Turn off/on incoming video setting

Copper Contributor

Hello, I am looking for specific details about the Turn off incoming video setting that is available in the More Actions menu during a Teams call. What are the use cases for this? I'm assuming to use less network resources/bandwidth by blocking incoming video. Are there other benefits? Thank you.

14 Replies
best response confirmed by VI_Migration (Silver Contributor)


I can think of two benefits, really just two sides of the same coin.  One is that it would reduce your bandwidth requirement which may result in a lower cost, depending on your package with your ISP.  A second benefit would be in the scenario where the audio quality is poor or cutting out for you during a video call.  Turning off the incoming video then should improve the audio quality of the call.



@HedmanD Thank you for your response, that makes sense. I've been periodically sharing tips about existing and new features with my team, so when I do that I always include a bit about the benefits, so I like to get the fact straight. Appreciate your help.

Hi, another use case for it, is as an accessibility feature. Having too many videos on screen can be distracting, turning off all incoming video can help participants focus.



Am I wrong in thinking the option should be called "turn off participants outgoing video." When the option is chosen, it turns off all participants' outgoing video. Is that correct? Or am I wrong? The name of the option seems to imply it only affects the video coming into the computer of the person choosing the option. Is that actually how it works? When I select this option, does everybody else still see each other?


Sorry if this seems basic, but short of jumping into a meeting with multiple people and testing for ourselves, I haven't been able to find a definitive answer online.


Mark -

Turning incoming video off as a presenter is ment to shield of anyone putting on their camera by accident taking the focus off the meeting.

Imagine you are the CEO and presenting together with the management team and someone accidentally puts on their webcam, taking over your so important presentation... ;)



I thought it was related to that general thought. However, since posting this morning I've tested it out and that is not the case. It doesn't control other people's computers at all. It merely turns off the incoming video to your computer. Everyone else still sees each other. I believe it is actually intended for people to turn on if their own connection is less than ideal, in order to lower bandwidth usage. 


I think what you are referring to might actually be the Meeting Permission/Option, called "Who can present?" True, the presenter could turn off incoming video in order to prevent themself from becoming distracted, but it wouldn't have any effect on anyone else in the meeting.


Mark -



Does this feature actually turn the video stream off from the source from being sent to your computer or just stops the video from being displayed on your computer?   I am trying to reduce overhead on my internet connection.


Thanks for the help.




I don't know for sure, but I remember reading that the purpose was to reduce network congestion. So I'm guessing it totally prevents the video from being sent to you.


I can't imagine the video goes from peer-to-peer. My guess on that is that it all goes to the MS cloud and then to each user. So it would just tell the cloud services not to send video to you. Again, just my guess. 


Sorry for all the guesses, but I don't think MS has been that transparent on how it all works. Plus I think they are continually changing/upgrading Teams, so some of its backend must remain in flux and dynamic.


Mark -


thanks Mark.  That was my guess also but my guesses have bitten me in the butt a few times :smile:


Thanks again for the reply and info.



@kmattakat  Totally agree. That's why I made sure to point out I was guessing. Let us all know what you think after using the feature a bit.


Mark -



did a quick test just watching the network adapter in the task manager.  Teams call with 13 participants, 1 sharing desktop, 5-6 sending their video stream.  Average receive B/sec appeared to be on the high end of 100-250KB/sec (1.5Mbps-2Mbps with 4Mbps-7Mbps spikes).  Turning off incoming video dropped it to the lower end of that range.  Didn't appear to be a real significant difference if you were only on 1-2 calls a day.  Could make a difference if you had many large conf calls through out the day.


at rest Teams seems to be running around 20-30KB/sec (240Kbps)


of course this is just ball park and wasn't a very thorough test.  I have a number conference calls every day so looking to setup a better test just haven't had time to get the correct apps together.

just for comparison, i had a Skype call right after the teams call.  30 participant, 1 person sharing desktop and no video streams.  Skype was running around 180KB/sec to 200KB/sec (1.6Mbps) with just audio and desktop share.

ok ty
Today being on a slow network I felt a real need of this and a web search ended me up here. Thank you.