Lync Basic 2013 vs Lync 2013

With the release of Lync Server 2013, there are two versions of the Lync 2013 client available:

  • Lync Basic 2013
  • Lync 2013

What's the difference between the two?

Lync Basic 2013 provides all the basic functionality that’s available in the full version of Lync (Lync 2013). However, if you want to use any of the following features, you will need to upgrade to Lync 2013:

  • Advanced call features (not available with all Office 365 subscriptions); advanced call features include team ring, call forwarding, simultaneous ring, voice mail, call park, call delegation, response groups, and remote call control
  • Calendar delegation
  • Gallery video view
  • OneNote sharing
  • Recording
  • Skill search (not available with Office 365)
  • Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) (not available with Office 365)

You can find more information on which specific features are supported in each client in the Client Comparison Tables TechNet article.

Where can I download the Lync 2013 clients?

Lync Basic 2013 is available on the Microsoft Download Center and comes in two versions:

Lync 2013 is available via the Microsoft Volume Licensing Service Center for customers with a Volume Licensing agreement.

Comments (49)
  1. dodeitte says:

    @Vincent Rivoire

    Licensing questions are best answered by the reseller you purchased the software from.

  2. Lync 2013 Basic is a downloadable client for customers who have a licensed, on-premises Lync Server 2013 deployment and customers who subscribe to a Microsoft Office 365 plan that does not include the full Lync 2013 client. The Lync Basic client includes
    enhanced presence, contacts, instant messaging (IM), Lync meetings, and basic voice functionality.

    Features not supported in Lync Basic include multiparty video, OneNote integration, virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) support, skill search, recording, Enterprise Voice features, and advanced call handling (for example, call forwarding and Team Call). For
    details, see Client Comparison Tables.

  3. dodeitte says:


    The Lync 2013 Basic client can sign into Lync Server 2010.  Functionality would be limited to the capabilities of Lync Server 2010 minus the items listed in the article above.

  4. dodeitte says:


    I tested this in my lab and was able to copy and paste text into the Lync Basic 2013 client.  I would recommend if this is still happening that you open a case with PSS so that they can look into it further.

  5. dodeitte says:

    @Tom Wahab Unfortunately, not really.

  6. Anonymous says:

    @Doug Found your new blog which has detail but crucially no info on a remedy. It doesn't even say if you've reported it as a bug, logged it for change etc etc. Please could you ensure you add this type of info to your articles — as one of the comments on that entry says — 'hope my customer doesn't see this'. Unfortunately for me it was my customer who noticed this…

  7. dodeitte says:

    @Rick Eveleigh

    Thanks for the update!  I blogged about the issue with Lync 2013 Basic and A/V disabled here:…/issue-with-the-lync-basic-2013-client-and-a-v-disabled.aspx

  8. dodeitte says:

    @Dee dubs

    You would need to check with your reseller on any licensing questions.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Hello Doug, if a customer has Lync 2013 CAL and Lync server licence, does the basic Lync version needs a licence ?

  10. Anonymous says:

    @Doug — behaviour is still the same after installing the February Lync Client updates.

  11. dodeitte says:


    Correct, the full Lync 2013 client would be available on the Microsoft Volume Licensing Site.  The version numbers are the same.  The RTM Lync Basic client also has a version number of 15.0.4420.1017.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Thanks Doug

  13. dodeitte says:

    @Rick Eveleigh

    It is important that any customer experiencing an issue reports the issue by opening a case with PSS.  This helps the PG assess the importance and priority of the issue when determining which bugs to accept.  PSS has an escalation process to make sure that these types of issues are properly documented and communicated up to the PG.

  14. dodeitte says:

    @Rick Eveleigh

    Using the Lync Basic 2013 client (15.0.4420.1017), I see the same results as you do.  In fact, even though the user was A/V disabled, they could still initiate and receive A/V calls.  That is something I need to investigate more.

  15. dodeitte says:

    @George Ou

    I believe you’d need to uninstall Lync Basic 2013 and install Lync 2013. I’m not aware of a way to convert Lync Basic 2013 to Lync 2013.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Very Informative….

  17. Anonymous says:

    my company has just migrated to the office 365 and we are looking to deploy lync to everyone. we have majority on the E1 license and a few on the E3 license – my question is would will need extra license for those on E1 license to be able to use Lync?


  18. dodeitte says:

    @Bruno Almeida

    Either client works fine with Lync Online.

  19. mike says:

    so just to confirm

    The Full Lync Client is available from our MVLS site?

    do the different versions come with different version numbers?

    we have 15.0.4420.1017

    what are the basic versions numbers?

