The Case Of The Missing Live Captions in Microsoft Teams

Microsoft recently announced the live captions were in preview for Microsoft Teams meetings!  This is a welcome addition for both accessibility and inclusion.  Prior to this capability, some companies still had to rely on paying an outside source to attend meetings and provide a captioning service which does not come cheap.  In testing with a group of people though, I found that not everyone saw the ability to turn captions on.

After a good tip from fellow MVP Habib Mankal, I started looking at Teams Meeting Policies.  By default, all users are supposed to be assigned the “Global (Org-wide default)” policy.  No custom policies had been created, and nobody had assigned a specific policy to any users in the tenant.  Because no changes had been made, there was no reason to even consider the policies being a problem. 

A quick review found that some users were assigned the RestrictedAnonymousAccess policy where live caption capabilities were disabled.

After further digging, I found that about 5% of the users in the tenant (a very large tenant, thus tens of thousands of users affected) were assigned the “RestrictedAnonymousAccess” meeting policy in question.  To find the affected users you can certainly do find and update policies in the Teams Admin Center, but for larger tenants, PowerShell is your friend:

Get-CsOnlineUser -Filter {teamsmeetingpolicy -eq "RestrictedAnonymousAccess"}

If you need to set someone back to the default policy, you can set the -PolicyName parameter to $Null:

Grant-CsTeamsMeetingPolicy -PolicyName $null -Identity <identify of affected user>

For setting the policy for more than a handful of users, though, you may find one of the other methods of assigning policies helpful such as assigning a policy package or assigning the policy to a group.

If you are seeing this experience in your tenant, start with checking these policies to ensure you don’t have it disabled in the global policy or have a different policy assigned.  There is still the question of how these users weren’t assigned the default policy to being with though.

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