June 30, 2021

How to find inactive teams in MS Teams


Organizations with a teams sprawl often have unused teams, that create a burden on resources both physically and administration-wise. A better way to organize teams is to classify them as active and inactive teams. This helps in minimizing the clutter, optimizing resource utilization, and securing the content. Inactive teams should hence be either archived or disposed off after a project is over to keep Teams environment clean. This boils down to the detection of obsolete or inactive teams in Microsoft Teams. But is there a straightforward way to do it? Let’s find out –

MS Teams limitations in team visibility and restoration

To get visibility on all team activities in Microsoft Teams, you need to visit the admin center and derive a usage report. Sadly, you can detect only active teams based on chat, conversations, file sharing, etc. Hence, to identify inactive teams, you need to filter them out manually. In MS Teams, there is no automated way to find team status. Secondly, if you accidentally delete a team, you can’t restore its content if a timeframe of 30 days is passed after deletion.

Ways to identify inactive teams

Now, let us summarize three important ways to discover inactive teams to maintain a healthy and efficient environment for collaboration –

1. Teams Usage Report in Office 365

The Teams usage report in the Microsoft Teams admin center gives you an overview of the usage activity in Teams. This includes the number of active users, channels, guests, and post messages via chat and conversations to know how many users in each team are actively using Teams to communicate and collaborate.

Screenshot of the Teams usage report in the Teams admin center with callouts

Also, you can view only the last 7 or 28 days of activity of teams using the Teams usage report which might not reveal adequate insights

2. Activity Report with PowerShell

You can also generate activity reports using PowerShell scripts and identify the information as needed. The script checks the audit records of inactive teams and provides an HTML report file based on SharePoint site activity in the group’s document library in the past 90 days and conversations that occurred in the mailbox in the past year. However, as writing PowerShell commands is complex and time-consuming, it may get challenging for administrators to produce multiple reports demanded on daily basis.

3. Identifying Inactive Teams using Activity Threshold

Another method to detect inactive teams in your Teams environment is by setting an expiration policy for the associated group in Azure AD. This notifies the owner of the team or group by sending an email to renew or delete the team after specified days if no activity is detected. But in case the owner fails to notice the mail or renew the team within a timeline of configured policy, the team gets deleted by itself and can’t be restored after 30 days.

4. Use TeamsHUB by Cyclotron

TeamsHUB by Cyclotron is third-party automation software that can closely monitor your Teams environment to give you smart insights in real-time. With an intuitive dashboard, you can view everything that happens with each team. TeamsHUB by Cyclotron uncovers the truth behind your data and displays the number of owners, members, and guests, inactive teams, archived teams, orphaned or ownerless teams, files shared by users externally, and more with eye-catching graphs and charts.

Not only that, but you can also manage the entire lifecycle of teams, sites, and other workloads in your tenant with just a few click, without risking any data loss. With end-to-end governance features, TeamsHUB by Cyclotron has much more exciting things in store for you.

To learn more about TeamsHUB by Cyclotron, please visit https://teamshub.io or contact sales@cyclotrongroup.com to request a demo

Read more