  20. Rick Eveleigh says:

    I think I've found an issue in the Basic client. If the Lync user is Audio/Video Disabled, the Dial Pad and video/audio call options should be hidden. This is the case if you use the full Lync 2013 client in Office 2013 Pro Plus. However in the Lync Basic Client these options are not hidden. This is going to be an issue on my current customer site as users will see the video, audio buttons and dial pad but not be able to use them.

    Could you replicate and report back please?


  21. @SN says:

    Lync basic 2013 crashes on copy past of text data on to chat windows 7. Is this a known issue??

  22. grant says:


    Does the Lync 2013 Basic client application work with the Lync Server 2010 server licenses? If so, is there limited functionality or this would be the same as described in the article above?

  23. a lam says:

    lync conversation history is totally rubbish

    need outlook and all conversation put into pieces

    IM shuould be so mature but dont know why MS make this as junk

  24. Chetan says:

    How many users can be added in both the versions?

  25. Clint says:

    @Rick Eveleigh

    confirmed. In the basic version the call button, video sharing are visible even if the policy is disabled. I installed the full version and these buttons disappear with the same policy.

  26. Uğur Demir says:

    Thank you Doug

  27. John Peterson says:

    Hello Doug. Any known issues installing both editions on the same PC? We might need to make an environment with both versions installed.

  28. dodeitte says:

    @John Peterson

    I don't believe that you can have both the Lync 2013 and Lync Basic 2013 client installed on the same machine.

  29. Tom Wahab says:

    Hi Doug, Is there any option to strip the Lync 2013 Basic as that is almost 300MB? Basically, we are trying to keep the install files at a minimal as we will install using SCCM over WAN, Thanks,

  30. Tim OShea says:

    I am running Office 2013, and in Lync client all the A/V settings are hidden from me. If I uninstall Office2013, and install office 2010 and the Lync client, I see the A/V settings. How can I enable them in the 2013 client, or what may be stopping them from showing?

  31. Chris B says:

    Hi – any guidance anywhere on how to silently remove Basic and replace it with the full version? We did a estate-wide deployment of Basic but users are now beginning to require the full version and are coming in droves of 10+ at a time so I could do with getting the correct uninstall string – the usual MSI’s /X …… aren’t working…

  32. GUS says:

    Is the Lync Basic client able to tether with a Lync Phone Edition physical phone (Like a Polycom CX600)? If so, do the limitations of the advanced call features still apply if the phone is doing all the work?

  33. Dee dubs says:

    So if you have office pro plus 2013, you should have the full lync client 2013. Does this come with CALs to "legally" connect to a lync server?

  34. VC Sekhar Parepalli says:

    Thanks Dodeitte. Just a question. If I chose Lync Server Trial license (180 days) , any pointer you can share on how many and what specific type of CALS, and for how much duration that I can use ?

    Aprpeciate if some one can share some light on this.


    VC Sekhar Parepalli

  35. Ilia says:

    Ahhh, it’s a shame for MS to provide Lync 2013 via MVLSC site. Shame.
    Customers should pay for the server version, but the client should be possible to download without the stupid MVLSC site. It should be a direct link available to everybody

  36. dB says:

    hmm how come my Lync in Office 2013, video messaging is disabled?

  37. dB says:

    btw that’s for a 64bit Lync installation

  38. RC Keiser says:

    Is there away to make Lync sync up so I can tell who is on or not. On 1 of my computers 🙂 it works and on 1 of my computers 🙁 it does not until I open my groups.

    On 1 it shows (16/25) in one group, but on my other it shows (0/25).

    It only updates on the one when I open the group where the other one is always current.

  39. Chris Lehr says:

    looks like latest patches unlock spell check and recording. see here.

  40. Bruno Almeida says:

    Why Lync 2013 Full (installed with Office 2013) doesn’t work with Lync Online? Must I have the Lync Basic?

  41. joao5 says:

    Does Lync Basic have downgrade rights?

  42. George Ou says:

    So if you buy the CAL and maybe some other client license, Lync Basic 2013 converts to full Lync 2013? Or do you have to reinstall the full application?

  43. Ram Karthik says:

    What is the difference b/W basic Lync and Basic Lync Client moderator abilities .

  44. Harry says:

    What is the procedure to App V Lync basic and full version using ODT?

  45. Anonymous says:

    What is Skype for Business Basic client? Previous article for Lync 2013 but should be the same for Skype

  46. Talwinder Singh says:

    Can we install Lync client and point it to Sandbox provided by microsoft team in order to see its working with actualy lync client ?

  47. dodeitte says:

    @Talwinder Singh

    You could always sign up for a free O365 trial at:

  48. ML49448 says:

    We upgraded our Lync 2013 basic versions to the VLSC but the key of the basic version (TCN6R-MKJMV-6B989-FPGB6-BPW98) is still on the computer somewhere and it seems that it always come back

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