When you first install Windows 11, you will probably see a new icon on your Taskbar — or, at least, it will be new if you haven’t been using Microsoft’s Teams collaboration app lately. If you float your cursor across the icon, which looks like a camera inside of a cartoon speech balloon, it will say “Chat.” Click on it, and you’ll be invited to “Meet and chat with friends and family” using Microsoft Teams.
If you’re already using Teams, or you’re okay with switching to it, you’re fine. After that, when you click on the Chat icon, you’ll be able to chat with friends, family, and colleagues using a pop-up box.
So what if you’re not interested in using Microsoft Teams?
There are several things you can do if you find the push to Teams irritating. You can stop Teams from automatically loading every time you start your machine. You can remove the Chat icon from the Taskbar. And, if you really want to go the whole hog, you can uninstall it.
Let’s take these one at a time.
STOP TEAMS FROM LOADING ON STARTUP
It’s really simple to simply stop Teams — or any other app that you don’t need — from loading when your machine starts up. This not only gets your machine to start up faster, but it reserves your PC’s memory for the stuff you really want to use.
Open the Settings app. There are several methods: you can click on your Start icon and select Settings from the pinned menu; or right-click the Start icon and select Settings; or type “Windows + i” on the keyboard.
Select Apps > Startup
Scroll down to “Microsoft Teams” and toggle it off. (The app may say “Microsoft Teams (Preview)” instead.)
By the way, as long as you’re in the Startup menu, take a look at some of the other apps that automatically start up with your computer; there may be some others that you want to disable (for example, what if you don’t necessarily want to run OneDrive?). Go ahead and do that.
REMOVE TEAMS FROM YOUR TASKBAR
Even if you stop Teams from loading, you’re still going to have the Teams Chat icon sitting in your Taskbar. If you have no intention of using it and want to save your Taskbar for other apps, it’s simple to remove it, though it’s not quite the same process as most of the other apps that are pinned there.
Right-click on the Taskbar and then click on “Taskbar settings”
Under Taskbar items, toggle off “Chat”
If you really, really don’t want Teams around, you can uninstall it. There are actually two ways of doing this:
USING THE START MENU
Click on the Start menu icon in the Taskbar and then on the “All apps” button
Scroll down to the Microsoft Teams app or type “Teams” in the search box. (The app may say “Microsoft Teams (Preview)” instead.)
Right-click on the app and choose “Uninstall.” You’ll be told that the app will be uninstalled, so click “Uninstall” again.
Open the Settings app (see above for various ways to do this)
Select Apps from the left-hand menu
Select “Apps & Features”
Find the Microsoft Teams app, either by scrolling down or typing “Teams” into the search box. (It may say “Microsoft Teams (Preview).”)
Click on the three dots to the right of the app’s name and select “Uninstall.” You’ll be told that the app will be uninstalled, so click “Uninstall” again.