In Windows 11, Microsoft Teams has long been an app imposed on users, rather than one helpfully offered to them. Ever had a conversation with a friend, only to have a completely random person wander up and join in as if they’d been invited to chat all along? The built-in integration of Teams chat into Windows 11’s taskbar has always carried that vibe—you have to make a point of expelling it, otherwise it continues to sit awkwardly among your other shortcut icons. But in the latest Windows Insider Dev preview build, it looks like Microsoft is finally acknowledging how unwanted Teams chat has been.
As announced in a recent Windows Insider Blog post (and surfaced by Windows Central), a pinned shortcut to Teams will replace the chat flyout, starting with build 23481. The switch should make removing the app from your taskbar much easier—like all taskbar shortcuts, you’ll only need to right-click on it and then choose Unpin. Previously, nuking the chat integration could only be done by wading through your taskbar settings, which took several more steps. The change also eliminates the inconvenience of having to make this swap manually, as users who use Teams’ meeting feature more than chat have had to do. (Though maybe just let us decide to add the shortcut or not during setup, Microsoft?)
Other updates are rolling out with this new Insider build as well, which also will likely become features available for the general public later this year. They include include Windows Ink improvements, a new Focus Session widget, and the elimination of some folder option settings in File Explorer. Long-time Windows users may want to check out those folder option tweaks in particular, as Microsoft describes them as the removal of “legacy settings” that have “been around for ages [and] not being regularly used by people on Windows 11.” Insider builds take into account user feedback, so if you have a spare PC, you may want to try out the build and weigh in with your opinion now—before any final decisions are set in stone.
Especially since we’ve seen how things can shake out for us “legacy users” in Windows 11.