All the methods for using a countdown timer in Microsoft Teams


Timekeeping is an essential part of a working environment; ensuring tasks are completed on time ensures you don’t remain behind schedule. However, Microsoft Teams doesn’t offer any native form of countdown timers or even apps to help with countdowns. So how can you have a countdown timer in Microsoft Teams when the program doesn’t even offer such a plugin or feature. Read through our article and see all the methods you can have to set a countdown in Microsoft Teams.

When you need to set a time in Microsoft Teams, you can do so for meetings and even set out breakout rooms within the program to allow a countdown feature before the meeting ends. You can’t have similar properties when you are doing tasks, so I will show you an alternative solution that involves an external app that allows you to pin a timer to the desktop taskbar. When you are doing a task, the timer will run in the background, and the pin in the taskbar allows you to quickly glance over the time. When the timer is completed, you will receive a notification and an alarm if it’s set.

Here are some of the key methods you can use to set a timer in Microsoft Teams. If you need to set a timer in Microsoft Teams, you cannot do it when you start the meeting; you need to first schedule a meeting and then apply a time limit to that meeting. To allow more customization of time limits, you can set breakout rooms within a meeting— this will allow group members to complete tasks within a certain time limit. Beyond the set time limit, the breakout room will end any conversations you have within that meeting will need to conclude as you return to the main lobby. The final method is mainly for task-related activities in Microsoft Teams. You can set a custom timer that allows you to pin the timer to the taskbar for you to complete the task in a timelier manner. Have a read-through as I give a more in-depth guide on each of the three methods illustrated above. 

Set meeting time limits with scheduled meetings on Microsoft Teams

The first method I will illustrate is how to set a time limit on a scheduled meeting on Microsoft Teams. Setting a time limit on a scheduled meeting is especially useful if you set meetings in advance and would like more control over the time spent within these meetings. Before you proceed with creating the meeting, you will have the option to set a time limit on the meeting for any length of duration you require. You will either have the option to end the meeting beyond this point or proceed with the meeting longer if required. 

  • Firstly, open Microsoft Teams. 
  • From there, click on “calendar.” 
  • Click on the slot for when you would like to host the meeting. 
  • Fill out all the information, such as the meeting title and the participants who need to attend. 
  • In the time section, set start and end times for the meeting. 
  • Finally, click on “Save.” 

When you enter a meeting, you will only proceed for the duration you set within the scheduling process. So, if you have scheduled a meeting to last only 30 minutes, the meeting will only run for 30 minutes; however, there will be an option for you to proceed longer if necessary. If you require more time or less time for a meeting, you can go back into the schedule meeting section and then edit the time to ensure you get the correct time slots. This is a great way to ensure that meetings remain promptly and that meeting aims can be completed on a scheduled approach. 

In-depth step by step guide [with screenshots] – Set meeting time limits with scheduled meetings on Microsoft Teams

If you require more assistance, here is an in-depth guide on how you can set a time limit on a scheduled meeting. The in-depth guide includes the visual context in the form of screenshots to visually see the steps so you can better understand the features within the UI. The in-depth guide also includes further analysis of certain complicated steps to understand. I highly recommend using this section if you struggle with the steps above. 

  • Firstly, open Microsoft Teams. 
  • From there, click on “calendar.” 
  • Click on the slot for when you would like to host the meeting. 
  • Fill out all the information, such as the meeting title and the participants who need to attend. 
  • In the time section, set start and end times for the meeting. 
  • Finally, click on “Save.” 

When you attend a meeting, you will only be able to stay for the time you specified during the scheduling procedure. So, if a planned meeting is set for a certain length of time, the meeting will proceed to the end time you set; however, don’t let that worry you, as you can have a meeting for a longer duration if required. If you discover that you need more or less time for a meeting, go back to the arranged meeting area and change the time to ensure that you have the times required for that meeting. This is an excellent strategy to keep meetings on track and achieve meeting objectives on time.

Set breakout rooms with a time limit on Microsoft Teams

Another option you have access to is setting breakout rooms in Microsoft Teams; you can have more control over when tasks are completed within smaller groups than you can as a whole meeting. Setting breakout rooms is especially useful if you have an institutional environment with a class of students; here, you can set individual groups of a few members in breakout rooms. When the time limit has ended, the rooms will end, and you will return to the main lobby. 

  • Firstly, in your meeting, click on “Rooms.” 
  • Now assign participants and set how many rooms you require. 
  • Now click on “Create rooms.” 
  • Assign members to that group. 
  • From there, click on “Settings” for the breakout rooms. 
  • Ensure that the toggle for “Set a time limit” is on. 
  • Finally, set a time limit for the rooms and click on “Open.” 

You will have successfully created breakout rooms with a time limit on them. The breakout rooms will continue for the duration of the time step beyond this point, the breakout rooms will either, or if you wish to assign more time to those rooms, you will have the option to do so using the steps above. 

Use an external timer with the ability to have a taskbar pin for easy access.

The final method I would like to illustrate is the ability to set a custom timer external to Microsoft Teams they can pin to the taskbar. While setting an external timer isn’t native to Microsoft Teams, it is an effective way to set a timer for tasks you do within the program. The external timer we will be using is called “Time Timer.” The “Time Timer” app allows you to pin a custom timer to the taskbar to constantly view and engage with the countdown if necessary. You can download the application for both Mac OS and Windows, requiring no sign-in. 

  • Open the application. 
  • Then go to “Settings,” illustrated by a gear icon in the top left corner. 
  • From there, click on “always on top.” 
  • Now click on “Done.” 
  • After that, you need to set the timer. 
  • Finally, click on “Play.” 

The countdown will run for the duration you set; you can go back into Microsoft Teams and complete the tasks required. A notification prompt will show when the time is up, which indicates that you ran out of time for that task. 

Conclusion

Thank you for reading our content on the various methods for using a countdown timer in Microsoft Teams. We have three different methods illustrated here; each covers different aspects of Microsoft Teams functionality. Whether you are doing tasks or having a meeting, you can set a timed approach using these methods. If there are any areas you don’t understand clearly, you can add a comment, and we will address those issues.

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