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This Quick Start describes the basics for communicating by using Microsoft® Lync™ Online communications software. It explains how to use Lync Online to easily interact and collaborate with the people at your workplace.

What do you want to do?

Sign in and get started

If you’re already logged on to your organization’s network, sign in by starting Lync.

  1. Click Start, click All Programs, click Microsoft Lync, and then click Microsoft Lync Online. When the Lync main window opens, if you see your name and your presence status, you’re signed in.

  2. Click the availability menu, and then click your presence status, or click Reset Status to let Lync set it automatically, based on your activity and Microsoft® Outlook® Calendar.

Lync Presence Status

The following table describes each of the presence status indicators.

Presence Status


Lync Presence Available Available

You are online and available to be contacted.

Lync Presence Busy Busy

You are in a Lync call, or, according to your Outlook Calendar, you are in a meeting, and don’t want to be interrupted.

Lync Presence Do Not Disturb Do not disturb

You don’t want to be disturbed and will see conversation alerts only if they are sent by your Workgroup contacts.

Lync Presence Away Be Right Back

You are stepping away from the computer for a few moments.

Lync Presence Away Appear Away

Your computer has been idle for a period of time (15 minutes by default).

Lync Presence Away Off Work

You are not working and are not available to contact.

Lync Presence Offline Offline

You are not signed in. You’ll appear Offline to individuals whom you have blocked from seeing your presence.

Lync Presence Unknown Unknown

Your presence is not known. Your presence might appear unknown to others who are not using Lync as their instant messaging (IM) program.

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Personalize your contact information

You can personalize your location, phone numbers, and presence information. For example, you can add your mobile phone number and make it available only to close contacts.

  1. To set a location to let people know where you are today, in the location menu, click Show Others My Location.

Set location for Lync

  1. To add a phone number to your contact card, click the Options button Options arrow, and then click Phones.

  2. Click the button for the phone number that you want to add (such as Work Phone or Mobile Phone).

  3. In the Edit Phone Number dialog box, type the number, and then click OK.

  4. Select the Include in my contact card check box, and then click OK.

  5. To change privacy relationships for the people you want to see personal phone numbers, right-click the contact’s name in your Contacts list, click Change Privacy Relationship, and then click Friends and Family.

Personalize Contact Information

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Change your picture settings

You can decide whether you want to see your contacts' pictures. You can also change your own picture or choose not to show one.

Hide your contacts’ pictures

  1. In the Lync main window, click the Options button Options arrow.

  2. In the Lync - Options dialog box, click Personal.

  3. Under Display photo, clear the Show photos of contacts check box to hide other people’s pictures, and then click OK.

Do Not Show Photos

Hide or change your picture

  1. In the Lync main window, click the Options button Options arrow.

  2. In the Lync - Options dialog box, click My Picture.

  3. Do one of the following:

    1. To hide your picture, click Do not show my picture.

    2. To change your picture, click Show a picture from a web address, type the address of a photo site (such as OneDrive or Facebook) including the file name, and then click the Connect to Picture button.

Change Your Photo

Note:  The file must be less than 30 KB in size. If the photo that you want is larger than 30 KB, see Prepare a picture for Lync Online.

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Build your Contacts list

Add people to your Contacts list if you'll be contacting them often or if you just want to keep track of them.

  1. In the Lync main window, type the person’s name or email address in the search field.

  2. In the search results, right-click the person.

  3. (Optional) If you’ll be contacting the person often, click Pin to Frequent Contacts.

  4. Add them to a group by clicking Add to Contacts List, and then clicking the group name, or, if you haven’t created groups yet, click Add to New Group, and give the group a name. You can add more contacts to this group later.

Add to Contacts

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Get in touch by IM

There are several ways to start an IM conversation with people or groups in your Contacts list. From your Contacts list or from search results, do any of the following:

  • Double-click the contact.

  • Point to a person’s picture. When the contact card opens, click the IM button.

  • Point to a group in your Contacts list, and, when the group contact card appears, click the IM button to send a message to the whole group.


To invite additional people into an IM conversation:

  1. In the Lync main window, drag a contact name from the Contacts list, and drop it onto the conversation window. To add contacts outside of your organization (whom you can’t IM) to the conversation by e-mail, in the conversation window, click the People Options menu, and then click Invite by Email.

Invite by Email

  1. To join, just click a link in the email message (outside users can join the conversation regardless of whether they have Lync installed).

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