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Manually enable Appear Offline in Lync 2013 Preview via Registry

Lync 2013, just as with previous releases, allows the ability to Appear Offline. And just as with previous releases, you can enable this functionality in the Lync Client Policies. For information on how Lync Client Policies work, see my post here.  To enable Appear Offline through Client Policie against the Global Policy, use the following command:

Get-CSClientPolicy | Set-CSClientPolicy -EnableAppearOffline $true

This will require a Lync 2013 client restart.

As an Administrator, you may not want to make this change to a Client Policy as the goal of Lync is to promote collaboration, not inhibit it by having users Appear Offline and hide from other users.  At the same time, you may want to enable it for a user or two at request and won’t want to have to bother providing this small group of users their own Client Policy.  Lync 2010 provided the ability to do that via registry key.  Mike Pfeiffer provides a great article on Lync 2010 for setting the Lync 2010 registry key to manually enable Appear Offline in Lync 2010.  You can see his article here.

The goal of this article is to show how to do the same in Lync 2013.  Because Lync 2013 is now a part of Office 2013, Lync 2013 registry items are now under the Office 2013 registry section (Office 15.0).  There are two ways to set this registry:

  1. Cmd.exe
  2. Regedit.exe

Using Cmd.exe

The type the following command:

Reg Add "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Lync" /V "EnableAppearOffline" /D 1 /T REG_DWORD /F

Using Regedit.exe

  1. Start regedit.exe
  2. In Registry Editor, expand HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, expand Software, expand Policies, expand Microsoft, expand Office, expand 15.0, expand Lync
  3. Right-click the Lync registry key, point to New, and then click DWORD (32-bit) Value
  4. After the new value is created, type EnableAppearOffline to rename the value.
  5. Double-click the new EnableAppearOffline registry value.
  6. After the new value is created, type EnableAppearOffline to rename the value.
  7. Double-click the new EnableAppearOffline registry value.
  8. In the Edit DWORD (32-bit) Value dialog box, type 1 in the Value data box, and then click OK.

Bug in Lync 2013 Preview

At the current time of this writing, the latest version of Lync 2013 is Lync 2013 Preview.  In the current Lync 2013 Preview, there is currently a bug that prevents the Appear Offline option from being displayed in the Presence drop down selection.

The workaround until this issue is fixed is that you can set Appear Offline in the taskbar by hovering over the Lync 2013 Preview icon and choosing the Appear Offline option there.

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32 Responses to “Manually enable Appear Offline in Lync 2013 Preview via Registry”

  1. on 24 Oct 2012 at 1:54 pmjedi

    works in RTM and its awesome!

  2. on 24 Oct 2012 at 2:04 pmJedi Hammond

    I used your info to make it a Powershell Command as well

    "Set-ItemProperty -path HKLM:\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Lync -Name "EnableAppearOffline" -Value 1"

    thanks!

  3. on 26 Oct 2012 at 11:28 amjah

    Lync 2013 Client with OCS 2007

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREPoliciesMicrosoftOffice15.0Lync]
    "DisableServerCheck"=dword:00000001

  4. on 06 Nov 2012 at 10:43 amCorey

    This has always worked for me with Lync 2010 and Windows 7, but with Lync 2013 on Windows 8 the registry setting seems to be ignored. I restarted Lync and checked the taskbar preview with no luck. Maybe not showing it in the presence dropdown was intentional and in the RTM Lync 2013 they "fixed" the taskbar preview too?

  5. on 29 Nov 2012 at 12:13 amBalamurugan P

    It works fine for me. Thanks for providing the information

  6. on 29 Nov 2012 at 12:11 pmShanmuga

    hello… i cannot find the Office expansion under "Microsoft" in Regedit… Pls help me out… I'm trying this in Windows 7 Enterprise…

  7. on 05 Jan 2013 at 1:17 amTech News

    This has always worked for me with Lync 2010 and Windows 7

  8. on 15 Jan 2013 at 4:48 amBest4Video

    This has always worked for me with Lync 2010 and Windows 7

  9. on 27 Jan 2013 at 2:04 amMarius Robberts

    Works like a charm! I had to add the keys for "15.0" and "Lync"

  10. on 01 Feb 2013 at 8:02 pmGnanendra

    "Set-ItemProperty -path HKLM:SOFTWAREPoliciesMicrosoftOffice15.0Lync -Name "EnableAppearOffline" -Value 1" works.

