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Use app setup policies to pin and auto install apps for users

As an admin, you use app setup policies to install and pin apps and control which users can upload custom apps in personal or team context. Pinning helps promote adoption of apps for the users and it provides quick access to the relevant apps. To know more, see app setup policy.

  • Pin apps in Teams client: App setup policies let you choose apps to pin, set the order the apps show up for your users in the Teams app bar or the compose message area. Admins can also control whether the users can pin their own apps or not.

  • Add apps to Teams client: App setup policies let you add the allowed apps on behalf of users when they start Teams and during meetings.

  • Upload custom apps: App setup policies let you control which users can upload custom apps to Teams. See Upload custom apps article.

The following built-in app setup policies are available in the Microsoft Teams admin center, by default:

  • Global (Org-wide default): This default policy applies to all users in your organization unless you assign another policy. Edit the global policy to pin apps that are most important for your users.

  • FirstlineWorker: This policy is for Frontline Worker. The policy can't be customized. You can assign it to Frontline Workers in your organization.

Pin apps

Using app pinning functionality, you can highlight apps that users need the most; make such apps available for users instantly; and make it available in the use's context. App pinning promotes ease of access and improves app adoption in your organization. Admins can pin apps and they can allow users to pin apps. If an admin pins an app, the app is added and pinned in the Teams client for the permitted users only. Pinning feature respects other governance controls such as permission policies. Pinned apps aren't available to users who aren't permitted to use the app. You can pin apps in the following UIs for the users:

  • App bar: When an app is pinned in the app bar in the Teams client, users can easily access it and use it.
  • Message extension: When an app is pinned as a messaging extension, users can quickly use it when composing their messages.
  • Meeting extension: When an app is pinned as a meeting extension, the meeting attendees can view it without leaving the meeting and quickly collaborate using the app. The functionality to pin apps in meetings is available only in Teams classic and not in the new Teams client. The in-meeting bar displays only two apps and the rest of the apps, if added, display under the More option.

Note

Pinning apps in meetings is a Preview feature. To use Preview features in your organization, see Microsoft Teams Public preview.

Apps that you pin to the app bar, show on the app bar on the left side of the Teams desktop client and at the bottom of the Teams mobile client.

Teams desktop client Teams mobile client
Screenshot showing the app bar in Teams desktop client.. Screenshot showing the app bar in Teams mobile client.

Apps that you pin in a meeting show at the top of the meeting window. Beyond two apps, the other apps display in the More option.

Screenshot showing a meeting room and apps pinned to the top bar in the meeting room.

To modify the pinned apps for everyone in your organization, edit the existing Global (Org-wide default) policy. To modify the pinned apps for specific users, create a new app setup policy and assign it to the specific users.

  1. Sign in to Teams admin center and access Teams apps > Setup policies.

  2. Select Add.

  3. Provide a name and description for the policy.

  4. Optionally, turn on User pinning to allow users to pin apps and change the order of the pinned apps.

  5. Under Pinned apps, select Add apps.

  6. In the Add pinned apps pane, search for the apps you want to add, and then select Add. Apps get added only to the scopes that the apps support.

    Screenshot shows how to add pinned apps in app setup policy.

  7. Arrange the apps in the order that you want the apps to appear in Teams client. You can change the sequence independently under App bar, Messaging extensions, and Meeting extensions. You can remove apps from a particular scope.

    Screenshot of the pinned apps and options to change their order.

  8. Select Save.

Note

In Teams for Education, the Assignments app is pinned by default even though you don't see it listed in the Global policy.

Tip

For the frontline workers in your organization, we recommend using the tailored frontline app experience. This feature pins the most relevant apps in Teams for users who have an F license. To learn more, see Tailor Teams apps for your frontline workers.

Add apps to your Teams client

You can achieve the following by using an app setup policy:

  • Add apps for the users in their personal Teams environment.
  • Add apps for the users as messaging extensions.

Users can add apps on their own if the app permission policy lets them use it and an admin allows the app. If an app is blocked, then the users can request admin approval.

To add apps for your users using an app setup policy, follow these steps:

  1. Sign in to Teams admin center and access Teams apps > Setup policies.

  2. Select Add.

  3. Provide a name and description for the policy.

  4. Under Installed apps, select Add apps.

  5. In the Add installed apps pane, search the apps that you want to add for users. You can also filter apps by app permission policy.

  6. Select Add.

Screenshot showing an example of a list of apps that are installed using app setup policy.

Use app setup policy to allow independent bots

Developers can create bots as part of Microsoft Bot Framework. Developers can incorporate these bots in a Teams app for use in Teams or developers can share these bots as independent bots that users can use anywhere else, including in Teams client. As an admin, you not only govern Teams apps that contain bots but you can also let your users use independent bots.

Teams classic and in new Teams support the following bot scenarios based on the admin center settings:

Flowchart showing a decision making flow for admins to know how they can allow their users to use independent bots.

Tip

We recommend that you get a Teams app created to use bots in your organization. Having a bot incorporated in a Teams app, offers many governance controls to you as an admin.

