Microsoft Teams Adds MacBook TouchBar Compatibility

Apple owners rejoice as Microsoft Teams utilizes the MacBook's keyboard touchscreen for some handy in-call shortcuts.

It seems we can't go a week without a Microsoft Teams update (not that we're complaining), and this latest one is bound to be a hit with MacBook users – you can now use the TouchBar to control functions in Teams directly.

PC users may be disappointed that there's nothing new for them here, but anyone with a MacBook will be thrilled to learn that their flashy TouchBar can now mute calls, turn the camera off, and more.

The request for this function came from the Microsoft Teams forums, before being implemented by the development team.

MacBook TouchBar Functions for Microsoft Teams

The TouchBar on the MacBook already has plenty of functionally for native Apple apps. But, it's fair to say that not everyone else makes full use of it. It's for this reason that MacBook owners are sure to be thrilled that Microsoft Teams has given that little touchscreen a purpose on future Teams calls.

Recently announced, it's now possible for MacBook users to control Teams with the TouchBar, including using it for key features, such as turning the camera off, muting the microphone, raising and lowering their hand, leave a meeting, and more.

Traditionally, these functions are controlled with buttons on the screen (or, if you prefer, keyboard shortcuts), but this addition will mean fewer games of needing to hunt the mouse cursor on screen or remember those keyboard commands.

No TouchBar? No problem – see our guide to the Best Video Call Tips and Shortcuts

Crowdsourced Microsoft Teams Updates

If you think that adding MacBook TouchBar support to Microsoft Teams is an oddly niche request, then you might be surprised to hear that it originally came via the very active Microsoft Teams forums. This is a venue in which users can ask questions, as well as request new features.

In fact, we covered these forums just the other week, when a long requested feature (the ability to turn off the chat) was implemented, much to relief of meeting hosts everywhere.

The original request was created by a user on the forums back in 2017, but was only implemented this week. With 698 votes and 114 comments, it's clear that original user who requested it was far from alone in wanting this to be added.

“We are excited to announce that Touch Bar controls are now available during calls and meetings on MacBook Pros. Users are now able to use the Touch Bar to turn their camera on/off, mute/unmute their microphone, raise/lower hand, leave a meeting and more.” Microsoft Forums Admin

Not sure whether to go with Microsoft Teams or Zoom? Read our in-depth guide.

Microsoft Teams Keyboard Shortcuts

Don't have an Apple MacBook with a TouchBar? Don't worry, as well as using the mouse to control Teams, you can also make use of the included keyboard shortcuts. We've included a list here of the most popular ones that you may fine useful:

  • Mute/unmute – Ctrl+Shift+M
  • Toggle video – Ctrl+Shift+O (desktop app only)
  • Accept video call – Ctrl+Shift+A
  • Accept audio call – Ctrl+Shift+S
  • Decline call –  Ctrl+Shift+D
  • Start video call – Ctrl+Shift+U
  • Filter list – Ctrl+Shift+F
  • Go to sharing toolbar – Ctrl+Shift+Space

Is it Worth Getting a Mac with a TouchBar?

If you're after a MacBook, you're already spending some serious cash. But, getting a model with the TouchBar above the keyboard adds some further expense.

For most everyday Mac users, a MacBook Air is a fantastic device. The latest Air model is remarkably fast, has a gorgeous screen, and is, of course, a slim and stylish laptop. But, the one thing it doesn't have is a TouchBar. For that, you'll need to spend more on a MacBook Pro.

It's unlikely that the Microsoft Teams functionality alone will be enough to tip anyone in the direction of a MacBook Pro. But, if you're after a laptop with a lot more processing power than the standard Air, then a MacBook Pro will give you everything you need – including a nifty TouchBar.

See our guide to the MacBook Air vs MacBook Pro for more.

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MacBook Air

MacBook Pro 13

MacBook Pro 16

Entry level MacBook still boasts impressive power

Lots of power, a brilliant screen and an improved keyboard make this the perfect MacBook for demanding users, though the Air is cheaper

The absolute pinnacle of MacBooks, and everything a design professional could want – but at an eye-watering price

13″

13″

16″

$949

$1,299

$2,399

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Written by:
Jack is the Deputy Editor for Tech.co. He has over 15 years experience in publishing, having covered both consumer and business technology extensively, including both in print and online. Jack has also led on investigations on topical tech issues, from privacy to price gouging. He has a strong background in research-based content, working with organisations globally, and has also been a member of government advisory committees on tech matters.
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