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Contacts in Lync appear offline or aren't searchable in the address book

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This article describes how to troubleshoot the following Skype for Business Online (formerly Lync Online) issues:  
  • Contacts seem to be offline in Lync or their presence says presence unknown.
  • You can't search the address book in Lync.
  • Skype for Business Online contacts are lost or missing, or the contact list isn't updated.

Scenario 1: Contacts seem to be offline in Lync

Contacts may seem to be offline for several reasons. Verify the following conditions before you perform additional troubleshooting steps:
  • The contact appears to be offline and hasn't been blocked by the user in the user's Contacts List.
    1. In the main Lync window, select Relationship.
    2. Expand the Blocked Contacts group, and then verify that the offline contact isn't blocked.

      Note If a contact blocks you, that contact will be displayed as offline in your contact list.
  • If the contact is a member of the same domain, verify that the contact is assigned a Skype for Business Online license or a full suite license. Contacts from Exchange may appear in searches, but that doesn’t mean that they’re licensed for Skype for Business Online. After you add a new public IM Connectivity (PIC) contact or a new federated contact to your list, that contact will appear to be offline if that contact ignores the request to add you to that contact's list.
  • The contact is assigned a Skype for Business Online license or a full-suite license.
    • If the contact is a member of the same domain, verify that the contact is assigned a Skype for Business Online license or a full suite license.
  • If the contact is a member of a federated domain or is a public Internet contact, verify the following:
    • The domain of the affected user is an allowed domain, or the domain isn't explicitly blocked by the IT Gen in the Domain Federation options.
    • PIC connectivity is enabled.
    • For additional help with external contacts, see the following Knowledge Base article:
      2392146 Skype for Business Online users can't communicate with external contacts

Scenario 2: You can't search the global address list by using Microsoft Lync

When you try to search the address book Microsoft Lync, you receive one of the following error messages:

Cannot synchronize with the corporate address book. This may be because the proxy server setting in your web browser does not allow access to the address book. If the problem persists, contact your system administrator.

The address book is preparing to synchronize. Search results might not be current.

In Skype for Business Online, address book and GAL lookups are performed through web requests only. The Lync client doesn't download and save a local copy of the address book any longer. This reduces the load on the servers, and it provides the most up-to-date information possible when you perform a contact search.

Try to verify that connectivity to the Address Book Web service is available. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. In the notification area on the right side of the taskbar, locate the Lync icon, hold down the Ctrl key, right-click the 2010 icon, and then click Configuration Information.
  2. Copy the URL from the GAL Status field.
  3. Start Windows Internet Explorer, and then paste the URL in the address bar.
  4. The message that you receive from Internet Explorer indicates whether the URL can be accessed from the computer:
    • Successful: Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage. The connection is successful, but because there's no HTML page to display, Internet Explorer cannot display the page.
    • Unsuccessful: The webpage cannot be found. If the URL is inaccessible from the system, Internet Explorer reports that the location cannot be found or is inaccessible.
  5. Check that the Exchange Autodiscover service is set up correctly. To do this, see Method 2 of the "Solution" section in the following Microsoft Knowledge Base article:  
    2404385 Outlook can't set up a new profile by using Exchange Autodiscover for an Exchange Online mailbox in Office 365

Scenario 3: Skype for Business Online contacts are lost or missing, or the contact list isn't updated

In rare cases, the contact list may be corrupted because of an invalid character in an "out of office" message or because a lingering deprovisioned contact exists. To resolve this problem, force a contact list update to make sure that your information is synchronized. To this, follow these steps:
  1. Locate one of the following folders, depending on your operating system:
    • For Lync 2013:
      • Windows 7 and Windows 8: %localappdata%\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Lync\sip_<sign-in name>
    • For Lync 2010:
      • Windows 8, Windows 7, or Windows Vista: %localappdata%\Microsoft\Communicator\sip_<sign-in name>
      • Windows XP: %userprofile%\Local Settings\Application Data \Microsoft\Communicator\sip_<sign-in name>
  2. Delete the following files:
    • Galcontacts.db
    • galcontacts.db.idx
    • CoreContact.cache
    • ABS_<sign-in name>.cache
    • Mfugroup.cache
    • PersonalLISDB.cache
    • PresencePhoto.cache
  3. Restart Lync, and then wait for 30 minutes for resynchronization to finish.

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

Article ID: 2435699 - Last Review: 04/30/2015 23:19:00 - Revision: 43.0

  • Skype for Business Online
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
  • o365 o365a o365e o365p o365022013 o365m KB2435699
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