If you've tried out Microsoft Teams, the company's videoconferencing and collaboration tool, you know it is one of the best options worth trying out. It comes with all the features expected from such an application, such as chats, document and file sharing, channels, etc.

What's more, Microsoft made Teams even more useful by integrating its AI chatbot Copilot into it. This means you can now get information about meetings, summarize it, and even enhance the messages you send to other participants. Not only that, Copilot is also available in individual chats and channels, so you can use it to summarize conversations, get chat highlights, and manage your channels easily. To know how to use Copilot in Meetings, refer to our dedicated guide.

How to Use Copilot in Teams Meetings
Use Microsoft Copilot in Microsoft Teams meetings and chats to get meeting summaries and action items, and ask questions.

What can Copliot do in Microsoft Teams chats and channels?

Crafting sophisticated messages that sound good and also convey the required information quickly in a professional chat isn't easy, as we've all learned at one point or another. But with Copilot in Microsoft Teams, you can do so with minimal effort.

Besides performing all the standard functions that we've come to expect from such AI models, like checking your grammar and spelling, Copilot can offer suggestions, help you adjust your content, and even rewrite it. Thus, you can use it to enhance the tone of your messages, make them clearer and easier to read, and make them more appealing and impactful.

In addition to that, Copilot can help you get information from chats and channels quickly, so you do not have to waste time going through long message threads. Such information can include highlights, important decisions, deadlines, etc.

All your interactions with Copilot are completely private, so no one else can see what you type in the Copilot window. If you have a Microsoft 365 or Copilot 365 license, you can jump right and start using it in any chat using the following steps.

Copilot in individual chats

You can use Copilot in Teams chats to get information, highlights, and more using prompts that Copilot suggests or your own custom ones. Copilot in Chat can only reference the information from the chat thread which is open, and cannot reference images, files, etc. shared in the chat.

  1. With the Microsoft Teams app open, navigate to 'Chats' from the left panel and click on any chat on the left side in which you want to use Copilot.
  2. Then, click on the Copilot icon in the upper-right corner to activate the chatbot. The icon will be visible in individual, group, and meeting chats.
  3. The prompt box will appear on the right side of the chat, where you can type in your prompts. Alternatively, clicking on the 'More Prompts' option will show you several options, such as Highlights from the past day and What decisions were made?
Using Copilot in individual Teams chats. Source: Microsoft
  1. When you enter a prompt or select one and get a response from Copilot, you can use the Copy option in the upper-right corner to paste the response into the chat or a channel.
  2. If you click on the numbers next to a statement in the response provided by the chatbot, it will provide you with citations. It will also scroll your chat to that message in the thread.
  3. Besides answering questions, providing insights, and suggesting actions, Copilot can help you easily view chat highlights from chats from a specific period. Select a chat for which you want to generate highlights and click on the 'More Prompts' button in the bottom left.
  4. Then, click on the Highlights from the past seven days or write down the prompt manually. You can get highlights for the previous day or for the past 30 days, or use custom prompts, like Highlights since Monday.
  5. Depending on your prompt, Copilot can show you information including new members who joined the team, tasks assigned, due, or completed, meetings scheduled or canceled, decisions taken, files edited or shared, etc.
Getting seven-day highlights in Teams chats using Copilot. Source: Microsoft
  1. Chat highlights will appear in the form of a summary and as with the responses above, will include citations. When you click on a citation, it will take you to that specific message in the chat and even highlight it in red.
  2. You can filter highlights by keyword, person, channel, or date, or get highlights only on a specific topic, or from a particular person using your own prompts.
Generating highlights from the past day. Source: Copilot

Copilot in a Teams channel

With Copilot in channels, you can catch up on any discussions happening in the channel and Copilot can provide responses grounded in that specific discussion.

  1. In Microsoft Teams, navigate to 'Teams', and select the channel in which you want to use Copilot from the left side of the interface.
  2. Then, go to a discussion and click on the link underneath the post that says '[N replies]' and you will be able to see the complete conversation.
  3. The Copilot icon will appear in the upper-right corner of this immersive channel post view; click on it to activate it within the channel.
Copilot button in an expanded post in a Teams channel. Source: Microsoft
  1. As with chats, the prompt or compose box will appear on the right side of the channel. Here you can enter your own prompt in the text box and press the 'Enter' key or click on the 'Send' button to get a response.
  2. You can use prompts like What were the highlights of the conversation? or What decisions were made? to get quickly up to date.
  3. Or, click on the 'More Prompts' option and choose from various options, like What are the open items and the chatbot will bring you the required information.

