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Configure presence in Skype for Business Online


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.


The Microsoft Teams admin center has replaced the Skype for Business admin center (Legacy portal). All settings for managing Skype for Business are now in the Teams admin center. You must be assigned the Microsoft Entra admin role of Global admin or Skype for Business admin to manage Skype for Business features in the Teams admin center. To learn more, see Manage Skype for Business settings in the Microsoft Teams admin center.

By default, anyone who can communicate with one of the people in your organization using Skype for Business can also see whether that person is online. Skype for Business shows whether a person is available online, in a meeting, offline, or another indicator.

An example of a person's online status in Skype for Business.

As the admin for everyone in your business, you can choose who sees their online presence in Skype for Business.

An icon showing the Skype for Business logo. Using the Skype for Business admin center

  1. Go to the admin center > Admin centers > Skype for Business.

  2. In the Skype for Business admin center, choose organization.

  3. Under presence privacy mode, select one of the following settings, and then choose Save.

Setting Who can view a user's presence
Automatically display presence information
Any Skype for Business user in your business who has not been added to a person's External or Blocked list will be able to see that person's online presence.
Display presence information only to a user's contacts
Anyone in a person's Contacts list who they have not added to their External or Blocked list.
Individuals can override your default settings in their Skype for Business app: Settings > Tools > Options.

For information about what your users can change in Skype for Business, see these articles:

Set up Skype for Business Online

Let Skype for Business users add Skype contacts