How to control upcoming Priority Notifications in Teams

The upcoming feature ”Priority Notifications” allows user to send another user private messages that will notify the recipient every two minutes until the message is read or 20 minutes have passed. This is great if you absolutely positively have to get the recipient’s attention but if it is used too often it will become a nuisance.

I think that in Teams the user takes the control and responsibility how person is available and how Teams notifies about matters of interest.

With priority messages this ”power” is given to the sender – at least partially. In case the recipient can receive notifications there will be alerts until the message is read. Most likely these notifications also raise a Banner, which makes it really awkward in case you are sharing your screen to a room of full of audience. Will these bypass Focus Mode or /DND is yet unknown to me, but I hope that they won’t.


Priority notifications are set in Messaging policies at Teams Admin Center.

This means that we can create different kind of policies with either priority notifcations on or off and assign them to different users. Since priority notifications is assumed to originally raised from healthcare needs we can use that as an example.

  • Policy for office workers: priority notifications are set off
  • Policy for nurses: priority notifications are set off
  • Policy for nurses in charge: priority notifications are set on
  • Policy for doctors: priority notifications are set on

Keep in mind that each person can have only ONE messaging policy set. This means that you should plan these policies through, instead of just creating lots of policies where some features are off and on. Keep it as simple as possible.

You can manage this manually (some persons can have this on) but usually it is better to plan a PowerShell or some other administrative script/software that does the setting up of policies based on known rules.

# of priority notifications / month

How many priority notifications each user can send monthly depends on their licensing. In short: Microsoft / Office F1, E1 & A1 licenses allow 5 priority notifications sent monthly. Microsoft / Office E3/E5/A5 licenced users have unlimited number of priority notifications available. Check more about the licensing in here.

Note: Until 1.1.2020 all Teams users have unlimited number of priority notifications available .

Teams Governance teams: Check the priority notification

All teams and persons doing Teams Governance should check priority notifications and decide do you want them on or off – and what groups of users should have access to them – or is it usable by all.

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