November 2013 Update for the Lync 2013 Desktop Client

Nikolay Muravlyannikov, Lync Program Manager II
Debbie Arbeeny, Lync Program Manager II
Tim Woo, Lync Technical Product Manager

In the November Update for the Lync 2013 Desktop Client, the Lync team is pleased to introduce several new features to enhance your Lync experience. These were created based on the feedback we received from our partners and customers through Microsoft field personnel and Technology Adoption Programs (TAP). So please continue to provide feedback to your Microsoft contacts so we can continue to make your Lync experience even better!

Note that while these features work out of the box from a client perspective, your administrator may have to enable/change settings on the server side for you to get the functionality shown below. If you are a Lync administrator, please refer to the following post on NextHop.

Features included in the November Update:

  • Photos of Sender/Receiver – View photos of sender/receiver inline with IM conversation
  • URL Photo Experience – Set your own photo from a public web site instead of using the corporate image
  • pChat Escalation – Escalate a Persistent Chat room to a Lync Meeting with one click
  • Login Trace Files – Easily access Lync client login logs
  • New Recording Options Choose preferred resolution for client-side recordings

Photos of Sender/Receiver

Within the IM window, we added the capability to view photos of the sender/receiver inline with the conversation. This adds visual context to your IM conversations, particularly in conference scenarios where multiple people may be chatting at the same time.

The feature works with both Lync Server and Lync Online deployments.

Photos of sender/receiver in an IM window
Pic 1. Photos of sender/receiver in an IM window

All participants in the conversation are not required to have a client with the November Update for the photos to appear. Those with the update will see the photos; those with older clients will not.

To learn more about this feature, please see

URL Photo Experience

The URL photo experience feature allows you to use photos from any public site, such as Yammer, Facebook, and SkyDrive, as your Lync picture. Setting a personal photo through a URL gives you the ability to personalize your Lync experience with contacts, including federated contacts.

The feature works only with Lync Server deployments.

Interface of Lync client with URL photo option
Pic 2. Interface of Lync client with URL photo option

Users can add photos from any public site through a URL. However, in order for others to see your photo, they need to have access to the site where this photo has been placed (they must be registered with Yammer, Facebook, etc.) so it should not be a private site.

To learn more about this feature, please see

pChat Escalation

This feature facilitates escalating a Persistent Chat (pChat) room to a Lync Meeting with all participants of that room. It simplifies the escalation experience and allows you to begin a call with all room participants quickly.

The feature is supported for Lync Server deployments. Persistent Chat is not available for Lync Online deployments.

Persistent Chat interface: new “Call everyone in the room and start a meeting” button
Pic 3. Persistent Chat interface:
new “Call everyone in the room and start a meeting” button

Pressing the button for the phone icon will start a Lync meeting with all participants. Once opened, a link for joining the conference will be put into the chat room, allowing a member of the chat room who missed the original invitation to join the meeting later.

Group call from Persistent Chat Room and link for joining the conference
Pic 4. Group call from Persistent Chat Room and link for joining the conference

This link is different from the link that users leverage for regular meetings. Each time a user presses the call button, a new link will be generated.

The conference call generated from a pChat user honors that user’s conferencing policy allowances. For instance, if the user has a policy restriction that only allows them to invite 10 users to the meeting, but the room has 11 participants, the last person to join the call will see the message the “Meeting is full.”

Login Trace Files

Before the November Update, to troubleshoot login issues you needed to run a snooper and know the name of the folder where logs are placed, requiring a good deal of time to resolve issues, in particular if the problem is with a remote client. In the November Update, we added the ability to access sign-in logs with one click.

The feature works with both Lync Server and Lync Online deployments.

Logs
Pic 5. Sign-in Logs

If there were no errors during the sign-in process, the logs will be empty. But if you had problems connecting to the server, the logs will show the errors and the steps Lync made in order to connect to the server and results for each step: Failed or Passed.

An end user can easily copy the logs and send them to their IT department, significantly simplifying troubleshooting of login issues.

Logs collected during sign-in (Lync shows login steps)
Pic 6. Logs collected during sign-in (Lync shows login steps)

For more information on this feature, please see

New Recording Options

In this update, we also added a new capability which allows you to choose the resolution and the size of client-side recordings. With different resolution options, the size of the recording will change so recordings which may not need to be kept in full HD will be easier to share and download via a SharePoint site or through email.

The feature works with both Lync Server and Lync Online deployments.

