How to quickly navigate, execute commands, and search using Microsoft Teams

If you have many teams and channels that you frequently access, rather than using the sidebar to browse items manually, you can quickly navigate to them using the search bar.

Using the search bar for navigation

You can navigate to several different things using the search bar including:

  • Teams
  • Channels
  • People
  • Apps, such as Planner or OneNote

How does it work?

  • Click on the search bar, or use the Alt-E keyboard shortcut.
  • Start typing the name of a team, channel, person, or app. You don’t have to type the entire thing.
  • Once you see what you want in the list, click on it or use your arrow keys to select it and click enter.
 Start typing a team or channel name and it will instantly appear
Start typing a team or channel name and it will instantly appear

Using the search bar for commands

In addition to navigation, you can use the search bar to execute some commands in teams. Commands are executed by starting with a slash “/” and then typing or selecting a command.

Here are some example commands and their uses:

  • Change your status by typing /away, /busy, /dnd, or /available.
  • Spy on your colleagues by looking at their recent activity by typing /activity followed by the person you want to see. You will be taken to a page where you can see the recent things they posted, which you also have access to view.
  • Type /files to see a list of the most recent documents you have been working on. And then quickly reopen that file.
  • Type /unread to immediately see all of the activity that you have not read yet.
  • Type /who, followed a question like “who is Joes’s manager?” or “Who knows about Nintex?” and you will be presented with the information you requested.
  • Quickly start a chat with someone by typing @ immediately followed by the person’s name, click enter, then directly type a short message and click enter again to send it.
 Type @ followed by the persons name and start typing
Type @ followed by the persons name and start typing

Here is a list of currently available commands:

 Current commands available in Microsoft Teams
Current commands available in Microsoft Teams

Using the search bar to search!

And if you wanted to, you can even use the search bar to search for content. How about that? Just type anything into the search bar and hit enter. You’ll see the results in the sidebar grouped under either messages, people, or files.

If you have many results, you can narrow your search by clicking the filter icon in the search results. You’ll be able to refine your search by date, specific teams or channels, or even specific people.

 Search filters
Search filters