Sign in with Microsoft
Sign in or create an account.
Select a different account.
You have multiple accounts
Choose the account you want to sign in with.

If you’ve been given authorization by your Skype for Business administrator, you can quickly get started creating your own persistent chat rooms. Here's how to create, manage, and disable chat rooms.

Create a new chat room

  1. In the Skype for Business main window, on the Chat Rooms tab, choose Add a Room Add a room > Create a Chat Room.

    Create a chat room

    Note: If you don’t see these options, your Skype for Business administrator hasn’t given you permission to create and manage chat rooms.

  2. On the My Rooms page that opens, choose Create A New Room.

    My Rooms page

Name your new chat room

When you create a chat room, give it a unique and descriptive name.

  1. On the Create a room page, in the Room Name section, enter a name.

    Create a room page

    Note: A room name can contain up to 256 alphabetical, numeric, or special characters, including spaces, in any combination.

  2. Choose Check Names to make sure it’s not already being used, and choose a different name if prompted.

    Note: If you decide to change the room name later, the new name will be displayed for you and the room’s members and followers going forward. It’s a good idea to find an appropriate name to start with and then stick with it. Changing a room name can create confusion for users who’ve set up notifications or added your room as a Favorite.

Write a chat room description

When you create your chat room, add a description of the purpose. Keep your description short and write it so that it helps others decide whether to request membership and whether to set up notifications to keep tabs on what’s being discussed in the room. You can change the description at any time.

  • On the Create a room page, in the Description section, write an explanation (256 characters maximum) of the room’s purpose.

Select a privacy setting

There are three privacy settings. Every Skype for Business chat room has one.

  • On the Create a room page, in the Privacy section, choose a privacy setting—Open, Closed, or Secret—to control who can find and participate in a chat room.




    Anyone can find (via search) this room, open it, and read and write in (post to) it. Open rooms have no “membership” as such.


    Non-members can find this room and see who is a member, but only members can open the room and read or post to it. (This is the default setting.)

    To join a closed room, the user must ask a manager of the room to be added to the members list. The room card identifies the chat room managers.


    Non-members can't find this room or its room card, learn who has membership in the room, or read or post to it.

You can change the privacy setting for a room you manage at any time.

Add web-based applications to your chat room

Depending on how your organization has decided to use Skype for Business persistent chat, you might have access to useful web-based applications that can make the room a more productive place for your members. If there are web-based applications available for your room, you’ll see an Add-in heading in the Create a room window.

  • On the Create a room page, in the Add-in section, use the drop-down list to choose the web-based application you want to use.

Select categories for your chat room

A Skype for Business chat room “category” is a collection of room characteristics that, for convenience, can be applied to several rooms. A real estate firm, for example, might find it useful to set up a category of rooms specifically for the sales team, another category for the legal department, and another for the executive team. Each room category also might have distinct policies about records retention and a required privacy setting. All rooms that participate in that room category would inherit those characteristics.

The room-category concept affects room membership as well as settings. When persistent chat is first installed, your Skype for Business administrator creates a list of potential chat room participants. After this list is set up, the administrator might create subcategories in a chat room category based on organizational needs. The scope of a particular category identifies all the users and groups that can be members of a chat room in the original category. If the administrator sets the scope of a room category to, for example, any group or user at Contoso can be added as a member of the rooms in that category. If the scope is set to Sales, only groups and users in the Sales distribution list can be added as members.

  • On the Create a room page, in the Category section, choose the category whose settings and membership pool you want to use. Only the categories that are available to you as a room manager are listed.

Important: The Skype for Business administrator can lock most settings of a given room category, which prevents you and other chat room managers from changing the settings. Your administrator can also limit the pool of users from which you and other chat room managers can select members. If you come across limitations (that is, you find you can’t change a room setting or you can’t add a specific user as a member of your room), check with the Skype for Business administrator to see if there are restrictions in place.

Add or remove chat room managers

As the manager of a room you've created, you can add others as managers to share management duties. Managers must appear in the pool of potential members for the room category that your room belongs to.

Your new managers won’t automatically become room members—you’ll have to add them as members.

