How to be visible to defined contacts only

By default everyone in your company is able to see your Office Communicator Presence. This is a great feature, because you don't have to have someone on your contact list and you can still see his or her availability in other applications (e.g. Office Outlook or Office Sharepoint Server). This empowers you to use the benefits of Unified Communications and to decide – based on your colleague’s status – whether it’s better to write an email, start an IM or call a person without adding everyone to your contact list.

On the other hand, this means also that everyone in the company is able to see your presence without having to add you to his/her contact list. While you will get a notification whenever someone adds you to his contact list, you do not get any feedback when someone just views your presence.

There may be a situation where someone would want to change this default behavior so that only certain contacts can see their Presence information. Imagine the CEO of a large company: they may prefer to block everyone except for contacts that are in their contact list.

Here is a way to configure this in Office Communicator 2007:

  1. Click Show Menu >> View >> Access Levels Management

  2. Right-click People in my company >> Change Level of Access >> Blocked

  3. Do the same with People in domains connected to my company and People in public domains.
  4. Click Show Menu >> View >> Access Levels

Now move your contacts to the desired Access Level so they can see your Presence information. Be sure to add anyone to your contact list if you want them to be able to view your Presence and contact you.

Thomas Binder
Services/ Associate Consultant

Published Wednesday, May 28, 2008 3:44 PM by octeam
Filed Under: IM/Presence

Comments (6)

  1. niranjan says:

    Very useful. It improved my productivity

  2. Daya says:


    I just found a new bug with the MS Communicator version 2007 R2. When i add a contact to my list then that alert/message is not displaying in other end if the OS version differs each other. And alert will be displayed immediately after next time login.  

    It has really disappointed me 🙁   – to some extent

    One thought: I feel live object remains the same regardless of the OS version. I hope inter OS will not be a issue if you are raising the alert through Events and Delegate mechanism so i think there might be some issue before raising the event in this case.

    This fix will really help many users since by that time only they can come to know whether recipient accepted or rejected the request.

    P.S: Thanks Shradha for helping MS to know their issue without your knowledge. (if it is not a open issue)


    Dayananda Swamy V.T

  3. Tore4 says:

    Is this not possible in Lync? I can't find access level management

  4. @tore

    You need to enable this first in the CsClientPolicy via ShowManagePrivacyRelationships.

    See…/gg398300.aspx for more information.


  5. KMC says:

    Is there any way to do this in Lync 2013?

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