Meeting chat unavailable until you join the meeting

Copper Contributor

I've been having a recurring issue where I cannot access the chat for a meeting scheduled though Outlook as a Teams meeting (not associated with any Team or Channel). Another user scheduled the meeting and wants to share meeting documents before the meeting begins. However, every time I (and other attendees) try to access the chat, I receive a message that says "Sorry, chat is unavailable until you join the meeting." I've tried recreating the issue on my own, and every time I schedule a meeting (whether through Teams or through Outlook), I don't run into this issue. The other user is typically scheduling meetings with 50+ participants, and in my tests I'm only inviting 1-2 participants. Could this be the difference? We want to be able to share the meeting documents before the meeting, but find it annoying to have to email them out when we could just utilize the chat. 

17 Replies

Hi @avpacheco 

It’s worth noting that, although the Chat with Participants link is displayed in the invitation page before joining the meeting, this will not work.

So keep in mind, if you click on this link, you’ll get a message warning that ‘Chat is not available until you have joined the meeting’.


Chat is only available after joining the meeting



I'm a little confused by that because I have scheduled other meetings and attendees accessed the chat just fine before joining. Why is the chat unavailable sometimes and not others?

I would like to add that I am trying to start some pre-meeting notes. I am following the instructions from here: Take meeting notes in Teams 


They instruct me to access the meeting chat, which apparently is not possible until I join the meeting.

@avpacheco could it potentially be due to internal vs. external?


For example, when I'm invited to another meeting by someone internal (user on our tenant) I can access the meeting chat prior to the meeting.


However if it is an external person inviting me to the meeting, when I try to access the chat I get the message 'Sorry, chat is unavailable until you join the meeting'.

@Mr_Trust_A This is 100% NOT my experience.  We join chat before the meeting all the time to inform colleagues that a prior meeting will run over or share a bit of relevant info.  



this is due to a new setting in meeting options
this only happens for us if we set 'peeple i invite only'


you also have the abilityt o allow chats in meetins only

Just gonna add this to the conversation as it explains what is happening right now (rolling out as the roadmap link says)
Yes I just read about that that’s great for us as we are starting a new term with our students

The requirement to join the meeting first before th chat function is available is great


Good day...!!!!


I saw your query and found an option to start group chat before the meeting. Go to your outlook calendar ---> select the particular meeting ----->then go to the "meeting"/"respond" menu in menu bar ---> click on "contact attendees" --->"Reply all with IM". Once you clicked on this option, team group chat will open up with all attendees. Hope this will help you. Also find the screen shot for better understanding. meeting group chat before meeting.PNG


Figured it out!     

You need to right-click on the Calendar invite in TEAMS -- not Outlook.    It gives you the option there. 


You can do the IM participants in Outlook -- It just doesn't give you the meeting header and include it as part of the meeting

It would be good to have a choice about enabling this or not - for some environments the Chat environment prior is invaluable.

@juliePointcore Even though the link is there when you right click in Teams ("Chat with participants") when you click it you then receive this message: "Sorry, chat is unavailable until you join the meeting".


This is despite the chat being Enabled in Meeting Options.


Last year we had issues with Chat being accessible before and after Teams Meetings created using a Shared Mailbox (I suspect 'In-meeting only' was selected).


Now Chat is definitely Enabled but not accessible prior to the meeting, and people can only see the chat from the time that they join so we are reposting links etc multiple times ... 


How is this a bonus Microsoft?

Chat with participants it is only available on Teams calendar not on Outlook.

Hi @Rae Jobst 

I know I’m a bit late to this thread but did you ever get this fixed or get an answer? 
I’m having the same issue but think it might be due to the fact the invite comes from a shared mailbox? Or the participants are invited from a Distribution List and it needs to be expanded…just some thoughts!

@Mim2412 This continues to be an issue - chat is accessible for those in the original invitation. Those added later do not have access to the chat until they join the meeting. This is a real limitation for professional development workshops, where you want to connect with people via the Teams chat prior to the meeting.

@Rae Jobst I'm facing the same issue for a past meeting in teams calendar

@avpacheco I too am having trouble with this. I was able to read and chat during my Teams meetings until December of last year. Now I am only able to turn on and off my camera and microphone. 
i don’t know what happened to make me loose these functions but it is very frustrating and I have Teams meetings multiple times a week with different companies. 

also, I don’t have the new 360, so there is no support from Microsoft. Which sucks.