  1. On the Create a room page, in the Managers section, type the names of the managers. Use a semicolon to separate names—for example, Scott Oveson; Molly Dempsey.

    Note: Managers, like a room manager, can add room members and edit some room settings.

  2. Choose Check Names to confirm that Skype for Business can identify the people you've added as managers.

Add or remove chat room members

Rooms that have an open privacy setting don't require or allow membership, but closed or secret rooms do. As the room manager, you can control who can join the closed or secret rooms you create. You’re automatically a member of any closed or secret room you create.

You can add members as you see fit. But anyone you add must appear in the pool of potential members for the room category that your room belongs to. And you also can remove members from the room.

  1. On the Create a room page, in the Managers section, type the names of people to invite to be room members. Use a semicolon to separate names.

  2. Choose Check Names to confirm that Skype for Business can identify the people you've added as members.

Final steps and confirm your chat room settings

  • Choose Inherit invitation setting from category to accept the corresponding setting of the category your room is identified with and notifications will or won't show up in each member’s New list (just like a contact notification) on the Chat Rooms tab in the Skype for Business main window.

  • Choose No invitations sent to members to make sure contacts aren't alerted that they've been made members of your room.

  • After you’ve selected the appropriate options, choose Create.

Manage a chat room

Who gets to manage a chat room?

You can manage a Skype for Business chat room under these conditions:

  • You’ve created a chat room, which, by default, makes you that chat room’s manager.

  • You’ve been granted room manager permissions by the Skype for Business administrator.

  • You’ve been named as a chat room manager by the person who created the room.

  • You have chat room administrator permissions, which lets you manage any chat room in the Skype for Business environments you control.

If you’re the manager of a chat room, you’ll see your name in the Managers box on the chat room’s Room card.

As a chat room manager, you control most of the settings of the chat rooms you manage. In addition to creating your own persistent chat rooms, you can change their privacy levels, assign additional responsibilities to room managers, and add or remove members.

You also can change the names and descriptions of the rooms you manage. And if your administrator has made more web-based applications available, you can add them to the room environment. Finally, you can disable a room to lock out members.

Here is a list of actions and what you can and can’t do as a room manager.


Can a room manager perform this action?

Create a chat room


Name or rename a chat room


Create or revise a chat room description


Select or change a chat room privacy setting


Add or remove members of a chat room


Choose not to send notifications (invites) to new members


Add or remove managers of a chat room


Add or remove an Add-in (web-based application)


Assign a room category to a chat room (if administrator has made multiple categories available)


Disable a chat room


Re-enable a disabled chat room


Delete a chat room


Restore a deleted chat room


Delete a chat room post


Delete a chat room’s history


You’ll carry out your room management tasks on the Edit a room page.

  1. In the Skype for Business main window, on the Chat Rooms tab, choose Member of to see a list of the rooms you can access.

    Member of tab
  2. Hover over the Chat room Chat room icon in the listing for the room whose settings you want to change.

  3. Choose Open room Open room icon > More options More button (lower right corner of the chat room window) > Manage this Room.

    Manage this room

  4. On the Edit a room page, change the room’s settings as needed, and then choose Commit Changes.

Disable a chat room

Sometimes you might need to disable a chat room you manage. After a room is disabled, users can't find it or join it, and current members (including you as the room manager) are removed.

Disabling a room might be necessary for several reasons. Maybe the room has served its purpose or has been superseded by a more active room whose focus overlaps with yours.

  1. On the Edit a room page, choose Disable.

    Screenshot of dialog box asking for confirmation to disable chat room

  2. Do one of the following:

    • To proceed, choose OK.

    • To cancel the action, choose Cancel.

Use topic feeds to monitor Skype for Business chat room activity

Need more help?

Want more options?

Explore subscription benefits, browse training courses, learn how to secure your device, and more.

Communities help you ask and answer questions, give feedback, and hear from experts with rich knowledge.

Was this information helpful?

What affected your experience?
By pressing submit, your feedback will be used to improve Microsoft products and services. Your IT admin will be able to collect this data. Privacy Statement.

Thank you for your feedback!