Microsoft Teams is making a big change to one of its most basic feature - and it's going to change how all your meetings look for good

Microsoft Teams new gallery view
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Your Microsoft Teams calls could soon look drastically different thanks to an update to one of its most basic features.

The video conferencing service has typically displayed participants in a call or meeting in a 3x3 view, with everyone given the same size window, even if joining as part of a group from a meeting room or other location.

However this will now change, with users now able to change the default number of participants visible on your screen to whatever best fits your preference - and your monitor size.

Going forward, users can now choose from having a maximum 4, 9, 16, and 49 participants visible on the screen when in the gallery view, allowing you to get a much clearer look at key speakers, or seeing exactly how everyone attending reacts at the same time.

To address the issue of multiple people joining from the same location being undersized, anyone now joining from a Microsoft Teams Rooms will now automatically be shown in an enlarged window. Microsoft says this tweak (pictured below) will give remote attendees a much clearer view and better connection and collaboration, meaning they can quickly identify who is speaking.

Microsoft Teams Rooms new layout

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Tile sizes can still be customized and tweaked to a user's liking, but Teams will also look to prioritize visibility for participants who have a raised hand, with extra focus also given to the active speaker, enhancing their visibility so comments are not missed.

Elsewhere, for those who may get a bit self-conscious having their own video visible to them on screen, there is now an option to hide your own tile from the gallery view - although this will only screen it from yourself, not from other participants.

"The meeting stage, or gallery, is at the core of the virtual meeting experience and can either hinder or enhance meeting efficiency depending on your needs," Microsoft's Meera Ajam noted in a blog post announcing the news. 

"We’re excited to share how we’re evolving the default gallery experience in Teams meetings to give you a simpler, more predictable meeting presence—while enabling more controls that let you personalize the view to suit your preferences."

The new Microsoft Teams gallery view options will be available in a Public Preview launching in January 2024.

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Mike Moore
Deputy Editor, TechRadar Pro

Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and fellow Future title ITProPortal, and when he's not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.