Lync Recording Options
Pic 7.
Lync Recording Options

To learn more about this feature, please see





Comments (66)
  1. Anonymous says:

    Please allow end users to remove the pictures from the chat client. This is a total waste of space.

  2. Falcon Rogue says:

    Add me to the vote for an option to disable the in-chat pictures. I have to scroll up the chat so much more now because the pictures take up so much real estate! Please add an option to disable this as not all of us need a picture of who we’re chatting with every time they say something.

  3. Can you guys add a hyperlink for the November update? When I go to…/dn146015.aspx I only see the September update. By the way, keep up the good work!

  4. paul says:

    How about getting LRS  up-to-date with Lync client in other areas, like: sitting row under gallery?  Resizing the content window/stage on Lync clients when viewing a whiteboard from LRS meeting?

  5. @M. Hunsberger, Here is November update:…/en-us

  6. Ross L says:

    Can you please give options to turn off features you are adding.  I hate having every line of text with the persons picture and then their picture at the top as well.  It's redundant and pointless for 1:1 conversations.

    Also, the default to Gallery view in meetings in the previous update is something I always have to change for every  meeting since I can't change the default.  Please give options to turn off features you are adding….


  7. Dave C says:

    We need several features for Lync 2013 that will really make the product much more usable.  I'm a heavy Lync user, spending 7+ hours a day often on the phone with it.

    1. Turn off animations.  Every been slammed by 5-6 people at once with IMs?  The toasts have a hard time coming up and then the fly over animation is quite tedious to watch as it locks your computer to do it.

    2. Gallery View should not be the default.  I do not work with super models.

    3. I should have the options to make Compact View the default if I want.  This is more appropriate.  Similarly, can we have a setting to have the Participants list show up by default as well?  When you are on a call with more than 3 people, you want to see the list.  I want to see if my boss is randomly on the call or if a customer joined what we _thought_ was an internal only call.  Gallery View makes this almost impossible.  The combination of Compact View and Participants List solves this issue.

  8. Denis Gorchakov says:

    This new "Sender/Receiver Photo" feature is quite annoying, is there any way to turn it off?

  9. cdhayward86 says:

    I have installed the update but the "Show picture from a website" option is not there.  Tested on two Lync 2013 deployments.

    My client policy is set to, DisplayPhoto : AllPhotos.  Technet describes AllPhotos as "Either Active Directory photos or custom photos can be displayed."

    Any ideas?

  10. linking from home says:

    how do i link Lync 2010 to my office Lync 2010 from home

  11. Frank says:

    I love having my status back in the tray.  

    My old gripe is the default in a conference is speaker view.  We should be able to configure it.  My new gripe is seeing everybody's face in an IM thread.

    – Frank

  12. Dave C says:

    My lync client just updated through Windows Update and seeing a picture next to each chat line is really not appealing.

    Furthermore, when you copy and paste content from an IM window it brings along a bunch of html tables.  This also breaks up the conversation and makes the results pasted into an e-mail look really sloppy.

  13. SimonBarratt says:

    UC Chris, the steps for enabling Web upload photo are here:…/cumulative-update-for-lync-desktop-client-2013-november-2013.aspx

    Just tried them and it worked fine.

  14. Dave C says:

    One more piece of feedback, since I use this tool so much.

    How come we can't resize the window at the top any more?  You can resize on the left, bottom, and right of the window, but there is no resizing cursor when you hover over the top?  I used to double click this to make the chat window take the entire height of the screen, but now it does nothing.  The only way to get the window to snap by height is to double click the bottom of the window now.

    Why would you take this feature away?  It just doesn't make sense.

  15. H. Mohamed says:

    I have to agree with Ross L, Dave C, and Denis G.  Adding more pointless photos to every window in Lync with no way of disabling them is ridiculous when Lync already has a bloated GUI that takes up much more screen real estate than is needed for simply chatting.

  16. Tim Woo says:

    Hey all,

    Thanks for the comments. As we continue to update the product with an increased cadence, we take all feedback into account in order to create the best Lync experience possible.

    As Simon pointed out, if the URL photo experience is not working on your Lync 2013 client, your administrator may need to enable it on the backend. Please have him/her refer to our post on NextHop for instructions how to do this. (…/cumulative-update-for-lync-desktop-client-2013-november-2013.aspx)



  17. GK says:

    Unfortunately I have had to move away from Lync, in our environment the directors like to use Macs and the lack of group chat on the Mac client has meant I have had to use an alternative which is annoying given our environment is 98% Windows. Is there any plan to bring the Mac client on par so I can reconsider a move back to Lync?

