MS Teams has a search bar at the top, but like Google Chrome's Omnibar, it offers far more than basic functionality.

Basic Search

MSTeams_SearchBar_Basic_Result.png Performing a basic search is fairly simple:
1) Click the Search bar
2) Type a search term, hit enter.

This will return a collection of all Users, Teams, and Meetings in your contact list and Calendar. Click on any result to activate the appropriate function.
  • User: Open the chat window with the selected user. If there is previous chat history, it will be present in the chat window.
  • Team: Open the selected team chat channel. There is no functional difference between this and a user chat window.
  • Meeting: Open the chat window associated with the selected meeting. From here you can see the meeting Chat, Files, and Participants List, as well as the option to join the meeting.
Tip: Ctrl+E is a keyboard shortcut to select the search bar.
Tip: Ctrl+F is a keyboard shortcut to start a search in the current Channel, Chat or Group.

Advanced Search

When searching, you may press Enter or click on the "All Results" option to see a full list of search results. These results will show Users, Teams and Meetings as above, but also search message history, file names and file contents. These results can be further filtered down by Sender, Result Type (Message or Name), Date, Location and File Type if appropriate. These filters are available through the From, Type and More Filters drop down at the top of the search results.

Search Modifiers

When searching, it may be quicker to include search operators in the initial search term, rather than search, and then filter. The search bar offers a number of search operators that should be familiar to those who use them in web searches.
  • Search Operators are case sensitive. "Banner and Training" will search for all 3 words, while "Banner AND Training" will search for text containing only the two words.
  • Search terms including search operators are not able to return Users or Teams
  • If you need to for search a specific phrase, encase it in quotes to return an exact match of the enclosed phrase.
  • The AND modifier is implied and not explicitely needed, but can be included for ease of reading.
MSTeams_SearchBar_Operators_AND.png MSTeams_SearchBar_Operators_AND2.png
  • The OR modifier will return all results containing any of the listed words, but not neccessarily all words.
  • The Exclude modifer ( - ) will return all search results that do not contain the excluded term, but do contain any other searched for terms.
  • When searching for files, you may include a file type modifier to ensure you only find a specific type of file. The above example would find any word documents with IT in the name, or channel name, but not excel documents. When searching for files, you will have to select the Files tab of the search results, as Teams does not do that automatically for you.
  • Teams searching supports wildcard entries. The above example would match any mention of Train, Trained, Trains, or Training. As with all operators, it will not properly match users or channel names.


Besides search functions, the Search Bar offers a number of commands that perform a variety of functions. Below is the full current list of commands, along with explanation and examples of commands requiring them.
Status CommandsExplained in the image. Type the command and hit enter, and your displayed status will be changed.
/call <User Name>Type the command, followed by a user name. This will start an audio call with the requested contact. eg. /call IT Service Desk.
/filesThis command will return a list of all files you have uploaded, and all files shared with you. The list will be the quick search result, not the advanced search result. It will also display where the file is stored.
Clicking on any result will open the discovered file.
/find <Channel Name>This command will let you search in a specific location for your search terms. After entering this command you will be prompted to supply a channel or user name, and then your search terms.
eg. /find Teams Tip Of the Week Commands
You can use tab to auto-complete or jump to the next field instead of clicking on it with your mouse.
/goto <Channel Name>This command will open the default channel of a supplied Team or User chat.
eg. /goto IT Service Desk Team
/helpThis command will open the help topics built in to MS Teams.
/join <Channel Name>This command will display all public Teams, or all Teams which you have been invited to. Selecting any team from the result list will automatically register you for the team, and display the team on the channel navigation panel on the left.
eg. /join Teams Tips and Tricks
You may have to do an expanded search, by clicking on the result "Search for a team with 'Teams Tips and Tricks'" if it is not showing up automatically.
/keysThis command will open a window showing all keyboard shorcuts supported by MS Teams.
/mentionsMS Teams supports "Mentions". @<username> will send an alert to that user when posted. This command returns a search result listing all posts where your account has been mentioned in this fashion. Selecting any of the search results will open the relevant chat window, and scroll to that post.
/pop <User Name>This command will open a new chat window with the provided contact. This window will be a secondary window outside of the main Teams one, allowing for multiple chat windows to be on screen at one time.
/savedThis command will open a list of all messages which you have saved. You may save a message in the expansion menu near the reaction icons in all chat windows.
/testcallThis command will open an audio call with an automated messaging system for testing your audio and microphone settings.
/whatsnewThis command will open the update notes section in MS Teams Help.