Although video conferencing was popular, it soared to new heights during the last year. Almost everyone had to resort to the medium for something or other. Whether it was a question of professional meetings, classes, or social calls, everyone found themselves staring down a webcam.

Microsoft recognized that and made sure that Windows 11 users will have access to video conferencing right from their taskbar. Windows 11 has a Microsoft Teams integration built into the taskbar by the name of ‘Chat’. Don’t be discouraged by the name, though. Even if the name for the app says Chat, you can make video and audio calls from the integration without the need to open any app.

Now that Windows 11 is finally rolling out to users, you can use it to call and chat up people at any time.

How Does Teams Chat Work?

The Chat integration can be thought of as the Microsoft Teams Lite version for your Teams personal account. That’s right folks. The Chat integration only works with a Teams personal account. To use Microsoft Teams with a work or school account, you have to use the Microsoft Teams app like always.

If you’re still unaware of the difference between Teams for Friends and Family (Personal) and Teams for Work and School, here’s a quick rundown. Microsoft Teams for Work and School is the OG app that’s existed for quite a few years now. It is a Workstream Collaboration app that’s was mainly used by offices before the pandemic. But it became a haven for both work and school meetings during the pandemic.

With channels and scores of other collaborative features, it was just too complicated for personal use. And Microsoft Teams Personal for Friends and Family came into the picture. Intended for personal use, it cut down on all the collaborative features one does not require for personal communication. It allows you to chat and call people with some additional functionality. You can still schedule meetings beforehand, have group chats, polls, and collaborative task lists for anything you want to plan together.

Chat is the implementation of the latter into the taskbar. It lets you instantly connect with other users while keeping things simple.

Setting Up Teams Chat in the Taskbar

Although the Chat entry point is present by default in the taskbar, you once need to set it up initially.

Click the ‘Chat’ icon or use the Windows logo key + C keyboard shortcut to open the Chat flyout window.

When using it for the first time, click the ‘Get Started’ button.

Then, you can either use the Microsoft account with which you’re signed into Windows. Or you can use another personal account to sign in.

Choose the final details of setting up your account like your display name, the email and phone number using which other users can connect with you and whether you want to sync your Skype and Outlook contacts. Click ‘Let’s Go’ to complete the setup.

To learn how to use Chat in Windows 11, hop over here.

Using Teams Chat to Start an Instant Video Call

Whether you’ve just set up Chat or are already using it, using it to make a video call is the easiest thing in the world. Open the Chat flyout window from the taskbar. Now, if you already had a Microsoft Teams Personal account, any recent chats or groups will appear in the Chat flyout window. To start a video call with someone, hover over their chat thread.

Camera and phone icons will appear. Click the ‘video camera’ icon to start a video call.

If the contact you want to start the video call with is not present in the list of recent chats, click the ‘Search’ icon and search for their contact.

To start a meeting in Microsoft Teams that can be joined with anyone with a link instead o calling your contacts, click the ‘Meet’ icon at the top.

The meeting preview window will open. You can enter the name for the meeting, choose your camera and microphone settings, and select background filter from here. Then, click the ‘Join Now’ button.

Finally, share the meeting link with other people by either manually copying and sending them the link or using one of the other options available (Calendar, Outlook, or your default email).

You can then admit the participants as they join the meeting.

You can also start a meeting with any of your contacts from the chat pop-up window. The pop-up window opens independently of the app whenever you click any chat thread. From the pop-up window, click the ‘Join’ or ‘Video call’ button, whichever appears depending on the type of chat.

Using Teams Chat to Schedule a Meeting

You can also schedule meetings from the Chat entry point in the taskbar. From the Chat flyout window, click the ‘Open Microsoft Teams’ button.

The Microsoft Teams Personal app will open. Go to the ‘Calendar’ option from the navigation menu on the left.

Then, click the ‘New Meeting’ button in the top-right corner.

The window to schedule a new meeting will open. Enter the details for the meeting like meeting name, date and time, and other available fields. Then, click the ‘Save’ button.

Then, to share the meeting link, either click the ‘Copy link’ button or use Google Calendar to create a calendar event and invite others.

You can also click the event from the calendar anytime to copy the meeting link.

If you use Google Calendar to invite users, you can also track their RSVPs in the meeting detail window.

How to Use Microsoft Teams with a Work account in Windows 11?

So, if the Chat entry point from the taskbar only lets you use Microsoft Teams with a personal account, how do you use Microsoft Teams with a work account on Windows 11? The simple answer is like you always have. Microsoft has now made separate apps for Teams for Work and Teams for Personal accounts.

So, the Chat app uses the Microsoft Teams Personal app. To use Microsoft Teams with a Work account, you have to install the Microsoft Teams (work or school) app that does not come pre-installed.

If you had the app on Windows 10, it’ll be available in Windows 11 as well. You can differentiate between the two from their icons. The work or school app has a blue tile with the letter T, whereas the personal app has a white tile with the letter T.

Windows 11 has really made it easy to talk to other users. And with the availability of Teams on all platforms, you can connect with just about anyone.