Create custom external access policies


Skype for Business Online operated by 21Vianet in China will be retired on October 1, 2023. If you haven't upgraded your Skype for Business Online users yet, they will be automatically scheduled for an assisted upgrade. If you want to upgrade your organization to Teams yourself, we strongly recommend that you begin planning your upgrade path today. Remember that a successful upgrade aligns technical and user readiness, so be sure to leverage our upgrade guidance as you navigate your journey to Teams.

Skype for Business Online, excluding the service operated by 21Vianet in China, was retired on July 31, 2021.

Skype for Business Online allows you to create additional external access policies. Unlike client or conferencing policies, where you can have multiple combinations, there are three predefined external access policies that can cover most of the scenarios. These are:

  • No Federated or Skype Consumer Access (Tag:NoFederationAndPIC )

  • Federated Access Only (Tag:FederationOnly )

  • Federated and Consumer Access (FederationAndPICDefault)

Custom external policies allow you to create additional polices that aren't covered by the settings above. When the policy was created, you would be required to set all required parameters and you couldn't alter them later. Creating new custom policies allow you to control features such as Skype consumer access or a policy to disable public cloud audio/video, which is something that wasn't covered with predefined settings. Custom external access policies follow the same syntax as client, mobility, and conferencing policies. You can find out more about those settings here.

To make this work, the user must be using a supported version of 2016 Click-to-Run Skype for Business app that supports it. The following minimum version of Skype for Business 2016 Click-to-Run client is required:

Type Release date Version Build
First Release for Current Channel
Version 1611 (Build 7571.2006)
Current Channel
Version 1611 (Build 7571.2072)
Deferred Channel
Version 1609 (Build 7369.2118)


Users who are using older versions of Skype for Business Windows apps or Mac clients will still be able to transfer files.

Start Windows PowerShell


Skype for Business Online Connector is currently part of the latest Teams PowerShell module. If you're using the latest Teams PowerShell public release, you don't need to install the Skype for Business Online Connector.

  1. Install the Teams PowerShell module.

  2. Open a Windows PowerShell command prompt and run the following commands:

  # When using Teams PowerShell Module

  Import-Module MicrosoftTeams
  $credential = Get-Credential
  Connect-MicrosoftTeams -Credential $credential

If you want more information about starting Windows PowerShell, see Connect to all Microsoft 365 or Office 365 services in a single Windows PowerShell window or Set up your computer for Windows PowerShell.

Create a custom external access policy for a user

To do this, run:

New-CsExternalAccessPolicy -Identity BlockSkypeVideo -EnablePublicCloudAccess $True -EnablePublicCloudAudioVideoAccess $False -EnableFederationAccess $True -EnableOutsideAccess $True
Grant-CsExternalAccessPolicy -PolicyName BlockSkypeVideo -Identity

Want to know more about Windows PowerShell?

Block point-to-point file transfers

Set up client policies for your organization

Set up conferencing policies in your organization