How to Use Push to Talk (Walkie Talkie) in Microsoft Teams

Walkie Talkie

Convert your phone into a secure Walkie Talkie and communicate with teammates on the go with Microsoft Teams

Push to Talk is a highly coveted feature in video conferencing apps. But it’s a surprise that not many apps have it. Users have been asking for a push to talk feature in Microsoft Teams, too, for a few years now.

Although the app does not yet have a push-to-talk feature in the meetings (where you press a button to speak and go back to mute when you release it), it has a literal walkie-talkie feature that you might not be aware of.

Granted, the feature is only available for Android phones right now. But it is coming to iOS devices this year (probably sooner than later – it’s already available for private preview since June 2021 for some users). It is also in development for the desktop app but there is no concrete timeline to it.

Microsoft is also bringing the Push to Talk feature to Teams phones. They say the feature would be especially useful for first-line workers, but it’ll also be beneficial in any corporate setting. Like iOS devices, the Walkie talkie is available for private preview for Teams phones, as well.

What exactly is this Walkie Talkie feature?

The Walkie Talkie feature adds a ‘Walkie Talkie’ tab to the Teams mobile app. Using the Walkie Talkie, users can push the button to communicate securely over the cloud just like a real walkie-talkie. But unlike a real walkie-talkie, this connection is secure as it’s not analog. No one can tune into your channel and eavesdrop.

It also reduces the number of devices employees have to carry as this feature turns any employee or organization smartphone or tablet into a walkie-talkie. The feature will work over cellular data or Wi-Fi and is hence available across geographic locations. That means no more limitations about range either.

Enabling the Walkie Talkie Feature (For Admins)

The feature is available for Microsoft 365 users but it has to be enabled by the admins first. If you’re an admin for your organization, you can enable it for all or some users of your organization.

Go to the Microsoft Teams admin center and login with your organization account.

From the navigation pane on the left, go to ‘Teams apps’.

Clicking it will expand a few options underneath. Click the ‘Setup policies’ option.

Then, click the option for ‘Global (Org-wide default)’ to set up walkie talkie for the entire organization.

Then, enable the toggle for ‘Allow user pinning’.

Now, under Pinned apps, click the option for ‘Add apps’.

A panel will appear on the right. Search for ‘Walkie Talkie’ and click the ‘Add’ button to add it to the roster of pinned apps.

Then, click the ‘Add’ button at the bottom of the panel to add the app.

You can also arrange the Walkie Talkie app in the app order so that it may appear on the menu bar on the phone. Otherwise, it’ll be available in the ‘More’ section.

Click ‘Save’ to implement Walkie talkie for everyone.

Using Walkie Talkie from the Teams Mobile app

Once your admin enables Walkie Talkie for your organization, you can use it from your mobile.

Open the Microsoft Teams app on your mobile. Now, if the admin arranged the walkie-talkie tab to appear on the menu bar, you’ll be able to see it there. Otherwise, tap ‘More’.

Walkie Talkie should appear there. Tap it to use it.

You can also reorder your apps to arrange Walkie Talkie on the menu bar. From the More menu, tap the option for ‘Reorder’.

Tap and hold ‘Walkie Talkie’ and drag it to the pinned apps section. Place it in the order you want it to appear on the menu bar and leave it. If the menu bar already had the maximum number of apps it could display, the last app on the list would automatically move to the ‘More’ section. Tap the ‘Save’ button in the top right corner.

Now, go to the Walkie Talkie tab.

Before using it, you have to select the channel in which you want to connect. Tap the ‘Channel’ option to select a Teams channel.

A list of channels in your Microsoft Teams will appear. Tap a channel to select it.

You’ll also be able to see other members who are connected to the same channel via Walkie Talkie.

Tap the ‘Connect’ button to connect to the walkie-talkie.

Now, when you want to speak, tap and hold the microphone button. A ‘Live’ indicator will show that you are speaking when you push the button to talk.

As soon as release the button, you’d go back to mute.

When you don’t want to use the walkie-talkie anymore, tap the ‘Disconnect’ button.

Get a Push to Talk Button for Desktop App

Walkie Talkie might be under development for desktop too, but if you wanted a push-to-talk button for Microsoft Teams meetings instead, it won’t solve your problems. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like Teams meetings are going to get the functionality anytime soon.

There is a workaround that lets you get a push-to-talk button for the meetings, though. Now, Microsoft Teams already does have a keyboard shortcut for muting/ unmuting your microphone. The keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Shift + M lets you control your microphone and you could instead use it if you don’t want to go through too many hoops for a push-to-talk button.

You first need to install AutoHotkey for this workaround. Go to autohotkey.com and click the ‘Download Current Version’ button. Then, run the .exe file to install AutoHotkey and follow the steps on the screen to install.

After completing the installation, open Notepad and paste this script.

setKeyDelay, 50, 50

setMouseDelay, 50

$~MButton::

Send, ^+{M}

while (getKeyState("MButton", "P"))

{

sleep, 100

}

Send, ^+{M}

return

Save the file with the extension “*.ahk” and select ‘All Files’ as the file type while saving it.

Instead of the middle mouse button, you can also use the Left button or Right button. Replace MButton with LButton for the left mouse button and RButton for the right mouse button.

Run this script file before running Microsoft Teams to use the hotkey.

Now, as soon as you enter the Microsoft Teams meeting, mute your microphone by either clicking the microphone button from the meeting toolbar or using the Ctrl + Shift + M keyboard shortcut.

Now, when you need to speak, press and hold the configured mouse button. You’ll be unmuted. Release the button and you’ll be back on mute. After you close Microsoft Teams, quit the script from the system tray as well.


The push-to-talk feature is a highly useful one, especially in large meetings. The current form that is is being launched in, i.e., Walkie Talkie, is more useful for first-line workers or in organizations on the go. That must be why Microsoft has pushed the feature to the mobile app first. When and in what form it comes to the desktop remains to be seen yet.