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Microsoft Teams: This new feature could make your meetings easier to watch

Microsoft makes a subtle but useful change to Teams for those who frequently attend large video meetings.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer on

Microsoft is rolling out a faster way for Teams users to switch between Gallery, Together Mode, Focus Mode and more to suit the flow of video meetings. 

The company has released its new Teams 'View Switcher' to public preview, allowing users to click from an always-available menu of different views. 

Located at the top left of the screen, the view switcher icon allows for quick switching between Gallery, Large gallery, Together mode, Gallery at top, Focus, and Full screen. 

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It was one of a host of new and upcoming Teams features announced at Microsoft Ignite 2021 in March. Via Windows Central, different views were previously available to choose from in the ellipsis 'overflow' menu in the meeting toolbar. 

The view switcher makes it easier to switch views and control how to view meeting content or remove visual distractions. 

The new view switcher is available on the Teams app for Windows 10/11 and macOS, according to a Microsoft blogpost

Teams users could choose Together mode to avoid visual distractions. Selecting Gallery at top places all video feeds at the top of a meeting window, improving eye gaze with others. Focus mode hides all video feeds and only shows shared content while Full screen can remove other desktop distractions.

All-in-all, it's a minor feature update but one that could help people who regularly use Teams for large meetings to more easily pick the right view throughout a meeting.

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To enable the new view switcher, users need to be in the Teams Public Preview and IT admins need to set an update policy that turns on Show preview features. Users not in the public preview can still switch views through the ellipses overflow menu. 

"When users join a meeting, they can click on View Switcher icon in the meeting toolbar to control how they prefer to see the meeting. To be able to access Focus Mode, other user needs to share screen or content," Microsoft adds. 

Microsoft has rolled out these different viewing modes to support endless video meetings during the pandemic. In September it announced several new in-office meeting features aimed at hybrid work scenarios, including AI-powered meeting cameras, and hot-desking features for Teams displays to help people to locate and reserve flexible workspaces in the office.  

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