External users often stuck in lobby without being noticed. Known issue or bug?

Iron Contributor

We experience some issues with external users invited to Teams videoconferencing. Not only since a couple of days, but since about January this year. 


All meeting settings are configured to let anonymous users and outside users bypass the lobby. Actually, about 80% of such users arrive in the video conferences without issues. About every fifth external user is either joining the meeting, but cannot see video, cannot hear anything and also seems not to transmit anything other than their first letter of the name into the meeting. They cannot chat either. 

Or, though, most of the time they are simply stuck in the waiting room (lobby) with a notice that the meeting organizer will let them in. Yet, the meeting is setup to let all users join automatically (and it works for the other 80%). In addition, they are not visible to the organizer, nor the other attendees, so nobody might be able to let them in. 


Something similar happens when joining on a conference bridge (phone only). Every fifth or so external user is stuck in the waiting area. 


All necessary settings/policies are correctly configured and deployed. As I said, it works flawlessly for 80% of the external users. It actually can happen that users which were aber to join one conference, would not be able to join the next. And vice versa. The order of entrance also does not seem to matter. Sometimes even the first external user is stuck in the lobby, while the next users join in the meting without issues.


So far, I was not able to find a common cause. 

Except perhaps that almost all external users stuck in the teams waiting room were using one of the supported browsers (edge, chrome) and not the Teams App.


That would not explain, however, the inability to join via phone (standard voice call only, NOT the Teams App on the phone). 


Is this a known issue?

(or two, since conference bridge and Teams video conferences seem not too much connected, I believe. Most users anyway do not have the license for a conference bridge and thus only do standard video conferences without dial in lines)


Is there a solution or workaround? 


Thanks for any pointer.



12 Replies
I have seen this problem also and I has got worst this week. Be sure the Microsoft Teams Team is working on that and it's a known problem.

@DanHuber , experienced this issue today.  External user joined teams meeting, was directed to the lobby.  No one could see they were in the lobby or able to add them from the lobby.  Is this problem being looked at?

Hello @NatHxGN ,


Funny coincidence. I am "battling" with a support engineer at Office 365 support since weeks. He resends sends me the same PowerShell commands to configure the room to allow externals to jump the lobby, again and again... and I tell him again and again that this setting is applied since months and that the problem still comes up for about 30% of external attendees.. 


In short, Microsoft support says "it should work". 

Not much on real support beyond that, I'm afraid. Case ID is 19181100.


So, I still have this issue.


In the meantime I was able to figure out when this happens. Well, at least I think.

In my case, it happens to about every third or fourth external attendee who joins via a supported browser. External users using Teams seem not be affected. 


I also found a possible workaround: the organizer should enter the meeting, check if all attendees are there yet. If someone is missing, leave the meeting and rejoin right afterwards. In most cases, the organizer then gets a popup that people are waiting in the lobby and they can be let in.

Please let me know if that works in your cases too.


Actually the room is setup to automatically let attendees bybass the lobby/waitingarea. But exactly that does not seem to work reliably.



The recommended setup is as follows (from the support engineer). Perhaps it works for you, but again, I have those settings applied since months and it still does not work 100%.

I also created new policies and reassigned them to all users, still no luck. 

Policies as such seemed to have some issues a couple of weeks ago, though. 



New-CsTeamsMeetingPolicy -Identity NoLobby -AllowOrganizersToOverrideLobbySettings $True -AllowPSTNUsersToBypassLobby $True -AllowAnonymousUsersToStartMeeting $False -AutoAdmittedUsers Everyone


Get-CsOnlineUser -Filter {Enabled -eq $true} | Grant-CsTeamsMeetingPolicy -PolicyName NoLobby


Get-CsOnlineUser -Filter {Enabled -eq $true} | Format-List userprincipalname


Set-CsTeamsMeetingPolicy -Identity NoLobby -AllowOrganizersToOverrideLobbySettings $True -AllowPSTNUsersToBypassLobby $True -AllowAnonymousUsersToStartMeeting $True -AutoAdmittedUsers Everyone


Set-CsTeamsMeetingPolicy -Identity NoLobby -AllowOrganizersToOverrideLobbySettings $True -AllowPSTNUsersToBypassLobby $True -AllowAnonymousUsersToStartMeeting $False -AutoAdmittedUsers Everyone




The last two cmdlets are unnecessary in my opinion, but the supporter insisted me to do it anyway. So

I did, no harm done.






