Microsoft 365 Updates: April 2021


AMT’s Monthly Microsoft 365 Updates keep you up to date with new features and important announcements from Microsoft. Microsoft 365 has a continuous roll-out of changes. We filter out the announcements that we think will be most relevant to our customers and send them out in an easily digestible form. Here are the Microsoft 365 April updates.

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SharePoint and Teams: Folder in site visibly connected to channel

This shared association between Teams channels and the corresponding SharePoint folders will help eliminate confusion across all Microsoft 365 endpoints. In addition, it will provide greater clarity for users they’ll be able to easily move from a SharePoint folder directly to the corresponding Teams channel. To maintain this association, users will not be permitted to rename and delete any folders within your SharePoint library that have an associated Teams channel.

SharePoint folder connected to a channel in Teams
Additional information


Customise apps in Microsoft Teams

To determine which apps are customisable, go to the Teams admin center. Expand Teams Apps; select Manage apps; then check the Customisable column of the apps list and sort by apps that are customisable.

You might want to notify any admins on your team about this new capability and update your training and documentation as appropriate.

Teams: Join a meeting with digital meeting ID

All meetings will have a Meeting ID that is automatically assigned to a Microsoft Teams user and added to the meeting invite under the meeting link. Meeting attendees can join the meeting by entering the Meeting ID. For all meeting attendees, the pre-join, lobby and security will remain the same.

Join a meeting by ID in Outlook.
Join a meeting by code in Outlook

Join a meeting by ID on Teams desktop.
Join a meeting by code on Teams desktop

Join a meeting by ID on mobile.
Join a meeting by code on mobile

Allowing anonymous presenters in Teams live events

Your meeting organisers will now be able to schedule an anonymous presenter for a Teams live event when using the Teams desktop app.

Meeting organisers will indicate when scheduling the live event that they expect an anonymous presenter. This must be managed when scheduling the meeting.

The anonymous presenter must also use the Teams desktop app.
Meeting setup


  • PSTN (dial-in) users will not be supported in this new anonymous presenters workflow
  • If this option is set, only invites users will be allowed directly into the meeting regardless of the lobby option set for the tenant

Customised backgrounds in Microsoft Teams meeting video coming to mobile devices

Mobile devices respect the policies that are in place for Teams desktop apps via the VideoFiltersMode parameter.

You might want to notify your users about this new capability and update your training and documentation as appropriate.

  • iOS: rollout began early April and should be complete mid-April
  • Android: rollout begins early May and should be complete mid-May

Introducing Organisation-wide backgrounds

Once this feature is in preview, anyone within your organisation can view these backgrounds and apply them across calls and meetings via the new background settings panel.

While the feature is in preview, users will be able to view these images in a new background settings panel accessed from the options link in the meeting controls, and then apply an image across calls and meetings.

During a meeting or call, users can access Apply background effects from the options link in the meeting controls. Before joining a meeting, users can select Background filters below the video image.

Teams background

Rollout begins late April and should be complete late May.

Create tasks from Team chats or Channel posts

This feature will unify tasks in the Teams Task app in your organisation. Select More options on a Teams message to choose Create task and track in the Tasks app in Teams. All tasks created from chats and posts will appear with all of a users tasks in the Teams Tasks app. Individual tasks can be added to My tasks and collaborative tasks can be added to any shared plan.

Both will include a link back to the original chat or channel post to provide context. Your users will be able to add accountability by assigning tasks, setting due dates, priority, assignments, and even add notes right from their chat or channel post.

Create task available in menu
Create Task from Teams chat

Create in available options
Create Task from Teams chat

View Task details
Create Task from Teams chat


NOTE: The Tasks app must be installed to use this feature. Tasks is on by default unless your organisation has made explicit changes to exclude Tasks.

PowerPoint Live in Teams: Slide Translation

Roll out in early May (previously late April) and expected to complete by early June (previously late May).

Meeting attendees will see the slide translation feature when the presenter uses PowerPoint Live in a Teams meeting. Each meeting attendee will be able to convert the slide show content into one of nineteen languages of their preference. This unique experience will only occur for the user requesting slide translation without interrupting the presenter or any other attendees in the meeting.

PowerPoint slide translation available in nineteen languages.

Nineteen available languages


Slide Translation in PowerPoint Live

Webinars plus new meeting registration options

When scheduling a meeting, your users will see the Webinar option on the Calendar drop down menu in Teams (desktop/web).


Additionally, users will be able to add registrations for meetings and webinars for people in your organisation and outside of your organisation.

The registration feature will be on by default For everyone. In order to view who attended the webinars, Microsoft recommended setting the “AllowEngagementReport” policy to true.