  18. Wally Beck says:

    During large audio/video chats, we desperately need a "RAISE YOUR HAND" so participants are not talking over each other. It would be great for a participant to click a "raise your hand" button and have some type of # show up so folks know who raised their hand first, second, third, etc..

  19. Hamish says:

    Please add in the ability to record PSTN <> Lync calls in the same way as Lync <> Lync by right click record. Having to change the call to a conference not great.

    I have alot of customers who find the lack of this frustrating.

    Also add the ability to disable new functions such as others have mentioned.


  20. Cristian Ruiz says:

    When will be possible to avoid closing the client by the user? May be with group policies or something else? Is it so difficult to implement?

  21. Mark T says:

    I miss the ink feature….it is still in the modern version, and was in 2010….any plans on bringing it back to 2013 desktop version?

  22. Jim Boyer says:

    I HATE the new update I dont need the photo in the chat window for EVERY line of test it takes up way to much space and looks HORRIBLE!!!! Give us a way to disable it

  23. Bend-y says:

    Not a fan off picture spam in IM without the means to turn it off. Agree with the majority. Fail feature.

  24. moh10ly says:

    I don't know why everyone see the update in a negative way! I think have the picture next to the person's name is a good thing but it would be better to have more options to turn off/on these features whenever needed.

  25. Pafka says:

    Honestly, I wonder why you bothered adding sender/receiver photo (and the header with today’s date to every new conversation) – now all I can see is just a few lines of text because the message windows is so ridiculously small and cluttered. For God’s sake, please make it finally so that the size of the message window is remembered in Lync 2013, as we were used in 2010 version, so that I don’t need to resize it EVERYTIME someone sends a longer message.

  26. Petri X says:

    Thank you for developing the client!

    But still I cannot believe who has asked from you to add photos into Chat view. It is very strange, how you can forget so soon with whom you are chatting??? If you need to add the photos into chat, then do it on top of the window, please. And as many of earlier hopes: how to make it off???

    More likely may I ask you to fix this: Type the following text into chat:

    "If yo like to buy car(s) you have to go to bank."

    Why there is a emoticon on middle of the text??? You can turn off emoticons, but still you do not have control for the received side. And depends on your language, this can be even worst problem.

    And the solution is still so simple:

    IF (no space before or after emoticon pattern) do not add emoticon

  27. nick says:

    Photos of Sender/Receiver needs to be removed or the ability to turn it off!  I know what I look like and don't need to see a picture of myself every time I send an IM. Who would think this is a good idea?

  28. Carl S. says:

    Before this update, in persistent chat rooms, each message would have their own timestamp.  So User A would send messages at 12:21, 12:25, and 12:28  before anybody else would send another message in the room, the timestamps would show as 12:21, 12:25, 12:28.  Now after the update, in this same scenario, we see one timestamp at 12:21, if User B sends a message, that timestamp shows, then if User A sends another that timestamp shows, but multiple messages from the same user show just one timestamp, even if they are sent minutes apart.  Any way to get this back to how it was?

  29. When the in-band policy does not allow the display of photos, either from AD or Exchange or from web sites, Lync should obviously not display empty icons everywhere.

    Agree with Carl S. on the bug of time stamp in IM conversations when a user responds a long time after.

    When the in-band policy allows the display of photos, where does Lync set and get the photo URL : lastPresencePhotoUrl, … ?

    Is there a way in this case to automate the provisioning of users' photo ?

  30. Has anyone else found that presence statuses are no longer stable with this update.

  31. alex says:

    How did this update get installed our PCs?  I have WSUS running for security updates but didn’t expect new features to be bundled in with security updates.  I’d rather have the opportunity to test and rollout service packs or feature packs for Office rather
    than have functional updates incorporated within the monthly WSUS security updates.  We don’t want to have to test every security update but Lync updates have caused trouble: Lync clients no longer start on all our VMware View 5.2 VMs after a recent WSUS delivered
    update (appcrash referencing vwebcam.dll)

  32. Byron Miller says:

    Sender/Receiver Photos is horrible. Please add a config setting to disable it.

  33. Darren Ellis says:

    We have only installed the updates on a couple of clients at the moment but on these few Lync 2013 clients login fine then go through a period of logging out then logging back in then out then in.  Anyone else seen this issue?