    Thanks

  11. on 07 Feb 2013 at 5:21 pmVijay

    Command line works fine but need to add one more step (given below)

    Close if any Office Tools & Start Lnyc 2013

  12. on 16 Feb 2013 at 10:54 amعجائب وغرائب

    you blog very good information

  13. on 25 Feb 2013 at 8:51 amyashish

    Under office it shows 14.0 instead of 15.0?

  14. on 05 Mar 2013 at 5:51 ampeter

    If you enable Appear Offline feature in Lync 2013 then your status will be displayed as online. This is a pretty good feature if you wish to stay hide from other users. It’s also possible to disable this feature later if you need it. <a href="http://www.buy-hotbuns.com” target=”_blank”>www.buy-hotbuns.com

  15. on 06 Mar 2013 at 2:02 pmVKC

    Jedi Hammond – Thanks Bro…

    I tried many options – setting up dword key same as how it used to be for Office communicator and for Lync 2010, however nothing worked for Lync 2013

    Finaly following command provided by Jedi worked for me.

    Set-ItemProperty -path HKLM:SOFTWAREPoliciesMicrosoftOffice15.0Lync -Name "EnableAppearOffline" -Value 1

    Note: – Catch here is that key should be STRING and not DWORD (32 bit) if you're looking for AppearOffline option in Lync 2013 client.

    You may not see key 15.0, but 14.0, so no problem, just create it manually or run above mentioned command and you're done.

  16. on 07 Mar 2013 at 11:19 amSahana

    Hi ..i tried the above with Windows 8 platform! I am unable to fine the option "Lync" under 15.0 ! Is the path different when it comes to Windows8??? please help..

  17. on 08 Mar 2013 at 1:36 amAMI

    Hello Sahana
    just looked into my registry and you are right there is not Office, Lync, 15.0 key below the Microsoft Key.
    However, I created them manually and it works.
    Try it

    AMI
    PS: working with WIN8 64bit, Office 2013 32bit

  18. on 08 Mar 2013 at 10:30 amSahana

    yea…it did work AMI :) Thank you!

  19. on 13 Mar 2013 at 1:21 pmGilbert

    worked like a charm on Windows 8.

    Many thanks.

  20. on 12 Apr 2013 at 9:37 amRobertFreitas

    Thanks Bill; now I really need to work hard to continue to make them interesting! By the way, do you have some apps that you think should be considered for review?

  21. on 19 Apr 2013 at 3:54 amFree FX Programming

    This has always worked for me with Lync 2010 and Windows 7, but with Lync 2013 on Windows 8 the registry setting seems to be ignored

  22. on 22 Apr 2013 at 1:45 amjustin

    i tried the above with Windows 8 platform! I am unable to fine the option "Lync" under 15.0.children’s entertainment center

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  24. on 03 May 2013 at 6:55 amgamespokerr 2013

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  25. on 03 May 2013 at 10:35 amjamesaddin

    worked like a charm on Windows 8.
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  26. on 07 May 2013 at 4:14 amalvin

    This has always worked for me with Lync 2010 and Windows 7, but with Lync 2013 on Windows 8 the registry setting seems to be ignored.water coolers for offices

  27. on 09 May 2013 at 2:08 amwp basic tutorial

    It works fine for me. Thanks for providing the information

  28. on 26 May 2013 at 2:42 pmDave

    This has always worked well for me with Lync 2010 and Windows seven, but with Lync 2013 on Windows 8 the personal computer establishing seems to be ignored. I re-booted Lync and examined the taskbar review with no fortune. Maybe not displaying it in the existence dropdown was deliberate and in the RTM Lync 2013 they "fixed" the taskbar review too?
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  29. on 09 Jun 2013 at 1:38 amsunny roger

    In Registry Editor, expand HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, expand Software, expand Policies, expand Microsoft, expand Office… I can see only outlook. there is no 15.0 or lync

  30. on 09 Jun 2013 at 12:09 pmElan Shudnow

    If it doesn't exist, that just means that you don't have any existing policies that would have created that section in the registry. You can go ahead and create it.

  31. on 10 Jun 2013 at 12:06 amSunny Roger

    It works now. Thanks a lot! Just created it manually through regedit.exe using the instructions above.

  32. on 10 Jun 2013 at 7:44 amElan Shudnow

    You're welcome.

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