Article ID: 2811654 - View products that this article applies to.
Expand all | Collapse all


Lync Online users may notice that their contact list is empty or read-only after their Exchange mailbox is disconnected, unlicensed, or moved to Exchange 2007 or Exchange 2010. When you try to add, remove, or change contacts or groups in the user's contact list in this situation, the user receives the following error message: 

Cannot add, remove, or move contacts or groups at this time. Please try again later.
If the user had a contact photo associated with the Exchange mailbox, the photo is now unavailable to other contacts.

Additionally, if you try to move an Exchange 2013 mailbox to an Exchange 2010 mailbox on-premises, you’ll receive the following warning message:
You shouldn’t migrate mailbox to Exchange 2010 or an earlier version while the user’s Instant Messaging contact list is stored in Exchange. If you do, the user could permanently lose access to their Instant Messaging contact list, which will cause serious data loss. The Exchange copy might be the only copy of the user’s contact list. To continue, please contact your Instant Messaging administrator and make sure that the user’s contact list is moved back to the Instant Messaging server. After this has been done, you should be able to complete this migration. If you must migrate the mailbox despite the potential data loss, you can do so by running ‘Set-UMMailbox mailboxID -ImListMigrationCompleted $false’.
+CategoryInfo: InvalidArgument: (:MailboxOrMailUserIdParameter) [New-MoveRequest], UnableToMoveUCS…nlevelException
+FullyQualifiedErrorId: [Server=BN1PR04MB219,RequestId=e8740227-f060-4dd6-ac29-98aca24df8da,TimeStamp=7/24/2013 7:09:05 PM B1CB8EAD,Microsoft.Exchange.Management.RecipientTasks.NewMoveRequest+PSComputerName:
When Office 365 was upgraded in 2013, Exchange Online was configured to store Lync Online users' contacts and photos as part of their Exchange mailbox. This is known as the Unified Contact Store (UCS), and when a user’s Exchange mailbox becomes unavailable, Lync can no longer take advantage of UCS to add, remove, or change the Lync contact list.

By default, this feature was disabled since then and Lync Online contact lists are now managed by Lync Online. However, some users might still be using the Exchange UCS and experience no issues or problems at all.  If their mailbox is unavailable through Exchange Web Services (EWS) at any time, they won’t be able to change or even access their contact lists.  If this becomes an issue, you may want to migrate your contacts back to Lync Online.


If the mailbox was accidentally disconnected or unlicensed

You have 30 days to reconnect the mailbox without any consequences. The user’s mail, settings, and contact list will be restored a short time after you reconnect the mailbox. After 30 days, the user’s data is not recoverable.

If the mailbox disconnect was intentional and you have to restore the user’s contact list for Lync

To restore the user’s contact list to the Lync Server, you have to temporarily reconnect the user’s mailbox and then contact Lync Online technical support to have the user’s contact list migrated from his or her Exchange mailbox to the Lync server.

For information about how to restore deleted users or reconnect mailboxes, go to the Office 365 help topic:
Restore one or more users

If you want to migrate your contacts back to Lync Online

Confirm that the user is enabled for UCS. Press Ctrl while you right-click the Lync icon in the notification area, and then click Configuration Information
  • If the Value for Contact List Provider is UCS, then the user’s contacts are stored in the Exchange Unified Contact Store. Contact Office 365 Lync Online technical support for help.
  • If the Value for Contact List Provider is NOT UCS, then there’s no need to migrate your contacts back. But if you still can't access your contact list, you may have to do additional troubleshooting. For more information, go to the following Microsoft Knowledge Base article:
    2435699 Contacts in Lync appear offline or aren't searchable in the address book

Still need help? Go to the Office 365 Community website.


Article ID: 2811654 - Last Review: July 2, 2014 - Revision: 10.0
Applies to
  • Microsoft Lync Online
o365022013 o365e o365p o365a o365m o365 KB2811654

Give Feedback


Contact us for more help

Contact us for more help
Connect with Answer Desk for expert help.
Get more support from