Understand presence

Presence information helps you to contact others and helps others to reach you. It provides information about a contact and helps you decide the best way to communicate with that contact. For example, you see that a co-worker’s presence indicator is green in your Contacts list, indicating that she is Available. You could walk down the hall and talk in person, but you notice that her location and note indicate that she is working offsite, so you decide to send an instant message instead.

As indicated in the following table, some presence states are set by the Lync user, some are set automatically by Lync, and some can be set either way.

Presence Status Description How this status gets set
Lync Presence Available Available You’re online and available to contact. Lync sets this status when it detects you are using your computer. You can also set this status when you want others to know you’re in your office even though your computer is idle.
Lync Presence Busy Busy You’re busy and don’t want to be interrupted. Lync sets this status when, according to your Outlook Calendar, you have an appointment. You can also select this status by clicking the drop-down arrow beside the current status.
Lync Presence Busy In a call You’re in a Lync call (a two-party audio call) and don’t want to be disturbed. Lync sets this status when it detects that you’re participating in a Lync call.
Lync Presence Busy In a meeting You’re in a meeting and don’t want to be disturbed. Lync sets this status when it detects that you’re participating in a Lync meeting or when, according to your Outlook Calendar, you are scheduled to be in a meeting.
Lync Presence Busy In a conference call You’re in a Lync conference call (a Lync meeting with audio) and don’t want to be disturbed. Lync sets this status when it detects that you’re participating in a Lync conference call.
Lync Presence Do Not Disturb Do not disturb You don’t want to be disturbed and will see conversation notifications only if they are sent by someone in your Workgroup. You select this status by clicking the drop-down arrow.
Lync Presence Away Be Right Back You’re stepping away from the computer for a few moments. You select this status by clicking the drop-down arrow.
Lync Presence Away Inactive/Away You’re logged on but your computer has been idle, or you’ve been away from your computer for a specified period of time. Lync sets your status to “inactive” when your computer has been idle for five minutes, and “away” status when your status has been inactive for five minutes. (To change these default values, click the Options button Options arrow , click Status, and then click the arrows next to Show me as Inactive when my status has been idle for this many minutes and Show me as Away when my status has been Inactive for this many minutes.) You can also select this status by clicking the drop-down arrow.
Lync Presence Away Off Work You’re not working and aren’t available to contact. You select this status by clicking the drop-down arrow.
Lync Presence Offline Offline You’re not signed in. You’ll appear as Offline to people whom you’ve blocked from seeing your presence. Lync sets this status when you log off your computer.
Lync Presence Unknown Unknown Your presence is not known. This status might appear to contacts who aren’t using Lync as their instant messaging program.

A red asterisk next to a contact's status indicates that he or she has turned on the Out of Office notification in Outlook.

Set a personal note

The presence states in Lync are pre-set and can't be customized or added to, but if you want to give your contacts more details about where you are or what you're doing, you can write a personal note at the top of the Lync main window. To do this, click the note display area (the box above the picture area and your name), then click and type over anything that is currently displayed.

 Important    When you change your Automatic Replies (Out of Office) settings in Microsoft Outlook, the note that you type there will also appear in the personal note area in Lync. To remove this note from your Lync display, you must turn off the Out of Office notice in Outlook. To do that, click the File tab in Outlook, and then click the Turn off button in the Automatic Replies panel.

For more information about setting a personal note, see “Add and view a personal note” at Change your presence status.

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Applies to:
Lync 2010