  34. S. Sterling says:

    PLEASE give us a way to turn off the Sender/Receiver function. It shows even if you turn the Show pictures option off. I can see a use when chatting with multiple accounts, but for one on one…..What a horrible idea to include without a way to turn it off.

  35. B McFarland says:

    Agree with the other comments.  There has to be a way to turn that Photos of Sender / Receiver functionality off.  That is horrible and annoying!  If you want to make it more readable, bring back the option to have alternating colors in conversations.

  36. Andrew Burt says:

    Curious about the new recording options – not seeing the option in the UI for this after applying update. Anyone else testedconfirmed? Client is reporting version 15.0.4551.1005 in Help-About

  37. CyberGuyPR says:

    Concur with the others regarding the "Sender/Receiver Photo" feature being pointless/annoying. I'm about to put a sticky note on my monitor so it cover those pics.

  38. Jacob says:

    Agree, please provide a way to disable the Send/Receive Photos.

  39. Matt` says:

    Has anyone been experiencing issues with Lync after the update?  Lync is now unstable on my system, Windows 8.1 with Office 365.  Lync is using on average 30% CPU and fluctuates between not responding and active.  Basically it's unusable now.

  40. Jacob Wilkins says:

    I second a couple complaints voiced by others:

    1) The photos of Sender/Receiver need to either go away completely or have a disable option. They drastically reduce the amount of text that fits in the window.

    2) The timestamp behavior should revert to how it was prior to this update. If a single person is the only poster in a chat for an extended period of time, it is impossible to determine even approximately when the message was sent.


  41. T. Linker says:

    PLEASE add a way to turn OFF the sender/receiver pics in every message!!!!!!!!!  How could you add this "feature" without at least giving an option to turn it off?

  42. My point is how can you add a Lync feature to our company machines without us rolling it out?  Sneaking new features in via WSUS security updates is not on!  Please don't include functional updates in security updates.  

    First the Meetings icon appeared after secuirty update (where you can't click though to meeting details). Now the pictures take up 20% of the already tiny chat Window after another security update. What suprises will appear next patch tuesday?

  43. Bostjan Cvelbar says:

    Hi guys. This recording "option/feature" where you would expect that client records in FULL-HD is not working 🙁 Anyone else experiencing the same thing?

  44. CloudZone says:

    Nikolay, Debbie, Tim – You guys are doing a great job with the product! Just finishing a pilot (E3/Lync Online)with a FTSE 250 across seven countries and the customer is raving about it. One thing though is a big omission – the ability to get detailed QoS and related metrics for Lync Online (like you can get with on-prem). The whole motivation for moving to Lync Online is to avoid significant on-prem infrastructure. But now they have to rely on other tools to monitor QoS, reliability and related metrics. The online reports are very high-level and not that useful – for example, I can't even get a breakdown of Lync Activity by region so aggregated numbers across 12 countries doesn't really tell us much. Any plans on the horizon for this?

  45. CloudZone says:

    Sorry, wanted to add one more thing about the metrics reporting for Lync Online. Another motivation for this data is that we want to know whether users are experiencing any call / video quality issues without having to rely on the users to report the issue or having to collate logs from multiple users machines. If there are network issues impacting users this could negatively impact adoption and you wouldn't know about it unless the customer had purchased a third party monitoring tool.

    Any suggestions welcome as there doesn't seem to be much info available on the net around monitoring for Lync Online options?

  46. jussi says:

    How to disable "Sender/Receiver Photos"? They eat too much space and you need to keep scrolling up and down to see older messages, even when the conversation is short.

  47. Simon Tremblay says:

    I agree with a lot of people here. If you add a feature, please give us an option to turn off at least! The "Sender/Receiver Photos" feature is so annoying for me that it force me return to my Lync 2010 Client. 🙁

  48. Simon Barratt says:

    When are we going to be able to enable the photo setting for Lync Online users?

  49. florian says:

    Could you please fix the Lync 2013 Client that he's able to recognize the Citrix HDX Audio driver(like all other apps and Windows itself)? So that you can use Lync in a Citrix VDI Session.

  50. I am having problems with connecting with some skype users since this update.

    I know they are online but on both Lync and Skype we show as being offline to one another.

    In fact, in Skype, i am unable to see any Lync users as online, and in Lync i can only see 1 in 4 skype users.

    Please advise or fix!!

