(Pocket-lint) – Microsoft Groups is basically a central level for teams, lessons or mates to video name, chat, share and collaborate. You are able to do all this inside numerous channels which might be devoted to particular initiatives, groups or lessons.
Microsoft Groups has grown in use because of extra individuals working remotely, initially targeted on companies or schooling settings utilizing Microsoft 365, however now additionally prolonged to non-public customers. The massive increase has been in video calling, however that is not all that Groups gives.
Here is what it is advisable to learn about Microsoft Groups
What’s Microsoft Groups?
Microsoft Groups is a workspace in Microsoft 365 – previously often known as Workplace 365. It is built-in with all of the Microsoft purposes, together with conventional Microsoft Workplace apps like Outlook. A whole lot of 1000’s of companies, organisations, faculties, schools and universities are already utilizing it.
Groups is meant for individuals who use Workplace 365 frequently – if your organization or organisation is a Google G Suite (Google Apps) person, then it is actually not going to be as interesting and also you’re in all probability higher off plumping for Google Meet as an alternative.
Groups is about threaded, persistent chats which you’ll then search later – so you’ll be able to preserve observe of every little thing with out having to make use of e mail, which everybody agrees will not be a great device for collaboration.
Microsoft Groups is designed to get individuals to work extra successfully collectively whereas making use of the combination of the opposite Microsoft 365 apps. This implies you are able to do issues like simply arrange a gathering with calendars, create and share content material, name workforce members simply and extra.
Most individuals could have skilled Groups by way of video calling, nevertheless, which has develop into an enormous a part of fashionable working and private life. Initially, Microsoft Groups did not help private video calling – with Skype designed for that job – however in Might 2021, Microsoft opened up Teams to personal users too, suggesting that these threaded chats initially designed for enterprise have been simply nearly as good for organising family and friends.
How does Microsoft Groups work?
Though workforce conversations are, by default, seen to your entire workforce, it is simple to have non-public discussions by way of textual content. It helps enjoyable components like emojis, stickers, GIFs, and customized memes. To date, so Slack.
However what makes Microsoft Groups totally different from Slack is that Phrase, Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint, OneNote, Planner, Energy BI, and Delve are all built-in. The menu bar offers entry to exercise alerts, your chats, groups, conferences, information, and settings.
Microsoft Groups additionally has the bonus of being safe as all information in Microsoft Groups is encrypted.
With the rise in video conferencing, many individuals will solely use Groups for video calling – with the power to host as much as 10,000 individuals on a name. Groups permits you to simply invite others right into a Groups video convention, so you’ll be able to have attendees from outdoors your organisation be a part of simply by clicking a hyperlink.
Which platforms does Microsoft Groups help?
Microsoft Groups is appropriate with Home windows, macOS, Android, iOS and it is also out there on the net – identical to different Microsoft 365 apps.
The best way to obtain Microsoft Groups
You may obtain Microsoft Groups directly for your desktop with ease here. From that web page, you may also get the Groups cellular app by coming into your cellphone quantity or e mail handle to get a obtain hyperlink for Apple and Android telephones despatched to you for simple entry.
How a lot does Microsoft Groups price?
Microsoft Groups is included with all Microsoft 365 plans, whereas there may be additionally a freemium version of Teams that features help for as much as 300 individuals. For those who’re on the free tier, you may get limitless chat messages and search. You additionally get 10,000 searchable messages, 10 app integrations, 5GB of file storage, and 1:1 video chats.
Naturally, there’s additionally integration with different Workplace apps and video calling. For those who evaluate the free model of Microsoft Groups to Slack’s free equal, Groups really seems to be extra attractive – so long as you may have 300 individuals or much less in your organisation.
The best way to use Microsoft Groups
As soon as Microsoft Groups is downloaded, it is advisable to create a workforce. This requires a reputation, description and, after all, some workforce members. Consider groups as teams inside your organisation. For instance, gross sales, accounting, HR, buyer providers, growth, and so forth, all could have separate groups.
Groups might be set to non-public and invite-only or set to public and open to anybody within the firm. You too can create groups or customers with entry to a couple of workforce. Administration, for instance, may wish to navigate between totally different groups for necessary discussions.
Inside every workforce, you’ll be able to then create Channels. These are areas of dialogue for necessary conversations, particular initiatives or basic chat.
What are Groups Channels?
Channels can be utilized to carry conversations on particular subjects related to the workforce. That is normally used for particular initiatives or duties, however can have no matter scope you want on your firm.
From channels, you’ll be able to share information that the workforce are engaged on and collaborate on them straight and simply from there.
Channels can simply be places to discuss projects or chat with other team members or they can be productive areas to help your work. The functionality of channels can also be improved with bots and apps.
Group homeowners (admins) may also select the settings and permissions for groups and the best way channels work.
Inside channels, you are able to do issues like utilizing @username to inform an individual throughout the workforce or ship teamwide notifications. Channels may also permit the usage of GIFs, stickers, memes and extra.
Channels could embrace integration with all types of issues together with YouTube, Twitter, Mailchimp, Google Analytics, HR Instruments, climate providers and extra.
The best way to delete a Groups message
We’re all human, so it is simple to make a mistake when sending a message on Groups. The excellent news is it is also simple to edit or delete any despatched messages too.
Discover the message you wish to edit, and click on the menu icons from there you may see an choice to edit and alter the message or simply delete it.
One of many advantages of Groups is the power to simply share information inside channels and people information can then be accessed from there shortly too. Shared information can’t solely be accessed from there, they will also be edited, shared and extra.
The best way to begin chats and video calls
In addition to channel conversations, it is also potential to speak to specific individuals within the organisation outdoors of the channel setup. Consider this like a direct messaging system.
