Chat is a great place to collaborate in Microsoft Teams. Of course, channels are great too, but you don’t always need or want to talk to everyone involved in a channel. For those private conversations, chats – 1:1 and group – are the place to be.
But when you’re using chat to communicate, messages tend to pile up. And one of the features that ensure you can continue to communicate effectively without any chaos is the reply feature. Being able to reply to the specific messages dispels any confusion that might arise when there are more than a few messages in tow. But even though it seems like such a simple feature, Microsoft Teams has made things complicated. Let’s see what’s all the fuss is about.
Can You Reply to Messages in Chat in Microsoft Teams?
The answer to this one is a roller-coaster ride. So, you better buckle in. You can reply to messages in chat in Microsoft Teams, but how you’d do that would depend on a lot of things. Whether you’re using a personal account or an organization one, or if you’re using the desktop/ web app or the mobile app.
Microsoft Teams does have a reply option in the desktop/ web app, but only if you’re using a personal account. For organization account, there’s no direct option, but there are workarounds.
And if you’re using the mobile app, it doesn’t matter which type of account you’re using. You can reply to messages in chat directly with a single swipe.
Note: This article is about the reply feature in Chat in Microsoft Teams and not channels. Channels have had a reply feature for as long as we can remember.
Replying to Messages in Personal Accounts
Microsoft Teams introduced a personal account for friends and family a while back. And if you’re one of the users of the personal profile, you can easily reply to messages in chat in Microsoft Teams.
Switch to your personal account on the Microsoft Teams desktop or web app. Then, go to the ‘Chat’ tab from the navigation menu on the left and open the chat you want to reply to the message to.
Go to the message and hover on it. A few options will appear. Click the ‘three-dot’ menu.
Then, click the ‘Reply’ option.
The message will appear in the textbox as being quoted. Type your reply and press Enter to reply to the message.
Replying to Messages in Organization Accounts
There’s no reply button for chats in the desktop or web app if you’re using an organization account. But there are a couple of workarounds you can use to mimic this functionality.
The Manual Method
There may not be a straightforward reply button, but you can manually reply to messages in Microsoft Teams. First, go to the message box and press the
Shift + > key combination when the cursor is in the box. A gray-colored quote box will appear.
Note: This method doesn’t work with a personal account.
Go to the message you want to reply to and copy it. For a complete effect of replying to or quoting a message, also copy the sender’s name and the timestamp with it. Then, paste it into the gray box.
Afterward, press the Enter key twice. Your cursor will get out of the gray box and into the normal compose box. Type your reply, and press Enter to send the message.
Now, this isn’t exactly the fastest way to reply to a conversation, but it’s still a pretty good replacement. But if you think this isn’t the way to go for you, read on for another way to reply to messages.
Use the Quote Master App on Teams
Microsoft Teams has a lot of third-party apps that are one of the reasons behind its popularity. You can use one such app to overcome the lack of this feature in Microsoft Teams. The Quote Master app adds an option to quote and reply to a message in any of your chats on Microsoft Teams.
To get started, open the Microsoft Teams Desktop app or navigate to teams.microsoft.com in your browser and log in to your account. Then, click the ‘Apps’ icon located on the left of the Teams main screen.
In the ‘Search all’ textbox located on the left of the Apps screen, type ‘Quote Master’.
The ‘Quote Master’ app will immediately show next to the search bar as you type the app’s name. Click on it.
In the pop-up dialog of the Quote Master app, click the ‘Add’ button to install the app in your Microsoft Teams account.
After installing the Quote Master app, you can easily quote and reply to a message in a private chat, in-meeting chat, or a teams chat in a channel.
While you are on a chat screen, go to the message that you want to quote and reply to. Then, click on the ‘three-dot’ icon that appears on the top right of the message.
From the menu options, move your mouse over to the ‘More actions’ option and select ‘Quote’ from the expanded options.
While using Quote Master for the first time, you need to provide certain information like your name and email address to start a free trial of the service. After the trial period, you can still use Quote Master with some limitations.
After clicking Quote, the message you had selected earlier will be displayed in quotes. Below that, you can see a text box along with the message toolbar, to add a reply for that message.
Replying to Messages from the Mobile App
If you use Microsoft Teams from the iOS or Android mobile apps, you’re in for the most no-nonsense approach for replying to messages. Just like any other instant messaging app, Microsoft Teams mobile app lets you reply to chat messages in a jiffy.
And the best thing about this, it doesn’t matter if you’re using your personal account or the organization one. The interface and availability of the feature is the same is for both accounts, as it ideally should be.
Open the Teams mobile app and login with your account. Then, tap the ‘Chat’ tab from the navigation menu at the bottom of the screen to go to your private chats.
Open the chat and go to the message you want to quote/ reply to. Then, swipe right on the message. Keep swiping until an arrow appears.
The message will be quoted in the compose box.
Type your reply and tap the ‘Send’ button to successfully reply to the message.
While chatting with your team leader or other team members, there is often a need to either reply to queries or ask for clarifications on a specific message. To do that, you can quickly quote and reply to a specific message in chat on Microsoft Teams.
The functionality is under development at Microsoft, and the organization would probably make things less confusing in the coming future. But for now, it is what it is. And this guide aims at making things less confusing for you.