Using Microsoft Teams privately: How it works

Using Microsoft Teams privately: How it works

You can use Microsoft Teams not only for work, but also privately with friends and family. You set up the software with little effort.

By Sven Wernicke

Messenger, video telephony, collaboration tool – Teams from Microsoft is very flexible and is ideal for private use. In the basic version, the software for Windows 10/11, macOS, Linux, iOS and Android is even free. Getting started with Microsoft Teams is easy.

What you should consider before you start

The basic requirement for Microsoft Teams is a free Microsoft account. If you already have a Skype, OneDrive, or Xbox Live account, you automatically have a Microsoft account with identical access data.

Important: If you already have a team account, for example from your work, we recommend creating a new account to separate work and private. If you don't want this, a Microsoft account is sufficient for everything.

  1. Under You register for a Microsoft account in teams for a new one.
  2. Select the type of use. You can choose between "School/Uni", "Friends & Family" or "Work and Organisation".
  3. Tap on "Set up teams" and complete the registration.

Tip: You can also add a private account to a business team account later by clicking on your profile picture at the top right. You can switch between the two profiles directly in the Teams app.

Set up Microsoft Teams for personal use

To start with Microsoft Teams, follow these steps:

  1. Download the app for your favorite operating system from and install the program.
  2. Enter your data from Microsoft or Teams account in the appropriate field and go to "Login".
  3. For security reasons, enable 2-factor authentication when logging in for the first time.
  4. Enter your display name that you want to use for teams.

You can do that with teams


Teams isn't just for meetings at work. Image: © Microsoft 2021

You quickly internalized the core functions of teams. Fortunately, the software is almost self-explanatory. The differences between the versions for mobile devices and those for computers are small.

Start chat: At this point you create a chat, invite friends or family members and write messages. Under "Add group name" (top right) you give the chat room an individual name.

Meet now & calendar: You can schedule meetings in the calendar; you can start such a meeting immediately under the menu item "meet now". Here, too, you can invite friends directly from the contact list or via email and cell phone number. During a meeting, you can also use the camera and microphone for video meetings.

Invite people: Invite friends and, once they've also signed up for Teams, start a chat.

Video and audio calls: If you are in a chat with another person, you can start a call in the upper right corner. You have the choice between pure audio calls and video calls.

This offers teams for private use

It is worth using teams with friends. Because the Microsoft tool offers all sorts of advantages that go beyond those of a typical messenger. In the free basic version you get:

  • Group calls up to 60 minutes with 100 participants (per call)
  • Full chat function
  • Create plans together with tasks and votes
  • 5GB OneDrive cloud storage for fast media sharing
  • Data encryption for meetings, chats, files and calls

With a subscription to Microsoft 365, the range of functions increases. Then add:

  • Group calls up to 30 hours with 300 participants
  • 1TB cloud storage
  • Enhanced grammar, spelling and editing support
  • All the advantages of Microsoft 365 with Office applications, Outlook etc.
Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams Image: © Adobe Stock/ink drop 2021

Tips & Tricks around Microsoft Teams

You can get more out of Microsoft Teams and use the program better than the rest of your family:

  • Microsoft offers an extensive list of keyboard shortcuts for teams. They only work on the PC.
  • In the settings (top right) under "Privacy > Synchronize contacts > Manage" you synchronize your contacts from Outlook, Skype and your mobile phone. So you have all your friends and relatives together.
  • Under "Invite to Teams" (below the contact list) you create a link with which you invite other people to a meeting or chat. You can use teams in the browser, so you don't necessarily have to install the software.
  • Teams can also be used in the Microsoft Edge or Google Chrome browser with a few restrictions. Firefox and Safari are also not fully supported.

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