The ultimate guide to Microsoft Teams’ presence icons

In Microsoft Teams, users may signal their availability and status to other users using the presence feature of their profile. By default, anybody using Teams in your company may see (almost instantly) whether other users are online. This is a fantastic way to keep up to date with user status within Microsoft Teams. However, what is the actual definition of presence status within Microsoft Teams, and how can you distinguish between different presence symbols. Have a read through the guide below as I give you a full guide on presence symbols within Microsoft Teams. 

Presence symbols within Microsoft Teams allow users to check the status of other users within the program. If they are in a meeting, Microsoft Teams will inform you via a status symbol on their profile that they are in a meeting. Microsoft Teams also allows you to update your presence within the program. I will also provide a guide on each symbol in the program. Read the guide below to learn exactly what presence symbols are within Microsoft Teams.

To start, you will need to understand exactly what the presence icons in Microsoft Teams are. Here are some of the different factors of the presence icon you need to understand in Microsoft Teams. I will then give you a brief rundown on how to change your availability status in Microsoft Teams.

What does each of the presence status symbols mean in Microsoft Teams?

Microsoft Teams offers a variety of different presence statuses within the program. Each status within the program provides information to the person contacting you about your availability to reply and guidance in selecting the best manner of contact, whether it be chat or call. Within the Microsoft Teams program, there are a total of six different primary present statuses. 

Your current presence status in Microsoft Teams can be accessed by clicking the profile picture within the program. You will then be able to access key information about the user’s availability within the program. Have a read-through and see what those symbols mean in Microsoft Teams. 


If there is no ongoing meetings or appointments, the default “available” condition of being active serves as your automated presence signal. Teams use a green circle on the bottom right of your thumbnail avatar to represent it.

If your status within the program shows as “Available” in Microsoft Teams, then there is nothing that will prevent users from contacting you within the program. Being available to the Microsoft team also shows that you are free from any work at this current time. 

Do Not Disturb

The most limiting condition for your presence is Do Not Disturb. Any incoming calls will be sent to your voicemail while you are in this mode. You can still receive chats during this period, but chat notification cards won’t display on your screen. A red circle with a white line across the center denotes its presence.

When you share your screen, this present state is automatically given. If not, it is manually adjusted.


When you are engaged in a conversation, meeting, or appointment that has been scheduled in your Outlook calendar, the busy status is automatically established. The presence indicator displays this as a solid red circle.

No contact function is blocked in this busy condition, but users may use this knowledge to decide if a chat message or a call would be more suitable at this moment.

Be right back

An “Away” presence state is Be Right Back. It lets the other person know you are not logged into your computer. Teams will automatically set this presence and display an amber circle with a clock face symbol if it detects no activity on your PC for five minutes.

When you return to your workstation or Teams detect activity on your PC, your presence is immediately adjusted to the original setting. If you manually set this presence status, it will not change unless you manually modify it.

Appear away

Be Right Back and Appear Away are identical, with the exception that you are using your computer and choosing to let your contacts know that you are not around. Your Team’s available presence won’t immediately reset on Teams activity, in contrast, to Be Right Back.

If you are engaged in another task and do not want people to disturb you within the program, you can show that you are away within Microsoft Teams. If you are genuinely away in Microsoft Teams, however, you are still logged in within the program, the setting of appearing away in Microsoft Teams will be a great choice for you to have enabled. 

Appear offline

In certain circumstances, you might wish to pretend that you’re signed out and to be fully offline. This might be helpful if you want to seem inactive at work but monitor conversations or Teams while on vacation. A white circle with an X in the center represents this.

While in this mode, you can still receive chats, but all incoming calls will go to voicemail.


Above is the list of the different presence symbols you can come across in Microsoft Teams. The different symbols in Microsoft Teams indicate your presence within the program. As you can see, Microsoft Teams offers various options for you to choose from or have Microsoft Teams automatically set. Availability shows your users that you may be available within the program or may be aware. If you are busy or cannot be disturbed, you also have the option to set these to ensure you are not disturbed. Contacts and messages will not go through to the user unless they are shown as not being busy within Microsoft Teams. 

Each symbol has a designated color which indicates the importance of your availability. The availability symbol is green; then, you are fully available to respond to any comments, messages, or contacts. If the message shows as orange or yellow, then you need to be aware that the user may not be able to respond to those messages. If the availability symbol is red, for instance, you cannot disturb that user and any messages you send to them will not be sent until they are shown as available. 

How can you change your availability presence in Microsoft Teams?

If you need to change your availability or presence status, you have the option to do so within Microsoft Teams. Sometimes there may be an instance where Microsoft Teams’ automatic algorithm has not been able to set the correct presence symbol for you. You have the availability to override this system and set the correct symbol depicting your current status. Have a read-through and see what you need to do to change your availability for Microsoft Teams. 

  • Now click on your profile picture. 
  • Now click the little drop-down arrow next to your presence update. 
  • Choose one of the status options to complete the process. 

After completing the steps above, you will successfully change your availability within Microsoft Teams. The program will automatically adjust your settings based on your chosen availability. If you are busy within the program and do not want to be disturbed, you can change your presence if Microsoft Teams has not already done it. Teams will not update your availability if you use a third-party call or meeting tool. You will need to manually do this within the program using the abovementioned steps. 


Thank you for taking the time to read our guide on presence symbols within Microsoft Teams. We have given you a run down of the different presence symbols within the program. We have also provided some screenshots, which will allow you to see what each presence symbol looks like within the program. Screenshots also provide a good way to ensure that users are more aware of what they are looking at within the program. The screenshots also give users a better idea of what the UI of Microsoft Teams will look like when they proceed with steps.

We have also given you a breakdown of how to change your availability within the program. There may be instances where users need to change their availability to ensure they are updated with the status. This is especially important if you are in a meeting; however, Microsoft Teams shows you are available within the program. You could be disturbed in an important meeting, so you must use the steps above to ensure that the correct status symbol has been applied to your profile. If you encounter any issues going through the content shown above, simply drop a comment below, and we will address those issues for you. 

Saajid Gangat

Saajid Gangat has been a researcher and content writer at Business Tech Planet since 2021. Saajid is a tech-savvy writer with expertise in web and graphic design and has extensive knowledge of Microsoft 365, Adobe, Shopify, WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, and more! You can connect with Saajid on Linkedin.

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