Microsoft Skype for Business FAQ

Account services

Why am I having audio problems?

If there’s a problem, a notification is displayed in the conversation window or the Skype® for Business main window. You can click the notification for more information or suggested solutions.

If you’re not hearing audio, check the following things:

  • Verify that your speakers are turned on, both in Skype for Business and for your computer, and that the speaker volume is set high enough to hear it.
  • If you are using a phone to receive audio, ensure that your telephone handset is on the cradle.
  • Make sure the device you’re using is selected on the Devices tab.

General

How do I prevent Skype for Business from starting automatically every time I log in to Windows?

  1. From the Skype for Business main window, select Options > Personal.
  2. Uncheck the box labeled Automatically start Skype for Business when I log on to Windows. The next time you log on, if you want to use Skype for Business, you’ll need to select it from the Start menu.

How do I confine Skype for Business to the task bar until it’s needed?

  1. From the Skype for Business main window, select Options > Personal.
  2. Uncheck the box labeled Show Skype for Business in the foreground when it starts. The next time you log on, the Skype for Business icon appears on the task bar at bottom of your screen. You need to select it to open the Skype for Business main window.

How do I keep my Skype for Business conversation window visible?

Select the drop-down button next to the Options icon, select Tools, and then select Always on Top.


Contacts

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 they have turned on the Out of Office reply in Outlook®.

Why does the relationships view of my contacts list include people I didn’t personally add, and how do I remove them?

Every contact you interact within Microsoft Office®, whether in your Skype for Business contacts list or not, has a default relationship with you. Your unlisted contacts are not included in your Skype for Business contacts list and don’t get displayed in either the Groups view or the Status view. However, the Relationships view shows all the contacts on your Skype for Business contacts list and any unlisted contacts that are assigned a non-default privacy relationship.

Remove any of these unlisted contacts from your Relationships view by right-clicking on the contact, clicking Change Privacy Relationship, and selecting Auto-assign Relationship.

How do I turn off all pictures in Skype for Business, including my own?

Select Options > Personal, then clear the check box labeled Show pictures of contacts.

This action removes pictures from your contacts list. It also eliminates pictures of the sender and receiver from instant messages (IM) and group conversations, and it removes your own picture from Skype for Business.

How many contacts can I have?

The default maximum number of contacts that you can add is 1000.

How do I create a group?

  1. In the Skype for Business main window, in your Contacts list, right-click any group name, then click Create New Group.

    Alternatively, you can click Add a Contact and then select Create a New Group.

  2. In the space that opens at the bottom of the window, type over the phrase New Group to give your group a descriptive name.

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

Create 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.

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

Depending on your authorization within your organization, use one of the following methods to modify delegate lists.

  • To be added to or removed from a delegate list, you need to ask the owner of the list to make the change. Each Skype for Business user creates and maintains their delegate lists.
  • To create or revise your own delegate list, click the Options button on the Skype for Business main window, click Call Forwarding, and then click the Edit my delegate members link at bottom of the window. A dialog box opens where you can add, remove, or change the permissions of delegates.

How do I delete contacts from my Contacts list?

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

How do I display only those contacts who are online?

Although you can’t completely remove offline contacts from your contacts list, you can send them to a separate group, so they don’t clutter it up.

Click Options>Contacts List, and then select the check box labeled Show contacts with away, offline and unknown presences in a separate group. Unavailable contacts now appear at the bottom of the display in a group called Away and Offline Contacts.

How do I block contacts from reaching me via Skype for Business?

Note: Although your name and email address display to blocked contacts, they can’t reach you through Skype for Business.

To block a contact in Skype for Business, use these steps:

  1. Right-click the contact you want to block.
  2. Click Change Privacy Relationship.
  3. Select click Blocked Contacts.

How do I find contacts within my organization?

In the Search field on the Skype for Business main window, type the name, email address, or phone number of the contact you are looking for.

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

Use the following steps:

  1. In the Skype for Business main window, click Add a Contact.
  2. From the drop-down menu, select Add a Contact in my Organization.
  3. In the search box, type the person’s name, email alias, or phone number. As you type, a list of people who match the search terms displays.
  4. Scroll through the search returns list until you see the person you want to add to your Contacts list. Right-click the person’s search listing, and then click Add to Contacts List.
  5. Select a group from the list to which to add your new contact.

Can I automatically add everyone in the domain to my Skype for Business contacts?

No. Skype for Business does not have the ability to automatically add all users in the domain to the contacts list. This is a limitation of the Skype for Business product, and not a limitation imposed by Rackspace. The limitation applies to all configurations, dedicated and multi-tenant.

The basic premise is that you do not want to have every employee in the whole company in your list. You create smaller groups composed of the people with whom you work closely, and then you add other groups or individuals to your contact list as needed. ————————————————————————

Instant messages

Can I recall (block the delivery of) an instant message?

No, you can’t recall an instant message (IM) after you press the Enter key to send it.

How do I disable IM alert sounds?