From “Chat” within the sidebar, you’ll be able to select to speak to people and even create a bunch of individuals to speak with and all of this may be finished outdoors workforce channels.
Utilizing this chat system, you may also name people or teams and discuss in particular person with ease too.
To get chatting with colleagues, click on the chat record, then “new chat” from there you’ll be able to sort usernames to begin a brand new chat, then click on the video name or cellphone icon to begin a direct name.
For those who’ve created a bunch chat it is value noting you could have a video name with as much as 20 individuals this fashion however any extra and these choices will probably be disabled.
The best way to begin a channel video name
In addition to non-public chats, it is potential to begin a channel video name and pull everybody into that decision to debate the necessary situation of the day.
To name everybody within the channel you may discover a video name button on the backside close to the message field.
Click on that button to begin a video name with the workforce.
It is value noting you could begin a name with people on the workforce by way of every message too. For those who click on to answer to a message you then get the choice to begin a video name with simply that particular person as nicely.
Once you click on the digital camera icon, you may additionally get the choice to both begin the assembly then or to schedule a name for an additional time. Scheduled conferences can then be put into individuals’s Outlook calendars so everybody is aware of when the decision is going on.
It is also potential to join a meeting that is already occurring in a lot of other ways. Normally, you may see a gathering occurring by way of the Calendar or throughout the channel and can see an icon you’ll be able to click on to affix.
The best way to schedule a gathering
On the left facet of Microsoft Groups you may discover a “conferences” button. Click on that and you may see all of the upcoming conferences for the day and in addition the choice to schedule a gathering on the backside.
To schedule a gathering in Groups, click on that then fill out the title, location, time and channel particulars for the assembly to set it up for the long run. You too can test person’s availability primarily based on their calendar so you’ll be able to make sure that everyone seems to be free to have the decision whenever you wish to.
The best way to blur your Groups background
For those who’re working from residence or one other location that is lower than skilled, you’ll be able to select to blur your background to maintain it distraction-free.
Blurring your background is pretty straight ahead. Earlier than the decision begins you may see a purple slider the underside subsequent to the video choice. Click on that slider to blur and conceal your disgrace.
If the decision has already began, hover the mouse close to the underside of the decision window and you may see a menu icon seem. Click on there and select the “blur my background” choice.
The best way to add a customized background
Microsoft has made some modifications to Groups that permit customers to pick from a lot of backgrounds to cover the litter of your real-world surroundings. These help you swap simply blurring for the background for the standard “recent and shiny” surroundings that presents a way more skilled picture.
Once you’re connecting to a name you may see an choice with a slider subsequent to the digital camera icon that permits you to merely flip these digital backgrounds on, then select from a number of backgrounds out there.
Microsoft additionally permit Collectively Mode which makes use of a digital background for all customers in a collaborative house, akin to a digital espresso store.
The best way to report a Groups name
Whilst you’re on a video name on Groups it is also potential to report the decision for future reference or to share it with different members of the workforce after the occasion.
To report a Groups name, click on the menu icon on the backside of the decision and click on “begin recording”. It is value noting that everybody within the workforce will probably be notified that the workforce is being recorded, so you can not try this on the sly.
Once you’re completed recording, comply with the identical steps to cease recording by selecting that choice within the menu.
After the decision is completed it would take some time for the decision to be processed and it will likely be saved to Microsoft Stream. From there you’ll be able to both replay the call recording or share it as needed.
You may get an e mail to let you already know when it is able to view. It is value noting that friends, nameless customers and folks from different organisations can’t report calls, however the organiser and different workforce members can.
Groups display screen sharing
Groups additionally offers customers the power to simply share their display screen whereas on a name. On the backside of the display screen subsequent to the mic mute button you may see a button that permits for display screen sharing. Click on that button then select the display screen you wish to show to different customers on the decision.
You even have the choice to permit different customers on the decision to regulate your display screen whereas on the decision as nicely. Select their title from the highest of the display screen and click on “give management” to take action.
The best way to develop into a potato (and different filters)
You might need seen the story of the boss who turned herself right into a potato throughout a Group name:
my boss turned herself right into a potato on our Microsoft groups assembly and might’t determine the right way to flip the setting off, so she was simply caught like this your entire assembly pic.twitter.com/uHLgJUOsXk
— Rachele with an e however pronounced Rachel (@PettyClegg) March 30, 2020
She could not work out the right way to flip it off once more, a lot to the amusement of the web.
For those who too wish to jazz up your Microsoft Groups calls with filters then there’s excellent news because it’s pretty simple to do. Step one is to download the Snapchat tool known as Snap Camera.
This allows you to use Snapchat lenses in your PC or Mac.
As soon as that is downloaded open the Snap Digital camera app and click on the settings cog. In there choose your webcam to get it working then select an applicable filter.
That filter is then utilized to your digital camera. You may select from numerous different lenses and get all types of bizarre seems to be on your Groups name.
To get it working in Groups click on to open Groups after which within the name or assembly click on the menu icon and select the Snap Digital camera as your gadget.
The best way to uninstall Microsoft Groups
Some customers have reported points with Microsoft Groups reinstalling itself each time they begin their PC. Irritating!
There’s a technique to cease this occurring although and that is by uninstalling it. To uninstall Microsoft Groups you need to uninstall two applications out of your Home windows machine.
Observe these steps.
- Click on the Begin button
- Click on the settings cog
- Click on Apps
- Underneath apps & options sort to seek for Groups
- There you may see each “Microsoft Groups” and “Groups Machine-Vast Installer”
- Click on on every (beginning with Microsoft Groups) and click on uninstall
Writing by Dan Grabham and Adrian Willings. Modifying by Luke Baker.