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 getting sound, check that:

  • Your speakers are turned on, both in Skype for Business and your computer, and the speaker volume is high.
  • Your telephone handset is on the cradle (if you’re getting audio through a phone).
  • The device you’re using is selected on the Devices tab, (pause on the phone/mic icon and click the Devices tab).


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 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 will appear on the task bar at bottom of your screen. You’ll 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.


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.

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 with via Microsoft Office, whether in your Skype for Business contacts list or not, has a “default” relationship with you. Your “unlisted” contacts (that is, those who are not included in your Skype for Business contacts list) don’t get displayed in either the Groups view or the Status view. But the Relationships view shows all the contacts on your Skype for Business contacts list plus any unlisted contacts whom you’ve assigned a non-default privacy relationship.

To remove any of these “unlisted” contacts from your Relationships view, right-click on the contact, click Change Privacy Relationship, and select 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 will remove pictures from your contacts list. It will also eliminate pictures of sender and receiver from IM and group conversations, and it will remove your own picture from Skype for Business as well.

How many contacts can I have?

The default maximum number of contacts that can be added is 1000. But your actual limit is set by your support team, so contact them if it seems you’ve hit your limit or if you’re not sure what it is in your organization.

How do I create a group?

  1. In the Skype for Business main window, on your Contacts list, right-click any group name (for example, Other Contacts ), then click Create New Group .

    Or, click Add a Contact and then select Create a New Group.

  2. In the space that now opens up at 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, there are two methods of modifying deligate lists.

  • 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 Skype for Business user.
  • 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 will open where you can add, remove and/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 checkbox labeled Show contacts with away, offline and unknown presences in a separate group. Unavailable contacts will 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 are displayed to blocked contacts, they can’t reach you through Skype for Business.

To block a contact in Skype for Business:

  • Right-click the contact you want to block.
  • Click Change Privacy Relationship.
  • 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 person for which you are looking.

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

  1. In the Skype for Business main window, click Add a Contact.
  2. From the dropdown 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 is displayed.
  4. Scroll through the search returns list until you come to 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 multitenant.

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.

Within Outlook how do I turn off Online Status for contacts?

Within Outlook 2010 or 2013, go to File>Options>People.

At the bottom of the page you will see a section called Online status and Photographs. Deselect the two boxes there and restart Outlook.

By turning off the option Show user photographs when available will turn off photos in contacts all together.

Instant Messages

Can I recall (block the delivery of) an IM?

No, an instant message can’t be recalled once you hit the Enter key to send it.

How do I disable IM alert sounds?

You can instruct Skype for Business not to play your audible IM and/or phone alerts whenever your presence says Do not Disturb, and you can further instruct Skype for Business 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 Skype for Business main window, and then click Alerts .

To turn the audible alerts off altogether:

  • 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, in 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:

  • 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:

  • 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 will apply only to IM messages you send, not to those you receive.

To change the default font details for incoming IMs as well (to improve their legibility, for example):

  • 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 checkbox, and then 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 spellchecking in Skype for Business, click the Options button, then click General and clear the Check spelling as I type check box.

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

You can copy and paste text (formatted or unformatted), tables, and links from other Microsoft Office products directly into a Skype for Business IM. You can also copy and paste images (screenshots, photos, etc.) directly into your IMs. Just select and copy the image (using Paint, the Snipping Tool in Windows Accessories, or a graphics program), then place your cursor in your IM where you want to add the graphic, right-click, and select Paste.

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’s Conversation History folder, so you can review previous conversations. To see a list of recent Skype for Business interactions added to this folder:

  • On the Skype for Business main window, 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 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 Outlook 2010 or Outlook 2013.
  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 will not display when you are in Do not Disturb mode, Skype for Business 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:

  • Set your display so Skype for Business is always in the foreground when it starts. To do this, click the drop-down 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 device(s).
  • 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. To do this:
  1. Click Options> Ringtones and Sounds>Sounds Settings and then click the Sounds tab.
  2. Drag the slider on the Program Events display panel down to the Microsoft Skype for Business listings.
  3. Click Incoming Instant Message. The Sounds display at bottom of the window should read COMMUNICATOR_iminvite.
  4. Click the drop-down arrow next to COMMUNICATOR_iminvite to sample some of the other sounds on the list. (Optional) You can also record your own .wav file for this purpose, and then browse to that file to select it as your IM alert.
  5. Select the sound you want to use for incoming IM alerts, and then click Apply. The Program Events display panel should now read Incoming Instant Message and the Sounds panel should display the name of the .wav file you selected.
  6. Click OK.

