Chats in Microsoft Teams just got better with offline mode – here’s what you need to know

Rabia Noureen

If thousands of companies moved towards remote collaboration platforms in recent months, finding a solution that allows them to stay in touch with colleagues remotely has become essential than ever. Microsoft recently announced plenty of performance improvements to the Microsoft Teams collaboration platform, with one of them being the new offline support in Teams.

With this feature, Microsoft aims to improve productivity when there is no network connectivity. The desktop app of Microsoft Teams now allows users to perform specific tasks without an active Internet connection. More specifically, the recent update brings the ability to compose new messages, and browse recent or pinned chats and channels.

Starting this month, users can write messages offline that would be delivered when an Internet connection is available. This means that the app will automatically queue up all new messages in offline mode. However, if the message is in an unsent state for more than 24 hours, it will fail to deliver, and the user will be prompted to resend or delete the message. The feature has been designed to make it easier for users to do most of the work offline and then go online to share it with their colleagues.

“Limited network connectivity is a reality for many of our users around the world. In March, we launched the ability to run the desktop client on Windows and macOS in environments with limited bandwidth or without a network connection. This was accomplished through caching of data and code, and we also adopted a local fetch approach over network requests which led to improved launch times of the desktop client. Now we’re working on allowing users to author messages even when offline and have them automatically sent when network connectivity is reestablished,” the company explained. 

Just as a reminder, offline mode for Microsoft Teams was one of the popular requests on the Teams UserVoice website. In fact, the initial request for this feature was posted back in 2016, and the company started working on it in May 2019. As of this writing, the offline mode is only available on the desktop, and it’s not supported on mobile just yet. We hope that the company will bring this feature to mobile users in the coming months. In the meantime, these enhancements are available today in the latest versions of Microsoft Teams desktop client.