Note: Microsoft will honor any existing meeting policies enabled within your organisation:

  • If allow scheduling private meetings is turned off, then users will not be able to schedule webinars.
  • When anonymous join is disabled for the tenant, users can schedule a public webinar but it will fail on join.
  • SharePoint lists are required in order to set up webinars. To set this up, learn more here: Control settings for Microsoft Lists

Organisers can lock meetings

Within the desktop app in-meeting experience, organisers can choose to lock their meetings to prevent subsequent unwanted join attempts.

Users attempting to join a locked meeting by any means (e.g. from web, desktop, mobile, PSTN, and devices) will not be able to do so. There will be a message to say that the meeting is locked.

The rollout will begin in mid-May and is expected to complete by the end of May.

Multiple spotlights coming to Teams Meetings

Users, when they are the meeting presenters or organisers, can now spotlight more participants in Team meetings than ever before. The spotlighting of selected participants will be maintained on their videos or avatars for everyone to see until turned off by the presenter or organiser.

Presenters/organisers can now:

  • Start spotlight on multiple participants by accessing their context menu from the participant roster or from the stage
  • Stop individual spotlights or stop all spotlights in bulk from the roster
  • Spotlight a maximum of 7 participants simultaneously in a meeting

Two meeting attendees being spotlighted by the presenter.

Spotlight select individuals

Power BI

Quick Create – Easily Create Power BI Reports from Lists

List users will see a new menu option in Integrate > Power BI > Visualise this list, which allows users to create a new Power BI report using that list. With just one click, you’ll be able to autogenerate a basic report and customise the list columns that are shown in the report. To take further advantage of Power BI’s advanced data visualisation capabilities, just go into Edit mode. Once a report is saved and published, it will appear in the same submenu under Integrate > Power BI.

Power BI Submenu Entry Point


  • Users with a Microsoft 365 E5 license or Power BI Pro license will have access to the full report authoring and viewing experience.
  • Users without either of the above licenses will be prompted by Power BI to sign up for a 60-day free trial of Power BI Pro when they attempt to save a new report or edit or view an existing report. To turn off self-service sign-up so that the option for a trial is not exposed to List users, click here.
  • Users with a Power BI free license may only visualise their list data, but cannot publish nor view reports.


Exclude specific files from OneDrive sync on macOS

This setting lets you enter keywords to prevent the OneDrive sync app from uploading certain files to OneDrive or SharePoint. You can enter complete names, such as “setup.exe” or use the asterisk (*) as a wildcard character to represent a series of characters, such as *.pst. Keywords aren’t case-sensitive.

If you enable this setting, the sync app doesn’t upload new files that match the keywords you specified. No errors appear for the skipped files, and the files remain in the local OneDrive folder.

In Finder, the files appear with an “Excluded from sync” icon.
Files with this image will not sync to OneDrive

Users will also see a message in the OneDrive activity center that explains why the files aren’t syncing.
Exclude specific files from OneDrive

This rollout will be complete by mid May.

Service Health

Adding translator service to Service Health Dashboard

If you have configured your admin center in a language other than English, a toggle will appear on the Service Health Dashboard that will allow you to auto translate the content of incidents/advisories into your currently configured language. The content that will be translated with this toggle includes the following:

  • Title of incident/advisory
  • User Impact section of the incident/advisory
  • Latest posts of the incident/advisory

If you toggle the switch off, the content will default back to English. This new toggle switch will work in the same way the Message Center does today.

Full SHD with advisory open, toggled turned on, and content translated Full SHD with advisory open and content translated


Outlook on the Web: New calendar board view

When this feature is rolled out, users will see a new option in their calendar views. Users will be able to select the Board view in their calendar in Outlook on the web and create their own personal board with calendars, goals, files, task lists, sticky notes and manage them in one place.

Outlook on the web: New calendar board view demo.
Board view demo

Exchange Online – New cmdlet to make meetings shorter by default

With this new cmdlet, admins can now set a global policy to shorten events. Admins can set their org’s events to start late or end early. Once this feature is enabled, all events created in Outlook will follow that setting. Below are some scenarios to consider:

If you don’t run the cmdlet, there will be no change to your org.

If you run the cmdlet:

  • Individuals in the organisation will see their meeting length reduced when creating an event in Outlook.
    • If a user has already created an individual setup at any point, the company-wide policy will not apply to them.
    • A MailTip will show up only in Outlook on the web when an admin has set up this feature, letting the user know that their organisation made the change.
    • The same MailTip will come to other Outlook endpoints over the next few months. The MailTip is retroactive, so users will see it when it is shipped regardless of when the cmdlet was enabled by the admin.
    • If users have created an individual setup, they will not see the MailTip – since the change does not apply to them.
  • The MailTip is available only in Outlook on the web, and the other clients will honor the setting but won’t advise the user of the change.
    • For the most updated information on which versions respect the settings, read this article.
  • Meetings scheduled from Microsoft Teams will not respect this setting but shortened events created in Outlook will show up in the Teams calendar with the shortened length.

Organisation has shortened Outlook events by default
Shorten events in Outlook