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.

This article answers common questions about contacts in Lync.

Send us feedback if your question isn’t answered.

In this article

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

  1. In the Lync main window, go to Add a contact Add a contact > Add a Contact in My Organization.

  2. In the search box, type the person’s name or email address. As you type, a list of people who match the search terms is displayed.

  3. Scroll through the search results until you come to the person you want to add to your Contacts list. Right-click their listing, and then click Add to Contacts List.

  4. Select a group from the list to add your new contact to.

How do I add an external contact?


  • External contacts are supported only if:

  • For details about the types of communication available with external contacts, see Add an external contact in Lync.

  • Your workplace technical support has configured support for this, AND

  • The contact outside your org uses either Lync, and their org also is configured for external contacts, OR Skype, and they’re signed in with their Microsoft account (formerly Windows Live ID).

  1. In the Lync main window, go to Add a contact Add a contact > Add a Contact Not in my Organization.

  2. Click the contact’s instant messaging (IM) provider, Lync or Skype. Contacts using IM providers other than Lync or Skype aren’t supported.

  3. In Add Lync contact, in IM Address, type the email address of the contact.

    Important:  If the new contact’s Microsoft account is set up to use their own email address (as opposed to one ending in,,, or another Microsoft-provided ending), when adding the contact in Lync, you must use the format user( For example, to add, type bob(, in IM Address.

  4. Select a group and a privacy relationship for your new contact, and then click OK.

    Important:  If the contact you’ve added shows “Presence unknown,” wait for 24 hours, and then check with your workplace technical support.

How do I find contacts from my organization?

In the search box in the Contacts view of the Lync main window, type the name, email address, or phone number of the person you’re looking for.

Can I have Skype contacts?

Yes. Here’s what is and isn’t available for communicating with Skype users. Note that the Skype user must be signed in with their Microsoft account (formerly Windows Live ID).

Available with Skype users

Not available with Skype users

  • Presence

  • Person-to-person IM

  • Person-to-person audio calls

  • Finding and adding Lync contacts in Skype

  • Video conversations

  • Audio or IM conversations with three or more people

  • Desktop and program sharing

Contacts using other IM providers aren’t supported.

Can I import or export my Skype contacts to Skype for Business?

At this time, there is not a quick way to do this. However, if you use Outlook, you can use this workaround:

  1. Export your contacts from Skype, and import them into Outlook.

  2. Then, use Skype for Business to search for those contacts.

  3. Add the contacts to your Skype for Business contacts list or groups, and send them an invitation.

How do I block contacts from reaching me via Lync?

If you block a contact, your name and email address are displayed to them, but they can’t reach you through Lync. To block a contact in Lync:

  • In your Contacts list, right-click the contact you want to block, click Change Privacy Relationship, and then click Blocked Contacts.

How do I display only my contacts who are online?

Although you can’t completely remove offline contacts from your Contacts list, you can group them so that they don’t clutter up your Contacts list. Click Options > Contacts List, and then, under Show this information, select the Show contacts with away, offline and unknown presences in a separate group check box. Unavailable contacts will appear at the bottom of your Contacts list, in a group called Away and Offline Contacts.

How do I delete contacts from my Contacts list?

Right-click the contact and click Remove from Contacts List.

How do I manage the Delegates group in my Contacts list?

Call delegates are not supported with Microsoft 365. If you have a Delegates group in your Lync Contacts list it lists your Outlook delegates. Outlook delegates can manage your email and calendar, if you use Outlook.

To add, manage, or remove the Outlook delegates in our Delegate group, use Outlook. To add or manage Outlook delegates, follow the steps at Allow someone else to manage your mail and calendar. To delete Outlook delegates, in Outlook, go to File > Account Settings > Delegate Access.

Important:  Deleted Outlook delegates might continue to appear in your Lync Contacts list, even though, after you delete them, they can no longer manage your email or calendar. This is a known issue. A fix is available at

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

Create a new group based on the category you need. For example, you might create a group called “Head Office staff” and add contacts to that group. For details about creating a group, see the next question.

How do I create a group?

  1. In the Lync main window, in your Contacts list, right-click any group name (for example, Other Contacts), and then click Create New Group. Or, click the Add a Contact button, and then click 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 name that’s meaningful to you.

How many contacts can I have?

250—that’s the default maximum number of contacts that you can add.

How do I know about or change how much information about me a contact can see?

Each of your contacts has a privacy relationship with you. This determines that person’s access to your presence information, including home and mobile phone numbers and meeting locations, and whether that person can contact you when your status is set to Do Not Disturb. For details about privacy relationships, including how to view and change the relationship you have with a contact, see Control access to your presence information in Lync.

  • To find out what your relationship is with a contact, in your Contacts list, click the Relationships tab. You’ll see your contacts listed by privacy relationship.

In my Contacts list, why does the Relationships tab include people I never added to my list, and how do I get rid of them?

Every contact you interact with via Office, regardless of whether they’re a Lync contact, gets assigned a default relationship with you. These unlisted contacts—“unlisted” because you haven’t added them to your Contacts list—don’t get displayed on the Groups or Status tab of your Contacts list. But the Relationships tab shows all your Lync contacts plus any unlisted contacts.

To remove unlisted contacts from your Contacts list, right-click on the contact, click Change Privacy Relationship, and then select Auto-assign Relationship.

What does the red star (asterisk) next to a contact's status mean?

The red asterisk next to a contact's status indicates they’ve turned on the Out of Office reply in Outlook.

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?

Thank you for your feedback!