Let Lync Online users communicate outside your organization

Thumbnail and link to video: Link Online Extetrnal Communications Lync Online helps your organization keep in touch. You can also let people add Lync or Skype users outside your organization to their list of Lync contacts. Go to Admin > Service Settings > Instant messaging, meetings and conferencing > External communications to turn this feature on or off.

 Tip    For a customized list of setup tasks, see Guided walkthrough: Set up Lync Online external communications.

Turn on external communications on the service settings screen


  • You may have to wait for up to 24 hours before the setting takes effect.
  • Connectivity with instant messaging providers other than Skype is not available.

Here are the details:

  • Lync users in other companies    The other organization must also allow external contacts. Only features available to both you and the other Lync user are supported.

If you want to communicate with an organization that has Lync Server on premises, refer them to the TechNet article Configuring Federation Support for a Lync Online Customer.

  • Skype users    Signed in with their Microsoft account (formerly Windows Live ID)
Available with Skype* users Not available with Skype* users
  • Presence
  • Person-to-person instant messaging
  • Person-to-person audio calls
  • Find and add Lync contacts in Skype
  • Video conversations
  • IM or audio conversations with three or more people
  • Desktop and program sharing

* Skype users signed in with their Microsoft account (formerly Windows Live ID).

Notify your users

Once you’ve set up external communications and verified that it works, let your users know what features are available. You can also direct them to these help topics:

Applies to:
Office 365 Small Business admin