Windows 11 replaces Chat with Microsoft Teams Free app

Microsoft shifts focus to the Teams app by removing the Chat feature from Windows 11.

Windows 11 Teams Free app
  • Microsoft to remove the Chat feature from Windows 11.
  • It’ll replace it with the Microsoft Teams Free app.
  • The change is likely to arrive on Windows 11 23H2.

Microsoft plans to replace its Chat app with the free version of Microsoft Teams on Windows 11. The Chat feature was initially introduced with the original release of the operating system, but since it didn’t gain popularity, the company is now planning to switch the experience to the consumer version of Teams.

Starting on build 23481, available in the Dev Chanel, the company notes that the Chat feature is now “Microsoft Teams – Free,” which means that you will now find the Teams icon sitting in the Taskbar instead of Chat. Also, on the “Taskbar” settings page, the “Chat” option is no longer available.

Furthermore, unlike the Chat feature, if you don’t use the Microsoft Teams app, you can uninstall it from your computer through the “Installed apps” settings page.

Although Chat is being replaced by the Teams app, not much is changing since Chat was basically a variant of the Microsoft Teams app. The difference is that the company is removing the integration from the operating system and installing the communication app by default, which you can completely remove from the Settings app.

The reasons for the change are unclear, but popularity and confusion among users could have played a significant role in the decision. Also, while you can still find the integration in the Taskbar, it’s likely that the company plans to roll out the switch with the release of Windows 11 23H2, which is expected to arrive later in the year.

The decision to remove Chat from Windows 11 came out shortly after the company announced that it is also planning to retire Cortana and after the decision to stop bundling the app with the suite of Office apps to avoid conflict with regulators.