Copilot in Compose Box

While you can access Copilot directly in chats and channels, it is also available through the Compose Box everywhere in Teams. However, when you activate Copilot from this box, you get access to different features.

Here, the chatbot will let you rewrite and adjust your messages to alter their length and tone, and even use custom instructions. Using Copilot from the Compose Box lets you craft the perfect message that not only gets the job done, but also has that extra punch to make it more impactful.

Rewrite Messages: To rewrite your message, type it in the chat box and then click on the 'Rewrite' button. Copilot will rewrite your message, improving it so it sounds better, after which you can send it to the recipients.

Copilot can rewrite and improve your Teams messages. Source: Microsoft

Adjust Messages: In addition to the 'Rewrite' feature, Copilot lets you control how Copilot will change your message with the 'Adjust' option, so it suits different audiences, like your coworker or manager. Type in your message and click on the 'Adjust' option, and you will see options to make the message longer or shorter and change its tone from enthusiastic, confident, professional, or casual.

Just click on the option you want to use and Copilot will adjust your message accordingly. The best thing about this is that you do not need to rely on any prompts to use this feature - all you need is a single click. Combining different message sizes and tones will allow you to craft the perfect messages when using Microsoft Teams.

The Adjust feature lets you control how Copilot changes your messages. Source: Microsoft

Use Custom Tone: Custom Tone allows you to make several changes to your message, such as adjusting its tone to make it more compelling, converting long sentences into lists, and even translating different text from one language to another simultaneously.

You can use simple prompts, like make the message longer and cheerful and and in Spanish to perform all these actions and Copilot will make the changes at the same time as you write.

Copilot's Custom Tone feature lets you make multiple changes to messages in Teams. Source: Microsoft

Copilot app in Microsoft Teams

In addition to this, you can also access Copilot through the separate app experience in Microsoft Teams. You can use the Copilot app to manage all your Teams channels in one place.

Managing your Microsoft Teams channels can be a pain, especially if there are lots of channels you are a part of. With multiple conversations, comments, and documents relating to different projects in various channels, it can be quite easy to get overwhelmed unless you are using Copilot, which makes handling Teams channels a breeze.

With the Copilot app, the AI can also access data across your Microsoft 365 Graph and even pull relevant documents in its output. This is not possible when you're using Copilot in Chats, Channels, or even Meetings. When using the Copilot app, you can also access your Copilot chat history, which is unavailable when you're using Copilot elsewhere.

  1. The Copilot app is pinned on top of all chats or available from the app store on Teams. Navigate to Chats and click on 'Copilot' to access the app.
Copilot app in Teams. Source: Microsoft
  1. You can now use Copilot to summarize conversations across different channels, using a prompt like What’s new in [channel] of [team]? The chatbot will let you know about the latest update, team members who were involved in it, links to the update, shared documents, etc. Just remember to type the team and channel names correctly; otherwise, it won't be able to fetch the information.
  2. Once Copilot provides you with the information you need, you can continue the conversation using follow-up questions.
  3. For instance, if a team member has shared a document with all team members in that channel, Copilot will offer suggestions like What are the key points in the [shared document]?
  4. Just click on the suggested prompt and an overview of the document will appear, including all important information, such as pricing strategies, target audience, etc.
  5. Copilot will also link the document (since it has access to your Microsoft Graph and hence, all the data stored across your Microsoft 365 services) so you can view it easily within the chat without the need to jump to that specific channel and dig for it.
  6. The prompts that Copilot will suggest will depend on the updates that have taken place recently and the context of your team. Thus, you can easily tackle the challenge of managing multiple Teams channels, accessing information quickly, and taking timely action for maximum productivity.

With Copilot, you can easily improve your messages in Microsoft Teams chats and channels, as I've shown above. By allowing you to change the tone and length of your messages, Copilot can help make them much more impactful and easier to understand. And you can even use it to quickly get information from different chats and channels without having to check them all out one by one.

So, for those instances when you have trouble coming up with a good-sounding message to thank your manager or boss or need to get an idea of updates in a channel, you can simply type in a message in Teams and ask the chatbot to do the rest.