FAQ about presence, contacts, and instant messaging

This FAQ provides answers to questions that most frequently come up when dealing with presence, contacts, and instant messaging.

In this article


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Questions about presence

How do I get rid of the Out of Office reply in Lync?

If your Lync account is synced via Microsoft Exchange Server to your Outlook calendar, an out-of-office message appears in Lync after you turn on the Out of Office reply in Microsoft Outlook. To get rid of the out-of-office message display in Lync, you need to turn off the Out of Office reply in Outlook:

  • Click the File tab in Outlook, and then click the Turn off button in the Automatic Replies panel.

 Note    The Out of Office reply can take up to thirty minutes to disappear from the Lync display after it has been turned off in Outlook.

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Why can’t I set my presence status to "Appear Away"?

Some organizations remove the Appear Away status because it can interfere with presence predictability. For example, if a lot of people use this status, the value of presence in Lync will be greatly reduced. Keep in mind that you can use privacy relationships as a way of avoiding interruptions. For example, if you don’t want to be disturbed by most people, you can set your status as Do Not Disturb and then grant certain people permission to interrupt you by adding them to your Workgroup.

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How do I set my presence status options?

You can specify the number of minutes (of idle activity that elapses) before your presence status changes to Inactive and Away, if you don’t want to use the default settings.

To set your presence status options:

  1. In the Lync main window, click the Options button, and then click Status.
  2. Click the up and down arrows to specify the number of minutes before your presence status changes to Inactive.
  3. Click the up and down arrows to specify the number of minutes before your presence status changes to Away.
  4. Click the appropriate button to control general status (override default settings or accept them), and then click OK.

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Can I create a custom presence status?

No, the presence states in Lync are pre-set and can’t be added to. You can write a personal note at the top of the Lync main window to provide details about where you are and what you’re doing. To do this, click the note display area, and then type over the note that is currently displayed.

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Where are the menus?

Many of the menus in Lync appear when you click a small down arrow (such as the one beside the Options button in the main window). You can also open the main menu by doing any of the following:

  • To see the menu in the Lync main window, press Alt, or click the Show Menu arrow, next to the Options button.
  • To see the menu in a conversation window, press Alt.
  • To permanently display the menu bar in the main window, press Alt, and then click Show Menu Bar.
  • To permanently display the menu bar in a conversation window, press Alt, click View, and then click Show Menu Bar.

You can also see menus for doing frequent tasks for contacts, groups, and other items by right-clicking on the items.
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Questions about contacts

How do I add an internal contact to my Contacts list?

To add an internal contact to your Contacts list:

  1. Search for the person by using a name, email alias, or a phone number. After you’ve completed your search, a list of people whose names match the search is displayed.
  2. Scroll through the search returns list until you come to the person whom you want to add to your Contacts list. On the person’s contact card, right-click, and then click Add to Contacts List. Or, click the down arrow on the Add button.
  3. If you’ve set up groups or categories of contacts, a list of those groups is displayed. Select a contact group in which to place the contact.
  4. If you haven’t set up any groups but would like to, click Add to New Group, and then type the name of the new group that you want to create.

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How do I add federated contacts to my Contacts list?

Because Lync 2010 and Microsoft Lync Server 2010 communications software support the ability to federate (connect) with other organizations, you can add contacts from those organizations to your Contacts list and communicate with them by using any of the communication modes that are supported by both organizations. Check with your support team to determine if a person’s organization is federated with your organization.

To add a federated contact, follow these steps:

  1. In the Lync main window, in the search field, type the email address of the contact.
  2. Hover over the search result, and then click the Add to Contact List button (+) to add the contact. Or, right-click the search result, and then click Add to Contact List.

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How do I add an outside contact who is not federated to my Contacts list?

To add a contact who is not at a federated organization, try adding their name and home, mobile, and other phone numbers to Outlook Contacts. You can then call the contact’s phone numbers by using Lync, but IM, video calls, and audio/video meetings might not work correctly.

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Which communication modes are supported with public IM contacts?

With Lync, you can send and receive instant messages from people who have accounts on the MSN network of Internet services, and the Windows Live network of Internet services, AOL, and Yahoo!. Communication with public IM contacts is limited to IM. File transfer, Lync (Voice over IP, or VoIP) calls, video calls, and audio/video meetings might not work correctly.

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How do I find contacts within my organization?

You can find contacts in either of two ways:

  • Search by name or number
  • Search by keyword

For steps on finding a contact, see Use Lync 2010 Search.

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How do I block contacts from reaching me via Lync?

While your name and email address are still displayed to blocked contacts, they can’t reach you through Lync. To block a contact in Lync:

  • Right-click the contact you want to block, click Change Privacy Relationship, and then click Blocked Contacts.

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How do I delete contacts from my Contacts list?

To delete a contact from your Contacts list:

  • Right-click the contact you want to delete, and then click Remove from Contacts List.

How do I get added to or removed from a list of delegates?

  • To be added to or removed from a delegate list, you need to ask the owner of the list to make the change. The delegate lists are created and maintained by each Lync user.
  • To create or revise your own delegate list, click the Options button on the Lync Main window, click Call Forwarding, and then click the Edit my delegate members link at bottom of the window. A dialog box will open where you can add, remove and/or change the permissions of delegates.

