Configure Teams meetings with three tiers of protection

The articles in this series provide options for using the compliance features available in Teams and Microsoft 365 to create a meeting environment that meets your compliance requirements. We'll look at the options available with sensitivity labels and templates and how you can use them together with other Teams admin settings.


Meeting settings in sensitivity labels and custom meeting templates require Teams Premium.

This article defines four different configurations, starting with a baseline configuration for meetings that don't have specific compliance requirements. Each additional configuration represents a meaningful step up in protection as meeting options become more restricted. The configurations in this article provide examples of how to configure protection for meetings with different levels of sensitivity. Use these examples to understand what's possible and modify the specific settings as needed for your organization.

We'll discuss these three configurations:

  • Baseline protection

  • Sensitive protection

  • Highly sensitive protection

Additionally, we'll discuss a variation of the highly sensitive configuration that is designed for presentations that have minimal interaction from attendees.

Three tiers at a glance

The following table summarizes the configurations for each tier. Use these configurations as starting point recommendations and adjust the configurations to meet the needs of your organization. Depending on your compliance needs, you may not need every tier.

  Baseline Sensitive Highly sensitive Highly sensitive presentation
Allow camera for attendees On On On Off
Allow mic for attendees On On On Off
Apply a watermark to everyone's video feed Off Off On On
Apply a watermark to shared content Off Off On On
End-to-end encryption Off Off On On
Manage what attendees see Off On On On
Meeting chat On On In-meeting only Off
People dialing in can bypass the lobby Off Off Off Off
Prevent copying chat content to clipboard Off Off On On
Record automatically Off Off Off Off
Who can bypass the lobby People in my organization, people in trusted domains, and guests People I invite Only me and co-organizers Only me and co-organizers
Who can present People in my organization and guests People in my organization and guests Only organizers and co-organizers Only organizers and co-organizers
Who can record Organizers and presenters Organizers and co-organizers Disabled due to watermarking Disabled due to watermarking

Details on how to configure each tier are covered in:

Managing compliance with sensitivity labels and meeting templates

Both meeting templates and sensitivity labels have the ability to enforce certain meeting settings. Most settings can be enforced as either on or off or can be left unconfigured so the meeting organizer can set them.


Some features are controlled by admin policies and must be enabled there before they can be controlled by meeting templates and sensitivity labels.

Some settings are only available in sensitivity labels and some are only available in templates. Several are available in both:

  • Chat
  • End-to-end encryption
  • Lobby settings
  • Meeting recording
  • Watermarking

Sensitivity labels and templates can be used together to help you meet your compliance needs. For more information, see Use Teams meeting templates, sensitivity labels, and admin policies together.

Meeting chat

Meeting chat can be an important part of collaboration during a meeting. However, you may want to restrict meeting chat in certain types of meetings to avoid sensitive information being shared there.

As an admin, you can control meeting chat in the following ways:

  • Teams admin meeting policy (per user or group) can be used to allow chat, allow chat for everyone except anonymous participants, or turn chat off.
  • Sensitivity label setting (per meeting) can enforce chat to be on or off or allowed only during the meeting. This setting can be left unconfigured to be controlled by a template or the meeting organizer.
  • Meeting template setting (per meeting) can enforce chat to be on or off or allowed only during the meeting. This setting can be left unconfigured to be controlled by the meeting organizer.

For the three tiers of protection, we allow chat for baseline and sensitive meetings and restrict it in highly sensitive meetings to in-meeting only.

For more information, see Manage chat for sensitive Teams meetings.

Meeting recordings

As an admin, you can control meeting recordings in the following ways:

  • The Cloud recording admin meeting policy (per user or group)
  • The Meetings automatically expire (recording deletion) admin meeting policy (per user or group)
  • The Who can record setting in sensitivity labels and meeting templates (per meeting)
  • The Record automatically setting in sensitivity labels and meeting templates (per meeting)

If your organization or certain people or groups within it should never be able to record meetings, you can turn off the feature by using the Cloud recording admin meeting policy.

If there are certain types of meetings that must always be recorded, you can enforce the Record automatically setting using either a meeting template or a sensitivity label.

Within the three tiers discussed here, recording is disabled in highly sensitive meetings because we're using end-to-end encryption and watermarks on shared content and video. If you need to be able to record highly sensitive meetings, make sure you don't enforce watermarks or end-to-end encryption with the sensitivity label. Meeting organizers can still use end-to-end encryption and apply watermarks if a given meeting isn't being recorded.

For more information about managing meeting recording options, see Manage Microsoft Teams meeting recording options for sensitive meetings.

For information about policy-based recording of meetings for compliance, see Introduction to Teams policy-based recording for callings & meetings.

Meeting with guests and external participants

There are three kinds of external participants who can join meetings:

  • Participants from trusted domains
  • Guests
  • Anonymous participants

Participants from trusted domains join meetings via the external access feature. You can control what domains, if any, your organization wants to trust. (This setting also affects 1:1 and group chat with people in those domains.)

If Teams guest access is enabled for your organization, then guests will be able to join meetings. Guest access settings can also be used to control guests' screen sharing mode, including disabling screen sharing. (Guest access is also used for inviting guests to teams.)

If the Anonymous users can join a meeting Teams admin setting is turned on, anonymous participants will be able to join meetings.

While you can turn anonymous join off completely without affecting features other than meetings, both guest access and trusted domains are used in scenarios outside of meetings. If you want to restrict meeting access to these participants but need to leave the features turned on for other reasons, you must use the lobby.

Lobby options

The meeting lobby allows meeting organizers to vet attendees before allowing them into the meeting. Depending on the type of meeting and your compliance requirements, you may want to allow all attendees to bypass the lobby and join the meeting directly, or hold certain types of attendees in the lobby until they're admitted by a meeting organizer. If you wish to prevent certain types of people - such as guests - from attending meetings, you can have them go through the lobby and then the meeting organizer can deny them admittance.

For the baseline tier, we allow everyone except anonymous attendees to bypass the lobby. For sensitive meetings, we allow only people with a meeting invitation to bypass the lobby. For highly sensitive meetings, we require organizers to admit each attendee.

As an admin, you can control the lobby in the following ways:

  • The Automatically admit people admin meeting policy (per user or group)
  • The Dial-in users can bypass the lobby admin meeting policy (per user or group)
  • The Who can bypass the lobby setting in sensitivity labels and meeting templates (per meeting)
  • The People dialing in can bypass the lobby admin meeting policy (per user or group) or in sensitivity labels and meeting templates (per meeting)

These settings are also available to the meeting organizer unless they've been locked by a sensitivity label or template.

While the admin policy sets a default, you need a template or label to enforce

If you're in a highly regulated industry and you need to manually admit each attendee to all meetings in your organization, you can configure the lobby by using admin meeting policies in the Teams admin center. If your organization has different types of meetings that have different lobby requirements, then we recommend using meeting templates or sensitivity labels to configure these settings.

For more information, see Configure the Microsoft Teams meeting lobby for sensitive meetings

Microsoft cloud for enterprise architects illustrations

Use sensitivity labels to protect calendar items, Teams meetings and chat