set the expiration date to indefinitely by selecting Never.
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Set Your Status to ‘Busy’ or ‘Do not Disturb’
Sound counterproductive? Stay with me. The other tactic to avoid being ‘Away’ and keeping your Teams status available is by setting your online presence to busy.
In this case, to keep your Teams status available you need to go to your profile avatar, set status (Available), and choose the Duration entry. From here set your status to Busy or Do Not Disturb by going to Reset status after, and selecting Customized to set the date and time. Done!
It’s better to look Busy than Away, right?
Prevent Your PC from Going to Sleep
As Teams syncs with your computer if you let your computer sleep you can be sure you’ll appear “away.” Therefore, make sure that your computer is plugged in. A good idea is to also adjust the power settings by going to the Power & Sleep settings in the Control Panel and setting the sleeping time as “Never” on battery power and when plugged in.
Moving Mouse Apps
Finally, there are mouse-moving apps and devices. These apps like Move Mouse or MouseJiggler, basically make your cursor move around to keep your computer active and therefore Teams status ‘Active’. They will control your status from showing as away, even if you are, and will only move your mouse a few pixels at a time, preventing any interruption by it.
Still, and we can’t stress enough: be very careful with anything like this!
Tips like that Microsoft Teams “idle hack” that went around on Reddit for a while (using a mouse jiggler) could land you in hot water. Most companies use so-called bossware and other surveillance tools to check what you install on a company computer.
Remember that woman who was fired for time theft because tracking software had logged her hours and found discrepancies?
There are many mouse jiggler gadgets available online that claim to be undetectable.
If you use a company-issued computer or laptop, our advice is to not use a mouse jiggler app of any kind, as most companies do check what apps you install on their devices.
Using a mouse jiggling gadget is somewhat less risky, as they can simply show up as either USB sticks or USB accessories when you connect them.
However, there are some companies that also ban users from using USB sticks (a common vector for malware attacks). Before using anything like that, it would be wise to read through your contract and those emails the security department often sends out.
And that’s the gist of it, basically. Before using any software or hardware solution to prevent Microsoft Teams from going idle, we strongly suggest you first find out exactly how your company tracks your activity or devices.
Also keep in mind that while yes, you could have a mouse jiggler gadget that’s simply mechanical and doesn’t connect to hardware or software but companies can know exactly what you click on and where. That means that yes, your Microsoft Teams can stay green because something is moving your mouse cursor but, if your compay uses any productivity tracking software, they can see that the mouse moved at random and wasn’t in like PowerBI, emails or other expected work tasks. Is it worth it? You decide, depending on what you do for a living and what’s your work situation like.
If you work for a large corporation though, mouse jiggler apps or gadgets aren’t a good idea overall.
It’s one thing for your manager to think you’re slacking off from time to time, it’s an entirely different matter if your company thinks you’re stealing or exploiting resources.
Just be careful!
That being said, have you ever tried a mouse jiggler app? How did it go?
*Article initially published in November 2022 and updated in February 2023 with new information.
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December 22, 2022 at 12:25 pm
You can use Mouse Jiggle, it keeps MS Teams, Outlook & your screens awake https://www.mousejiggle.org