You can configure Skype for Business to not play IM or phone alerts whenever your presence is set to Do not Disturb. You can also configure Skype for Business to only notify you if the person trying to contact you is a member of your work group with that privacy relationship.

To view and adjust these settings, use the following action:

  • Click the Options button in the Skype for Business main window, and then click Alerts .

To turn the audible alerts off altogether, use the following action:

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

How do I set an alert to notify me as soon as a particular contact becomes available?

In the Skype for Business main window, within your Contacts list, right-click a contact, and then click Tag for Status Change Alerts.

How do I change fonts in my IMs?

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

  • 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 the IMs you send, use the following actions:

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

To change the default font details for incoming IMs as well, use the following actions:

  • From the Skype for Business main window, click the Options button, click General, click Change Font, and then select a default font, font style, font size, and font color. Then select the Apply settings to incoming messages check box, and click OK.

Can I add customized emoticons to my Skype for Business IMs?

No, you can’t. But there are 80 emoticons in the Skype for Business assortment. To see them, click the emoticon icon to the right of the text input area on the conversation window.

Can I use spell checking in my Skype for Business IMs?

Yes, Skype for Business checks your spelling automatically. Skype for Business won’t mark as misspelled any word that you’ve added to your Office custom dictionary. To turn off spell checking in Skype for Business, click the Options button, then click General and clear the Check spelling as I type check box.

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

By default, if you are using Microsoft® Outlook, Skype for Business saves all incoming and outgoing conversations in your Outlook Conversation History folder, so you can review previous conversations. To see a list of recent Skype for Business interactions added to this folder, click the Conversations tab 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 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 Outlook 2010 or later.
  2. In the Skype for Business 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.

Unless your Skype for Business administrator has set a policy to retain all messages, you can also delete conversations from the Conversation History folder.

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

Unless you have set notifications so alerts do not display when you are in Do not Disturb mode, Skype for Business by default always sends you both a visual alert and a sound alert whenever someone tries to reach you via IM. Just the same, you might occasionally fail to notice an IM request, especially 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 things:

  • Set your display so Skype for Business is always in the foreground when it starts. To do this, click the drop-down menu next to the Options button, click Tools, and then click Always on Top.
  • If you use multiple screens, make a practice of moving your Skype for Business main window onto the display monitor you are working on.
  • Confirm that the volume is turned up on your computer speakers and other audio devices.
  • Confirm that Skype for Business is set to send audible alerts. To do this, click the Options button, click Ringtones and Sounds, select Play sounds in Skype for Business (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.

User status

What do the various presence states mean, which ones are set automatically, and which ones can I set myself?

The following table describes the contact presence states that people can see, what each state means, and how it gets set.

Presence/Status Description
Available You’re online and available to contact. Automatic or user-selected setting.
Busy You’re occupied and shouldn’t be interrupted. Automatic (if user is in an Outlook-scheduled conference) or user-selected setting.
In a call You’re in a Skype for Business call (two-party call) and shouldn’t be interrupted. (Automatic)
In a conference call You’re in a Skype for Business call (Skype for Business meeting with audio) and shouldn’t be interrupted. (Automatic)
Do not disturb You don’t want to be disturbed and see conversation notifications only if they are sent by someone in your Workgroup. (User-selected)
Presenting You are giving a presentation from your Skype for Business-enabled computer or are otherwise sharing your desktop and are not to be disturbed. (Automatic)
Be right back You’re stepping away from the computer for a few moments (User-selected)
Away Your computer has been inactive for a period of time (5 minutes by default; you can adjust this value). (Automatic)
Off work You’re not working and not available to contact. (User-selected)
Offline You’re not signed in. If you have blocked individuals from seeing your presence, you’ll appear offline to them. (Automatic)
Unknown Your presence is not known. If others are not using Skype for Business as their instant messaging (IM) program, your presence might appear as unknown to them. (Automatic)

How can I give people more information about my status?

Although the presence states in Skype for Business are preset, you can always write a personal note at the top of the Skype for Business main window to provide more details about where you are and what you’re doing. Just click the note display area and type over the note that’s currently displayed.

What do the settings on the Status options window mean?

On the Status options window, you can change the number of minutes that elapse before your presence status changes to Inactive and Away. You can also have Skype for Business automatically detect when you are sharing information from this computer. Skype for Business sets your status as Presenting, and blocks others from sending messages to you during that time.

Set these status options by using the following instructions:

  1. In the Skype for Business 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.

Select the check boxes labeled Show me as Do Not Disturb when I present my desktop and Show me as Do Not Disturb when my monitor is duplicated to let others know not to interrupt you when you are giving a presentation or otherwise collaborating online from your Skype for Business-enabled computer.

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

Your organization may have turned off the Appear Away status option, on the grounds that it can interfere with the reliability of the presence indicator. If a lot of people use this status constantly, presence in general won’t mean much. Keep in mind that you can also use privacy relationships to avoid 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 work group.

How do I get rid of the Out of Office note in Skype for Business?

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

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

Note: It may take several minutes for the message to disappear in Skype for Business.