How to delete conversations in Teams

After several months of working from home due to COVID19, it may be time to delete conversations in Teams. The list of group chats and private conversations can become endless if you don’t clean this up regularly. It could even cause some Teams performance problems.

delete conversations in teams chat list

Removing vs deleting Teams chats

As early as 2019, requests were made to delete chats in Teams. The problem, however, is that deleting a chat also affects the conversation partner. In his or her Teams, the conversation will also be deleted. Microsoft Teams is based on a single place, containing every single conversation.
The solution to keeping your Teams list tidy is to remove the chats. This keeps the list of Chats short and clear.

How to remove conversations from Teams

To remove conversations from the Chats list, follow these steps:

  1. In Teams, right-click on a conversation
  2. Choose Hide teams hide conversation

To make a hidden conversation visible again, the following must be done:

  1. You search for a keyword using the Filter option at the top of the Chats list. If the hidden chat contains the keyword, the chat will pop up
  2. You send a new message to the conversation partner
  3. The conversation partner sends a message to you

There is no option to list all hidden conversations or chats. It is also not possible to delete conversations, because the other team member(s) would also lose the conversation.

How to delete messages in Teams

Deleting messages in Teams is instant and irreversible after a few minutes. If you have sent a message, you can delete it like this:
Hover over a message and click the three dots
Click Delete to immediately the message for both you and all participants.delete teams conversation message

The ‘dangerous’ thing about deleting messages is that the conversation partner cannot retrieve the message. The recipient does not even see that a message has been deleted. Once deleted, the message is completely gone. Only the sender has a few minutes to undo the deletion.

How to read deleted messages

Sometimes your conversation partner deletes messages while you are away. If you still want to read these messages, you must adjust your notification settings in advance. Your mailbox is the only ‘safe’ place for conversations to remain. Follow these steps to enable notifications for every activity

  1. Click on your avatar/photo at the top right
  2. Click Settings
  3. In the Settings screen, go to Notifications
  4. In the Notifications area, set Missed activity emails to As soon as possible.
  5. Set All Activity to get as many notifications as possible in your mailbox.

In Outlook, you can optionally set an Inbox Rule in your mailbox to move all Teams emails to a separate folder

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