Teams: #FightCorona – How do I turn the Meeting Lobby on or off?

This introductory blog series is intended for remote workers who have started using Teams due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Teams will be an essential tool in the battle to stay productive, to stay connected, and to fight corona as one global community. It is not intended for IT Pros which should refer to the Teams Real Simple with Pictures series, also on this site

Day 1: Desktop Client Orientation 101
Day 2: How do I join or create a team? Create a channel? Start a chat?
Day 3: How do I chat with others outside of my organisation?
Day 4: Rich chat features for effective conversations
Day 5: Mentions, Tags and Read Reciepts
Day 6: How can I set my availability? When is it right to chat and call?
Day 7: How can I schedule a meeting?
Day 8: How do I join a meeting?
Day 9: How do I turn the meeting lobby on or off?
Day 10: How do I add an agenda prior to the meeting?
Day 11: Rescheduling and cancelling meetings
Day 12: In The Meeting: How do I blur my background?
Day 13: In The Meeting: How do I mute or remove others?
Day 14: In The Meeting: Playing video with audio
Day 15: In The Meeting: Pinning Participants
Day 16: In The Meeting: Recording a Teams Meeting
Day 17: In The Meeting: Taking Control of a PowerPoint Presentation
Day 18: In The Meeting: Hard to hear? Use Live Captions
Day 19: Presenter and Attendee Meeting Roles
Day 20: How can I call other people?
Day 21: How can I forward calls?
Day 22: How can I configure Voicemail?
Day 23: Simultanuous Ring and Secondary Ringer
Day 24: Call Contacts, Speed Dial and Speed Dial Groups
Day 25: How do I hold, transfer, park or retrieve a call?
Day 26: Files – Create, Upload, Sync and Share
Day 27: Files – Tab, Pin, Search and Move
Day 28: Apps Part 1: What are Apps? How can I add them?
Day 29: Apps Part 2: Bots, Connectors and Custom Apps
Day 30: Everything else I think you should know.  Change is the most constant of all

Written: 25/03/2020 | Updated: N/A

Applies to:

We have covered scheduling it and joining the Teams Meeting, but before we can get into the meeting itself and explore all the good things we can do within it, we need to cover a few other topics first. Let’s get to grips with the lobby.


The lobby is a virtual lobby – much like a real life lobby where you are held before the meeting starts. At this time, you can’t chat with others who are waiting in the lobby. Recently, Microsoft set the default lobby experience for all Teams meetings to off so that attendees bypass the lobby, however the default experience used to be that the lobby was on and bypassed only by users within your organisation. Many organisations still have it set up this way. If this is happening to you, please contact your IT administrator


The lobby experience is very straightforward. I have set up the meeting and set the lobby to on for all users. When Sarita joins the meeting via join now on the pre-join screen she is then held in the lobby with the message ‘someone in the meeting should let you in soon’. She can adjust camera, audio and device settings at this point if required



I get a pop-up notification to see that someone is in the lobby. I can admit immediately or view lobby


If I view lobby I can see all of the people in the lobby and can admit or deny them entry. I can also invite others, or copy the join info (link icon) in the scenario  I wanted to send a Teams message or email to more attendees to join


Once I select the admit the attendees, they are admitted into the meeting and the meeting begins



Before the meeting starts, or right after setting it up, go to Calendar on the left in the app bar


Double click on the meeting


Select Meeting Options


This will direct to a web page. Select who can bypass the lobby


Lobby off

  • Everyone: Anyone who has access to the meeting link gets into the meeting directly, including people who call in. Sets the lobby to off as no one needs approval

Lobby on

  • People in my organization and trusted organizations: Only people in your organisation, guests and external users from trusted organizations can get into your meetings directly. Anonymous users and those who dial-in on a phone will wait in the lobby
  • People in my organization: Only people in your organisation and guest users can get into your meetings directly. Everyone else will wait in the lobby

There are benefits to using or not using the lobby for different types of meetings and different audiences. Meetings with lobbies tend to be good for formal business meetings, training and demos whilst meetings without the lobby is good for clinics, ask me anything sessions, and meet ups. Some thought has to be given to the experience as the lobby can, in some cirumstances, be seen as good management whilst in other circumstances it can bee seen as friction to the join experience. It has to be used with context

Once complete, select Save



You can also get to the meeting options via Outlook. Select the Calendar icon at the bottom of the client


Double click to open up the meeting


Select the Meeting Options link in the message body


This will redirect to the meetings option page in the browser. Follow the process as above to set the option for bypassing the lobby


Our job here is done for today! I hope that you now understand

  • What the Lobby is
  • How to turn the lobby on and off via Teams
  • How to turn the lobby on and off via Outlook

As said earlier, if you want to set one of the lobby options as the default for your organisation, raise this to your administrator who will be able to make the adjustments.

I hope you enjoyed this blog

Tomorrow’s blog is going to be How do I add agenda prior to the meeting?


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