Top 13 Things to Know About Screen Sharing in Microsoft Teams

Top 13 Things to Know About Screen Sharing in Microsoft Teams

Screen sharing is very important in video conferencing applications such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet and others. In this way, you can show a file to other participants using the screen sharing feature without sending it to anyone or each participant. Thanks to this, everyone can view and discuss the contents of the file at the same time.

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Is screen sharing that easy? No, but you can use some nifty features. You can share your desktop, window, system audio, and more.

In this article, we take a closer look at the screen sharing functionality available in Microsoft Teams. So, here are the main essential things about screen sharing in Microsoft Teams that you should know.

1. What happens when you share the screen

Screen sharing in Microsoft Teams, similar to other apps, allows you to share your screen content with others. When you press the button to share the screen, you will be asked to choose what you want to share – a desktop or a file.

Some users are confused and wonder if other participants can open or manage the screen presented to them. No, that’s not possible. For example, if you share a screen with your email open, others can only see the email window. They cannot access or open your emails.

2. What can be shared on the teams

On Microsoft Teams, you can share your desktop, a single window, a presentation or a whiteboard.

Screen sharing in the Microsoft team guide 1

When you share your desktop, everything in the foreground of your screen is visible to others. So when you switch between windows, the other members can see it. If you want to keep focus on a single window, even if you switch between windows, you have to choose Window mode. This is handy if you don’t want others to notice what’s open on your desktop.

There are some limitations to the screen sharing function:

  • Window mode is not available on mobile and Linux applications.
  • The whiteboard only works for team calls and not for individual chats.
  • Whiteboard functionality is limited to desktop applications and the web. In other words, it can’t be started from mobile apps, but you can see the whiteboard on your phone when someone in the office or the web is sharing.
  • On the web, screen sharing can only be used on Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge browsers.
  • On macOS, teams force you to change the privacy settings (System Preferences> Security & Privacy> Privacy) if you want to share your screen with others.
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3. Which platforms support screen sharing

Teams’ screen sharing feature is available on all platforms. You can use it on the web, Android, iOS, Windows, Mac and Linux. However, some screen sharing modes are limited to certain platforms.

4. How to share the screen in Microsoft teams

Let’s see how to share the screen on the web, desktop and mobile apps.

Share screen on web and desktop

Call the person you want to share your screen with or start a team meeting using the Meet Now button.

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Then, on the call screen, click on the screen sharing icon found in the lower toolbar. You will see different ways to share – Desktop, window, PowerPoint and whiteboard, as shown below. Click on the one you want to share.

Screen sharing in the Microsoft team guide 2

Share the screen on Android and iOS

On the call screen, tap the three-dot icon in the lower toolbar. Select Share from the menu that appears.

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Then select the appropriate option – photo, video, PowerPoint or screen.

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5. How to know what is shared

The screen currently shared on the teams will be surrounded by a red outline. Check the screenshot below to see what the split screen will look like when Window mode is chosen.

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6. How to stop sharing

On the desktop, you will see the floating window with a cross in the lower right corner of the options toolbar. Tap the stop screen sharing icon.

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On mobile applications, open the Teams application and press the Stop Presentation button at the bottom

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7. Can you annotate on a split screen

No. You cannot draw or write on the split screen except on the whiteboard. Refer to our detailed guide on how to use the whiteboard in teams to know that it is done.

Point: Find out how the whiteboard in Windows differs from OneNote.

8. How to share system audio during the sharing screen

Whether you are playing a video or a file containing audio, other participants cannot hear the default audio. To share system audio, you must enable a setting.

You can do this before or after sharing the screen. If you want to share audio from the start, click the share screen button during a call. Then check the box next to Include system audio.

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Alternatively, when you have started sharing the screen, hover your mouse over the top edge of the screen. A toolbar will appear. Activate or deactivate system audio using the available button.

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9. How to switch between Windows while sharing the screen

There are two ways to switch between multiple windows when you share a screen. In the first method, you must stop sharing if you have selected Window mode. Then choose the window you want to select and share again. However, this is not a productive way.

To get the same results successfully, you must use the second method which is to use the Desktop sharing mode. This will show your entire office. Now you can easily switch between any window and attendees can see it.

Note: The entire process of switching between multiple windows as well as the rest of the desktop area will be visible to meeting attendees in desktop mode.

10. How many people can share the screen at a time

It is not possible to share the screen with multiple presenters during a meeting. Only one of them can share a screen at a time. However, if the second person presses the share screen button, they will have the right to share the screen and sharing will be stopped for the original presenter. They will also be informed.

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11. How to open the Teams application when sharing the desktop

When you share your entire desktop, the Teams app will be minimized. If you want to open the chat or perform any other action in the application, click the application icon in the taskbar.

Point: Learn how to prevent Microsoft Teams from launching at startup.

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12. When you share the screen, does the camera stay on

Yes. Your video will be visible to others even when sharing the screen. If you are on the desktop, you will see the video of four participants in the floating window. To view your own video, open the Teams app and your video will be available.

13. How to share files and documents outside of PowerPoint

Microsoft offers a native option for sharing PowerPoint files in the Teams app. To share other files, open them normally on your PC. Then share them using Desktop or Window mode.

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Bonus tip: How to prevent others from sharing the screen

As mentioned above, everyone has the right to share the screen. This can sometimes be problematic. To avoid this, you can prevent others from sharing their screen. Although there is no direct button to disable the functionality, there is a workaround.

You must change the role of participants in your meeting to Participant. By default, they are kept as presenters, who have the same rights as an organizer. Participants are not allowed to share the screen and can only see the shared screen.

To change the role of participants on the desktop, click the participants icon during a conference call. Next, click the three-dot icon next to the participant’s name and select Make a participant.

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On mobile apps, tap the attendees icon during a meeting. Then long press on the participant’s name. Select Create participant from the menu.

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Awaiting annotation

You wouldn’t want participants to randomly annotate on your screen when you share it – just like it happened with Zoom. However, the Zoom functionality of providing annotations when sharing screens was missing in Microsoft Teams at the time of this writing. Scribbling on the screen helps you take notes and point out things that would otherwise be difficult. We hope they will introduce this feature soon.


Do you know the Microsoft teams? Check out the tips mentioned in the next article to improve your Microsoft Teams experience.

Last updated on May 17, 2020

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