Limit who users can see when searching the directory in Teams

Microsoft Teams lets organizations provide custom views of the directory to their users. These views can be useful if:

  • Your organization has multiple companies within its tenant that you want to keep separate.
  • Your business policies require that you prevent certain groups within your organization from communicating with each other.
  • Your school wants to limit chats between faculty and students.

There are two options for limiting who users can see when they search the directory in Teams:

If using either option, you must turn on search by name in the Teams admin center.

We recommend using information barriers if your organization meets the required licenses and permissions.


Information barriers V1 and address book policies are automatically respected for people search in all people search entry points in new Teams client when configured. There's no need to enable this setting to hide users in search.

To turn on search by name:

  1. In the Microsoft Teams admin center, select Teams > Teams settings.

  2. Under Search by name, next to Scope directory search using an Exchange address book policy, turn the toggle On.


It may take a few hours for this change to take effect.

Turning on search by name hides the Search teams box and public teams listing in Join or create a team in Teams. It will also disable joining a team by typing /join in the command box at the top of Teams.

When Scope directory search using an Exchange address book policy is turned on, all accounts that are marked as hidden in Exchange won't show up in Teams searches.