Identify Inactive Microsoft Teams and Office 365 Groups

Microsoft added a new tool to its robust Office 365 suite of services – Microsoft Teams. 

Teams is the chat-based collaboration app that helps your team stay organized and have conversations all in one place with the ability to work together and share information on a common space. We explain how to identify inactive teams, so you can just keep the resources that are being used. 

 

Cleaning up the Teams resources that your users no longer use and getting rid of inactive and unnecessary teams and Office groups are the best ways to keep the Teams organized in the organization. 

Finding Inactive Teams 

Inactive teams

There are three main options to find inactive teams  

  1. Activity Report with Power Shell  
  2. Microsoft Teams Usage Report in Office 365 
  3. Identifying inactive Teams using activity threshold  

  

1. Activity report with PowerShell

This script posted on Microsoft TechNet will help you find inactive teams; it can be a highly effective method to identify the information. 

The script checks audit records of the teams and Office 365 groups which are inactive and establish the following: 

  • Checks if any SharePoint file activity has taken place in the group’s document library in the past 90 days 
  • Checks if conversations have taken place in the group mailbox in the past year 

 

The Script provides an HTML report file which contains below statistics. You can see: 

  • Number of groups scanned 
  • Number of potentially inactive groups (based on document library activity) 
  • Number of potentially inactive groups (based on conversation activity) 
  • Number of Teams-enabled groups 
  • Percentage of Teams-enabled groups 

 2. Microsoft Teams Usage Report in Office 365

Who can access the Usage Activity Report 

  • Office 365 global admin role 
  • Product-specific admin role (Exchange & SharePoint) 
  • Reports reader role 

How to view teams reports on teams dashboard 

  1. Navigate to the Microsoft Teams admin center. 
  2. Click Analytics & reports, then select Usage reports. 
  3. Navigate to the View reports tab, click the Reports drop-down menu, and select Teams usage. 
  4. In the Date range drop-down menu, select the Last 7 days or Last 90 days. 
  5. Click on the Run report button. 

 

The chart below shows a summary of usage in the selected period. You can see: 

  • Total active users 
  • Active channels 
  • Post Messages 

 

Information below the chart breakdown to each individual Teams as you can see: 

  • Team name  
  • Active users  
  • Guests  
  • Active channels  
  • Post messages 
  • Reply messages  

 

You can add/remove any of these columns by clicking on the Gear icon in the top right corner of the Teams usage report. 

By clicking on Export to excel icon (icon to the left of Edit Gear) it will direct you to the download tab. This will generate the report for you to download. 

The overview of the Teams usage report is useful up to some extentBut We are talking about the time limitation of the report (maximum of 90 days) which cannot be accurate picture of obsolete usage of teams. There could be a project put on hold for months and we cannot have the accurate picture out of it. Teams usage report shows only the activity of the active users and channels. There could be a team which can be inactive for couple months and that cannot be showcased in the report. 

 

3. Identifying inactive Teams using activity threshold  

Using the above methods like usage report and PowerShell will only lead to obtaining information to some extent or just 90 days. This makes it harder to scale fast and puts upon a lot of responsibility on IT. 

Instead, it’s possible to find unused and obsolete teams based on whether they comply with an activity threshold (say, 90 days). Any team that don’t meet the requirement is flagged as inactive. 

  • Activity-based expiration policy in Azure AD (Azure AD Premium subscription required) 

Set an expiration policy in Azure AD 

Microsoft’s solution for keeping Teams organized and up to date? Set an expiration policy for the associated Office 365 Group in Azure AD. 

Setting the expiration policy for Office groups in Azure AD will help IT to keep notified with the group owners by receiving an email asking if they would like to renew or delete their groups where Teams are associated with.  

A recent update from Microsoft being rolled out, which helps IT admin to set an expiration policy that will renew groups automatically if the activity is detected in the time period of the Azure AD policy and without being notified with email. Setting an expiration policy with the new updates intelligence has the similar drawback as before. 

Renew or Delete (only option available)

Group owner are left with only option with the group to be renewed or to delete their Team. There is no way to restore the content if the group is deleted after the Microsoft’s 30-day delete period, so the owner of the group must keep renewing the groups. 

Email notifications are only sent to group owners

Group Renewal notification can be sent to a specified email address when a group has no owner, in case the owner didn’t respond to the notification and failed to renew the group within the deadline of the policy, group gets deleted and if the IT didn’t notice with in the soft period (30 days), that content cannot be restored. 

Automatically renewed groups can be monitored by IT admins by checking the Azure AD audit logs, Groups which are inactive by owners decision or deleted by the notifier can be found on Azure AD admin center and can be managed by IT Admins and can be restored before the 30 days period. Admins can also choose to be owners themselves of every Office 365 group and get notified to ensure safety of the office groups. 

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