Microsoft Teams update will fix the single most common video conferencing problem

Microsoft Teams
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft is working on a simple update for collaboration platform Teams that should eliminate the single most common video conferencing problem.

A new entry in the Microsoft 365 product roadmap shows the company will soon deploy a new keyboard shortcut (Ctrl + Spacebar) that will allow Teams users to temporarily unmute themselves during meetings.

The shortcut will work in much the same way as a walkie-talkie, opening the mic for as long as the user is holding down the two keys.

It’s not exactly a complex feature, but Microsoft still needs to put it through its paces in testing. Currently, the new shortcut is scheduled to roll out to all users by the end of October.

Microsoft Teams mute feature

As we’ve all learned during the pandemic, the mute feature is both a blessing and a curse. Meeting participants are either frustratingly unwilling to make use of the option, creating opportunities for audio interference, or alternatively find it hard to unmute themselves when it comes time to speak.

Although Microsoft Teams already has a keyboard shortcut that toggles mute on and off (Ctrl + Shift + M), the new shortcut will provide an easier option for anyone that wants to dive into conversation with a quick comment, or who is prone to forgetting to reactivate mute after they have finished speaking.

The Ctrl + Spacebar shortcut will also be a blessing for those who work predominantly from a laptop; the lack of dexterity afforded by laptop trackpads means that unmuting using the mouse involves a measure of fumbling.

In comparison to the wealth of Teams updates Microsoft announced last week, the mute shortcut might appear insignificant. But in terms of practical value to the user, it’s bound to be at least as useful as any other addition.

The beautiful simplicity of the tweak raises only one question: what has Microsoft been waiting for?

Joel Khalili
News and Features Editor

Joel Khalili is the News and Features Editor at TechRadar Pro, covering cybersecurity, data privacy, cloud, AI, blockchain, internet infrastructure, 5G, data storage and computing. He's responsible for curating our news content, as well as commissioning and producing features on the technologies that are transforming the way the world does business.