Manage app setup policies

You can manage the app setup policies in the Microsoft Teams admin center. Use the Global (Org-wide default) policy or create and assign custom policies. Global policy applies to all users unless you assign a custom policy to some users. Custom policy overrides the global policy. A Global Administrator or a Teams Administrator can manage these policies.

You can edit the settings in the global policy to include the apps that you want. To customize Teams for different groups of users in your organization, create and assign one or more custom policies.

Screenshot shows the app setup policies page with options to manage policies or add new policies.

Edit an app setup policy

You can use the Microsoft Teams admin center to edit a policy, including the Global (Org-wide default) policy and custom policies that you create. After you edit or assign a policy, it can take a few hours for changes to take effect. To edit an app setup policy, follow these steps:

  1. Sign in to the Teams admin center and go to Teams apps > Setup policies.

  2. Choose the policy you want to edit and then select Edit.

  3. Make the changes that you want.

  4. Select Save.

Assign a custom policy in app setup policy to users and groups

To know how to assign policies to your users and to groups, see how to assign policies to users and groups and admin center UI for group assignments. Groups are distribution list groups, mail-enabled security groups, security groups, and Microsoft 365 groups and are created in teams and groups UI in admin center.

A user can have more than one policy assigned either directly or as a part of different groups. However, only one policy is effective at a time for a user. To know what policy applies, see precedence of applied policies.

View the policies already applied to the user

You can use the Teams admin center to check the policies that are assigned to a user. To view the policies, follow these steps:

  1. Sign in to the Teams admin center and go to Users > Manage users.

  2. Search for and select the user by clicking to the left of the user name.

  3. Select View policies under the Policies assigned column.

    Screenshot that shows the option to view the existing policies applied to the user.

Change the existing policies for a user

To change the existing policies applied to a user, follow these steps:

  1. Sign in to the Teams admin center and go to Users > Manage users.

  2. Search for and select the user by clicking to the left of the user name and then select Edit settings.

  3. Select the policy you want to change, and then select Apply.

    Screenshot that shows the options to change the existing policies.

To unassign a custom policy from a user, you can set each policy to Global (Org-wide default).

You can change the existing policies for a user using PowerShell. For more information, see assign policies to users and groups.

Unassign app setup policies in bulk

When you unassign policies in bulk, you're removing policy assignments that were assigned to individual users through direct assignment. To unassign setup policies in bulk, follow these steps:

  1. Sign in to Teams admin center and go to Teams apps > Setup policies.

  2. Select the policy by clicking to the left of the policy name, and then select Bulk unassign users from Manage users menu.

    Screenshot that shows the bulk unassign users option from the manage user menu.

  3. Choose the policy that you want to unassign and select Load data to get the number of users who are currently assigned to that policy.

    Screenshot of the bulk unassign policies page with the load data option.

  4. Select Unassign, and then select Confirm.

Considerations and limitations

  • You can't add custom apps with configurable tabs using app setup policies.

  • Users can't remove an app if an admin adds it.

  • Users can unpin an app that is pinned via app setup policy if user pinning is allowed in the policy.

  • Users can change the order of their pinned apps on Teams desktop and mobile clients if the user pinning option is turned on. Users can't change the order of their pinned apps on Teams web client.

  • Admin pins always take precedence. If the user pinning option is turned on, then apps pinned by the users display below the apps pinned by the admins. If the user pinning option is turned off, then the users lose existing pins and only the apps pinned by the admins are available in the app bar.

  • The user pinning setting is available in the Teams admin center in Microsoft 365 Government Community Cloud (GCC) environments (GCC, GCC High, and DoD), but it has no effect.

  • In Teams for Education, the Assignments app is pinned by default even though it isn't listed in the Global policy.

  • There's no limit on the maximum number of pinned apps that you can add to a policy. However, at least two apps must be pinned to the Teams mobile client (iOS and Android). If a policy has fewer than two apps, the mobile client doesn't reflect the policy settings. Instead, the mobile client continues to use the existing configuration.

  • After you edit or assign a policy, it can take a few hours for changes to take effect. Also, the rollback takes a few hours to take effect if you choose to roll back the policy application.

  • The functionality to pin apps in meetings is available only in Teams classic and not in the new Teams client. The in-meeting bar displays only two apps and the rest of the apps, if added, display under the More option.

  • Not all apps can be pinned to Teams through an app setup policy. Some apps don't support this functionality. To find apps that can be pinned, search for the app in the Add pinned apps pane. Tabs that have a personal scope (static tabs) and bots can be pinned to the Teams desktop client and these apps are available in the Add pinned apps pane. While the Teams app store lists all Teams apps, the Add pinned apps pane includes only apps that can be pinned to Teams through a policy.

  • In Teams for Education, the Calling app isn't available. When you create a new custom policy in the app setup policy, the Calling app is displayed in the list of apps. However, the app isn't pinned to Teams clients and Teams for Education users can't see the Calls app in Teams.

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