Manage app setup policies in Microsoft Teams

As an admin, you can use app setup policies to install and pin apps to promote the most used apps in your organization, and to decide if you want users to upload custom apps to Teams.

  • Pin apps: app setup policies let you choose apps to pin, set the order they show up in for your users, and control whether or not users can pin their own apps to the Teams app bar. For more information, see Pin apps.
  • Install apps: app setup policies let you install apps on behalf of users when they start Teams and during meetings. For more information, see Install apps.
  • Upload custom apps: app setup policies let you allow users to upload custom apps to Teams. For more information, see Upload custom apps.

Pin apps

Pinning apps lets you showcase apps that users in your organization need, including apps built by third parties or by developers in your organization.

Using an app setup policy, you can do the following tasks:

  • Customize Teams to highlight the apps that are most important for your users. You choose the apps to pin and set the order that they appear.
  • Control whether users can pin apps to Teams.

Apps are pinned to the app bar, which is the bar on the side of the Teams desktop client and at the bottom of the Teams mobile clients (iOS and Android).

Teams desktop client Teams mobile client
The Teams desktop client.
The Teams mobile client

Note

If you have Teams for Education, it's important to know that the Assignments app is pinned by default in the global policy even though currently, you don't see it listed in the global policy. It will be the fourth app in the list of pinned apps on Teams clients.

To create an app setup policy to pin apps, do the following steps:

  1. In the left navigation of the Microsoft Teams admin center, go to Teams apps > Setup policies.

  2. Select Add.

  3. Enter a name and description for the policy.

  4. Turn on or turn off Allow user pinning, depending on whether you want to let users personalize their app bar by pinning apps to it.

    Note

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

  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. You can also filter apps by app permission policy.

  7. Select Add.

  8. Arrange the apps in the order that you want them to appear in Teams.

    the Pinned apps section.

  9. Select Save.

Install apps

You can choose which apps are installed by default for users in their personal Teams environment, install apps as messaging extensions, and designate apps to be installed in meetings.

Using an app setup policy, you can do the following tasks:

  • Install apps for users in their personal Teams environment
  • Install apps for users as messaging extensions
  • Install apps in meetings for meeting organizers

Note

Users can still install apps themselves if the app permission policy that's assigned to them allows it.

To create an app setup policy to install apps, do the following steps:

  1. In the left navigation of the Microsoft Teams admin center, go to Teams apps > Setup policies.

  2. Select Add.

  3. Enter a name and description for the policy.

  4. Under Installed apps, select Add apps.

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

  6. Select Add.

Install app policy.

Important

Users can't uninstall apps that are installed by admins.

Upload custom apps

You can use the Microsoft Teams admin center to create a custom policy that allows users to upload custom apps to Teams.

To create an app setup policy to allow users to upload custom apps to Teams, do the following steps:

  1. In the left navigation of the Microsoft Teams admin center, go to Teams apps > Setup policies.

  2. Select Add.

  3. Enter a name and description for the policy.

  4. Turn on or turn off Upload custom apps, depending on whether you want to let users upload custom apps to Teams.

Note

You can't change this setting if Allow third-party apps is turned off in org-wide app settings.

Manage app setup policies

You manage app setup policies in the Microsoft Teams admin center. Use the global (Org-wide default) policy or create and assign custom policies. Users in your organization will automatically get the global policy unless you create and assign a custom policy. You must be a global admin or Teams service admin to manage these policies.

You 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.

the App setup policies page.

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.

  1. In the left navigation of the Microsoft Teams admin center, 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 app setup policy to users

For more information on assigning policies to your users, see Assign policies to users and groups.

FAQ

Working with app setup policies

Can I assign an app setup policy to a group

App setup policies can be assigned to groups using PowerShell. For more information on assigning policies to groups using PowerShell, see Assign policies to users and groups.

What built-in app setup policies are included in the Microsoft Teams admin center

  • 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.

  • FrontlineWorker: This policy is for Frontline Workers. You can assign it to Frontline Workers in your organization. It's important to know that like custom policies that you create, you have to assign the policy to users for the settings to be active. For more information, go to the Assign a custom app setup policy to users section of this article.

Why can't I find an app in the Add pinned apps pane

Not all apps can be pinned to Teams through an app setup policy. Some apps may not 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.

Keep in mind that 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.

I'm a Teams for Education admin. What do I need to know about app setup policies in Teams for Education

The Calling app isn't available in Teams for Education. When you create a new custom 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 won't see the Calls app in Teams.

How many pinned apps can be added to a policy

A minimum of two apps must be pinned to the Teams mobile clients (iOS and Android). If a policy has fewer than two apps, the mobile clients won't reflect the policy settings and instead will continue to use the existing configuration.

There's no limit on the number of pinned apps you can add to a policy.

How long does it take for policy changes to take effect

After you edit or assign a policy, it can take a few hours for changes to take effect.

User experience

How can users see all their pinned apps in Teams

To view all apps that are pinned for a user, users might have to do the following depending on the number of installed apps and the size of their Teams client window.

Teams desktop client Teams mobile client
In the app bar on the side of Teams, select ... More apps. In the app bar near the bottom of Teams, swipe up.
More apps in the Teams desktop client.
more apps in the Teams mobile client

What do I need to know about the Teams mobile experience

The Teams mobile clients (iOS and Android) support personal apps with static tabs. Apps pinned to the Teams desktop client will appear in the Teams mobile clients. Personal bots will appear in Chat on mobile clients.

Third-party apps (which can be downloaded from Teams Store) need to be approved before they show up on mobile. If an admin pins an app, which is unapproved by Microsoft for Mobile, it will show up on the Teams Desktop, but not show up on mobile. See Mobile clients for more information.

With the Teams mobile clients, users will see core Teams apps such as Activity, Chat, and Teams, and you can pin some first-party apps from Microsoft, such as Shifts.

Can users change the order of apps pinned through a policy

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

Does user pinning take precedence

Admin pins always take precedence. If the Allow user pinning option is turned on, then users will retain their pinned apps below admin pinned apps. If the Allow user pinning option is turned off, then users will lose their pre-existing pins, and only admin-pinned apps will be present in the app bar.

Custom Teams apps

My organization built a custom Teams app and published it, either to AppSource or the tenant app catalog, but the app icon isn't displayed as expected when the app is pinned to the app bar in Teams. How do I fix it

Make sure that you follow the logo guidelines before you submit the app. To learn more, see Checklist for Seller Dashboard submission.

Admin settings for apps in Teams

Assign policies to your users in Teams