  51. Falcon Rogue says:

    Is it possible to turn OFF the pictures inline with the chat? I know who I'm chatting to because their picture is at the top of the window. I don't need their picture wasting my screen real estate. This is as bad as the unremovable picture in Outlook 2013 that wastes massive header room.

    Please give us options to limit seeing everyone's face everywhere. We're in a corporate environment, we're business colleagues not lovers who can't stand to be apart more than 5 minutes.

    I disabled all picture settings I could find in Lync options and it didn't fix it. If there weren't necessary improvements in this update I would be rolling back.



  52. Dolores says:

    Can you please give options to turn off features you are adding. I hate having every line of text with the persons picture and then their picture at the top as well. It’s redundant and pointless for 1:1 conversations.

  53. Anonymous says:

    OneNote for Windows Store v2.1 Major update for OneNote for Windows Store now available. Now with a redesigned

  54. Bob B says:

    I appreciate that you guys are actually working on products such as this, however, you have to understand that not everyone works in the same way or likes interfaces the same. Therefor, when adding new ‘features’ you really should also take the time to add in a way to disable the feature.

    As a programmer, desktop realestate is at a premium, therefore, to have pictures show within the IM window of a 1:1 conversation is a complete waste of space. Having it at the top is fine, I just don’t need it on every, single, line, that, I (we), type. PLEASE give us a way to turn that off.

    I also would like the ability to resize the window from the top… don’t understand why you would turn off just that side of it… maybe its something with the tool you’re using?

    Thank you for your consideration.

  55. Anon says:

    Hate the pictures in IM window. Please give option or remove!

  56. Kathy Messina says:

    I concur with the others here – having a picture/icon is a waste of space regardless of the number of people in the conversation. We use chats to record our deployments, and when we’re trying to fix something fast, the more content that can be on the screen
    at one time, the better – just like code.

  57. Justin Kernen says:

    You have redundantly taken up valuable screen real estate by inserting the picture of the sender in IM conversations. I can see how this could be useful for conversations with several members, but 99% of my conversations are with individuals, and you’ve
    now taken up the first 12 characters of my window and limited the amount of useful information I can display. Please give me the option to turn this off ASAP.

  58. kag says:

    I echo everyone’s sentiments regarding the inline pictures. My corporation disabled the ability for us to use photos of ourselves, which leaves literally no benefit for me. I see only “blank face” placeholders that take up valuable screen real estate. Even if I could see everyone’s photos, I would much rather have all that space available for text. Productivity drops when you are continually having to scroll back up for messages. Since I am sure Lync has a large base of corporate users, I really think that should be taken into account. Just adding an option to disable this feature would make all the difference.

    Fortunately, I still have the option to downgrade to Lync 2010, which I am in the process of doing.

  59. John says:

    Add an option to remove the pictures, including the silly silhoutte. I don’t need to see the group they are in either when I’m chatting

  60. Charlie Spencer says:

    Yeah, I’m with the ‘Hide the pictures’ crowd. We have pictures disabled at the server; showing a series of identical default silhouettes is a waste of screen space.

  61. R. Schuster says:

    I want to be able to resize the IM window from the top edge like I could in Lync 2010. There are moments when this is very frustrating.

  62. tom says:

    Luckily, I can still use my 2010 client so I’m not stuck looking at silly features like the sender/receiver photo in the IM window.

    That is as silly as the Win8 UI.

  63. Joe A. says:

    How can we turn off the date stamp for every msg entered on in the same time frame ?
    [3/2/2015 1:50 PM] Dave B:
    [3/2/2015 1:50 PM] Dave B:
    two burgers for 5 bucks
    [3/2/2015 1:50 PM] Dave B:
    great deal

    Visually it shows up on Lync screen like:
    . last 1:50 PM
    . two burgers 1:50 PM
    . great deal 1:50 PM

    Visually in window the spacing and stamp is terrible compared to Lync 2010 we just upgraded from.
    Also the copy/Paste with date time on left instead of right makes it very hard to read.

    Is there any configuration way to get around this as a Lync user?

  64. switch from 2010 to 2013 a bad experience says:

    I just switched from 2010 to 2013. What a step backwards! I feel like MS has adopted a fun house mirror theme for all office 2013. Everything is too big and takes up way too much space and for some reson MS feels you shouldn’t use less than at least 1.2
    the page for everything. Why can’t I re-size down to the size I want? Very bad! Looks like slack/screen hero is my new Lync.

  65. christina says:

    My lync option to update my picture is grayed out! Why is this? I want so bad to update my picuture, but cannot.

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