User Status

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

Following is a table that 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 will 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; value can be adjusted). (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 pre-set, 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 , if you don’t want to use the default settings. You can also have Skype for Business automatically detect when you are sharing information from this computer. Skype for Business will set your status as Presenting and block others from sending messages to you during that time.

To set these presence status options:

  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 checkboxes labeled S how 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 interrrupt 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 Workgroup.

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 Server 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:

  • 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.

Audio and Video

What is Enterprise Voice? (Currently Not Available)

Enterprise Voice provides enhanced calling options, such as call a contact, hold, forward, transfer, voice mail, conferencing, simultaneous rings, enhanced 9-1-1 calling, and calls to and from the public switched telephone network (PSTN).

  • Phone tab provides a list of voice mails and call logs, as well as an on-screen dial pad for dialing a number.
  • Skype for Business Call computer to computer calls with one click.
  • Audio Quality quickly places a test call to check the quality of your audio.
  • Call delegation supports features such as shared lines (making and receiving calls on behalf of a manager), transferring calls to a manager and managing calls.
  • Call Quality Notification provides notifications to help you improve the quality of your call if it detects device, network, or computer issues during the call.
  • Device transfer enables you to switch your audio device during a call.
  • Calls to and from PSTN sends and receives calls from numbers on the public telephone systems, outside your company.
  • Call Park holds a call on one phone, and then retrieves the call from another phone.
  • Device Selection receives incoming calls simultaneously on all your communications devices, enabling you to answer with whichever device is most convenient.
  • Integration with Exchange Unified Messaging provides voice mail, voice messaging, email messaging, call answering, subscriber access, call notification, and auto-attendant services.
  • Emergency Services- 911 provides location information to dispatchers of emergency services, (available for North America only).
  • Simultaneous ringing enables incoming calls to ring on additional phones, for example, cell phones or other devices.
  • Call forwarding enables you to forward calls to other phones, such as your cell phone or home phone.

What can I do to improve device audio quality?

The following guidelines will improve device audio quality.

  • Use a high quality audio device, replace any defective or damaged devices, and run the set up to make sure it works correctly. We recommend you use a device listed in Phones and Devices for Skype for Business .
  • It’s important that a noise-canceling microphone is positioned close to the mouth, approximately less than 1 inch away from the mouth, to filter out unwanted background noise.
  • Most headsets have a button to adjust the volume depending on which audio device the headset is connected to. If you or other callers hear a buzzing noise, make a test call and then adjust the settings on the headset until the buzzing noise is gone.
  • If you’re using the speaker on your phone and callers complain about background noise, make sure that the phone is on a flat surface, and you are close to the phone.
  • If you’re using two separate devices for audio (such as desktop speakers and camera), try to place them at an appropriate distance from each other to minimize echo.
  • We recommend that you don’t make calls over a wireless connection, virtual private network (VPN), or remote access service (RAS) connections.

Can I use Skype for Business to make a call?

A Skype for Business call is made from your computer to someone else’s computer who is also using Skype for Business (computer audio).

Yes, there are two ways to call others with Skype for Business:

  • A Skype for Business call placed to a contact rings all their devices that are enabled for Skype for Business, such as desktop and laptop computer.

  • You can also make Skype for Business calls to federated contacts. A federated relationship with other companies is just a virtual alliance that lets you add users from other companies to your contacts lists, send them IMs, make audio, video and conference calls, and exchange presence information.

How do I know my devices are set up correctly?

Skype for Business automatically detects your audio and video devices. However, we strongly recommend that you check before making a call or joining a meeting, to make sure they are set up correctly.