Microsoft Teams is going to replace Skype for Business Online. The coming months more features will be added to Microsoft Teams to fully replace Skype for Business Online. But now it’s generally available in Office 365 it might be a good time to start taking a look a the Microsoft Teams client and how to deploy it to your users.
The Microsoft Teams Client is available for Windows, Mac and Mobile phones. By default, the client will be installed in the user profile, %userprofile%\Appdata\Local\Microsoft\Teams. So this is not an ideal situation. That would mean we have to run the installer for every user that logs on. Microsoft Teams is self-updating, so we don’t need to worry about keeping the client up to date.
There is also a way to install the client for all users with a deployment tool. This is more the way we like to install our applications. Below I explained the different options you have for installing the Microsoft Teams Client.
Preparing for Microsoft Teams
Before we create a deployment script, we first need to download the client. There are two versions available:
- Normal installer for Windows and Mac. You can download these at Microsoft. The setup.exe only comes with the basic switches for silent install.
- There is also an MSI package available for Windows. This package is suitable to use with a deployment program like PDQ or SCCM and can also be used with a GPO. You can download the Microsoft Teams 32bit Client MSI file here and the 64bit Client here.
Using the Setup.exe Package
The Microsoft Teams Setup.exe installer only comes with a silent install or silent uninstall switch. You can use this to create a PowerShell script that runs when a user’s logs in to install the Teams Client.
The basic commands to install and uninstall Teams are:
#install Teams client
#Uninstal Teams client
%programdata%\%username%\Microsoft\Teams\Update.exe --uninstall -s
Start-Process -filePath "$($env:programdata)\$($env:username)\Microsoft\Teams\Update.exe" -ArgumentList "--uninstall -s"
You can create a logon script that you can link to a GPO. Add a condition to check if the file Teams.exe is present in the folder %programdata%\%username%\Microsoft\Teams\Current. The folder %programdata%\%username%\Microsoft\Teams\ won’t be removed, neither will the file update.exe when you uninstall Teams.
I created a PowerShell script that will install or uninstall Microsoft Teams. You can find the script here at the Technet Gallery
Deploying Microsoft Teams with a Deployment Tool
A better solution is to deploy Microsoft Teams with a Deployment Tool. I recommend using PDQ Deploy or SCCM for it. We will use the MSI file, this will install the Teams Installer in the Program Files folder and it will run automatically for when a user is logging in to the computer.
Deploying Microsoft Teams Client is pretty straightforward, just run de MSI file with the default ALLUSERS=1 /qn /norestart options to silently install it.
Deploying Microsoft Teams with GPO
You can also deploy the MSI file with a Group Policy. First, make sure you place the MSI file in a central location. The netlogon folder is always a pretty good place for this (\\domain.local\netlogon).
- Open the Group Policy Management
- Create a new GPO at an appropriate place, let’s call it Deploy_MSFT_Teams
- Edit the GPO and navigate to Computer Configuration > Policies > Software Settings > Software installation
- Add a new package (right click > new)
- Select the MSI file and choose Assigned
If you get an error “There is no software installation data object in the Active Directory” then make sure that the Authenticate Users have read permission on the folder and file.
Installing Microsoft Teams for multiple users is pretty simple, even though it’s installed for every user. The install is capable of detecting existing installations and avoids reinstalling when you just removed it. (if leaves a .dead file in the program folder). With the self-update capability, you don’t have to update the client for all the users.