How to add apps to the sidebar in Microsoft Teams

Although Teams’ integrated apps are most often seen in chats or channel tabs, you can instead access them via the leftmost sidebar. In some cases, accessing an app in this way may yield expanded (or more limited) functionality. However, you may also find you cannot add some apps in this way.

Here’s how you add an app to the sidebar in Microsoft Teams. You can follow these steps for Windows and Mac:

  • Open Microsoft Teams
  • Click ... in the sidebar
  • Search for your desired app
  • Click your desired app
  • (If asked) select “Add for me”

This post is all about how apps interact with Microsoft Teams’ sidebar: more specifically, how they can be added to, pinned to, and removed from it. If you still have questions, look forward to the step-by-step guides. Be sure to stick around for our bonus guide, where I’ll demonstrate how you can install an app for every Team member at once.

Use the following links to access relevant content quickly

  1. Adding an app to the sidebar in Microsoft Teams
  2. Pinning an app to the sidebar in Microsoft Teams
  3. Removing an app to the sidebar in Microsoft Teams
  4. What does blocking an app from sidebar do in Teams
  5. How to install an app for an entire team
  6. Blog post recap

Adding an app to the sidebar in Microsoft Teams

Step 1 — Open Microsoft Teams

To open Teams in your browser, select it from Office’s app-launcher. However, if you’d like to use the desktop version, hit the start/win key and enter “Microsoft Teams.

Step 2 — Open the sidebars app launcher

After opening either version of Microsoft Teams, look to the sidebar: you should see the app launcher (...). Click the app launcher to open it.

Step 3 — Search for an app

Use the app launcher to search for your desired app— I’ve searched for Trello. Alternatively, you can easily select “More apps” to find your desired app. Please recall that several apps are incompatible with the sidebar.

Step 4 — Add your app

You’ve selected an app, but you haven’t yet added it: click “Add.” in the app’s menu.

Step 5 — Access your app

After adding an app to the sidebar, you can access it with a single click. Give it a try.

Pinning an app to the sidebar in Microsoft Teams

Adding apps to the sidebar is not a permanent action; however, pinned apps will remain in the sidebar until removed. Pinning an app is quite simple. While it’s already in the sidebar, right-click the app. Click “Pin” when the menu appears.

What does blocking an app from sidebar do in Teams

Blocking an app prevents usage of the app’s chat and commands. Despite the imposed limitations, you can still utilize a blocked app’s channel integration functionality. To block an app from the sidebar, right-click it and select “Block.”

Removing an app from the sidebar in Microsoft Teams

If you no longer wish to use an app, you’ve likely considered removing it. App removal is akin to pinning an app— in the sense that both are straightforward actions. First, right-click the app in the sidebar, then click “Uninstall” in the resulting menu.

Please note you will be required to confirm your choice by selecting “Uninstall” once more. This action will not affect the app’s existing channel/chat integrations.

How to install an app for an entire team

Please note the following guide requires global user admin permission. Without the correct permissions, you will be unable to follow along. Please consult your supervisor or manager for support regarding the matter.

Step 1 — Open the Teams admin center

Click “Show all” / ... under the Microsoft 365 Admin center to reveal additional admin centers. Select the “Teams” admin center from the list.

Step 2 — Access Teams apps

The Teams admin center features an array of dropdowns within its left sidebar— you need to check it for “Teams apps.” After clicking the “Teams apps” dropdown, select “Manage apps.”

Step 3 — Search for an app to add

Although the “Manage apps” page features an extensive list of apps, I recommend you instead utilize its search bar above the list. In the example below, I search for the “Trello” app— you can search for a different app.

Step 4 — Add the app to a Team

First, select your app from the list: a click will be more than enough. Next, click “Add to team” in the action bar above the list. Teams will reveal a menu on the right side of the window: use it to search for your Team. Next, hover over your Team and select “Add.” Lastly, click “Apply.”

Blog post recap

Each sidebar action discussed is relatively straightforward. You can install apps to Team’s sidebar in place of a channel or chat. Although the addition is initially temporary, it can be made permanent via the “Pin” function. Additional functions include “Uninstall” for removing apps and “Block” for limiting an app’s functionality. If you wish to install an app for each team member, you can do so via the Teams admin center. However, doing so is only recommended for users with global user admin permissions.

Related posts you may be interested in

Jack Mitchell

Jack Mitchell has been the Operations manager at telecoms and MSP Optionbox for more than 4 years. He has played a crucial role in the company, from marketing to helpdesk, and ensures that the IT requirements of over 300 clients are continuously met. With his innate passion for technology and troubleshooting and a particular interest in Apple products, Jack now delivers the most comprehensive tech guides to make your life easier. You can connect with Jack on LinkedIn.

Recent Posts