Run multiple personalized Microsoft Teams organizations at the same time

A different blog than you are used to see on my website. But since we are all working from home and collaborating more and more in Teams. We are also facing a bunch of challenges with that. Today I had a call with two of my colleagues and had a brief talk about the challenges with working for multiple clients and multiple Teams organizations at the same time. But… we found a solution to make it more flexible!

The challenge

I do not think that it is a surprise for anybody that working with Microsoft Teams and different organizations is a big hassle. The multi-tenant setup is not very user friendly yet. TeamsSwitchOrgOn the right top in Teams you can switch organizations, but that only works if you are signing in with the same username and password to another organization. In other words, your account needs to be added as a guest account to the Active Directory in the other organization.

For a lot of us, working as a consultant for different clients, this is not our day-to-day practice. We have a separate Microsoft account for every client, which requires signing out and signing in again. If case you have single sign-on enabled, it can become even a bigger struggle to sign in with a different account than your organization one. As a solution, you might be running Teams in a browser window, which is a first step, but it is still hard to keep up with everything that is happening in Teams.

Well… not for long. With the few little tricks I describe below, you can run multiple Teams environments at the same time by using the new Edge Chromium browser and also customize it so you directly see which Teams environment you opened.

The solution

With the solution, we will be able to run multiple Teams environments at the same time, using the power of the new Edge Chromium browser. This will help us in keeping track of all the things happening in Teams for our own organization, but at the same time our client organizations.

First thing we need to do, is start using the Microsoft Edge Chromium browser. First thing to be aware of… this is not the default Edge browser installed on your windows machine. You need to download it separately and after installation it will replace the default installed one.

Create apps

After installation of the Edge Chromium browser, you can import the browser profiles from earlier used browsers if you want and completely switch to this new awesome browser, but you do not have to. You can also decide to only use this browser for you Teams setup. Below I will guide you step by step how you can easily create an app for every Teams organization.

  1. The first step we need to take, is to go to teams.microsoft.com within the Edge Chromium browser.
  2. In Teams, you sign-in to the organization of your preference.
  3. If asked, choose to open Teams in the web browser instead of the Teams application.
  4. Next is to click on the . . .  on the right top in your browser.
  5. Click “Apps”
  6. Click “Install this site as an app”
    TeamsEdgeInstallApp
  7. Give the app an explanatory name, so you can recognize to which organization this Teams application belongs. This will help you in a later step.
  8. Now, you see the icon popping up in your windows task bar.

Now you have different Teams environments running at the same time. That is already a great step forward! But there is one challenge left. As you might notice, all Teams icons in your task bar have the same icon, which makes it harder to recognize which icon belongs to which organization.
TeamsIconsNative

Customize the icon

Personally, I have 4 Teams organizations running at the same time. It happens to me frequently that I click the wrong Teams icon in my task bar and end-up at the wrong organization. Let’s take this a step further and customize the icons to directly recognize which Teams icon represents which organization.

  1. For every installed app, there is a shortcut created in the Start Menu folder. Open the file explorer and follow this path:
    C:\Users\{your name}\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs
  2. In here, you see all the different apps created. Simply right click the one you prefer to change and go to Properties.
  3. Navigate to the Shortcut tab.
  4. At the bottom, there is an option Change Icon, click that.
  5. Here you can select a different icon for this application. Windows requires this to be a file with the .ico extension. We do not have that yet, so let’s create one. We will get back to this screen in step 9.
  6. Find an image of your preference. I choose to customize the native Teams icon in different colors. You can simply do that with any image editing tool you prefer.
  7. Go to this website, which helps you to transform your .png / .jpg or any other file format into a .ico file.
    TeamsTransformToIco
  8. After downloading the .ico file, save it at a location of your preference on your computer.
  9. As a final step, go back to the screen you were in step 5 in order to change the icon.
  10. Browse and select the icon of your preference. Click OK and do not forget to click Apply.
  11. You do not see the icon changed yet in your task bar. The final thing you need to do is unpin the application from your taskbar and pin it again. You can do this by simply doing a right-click.
    TeamsPinToTaskbar

For every Teams organization you want, you can repeat the above steps to get all your Teams organizations available in your task bar. Below a final screenshot of how it can look like in the end. I choose to have all my Teams organizations, with the brand color of the organization it refers to.

TeamsIconsCustomized

Links

 

4 thoughts on “Run multiple personalized Microsoft Teams organizations at the same time

  1. Pingback: Running Multiple Microsoft Teams Orgs Concurrently – Curated SQL

  2. Pingback: Run multiple personalized Microsoft Teams organizations at the same tim – 365ForAll

  3. Leen

    Hi Derek,

    Great idea but somehow it does not work for me. They all use the same organisation. When I log on to another organisation on one app the other apps lock up with this message:
    “You switched to a different Teams org. Please refresh the app to continue”
    When I click the button teams on that app it switches to the other organisation too.
    Did I miss anything or do I need to change settings in my Edge Chromium?

    Like

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