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Can I organize my contacts by location, department, or other criteria?

Yes, you do this by creating a new group based on the category you need. For instance, you might create a group called “Headquarters staff” and add contacts to that group.

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How do I create a group?

To create a group:

  • Open Lync, and, in your Contacts list, right-click any group name (for example, Frequent Contacts), click Create New Group, and then give the group a name.
  • To add people to the new group, search for a contact, point to the contacts name in the search results, and then click the plus sign (+). Or, right-click the contact in the search results, click Add to Contacts List, and then click the group name.

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What does the red star or asterisk next to a contact's status mean?

The red asterisk next to a contact's status indicates that he or she has turned on the Out of Office reply in Outlook.
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Questions about instant messaging (IM)

How can I make the IM alerts more prominent so I don’t miss incoming IM requests?

Unless you have set notifications so alerts will not display when you are in Do not Disturb mode, Lync will by default always send you both a visual alert (in the lower right corner of your display) and a sound alert whenever someone tries to reach you via IM. Just the same, you may occasionally fail to notice an IM request. This is especially likely when you are using multiple screens or when your alert volume is too low or off.

To help ensure that your IM alerts are noticeable, try the following:

  1. Set your display so Lync is always in the foreground when it starts. To do this, click the Options button, click Tools, and then click Always on Top.
  • If you use multiple screens, make a practice of moving your Lync Main window onto the display monitor you are working on.
  • Confirm that the volume is turned up on your computer speakers and other audio device(s).
  • Confirm that Lync is set to send audible alerts. To do this, click the Options button, click Ringtones and Sounds, select Play sounds in Lync (including ringtones for incoming calls and IM alerts), and confirm that the other check boxes in the panel are not selected.
  • Consider choosing a more distinctive or more prominent alert sound than the default to notify you of an incoming message. To do this:
  1. Click the Options button, click Ringtones and Sounds, click the Sounds Settings button, and then click the Sounds tab.
  2. Drag the slider on the Program Events display panel down to the Microsoft Lync 2010 listings.
  3. Click Incoming Instant Message. The Sounds display at bottom of the window should read COMMUNICATOR_iminvite.
  4. Now click the drop-down arrow next to it and sample some of the other sounds on the list.
  5. Once you find a sound you want to use for incoming IM alerts, click Apply. (The Program Events display panel should now read Incoming Instant Message and the Sounds panel should display the name of whatever .wav file you’ve selected.) Click OK. (You can also record your own .wav file for this purpose, and then browse to that file to select it as your IM alert.)

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Where can I find previous IM conversations, records of Lync calls, or IM requests I may have missed?

By default, Microsoft Lync 2010 communications software saves all incoming and outgoing conversations in a Microsoft Outlook Conversation History folder, so you can review previous conversations.

To see the most recent one hundred Lync interactions added to this folder:

  • On the Lync main window, click the Conversations button above the Search input area.

To see the entire folder:

  • Click the View More in Outlook link at bottom of the window.

 Note    If your conversations are not being saved in this Outlook archive, and you want to set up an archive for future conversations, follow these steps:

  1. Verify that you are using Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 or Microsoft Outlook 2010.
  2. In the Lync main window, click the Options button, and then click Personal.
  3. Click the Save instant message conversations in my email Conversation History folder button, and then click OK.

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What types of information can I copy and paste into an IM?

You can copy and paste text, tables, and links from other Microsoft Office products directly into a Lync IM. You can't paste images (screenshots, photos, etc.) directly into an IM, but you can paste them onto a whiteboard and display them to others: To do this:

  • In the IM conversation window, click Share, click New Whiteboard, click the Insert Image button at bottom of the Whiteboard, and then browse to and double-click on the image you want to display.

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Can I use spellchecking in my Lync IMs?

Lync doesn’t have built-in spellchecking, in keeping with its intended use as a quick and informal communications method. If it is essential that you ensure correct spelling in a particular IM conversation, you can copy and paste text into your IM from a spell-checked Microsoft Word document.
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How do I set an alert to notify me as soon as a particular contact becomes available?

In the Lync main window, in your Contacts list, right-click a contact, and then click Tag for Status Change Alerts.
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How do I change fonts in my IMs?

To change the font, style, size or color for a specific IM you are writing:

  • Type your message, highlight the text you want to change, click the Font button in the IM composing area, and then make your selections in the Font window.

To change the default font details for all your IMs:

  • From the Lync main window, click the Options button, click General, click Change Font, and then select a default font, font style, font size, and font color. These selections will apply only to IM messages you send, not to those you receive.

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How do I disable IM alert sounds?

You can instruct Lync not to play your audible IM and/or phone alerts whenever your presence says Do not Disturb, and you can further instruct Lync to notify you only if the person trying to contact you is a member of your workgroup with that privacy relationship.

To view and adjust these settings:

  • Click the Options button in the Lync main window, and then click Alerts.

To turn the audible alerts off altogether:

  • Click the Options button in the Lync main window, click Ringtones and Sounds, and then clear the Play sounds in Lync 2010 (including ringtones for incoming alerts and IM alerts) check box.

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Applies to:
Lync 2010