How Microsoft Teams Meeting Push-to-Talk Works aka "Keyboard Shortcut to Unmute" and Gotchas

Yay,  Teams Meeting CTRL+Spacebar to unmute is GA. See Roadmap.

What Feature are we talking about?

First let's get straight that there are 2 completely different Microsoft Teams features being called Push-to-Talk (and I see a lot of news articles conflating them):

  1. The Teams Walkie Talkie App: Provide 2-way radio functionality in Teams. This is like having one of those good old, black, Motorola 2 way radios inside your Android phone and having Teams as Channels. (super cool, but not what we are talking about today.)
  2. Teams Meeting press CTRL+SPACEBAR feature: to temporarily unmute during a meeting

This article is talking about number 2.

Now How It Works

  1. The setting is in Settings > Privacy > Keyboard Short Cut to Unmute. (This is enabled by default)
  2. Get in a Teams meeting (or see below, any call) and mute yourself.
  3. Now pressing CTRL+Spacebar will temporarily unmute yourself while pressed.

Why People Want This (and Not Mute/Unmute)

Some people work in noisy environments. Many meetings are spent listening with only 1 10 second question or answer in the whole meeting. Can we have a very efficient way to temporarily allow themselves to speak? This is the reason for "Keyboard Shortcut to Unmute" aka Meeting PTT (push to talk). And Microsoft ain't beyond saying "If our competition is doing it, we had better be too!"

You could think of it as Mute/Unmute being oriented towards those spending a lot of time both speaking and not. PTT is for those meetings when you only talk for short periods.

Notes & Gotchas:

  • I notice that PTT/ctrl+spacebar works in regular telephone calls as well as meetings.
  • If you are not muted, ctrl+spacebar has no effect.
  • Ctrl + Spacebar only works with the Microsoft Teams app has the focus.
  • ctrl+shift+M does not work when ctrl+spacebar (meeting PTT) is enabled.
  • Be careful onscreen buttons are not selected when you hit ctrl+spacebar as spacebar "presses" a selected button. (for example: if "Video" or "Share" has the selection, ctrl+spacebar will press that action.)

How Stuff Looks

New Setting:

What is shown when you are unmuted:


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