A common challenge for people who access multiple Microsoft Teams organizations is switching between tenants using the full desktop application.
This is when you’ve been granted guest access to another Office 365 organization using the account you usually sign in as. You’ll select the organization (or tenant) from the drop-down list within the Teams application:
When you choose to change to another organization you are effectively signed-out from your home Teams tenant and go through a switching process:
The downside for many people – especially if Teams is your desk phone – is that you’ll no longer receive instant messages, calls or notifications from your home tenant.
A common workaround is to use the web browser, and often Google Chrome has been the go-to for achieving this because it supported multiple profiles.
However, Microsoft announced recently that the next version of Microsoft Edge will be based upon Chromium, the same underlying as Google Chrome.
The Edge Insider previews are now available for download, and reports are that it is faster than Google Chrome, and avoids the perceived risks some people associated with Google. In addition, newer builds are expected to get full Azure AD sign-in and sync in addition to Microsoft account integration.
When it comes to Microsoft Teams, Edge Insider works functionally the same as using Google Chrome. This means great features like video calling and desktop sharing extensions for Chrome announced earlier in the year will work in the new version of Edge, too.
It also means that one of the great features that used to be in Chrome – the ability to create Web Apps – is available in Edge Dev, as is easy to use too.
In this article, we’ll set up a Teams web app using Edge Dev or Edge Canary. Through the following steps, we’ll look at the easiest way to do this in a couple of stages, then progressively examine how we can have a little more flexibility including signing in with different accounts.
Create and setup your Edge Web App
Our first step is to sign-in to Microsoft Teams in the Edge Preview. Then, switch to the Teams guest tenant you want to access from the drop-down organization name:
After switching, you should see the tenantID in the address bar (highlighted below). If you don’t follow the Make sure your web app launches in the right Team instructions below.
Then from the options menu, select Apps>Install | Microsoft Teams:
The Install app dialogue will display. The name will initially be the Channel and Team you are currently within. Instead, change this to something more descriptive that you’ll easily find in the start menu.
In the example below I’ve chosen to use a format of Teams – <Organization Name>, for example, Teams – MS Cloud UG:
Because I have access to multiple Teams organizations, I’ve created a number of these. Easy to access links for these will be saved to the Start Menu within the folder Edge Dev Apps. You’ll also see I’ve pinned these to the Start Menu within a group for easy access:
Once launched, this allows us to use both a guest team (right) alongside the desktop app (left). If you look closely, you’ll see both even have separate icons, and our guest team benefits from the ability to show notifications through Edge preview, too:
Make sure your web app launches in the right Team each time
You might want to ensure that the web app launches directly into the right Team each time. To do this, select the team within the guest tenant, and select the Get link to team option. This is also useful if you don’t see the tenant ID in the address bar (as mentioned above):
The tenant ID will be shown here. Simply copy and paste this into the browser, then follow the step above to create your Edge Web App.
Sign into different Teams accounts or launch multiple Teams Web App Windows
If you are using a single Edge profile, then creating multiple Edge Web Apps will be successful, but only one can be in Teams at the same time.
To solve this, and to allow you to use different sign-ins (should you wish), use the Add a profile option in Edge Preview:
You’ll see in the example above, I’ve created multiple profiles for different tenants I wish to access as a Guest, plus another account for a separate sign-in.
Once you’ve done that and switched to the new profile, follow the steps above to create your Teams Web App.
Advanced setup and configuration of Teams Web Apps using PowerShell
There’s another way to achieve this if you need to access a large number of different Teams organizations or sign-in with different accounts.
This is based entirely on Tom Arbuthnot’s approach for doing the same with Google Chrome. It works in exactly the same way, except our version creates the shortcuts within the Start Menu and has a default setting for the profile directories.
The approach automates the creation of a new profile especially for each Teams Web App. It sets the launch URL to the Teams organization’s tenant ID, and allows as many Teams Web Apps to run concurrently as the PC will allow.
You can download the PowerShell script, Create-MSTeamsEdgeDevApp.ps1 from Github.
The script has the following key parameters:
- ShortcutName – the name of the Teams Guest App Name. This will be prefixed by “Teams -“, for example “Teams – Contoso”
- TenantID – ID of the Tenant. Get your Tenant ID by selecting a Channel or Team in the guest Tenant and choosing “Get Link”, then pick out the GUID after tenantID= in the URL, as shown above.
You’ll see the script in action, below.
The end result looks similar to the examples shown above – Start Menu shortcuts to Teams, launching as standalone applications alongside Edge Dev, Teams and other apps.
Use Teams Web Apps in Edge Preview (for example, Dev builds) to sign into multiple Teams organizations easily, without needing to use Google Chrome. In the examples above we’ve used the native Install App functionality to do this, and used PowerShell to make the process faster.
Want to learn more about How to Manage Microsoft Teams? Check out this guide for top tips on using Powershell, the Graph and Teams Templates.