@DanHuberthanks for your post.
Same issue here, actually with both setting when letting external directly enter without lobby or with lobby. They just get stuck in the lobby and we don't get notfied.
Today it was the 4th external, last time number 10 and above.


Short term quick workaround is that the admin is logging of the conference and joins again. Most of the time he gets notified of waiting users then.




Did I got this correctly, you have a meeting where you do not have organizer joined?

Also, how big those meetings are? And users who success to join, they also might be using Teams Web app on Chrome etc..?

@Petri X , you might want to read the first message here. I explain all quite in detail.


But I answer your questions anyway:

- The organizer is joined, but the people in the lobby/waiting area are not show to the organizer. This can be overcome by the organizer leaving the meeting and re-joining right again. Than the waiting people are announced. 

- This is the same when the organizer is joining as first, or later after other attendees have joined already. Means that at the first join, waiting attendees are not announced to be in the waiting area.

- Meeting size is between 2 (happened to me just today) and 8 (another test case I had).

- Attendees joining with Teams almost always attend without issues. 

- Problems are only for users using browsers.


Please read the first message. All information is there or in the next messages.




@DanHuber thanks for bringing this up for discussion. This issue is acknowledged by many tenants. This articles confirms 100+ other tenants and it has 3.5K views. We have so far only had this reported for about 5 external users at 5 separate occasions, but my suspicion is that it happens more often without users notifying us. Also, some participants have been highly important executives thinking we never admitted them to the meeting -- it certainly does not look professional.


Our current fix is simply telling users to activate the lobby for critical meetings, which seems to be working but is not an acceptable as we sometimes have meetings with up to 250 guests.


I have also had a ticket open with Microsoft since May, fighting hard to make them understand that it is likely to require high level engineering and tenant-level diagnostics. After almost going insane from "does your policy allow external users" type of solutions, I might finally have reach someone that is about to escalate this. He has confirmed they have multiple other open cases on this issue. He also suggested using the M365 admin centre feedback form, logging the issue with a 1 start rating as that goes directly to the engineering team. I have been asked to try reproducing the issues whilst running Fiddler on the organisers machine. But let's see how that goes, if we even can convince an external user to test this after they had the issue.


I know your issues started earlier, but for us it appeared to have started in late April. I suspect it might be connected with Microsoft's announced update of the Teams Global default meeting policy, intending to changing the default lobby from "Everyone" to "Only people in my organisation" (MC209349, now deleted...). Their message also identified the change as a roadmap item:  Today, we received a new message (MC218620), referring to the previous one, as "This feature was rolled out but due to an issue was rolled back.". Of course I cannot guarantee that it is connected, but our issues, your post and the answers.microsoft.com post, all came shortly after this change.


Hope we can see a solution to this in due time.



I have found that problem to. I have tried to re join a meeting but i get stuck in the lobby. The organiser can't see me and i don't know why no one else has problems.



We are still experiencing  the same issue. This time it is in MS Teams Webinar. Organizer and Presenter couldnt see the Lobby section, wherein participants/attendees were waiting. 



Hi Dan,
We are experiencing the same issue with a school sending invited to our tutors.
Doesn’t happen every time but we are noticing that some tutors joining from our domain are getting sent to a lobby areas until the host enters. Checked with the school and all their settings and policies are set for everyone to bypass the lobby.

Did Microsoft come back with a fix to this?

@Cathw13 I have a feeling this conversation is about several issues. If I would narrow it down to simply the lobby and anonymous users (not authenticated, not signed in, using a browser clicking on a link) there are a couple of things to consider.


1. "Anonymous users can join a meeting". When this is ON all users with access to the link can join a Teams meeting. If the lobby setting is set to "Everyone" can bypass, it still means that an authenticated user needs to be in that particular meeting for the automatic bypass to happen. That user don't have to use "admit", just be in the meeting.


If this isn't also turned on...


2. "Let anonymous users start a meeting". With this toggled ON, the anonymous users will bypass the lobby automatically and can start the meeting without an authenticated user being in it. I.e. enter as first person and start the meeting.