Microsoft is making it easy for you to mute your microphone when you don’t want to be heard on Microsoft Teams calls. Rolling out in the latest Windows 11 Dev Channel build is a new mute icon in the taskbar for when communications apps like Microsoft Teams are in use.
The initial iteration of this icon works as you’d expect, though it is currently only for select Windows 11 beta testers. Instead of having to manually search for the mute button in Teams, you can click the Microphone icon in the Windows 11 taskbar and choose the Mute option. You also can use the icon to see your call audio status and which app is accessing your microphone. The icon will be present all throughout your call, no matter how many windows you have open or what is on your screen.
“No more awkward or embarrassing moments when you forget to unmute or mute your microphone. You can now communicate and collaborate with confidence and ease using the new call mute feature on Windows 11,” wrote Amanda Langowski and Brandon LeBlanc, who head the Windows Insider Program.
This initial mute button only works with the desktop version of Microsoft Teams with school or work accounts, and not all Windows 11 Dev Channel insiders might see it. Microsoft is planning to ramp up the rollout of the icon over time and also bring support for it to the Windows 11 chat app soon. Other communication apps like Slack, Zoom, or Google Meet can tap into the feature and add the capability as well, though it appears to be up to those app developers to enable it.
Once beta testing is complete, Microsoft is planning to roll out the mute icon to the regular version of Windows 11. It says this will be done in a future servicing update. When everyone has it, this would be the latest time-saving feature to be added to Windows 11. Other features include Snap Layouts, the Widgets app, and the centered Start Menu that shows links to the most recent files and apps.
The Windows Insider build, which brings this new microphone mute icon, also addresses several other issues in Windows 11, ranging from the File Explorer and taskbar to search. If you really want to experience this for yourself, you can opt your Windows 11 PC into the Dev Channel of the Windows Insider Program to get it. But, as Microsoft said, not every Windows Insider will be seeing this. And keep in mind that Windows 11 Dev Channel builds are known to be unstable.