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Plan B – Tips for Using Skype for Business

I recently had a client whose Microsoft Teams no longer worked for them. I ended up needing to use Skype for Business instead. The interesting thing is, in the near future, Skype for Business will no longer be available. When July 2021 hits, Microsoft plans to retire Skype for Business. You can read all about it in this CRN article. I definitely needed some tips for using Skype for Business when I first reopened the application.

Microsoft Teams has been a focus of Microsoft for some time now. They are continuing to update the platform so that it will eventually take over what was once the powerhouse of video conferencing, Skype. Until then, some of our clients still use Skype for Business. This fact lead to the interesting journey I just had getting Skype for Business to work for me. Outlined in this article are some quick tips for Using Skype for Business that I discovered from having to use the application again.

Letting Your Contacts Know You’re in a Meeting

Navigate to Skype for Business settings. Under “Personal” turn on the checkmark for “Update my presence based on my calendar information.” You also have the option to “Show meeting subject and location to contacts in my Workgroup privacy relationship. Or “Show my Out of Office info to contacts in my Friends and Family, Workgroup, and Colleagues privacy relationship.”

How to Turn on “Do Not Disturb”

A great thing to have on during the meeting is the “Do Not Disturb” setting when you are sharing your desktop. To find how to do this, navigate once more to the Skype for Business settings. Click on “Status.” Then, mark the checkbox for “Show me as Do Not Disturb when I share my desktop.”

Make Sure You’re on the Correct Application

Typically, I use Microsoft Teams for Online calls. This time, however, I needed to use what a client was using and log into Skype again.

I ended up having a really hard time logging in. I work on a Mac and Skype was pre-loaded. When initially trying to get into Skype, it wanted me to also do something with Microsoft Lync. I was a little confused. Rebooted the computer. Skype still didn’t work for me.  Still looking for something with Microsoft Lync. But then I noticed something different. The Skype and the Skype for Business logos are slightly different.

Accessing the Skype for Business logo directly allowed me to Join the scheduled online meeting, without requesting anything extra from me. You can also keep Skype for Business in the Dock, just in case you forget. Now Skype for Business works all day! It serves perfectly as a backup for a Microsoft Teams Online Team Meeting.


If you are looking at going from Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams, here is a post on the steps to get started with Teams. Overall, since Microsoft is phasing out the use of Skype in the upcoming years, it’s a good idea to start to get familiar with Microsoft Teams as a replacement. Teams is becoming the leading application for communication, so you will not be disappointed by it’s continual improvement of capabilities.

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