How to Change the Sort Order of Contact List Groups

Office Communicator allows you to create groups to sort your contacts.  You can also arranged those groups in any order you see fit.  So you can move a group that you use frequently to the top of the list, and move others to the bottom.  But have you ever wanted to reset that order back to default?  Maybe you’d rather have the groups alphabetized.  If you have a lot of groups, doing this manually might be tedious.  Instead there is an easier way.  If you open regedit and navigate to the following key:

HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Communicator\<SIP URI>\GroupStateCacheU

If you have moved groups around, you will see the following value.  If you haven’t moved the groups around, this value will not be there:

SortGroups     REG_BINARY

If you delete this value, close Communicator, and sign back in, you will see that your groups have been reordered.




*One thing to note is that the Recent Contacts group will always be the first group in the list.  You can always turn off the Recent Contacts group if you don’t want it shown in the contact list.

Comments (25)

  1. dodeitte says:


    I tried it on Lync 2010 4.0.7577.4103 and when I rearranged groups, the SortGroups registry key was placed in the location mentioned in the post.  If I deleted that key and restarted Lync, the groups were ordered correctly.

  2. dodeitte says:


    Thanks for the feedback!  As you can see from the screenshots in the post, the Other Contacts group for me was sorted alphabetically…not sure why you didn't see the same results.

  3. dodeitte says:


    Communicator 2007 R2 has an option called "Group Contacts by Availability".  If you do this as well as sort the groups, that should give you what you're looking for.  Lync 2010 should have a similar option as well.

  4. dodeitte says:


    There's an option to sort by availability in the drop down list that is next to the search bar.

  5. dodeitte says:

    @Sasuke Xia

    Unfortunately, there is no way to sort the groups server-side.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Thanks, It is very useful. I have  another question, how can I sort  the group  in the lync server side without modify registry key in the client side. The action should be useful for all users.

    Our Environment is lync server administrator use a script to add contact list for all users.

  7. Vahab says:

    Awesome! this blog has saved me a lot of frustration on multpile occasions!!! thank you!

  8. Kevin says:

    I want my Contacts to be in order of Online, away, etc. How would I be able to do this PLease? Thanks

  9. Brian says:

    Thanks!  Worked like a charm!

  10. Alo says:

    Thanks! My contacts groups suddenly sorted out randomly after installing Office 2010 suite, and I couldn't find a way to put them back alphabetically. This registry deletion did the work!

  11. Doralí says:

    Thanks Charlie Leal for sent me this link and thanks "dodeitte" for this tip … that unsorted groups were driving me crazy!!!!

  12. JefrinJP says:

    Thanks!! Suddenly my sort order got changed and I was scrambling around to get it re-ordered. This helped solve my problem. But it is amazing that this functionality is not available under "view" and has to be done through regedit…

  13. bernard says:

    many thanks for the work around.

  14. Ed says:

    This registry key does not exist for Microsoft Lync 2010.  How do you sort GROUP names within Lync.  It is kind of useless to create group names if you can't sort them.

  15. Jacob says:

    Excellent!!! It was resolved my questions which I'm facing for a long time.

  16. ryan says:

    Why does Microsoft have to make this so cryptic to fix?  Can't we simply have a sort option "Sort Groups Alphabetically" rather than having to hack the registry for this?  Thanks for posting this, but it is ridiculous that we need an article on how to edit the registry to sort groups alphabetically.

  17. Bob Hyatt says:

    Thanks for the great tip!  Even after doing this, Other Contacts was at the top of my list – wish it was at the bottom or sorted alphabetically.

  18. Amit says:

    Thats great…helps a lot…Thanks

  19. Tibor says:

    This is not working for Lync 2012. Anyone has any solution to arrange groups alphabetically? I have the maximum number of groups in Lync and it's not too tempting to order them manually

  20. mike says:

    Thank you, great tip.  It was very frustrating when you have a lot of groups out of order.

  21. Dave says:

    Is there some way to sort by Groups and Status at the same time?

  22. worthless says:

    Except it doesn't WORK. Groups are sorted in random order.

  23. Wiley Traylor says:

    Thanks.  This worked for me.  My IT help line had no clue.

  24. thomas says:

    Perfect! Thank you!!!

  25. Hitesh says:

    Sorry, didn’t work for MS Lync@ 2013 (15.0.4719.1000) MSO 32 bit installtion. After deleting ‘REG_BINARY groups are still unordered in next login.