Setup Microsoft Teams Chat Monitoring [Complete Guide 2024]

Written By Steven Arends

Sometimes it becomes vital to monitor Teams members’ chats to identify, capture or take action against inappropriate messages in the organization. Any member of the organization can bother other members with messages.setup-microsoft-teams-chat-monitoring

So, taking action is only possible after monitoring the chats. As an admin, if you want to monitor Teams chats and looking for a proper guideline, this article is for you.

Without further ado, start reading and get to the bottom of the article.

Things to Remember Before Monitoring Chats in Microsoft Teams

To monitor chats in Teams, ensure that you have the right Microsoft 365 license. For monitoring, the license should get upgraded to either E3 or E5 license plans. Next, enable communication compliance at a global level. Then specify whom to monitor and create a monitoring policy.

So, let’s take a look at the prerequisites to keep in mind before monitoring Teams chat.

Here are the essential things to keep in mind before monitoring chats in MS Teams:

1. Upgrade Microsoft 365 License to the Right One

For monitoring chats and other logs, the organization must avail proper license. Not all Microsoft 365 licenses allow chat monitoring. Whether you have a basic, standard, or premium license, you must upgrade it to the E3 or E5 license plan.

2. Turn On Communication Compliance

Not all persons can monitor Teams chat; only an authorized communication compliance admin must enable this feature first. A company or organization can assign admins to the following roles.turn-on-communication-compliance

  • Communication compliance admin role: It’s a lower-level compliance role. This admin can read, write, update or delete the chat monitoring policy.
  • Communication compliance analyst role: The analyst cannot see chat content but analyze created policies and views chat metadata.
  • Communication compliance investigator role: The investigator can check both metadata and contents of Teams chat.

3. Specify Whom to Monitor

The admins in the Communication compliance role can monitor the employees’ chats. So, admins can monitor a specific user or add users to a specific monitoring group.

4. Create a Monitoring Policy

Admin must create a monitoring policy to monitor Teams user’s chat efficiently. To ease the process, Microsoft provides policy templates. With these templates, admins can create policies from scratch.

Through the policies, it is possible to choose which Teams channel to monitor, put members in the monitoring groups, assign an admin to review the policy, and so on.

So, above mentioned things, you should keep in mind before starting to monitor Teams chats.

Apart from these prerequisites, as a user of Teams, you might notice someone muted on Teams while a meeting is going on. If that’s the case, don’t get annoyed because you can always check who muted you on Teams.

How to Monitor Chats in Microsoft Teams

To start chat monitoring in Teams as an admin, first, you need to go to the Microsoft 365 admin center. Then head over to the Compliance section. Now you have to search for specific content from the Content search section. You can add locations, conditions, etc., in the search field.

Not all can monitor chats in Teams. Only an assigned admin with a suitable role can monitor the employees’ messages.

So, let’s see the steps to enable monitoring messages in MS Teams.

Here are the steps to monitor chat in MS Teams as an admin: 

  • Launch the Microsoft Teams admin center and click on Show all from the left pane. click-show-all-button-from-ms-365-admin-center
  • Click Compliance under the Management center section. click-compliance-option
  • Select the Show all button again.
  • Click on the Content search option from the left pane of the Compliance center page.
  • Select the Search tab and click on the New search
  • Give the search a name in the Name field and type in the description in the required field.
  • Click the Next button after that. give-name-and-click-next
  • Turn on the status button for Exchange mailboxes and SharePoint sites on the Locations page.
  • Click on Choose users, groups, or teams to search chats of a specific user’s mailbox. turn-on-exchange-mailboxes-and-sharepoints-sites
  • Select the name and click Done.
  • Click Next to move to the Conditions
  • Click on the Add condition button to select anyone from the list. click-add-conditions-and-choose-one
  • Type in the keyword you want to search in the Define you search condition page.
  • Delete the date parameter if you don’t want to search the keyword between dates.
  • Click Next to move to the next page. click-next-to-review-search
  • Click the Submit button after matching your search criteria from the Review your search and create it page. click-submit-button

After clicking the button, you will get a notification of successful search creation. Click the Done button from that page. click-done-button

Sometimes, due to errors in Teams, it can’t access the content you’re looking for and shows a message that states, “We can’t access your content. Please refresh to try again.”  But it’s possible to fix Teams can’t access your content error with some esuitable methods.

View Searched Contents or Chats

To get the search result go to the Content search page. You’ll find the name that you gave while creating the search. When the search is complete, the status will show completed. Now, the chat monitoring result is ready to view. click-on-the-search-result

Click on the name of the search result and select the Review sample button to check your chat search result on the browser. click-review-sample-button

It is possible to download the chat search result as a PST file.

You’ll notice a list of email or Teams chat items on the review sample page. Click on them to view the chats. That’s it; now you export the chat monitoring result as a whole or individually. monitoring-chats-in-microsoft-teams

Some users reported that they could not view Teams chat messages. If that’s the case, you can research and follow some tested guides to fix the Teams chat message not showing up error.

What is Monitorable in Microsoft Teams?

Many people still ask if MS Teams monitor employees’ chat or other activity, and the answer is yes. But for tracking activity and monitoring chats, the user’s account should be under an organizational account. The IT admin or employer can monitor chats, calls, meetings, etc.

The employer of the organization can monitor their employees through Teams. After the pandemic, almost all organizations started remote working environments. That’s why monitoring the employees becomes vital.

But what are things that an IT admin can monitor in MS Teams? Let’s have a look.

Here is the list of things an admin can monitor in MS Teams:

  • Can access 1:1 chats, channels, or group messages in Teams.
  • Able to monitor any created or deleted items such as chats, channels, Teams, or other things.
  • Organizations can view log-in and log-out times, including users’ IP addresses, device names, etc.
  • Authorized IT admin can see meeting subject, time, duration, and participants list of any organized meeting.
  • The company can see the list of every Teams app or third-party app used by the members.
  • Get hands with the recorded meetings on Teams.
  • The IT administrator can see the type of headphones the users use, including the model name.
  • Organizations get hands with all the created documents and attached files inside the Teams app.

So, these are the things an assigned IT admin of any Teams organization can monitor.


Can Microsoft Teams Chat be Monitored?

Yes, an authorized admin can monitor chats in MS Teams if you are under an organizational account.

Are Microsoft Teams chats private? 

Everyone in the Teams channel can start conversations, but private chats are viewable only to those in the chat.

How can I view Microsoft Teams chat history as an admin?

Go to the Microsoft Office 365 Security & Compliance Admin Center as a global admin. Then navigate to Search > Content Search > Guided Search. Then apply some conditions for the search query and hit the Submit button.

Bottom Line

Teams allow the organization to monitor its employee’s chats and activity to detect any suspicious activity. If any employee or user does inappropriate chats inside the channels or 1:1 chats, an IT admin can monitor the user’s chats.

But for this, the organization must get the E3 or E5 license plans. In this article, I have shown a step-by-step guide to monitor chats in Teams. I hope you can monitor the users as an admin by following the steps.

Knock me in the box below for additional help. Best of luck monitoring activity in Teams!