What are the drawbacks of Microsoft Teams Free?

Microsoft Teams is a group chat program that serves as Microsoft’s response to competitors like Zoom and Slack. Previously, it was only available to corporations who paid for Microsoft 365’s higher tiers. Still, now there’s a free version that is, in many ways, more generous than what competitors like Zoom provide for their free version. However, free doesn’t necessarily mean consumer-friendly, and you may find drawbacks; here, we will cover those drawbacks and give you an in-depth guide on what you need to be aware of when it comes to limitations in Teams.   

While in the accessible version of Teams, the users aren’t offered the full array of different features like the paid version, the limitations, however, are not as limiting as one might suggest; they do not make the app unusable; however, here are some of the restrictions one might face when using the free version.  

  • Inability to schedule meetings  
  • Cannot record meetings  
  • Storage based limitations  
  • You cannot have mobile conferencing  

Above are some of the critical points outlined to help you better understand the limitations you may encounter when using the accessible version of Teams.   

Microsoft Teams inability to schedule meetings  

In Microsoft Teams, users can set up a meeting straight away; however, they cannot schedule meetings which is an integral part of some businesses that need more attention placed on time management. Scheduling meetings allows for users to be more aware of meetings set in place so they can be better prepared. A scheduled meeting also allows the host to better prepare the meeting content by adding and removing users from the meeting to improve the quality.  

Limitations to not being able to schedule meetings in Teams  

  • Being unable to add attendees to a meeting is a massive drawback for the free version; Teams is about collaboration with other members, and this limitation makes it hard to proceed with a collaborative approach. 

In the paid version, you can click on the tab illustrated above, and you will have the ability to add users to the meeting. The free version doesn’t, and now users will have to find some other form of contact, such as Outlook, to inform users of the meeting to join and collaborate.  

  • Being unable to schedule a meeting is another considerable drawback for scheduling meetings in Teams; in an environment where timing is everything, it helps to map out your slots in the most effective manner possible. Setting pre-planned meetings and setting slots for the meeting effectively solves those issues. Unfortunately, the free version doesn’t offer that feature, so users will need some other form of contact to receive times for meetings. 

Regardless of how you view this, a free version of Teams will not offer the users convenience when it comes to pre-planned meetings; they will need to rely on other forms of contact too much to relay the specifics of a meeting across before the meeting is scheduled. It might be worthwhile to invest in the paid version to improve both convenience and avoid issues regarding relaying information across to other team members.  

Microsoft Teams cannot record meetings  

Another considerable drawback is the inability to record a meeting in Microsoft Teams; when you set a meeting in Teams, it helps to record meetings for both training purposes and allows users to reflect on meetings in institutional environments. When a meeting is set, users need to be aware that a meeting is being recorded, and they are when the host informs them it is being recorded. 

In the meeting panel, it’s as convenient as pressing a button. A recording will start automatically; when you decide to record a meeting, all users will be informed that a meeting has been recorded and can proceed with that knowledge.  

Limitations to not being able to record meetings in Teams  

  • The single colossal drawback of not recording meetings is the inability to keep reference materials for any meetings that have been conducted; the host will be in a situation where they can’t keep a record of meetings for both reference-based purposes and evidence-based reasons.  

Institutions would most likely want to keep a reference of the meeting both for note-taking reasons for students and for senior executives to monitor institutionally based meetings for training purposes where they can improve certain aspects of the meeting. 

Whenever you have a scheduled meeting in Teams, you will also have the ability to stream the meeting in another platform of choice; for instance, here is an example of a recorded meeting where you simply right click and you can view the meeting on a platform such as Microsoft Stream. However, you can still download the meeting and view it on your local platform suited to your recommendations.  

Storage based limitations  

Storage limitations also play a massive factor in Teams; it is difficult to add files to shared users with an inability to store vast amounts of data on Teams cloud storage. Below is limitations set by Microsoft for the storage for free users to paid users. 

Storage metric Free version Paid version 
Single user storage 1GB 1TB 
Shared storage 10GB 25TB 
Teams file storage N/A 25TB 
File upload limit N/A 250GB 

As you can see, the free version is so limited in this factor it doesn’t have an official upload limit; once the limit of 1GB has been passed, you will no longer be able to upload files. On the other hand, the paid version offers its users a good amount of data and file capacity. When you upload a file, you can be sure with a limit of 250GB; you can upload the file without any issues regarding limitations.  

You cannot have mobile conferencing in Microsoft Teams.  

At times, people in your company may need to use a phone to call into a meeting. For just this reason, Microsoft Teams provides an audio-conferencing function! Instead of using the Teams app on a mobile device or a PC, people may telephone into Teams meetings.  

The free version doesn’t allow you to have those luxuries; you will need to look at an alternative form of contact to proceed with conferencing.  

That’s it for the blog; we hope this outlines some of the most prominent drawbacks of the free version of Teams; if there are any issues in regards to the inability to use the free version properly, you can most certainly consider using the free version to give you those added advantages in Teams. 

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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