Add tabs to Microsoft Teams apps

Tabs in Microsoft Teams allow you to display rich interactive web content. You can build a Microsoft Teams tab from scratch or adapt your existing web-app experience.

Example of a tab showing data, alongside a conversation about the tab data

There are two types of tabs in Teams.

  • Static tabs support an individual user. For example, if your service is a notetaking app, add a tab that holds a user's personal notes. That way, a user can refer to his or her own notes without having to share them with the entire team.
  • Configurable tabs A configurable tab becomes part of a channel and provides a single kind of information to a team. Configurable tabs have a configuration page in addition to a content page.

Tab scope

Teams determines where a tab can be used based on its scope. Scope is set in the app manifest, and can be one of these values:

  • Teams (team scope) - Tabs in channels allow teams to interact with your shared experience. Currently, all tabs in channels are configurable tabs—a user configures the content of your tab experience when the tab is first added to a channel.
  • Group chat (groupchat scope) - configurable tabs can also be used in group chats. These are conversations between 2 or more users.
  • Personal (personal scope) - Tabs in the personal scope allow users to interact with your experience privately. Currently, all such tabs are static tabs—content that is relevant to individual users.

How do tabs in Teams differ from a browser viewing the same content URL?

Tabs display web pages, but not all web pages can display properly in a tab.

Pages loaded inside of a custom tab need to:

  • Allow themselves to be iframed by Teams (via the X-Frame-Options and/or Content-Security-Policy headers). A lot of standard webpages don't allow themselves to be iframed which is why there is the option for users to view Website tab instances inside of a webview within the desktop client. Other tabs don't get this special treatment.
  • Handle authentication differently (either via a popup or calling us to fetch tokens). Most websites simply redirect to a login provider which typically dead ends tabs which are hosted inside of an iframe. That's because login pages typically don't render in iframes to prevent click-jacking.
  • Handle cross-domain navigation differently since the Teams client needs to validate the origin against a static validDomains list in the app manifest when loading or communicating with the tab.
  • Style themselves based on the Teams client's theme.
  • Make calls to the Teams client SDK (microsoftTeams.initialize()) which gives Teams a communication channel with the hosted page and more visibility into its operations.

For more details see Requirements for tab pages in Microsoft Teams.

Troubleshooting tabs

See the Troubleshooting Tabs topic for more information.