Microsoft Teams - how to prevent autostart

Last month Microsoft rolled out an update to some Office 365 business subscriptions that for the first time includes the app for Microsoft Teams. Some of you are seeing the Teams startup screen every time the computer starts.

If you don’t use Teams, the unwanted startup screen may make you think unkind thoughts, but let’s be realistic. Microsoft does not have the opening you have in mind, and it’s technically impossible to shove Teams so far into it that it comes out Microsoft’s mouth.

There’s another way.


Microsoft Teams - turn off autostart in Windows 10 Settings

To stop Teams from launching automatically, click on Start / Settings / Apps / Startup. Turn off Microsoft Teams.

Microsoft Teams - turn off autostart in Teams Settings

If that doesn’t work or if Microsoft Teams is not in that list, sign in to Teams with your business Office 365 email address and password. After it starts, click the icon for your account in the upper right, then click on Settings. Uncheck Auto-start application. While you’re there, also uncheck On close, keep the application running and Register Teams as the chat app for Office.

Slightly deeper dive

For a few weeks after Teams began to be installed for every Office user, there was no way to stop it from starting automatically. It didn’t appear in the list of Windows startup programs. The only way to stop it was to delete a registry entry named com.Squirrel.Teams.Teams. There were some group policy workarounds for IT professionals in enterprises with managed computers but nothing for individuals.

At some point, they added Teams to the list of Windows 10 startup apps that can be controlled from Settings. It appears to be effective to turn it off there. (Did you know you can see the same list now in Task Manager? Right-click on an empty spot on the taskbar and click on Task Manager, then click on the Startup tab.)

If Teams is not in the list of Windows startup apps, you may be missing whatever update put it there recently. In that case, logging into the app is the only way to stop it from coming up again.

If you’re in a small or midsize business and you’re not familiar with Teams, here’s some background about it. It’s a free Office 365 service that businesses can use for their employees to chat and collaborate. Maybe you’ll find it useful.

Otherwise, turn it off and muse about why Microsoft’s attempts to promote its products seem so ham-handed.

And spare a moment to wonder, why squirrel? You know, the registry entry I mentioned above to stop Teams from launching. Squirrel? Microsoft is so Microsoft sometimes.

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