It’s quick and easy – and guest users don’t even need a Microsoft account and login. Find out exactly how Microsoft Teams works in the web browser, how to use it, and the differences from the desktop app here in this guide.
You do not need to install Microsoft Teams to participate in meetings (video conferences). You can simply use the free Teams web app for the browser.
Which free “Microsoft Teams” do you want?
The full version of Microsoft Teams, with all available features, is only available to paying customers as part of a Microsoft 365 subscription (formerly Office 365) and “Business” or “Enterprise” license plans.
This full version is a desktop app that must be downloaded and installed from the Microsoft website. In addition, there is also a functionally somewhat slimmed-down, free Microsoft Teams version (“Microsoft Teams Free“).
This free Microsoft Teams offers the most important program functions and is, in turn, available in the following versions for the different operating systems and device classes.
- Free Microsoft Teams desktop app: This is the same desktop app as the full version. However, your login data tells Microsoft whether you are authorized to use all the full version features. (i.e., log in with a Microsoft 365 account) or are just provided with the free limited version.
- Microsoft Teams Free web app for the browser: The Teams web app runs exclusively in the browser, no local installation on the device is required. However, not every browser can run Teams equally well. Currently, only the two browsers, Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome, offer the full range of features. Safari for Macs has limitations in telephony, but not in meetings, video, and content sharing. On the other hand, Firefox and Internet Explorer 11 are barely supported by the Teams web app.
- Free Microsoft Teams mobile apps: Teams also comes in a mobile version for iOS and Android smartphones and tablets. The mobile apps are easiest to download from the popular app stores (Google Play and iTunes) or the official Microsoft download page (see next step below).
Differences between Web Teams & Desktop version
- You cannot record the video conferences.
- The meeting duration limit is 60 minutes instead of 24 hours.
- Only up to 100 participants instead of up to 300 possible.
- Reduced storage space of 10 GB cloud storage space for the team and 2 GB for personal files.
- The special “webinar feature” is not available.
- You can not integrate additional Microsoft 365 apps such as Planner, Stream, and Yammer which you need a valid Microsoft 365 license. You can integrate only the free web office apps Excel, Word and PowerPoint, as well as other free services.
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Join a Teams meeting as a guest via the web app
- Click on the invitation link for the Teams meeting, which you most likely received via email.
- Now the Teams home page opens in your web browser, and you are asked how you want to join the video conference. There are three choices for this: (1.) Download the desktop app (if you don’t have it installed yet), (2.) Join via the web browser (the software will detect which browser you have installed on your system and offer it by name), or (3.) Use the desktop app you already have installed. Select option two → Use teams in a browser.
If you click on the invitation link for a Microsoft Teams meeting (video conference), you will be asked whether you want to download the desktop app for this, participate via the Web Teams app in the browser or have the desktop app already installed.
- Next, it will ask you whether you want to enable or disable the camera and microphone (allow vs block).
Next, you can allow or block activation of your camera and microphone.
- Now only optionally enter a name and confirm with a click on Join now to confirm.
- And you are already in the Teams video conference, without login, without your own Microsoft account and without having to install the Teams application separately!
Now just enter your name and you can use the Web Teams app to take part in a video meeting. Via your browser without having to download the app or log in using your own Microsoft account.
Instructions for Microsoft Teams in the web browser!
The view and operation of the Microsoft Teams web browser app are almost identical to the desktop app. The full version only features a few more options and functions in the menu bar.
Otherwise, the web app allows you to schedule and participate in video conferences in exactly the same way, share your screen with others, turn the camera and microphone on and off, change your own background (e.g., blur or show your own background photo) or even see all participants at once in the gallery view.
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