Public Team Search Fix in Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is designed to enable and promote collaboration in an organisation, however, we’ve encountered a few organisations having issues with public team search in Microsoft Teams not working.

After experiencing the issue ourselves at Arcible, we thought we would share the solution, a Public Team Search fix in Microsoft Teams. We can’t take credit for this one ourselves and we actually came across the answer while exploring a thread on one of the Microsoft Tech Communities for Microsoft Teams at https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Microsoft-Teams/We-don-t-see-any-Public-Teams-on-the-Add-Teams-page/m-p/116080/page/2 .

The solution to this problem is actually remarkably simple once you understand the cause and effect. Microsoft Teams is built atop of Office 365 Groups; Office 365 Groups are built atop of Exchange Online.

Exchange Online incorporates a feature called Address Book Policies (ABP). ABPs are designed to allow large organisations to segregate their Global Address List into smaller, more manageable chunks such as per-divsion or per-country. Arcible is a small business and we don’t use ABPs: looking at the properties for our mailboxes in Exchange Online and the ABP for everyone is set to none, however, the problem still seems to affect us even in this configuration.

Microsoft Teams, by default, uses ABPs to scope and limit what is accessible to a user via Microsoft Teams search. It appears that this setting also limits and restricts a users’ ability to locate publicly accessible Teams via the desktop application.

To resolve the issue, follow these simple steps. As a user with administrative permissions to manage Microsoft Teams, login to the Teams Admin Center at https://admin.teams.microsoft.com. Once you have logged in, expand Org-wide settings and then select Teams settings.

On the Teams settings page, scroll down to the heading Search by name and turn off the option labelled Scope directory search using Exchange address book policy.

Once you have turned this setting off, it will take a few hours to take effect. Once it has taken effect, users will start to see public teams listed in the desktop application when they click the Join or create a team link. A search box will also appear, enabling users to search for public teams within your organisation.

New to Microsoft Teams

If you and your organisation are new to Microsoft Teams or are looking to adopt Microsoft Teams and need assistance in making the right choices during your design and deployment phases, speak to us about our Consulting services to support you on your adoption journey.