Lync or Skype for Business client does not start when you click a meeting link if the default browser is Google Chrome

Symptoms

Consider the following scenario:
  • Google Chrome is configured as your default browser.
  • Your Google Chrome installation is upgraded to version 42 or a later version.
  • You try to join a meeting by clicking a "Join Lync Meeting" or "Join Skype Meeting" link, and any one of the following criteria are true:
    • You click the link within any application other than Microsoft Outlook 2013.
    • The meeting organizer did not create the meeting by using the Outlook Lync or Skype for Business meeting plugin.
    • The meeting organizer is from another organization that has not configured the option to preserve the Transport Neutral Encapsulation Format (TNEF) for outgoing email messages. For more information, go to the following Outlook website:

In this scenario, when you click the "Join Lync Meeting" or "Join Skype Meeting" link, you expect the locally installed Lync or Skype for Business client to start. Instead, the default web browser starts and you are directed to the Lync Web App or Skype for Business Web App webpage. Then, you are prompted to install a plugin or you are joined to the meeting by using the web experience.

Cause

This problem occurs because, by default, the updated version of Google Chrome deprecates and disables support for the Netscape Plugin API (NPAPI). NPAPI is currently used as part of the client detection process for the Lync or Skype for Business client when you join a meeting by clicking a link. When NPAPI is disabled, the webpage cannot determine whether you have the client installed.

Resolution

To resolve this problem, use one of the following methods.

Option 1: Change the default browser

Set Internet Explorer or another supported browser as the user's default browser.

Option 2: Enable NPAPI

Enable NPAPI in the Chrome browser. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Enter the following URL into the Chrome address bar:

    Chrome://Flags/#enable-npapi
  2. Click the Enable link to enable NPAPI support.
  3. Restart the browser.
  4. Click the meeting invitation link.
  5. Enable the plugin for the meeting join domain by using the dialog box that follows the plugin warning message.

    Note This step is required for each unique meeting join domain, depending on the company that hosts the meeting.

Option 3: Set GPO settings

Use the Chrome ADMX template to set GPO settings that apply configurations to domain-joined computers. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Download the following Google Chrome GPO policy templates:

  2. Install the GPO policy templates by using the following directions:

  3. Configure the "Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Google\Google Chrome\Specify a list of enabled plugins" setting by enabling the policy and specifying npapi as the value for enabled plugins.
  4. Configure the "Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Google\Google Chrome\Content Settings\Allow plugins on these sites" setting by enabling the policy and by configuring the list of meeting join domain URLs that should be trusted.

    Note This list should contain the following items:
    • The meeting join URL of the user's organization
    • The URLs of any business partners that members of the user's organization frequently join in meetings
    • The default Lync and Skype for Business online meeting URL: https://meet.lync.com

Status

Microsoft is working on a server-side solution that does not require you to use NPAPI to join a meeting if Chrome is the default browser. If a solution to this problem is released, this article will be updated with additional information.
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