Forcing Use of Lync Web App to Join a Conference


When you receive and click on a meeting request to join a Lync-based meeting, If you have Lync Client 2010 installed it will be used to join that meeting.  What if there's a problem joining the conference using the Lync thick client (there are scenarios where it may not work if there are problems with the company hosting the Lync meeting's Federation setup, etc).  Or, maybe you just want to join the meeting and use the Lync Web App instead of the Lync thick client?

Unfortunately, there's no button you can click to do this...and if you're using IE8 and above, the IE window quickly closes after you click on the link in your email so that you can't access the "Use Lync Web App" link.

However, there is a way to force the use of Lync Web App.


To force connecting to a Lync meeting using the Lync Web App instead of the Lync thick client, do the following:

  1. Open a web browser window
  2. Copy & paste the URL for joining the meeting that you received.  But do NOT press ENTER yet!
  3. Append the following string to the URL: "?SL=1" (without the double quotes)

For example, if the URL to join the Lync meeting given is:

Change it to:

Comments (20)
  1. Appaji says:

    Thanks for your blog, it help me alot, i was looking solution for same problem.

  2. lars says:

    Sorry, but this doenst work if you only have Lync 2010 thick client installed. Lync 2010 Web app (attendee) wont install after thus is installed.

  3. BAtlla says:

    Thanks alot for this, really helped us. Our customers got this problem while doing a live presentation and we had to have a quick fix, luckely this helped. Thanks again!

  4. Rico says:

    Hi, good solution but is there any way to add this url in the meeting request ? (below the principal URL )

  5. cyoav says:

    Thanks – great solution !

  6. DarrenP says:

    Thank you – It took me a while to find this but I can now stop banging my head against the wall 🙂

  7. EEEE says:

    works also with lync 2013 Client ,,,,,

  8. Andrew says:

    Hi guys, do you know if there’s a way to force the use of the Silverlight version after the server has been "upgraded" to the new non-silverlight web client? Unfortunately there’s no way to run the non-silverlight plugin under Linux, but with some effor
    the Silverlight-based client worked relatively well.

  9. Chris S. says:

    Hi Guys,

    I am looking to make this change permanently. We do not want to use the full Lync client at all, only the web client. Though with the new Office 365 install, we can not un-check Lync through "Programs and Features" like we could in previous versions of Office.
    Any idea how we can set it to disable the full Lync client?


  10. David S. says:

    I have the reverse happen. I want the lync client to be used but one company PM meetings always go to the Lync Web Client. All others go to the Lync client. Help her calls going to the web client creates a lot of issues.

  11. Roberto says:

    How to get the other way around ? I mean my Lync conference always start within the Browser but I would like to get this done thru the Lync 2010 app… How to do this ?

  12. Simon says:

    I am also interest in knowing how to do the opposite, I want my meeting to open in my lync client, not the browser

  13. Chris says:

    Picture using Lync to host a meeting with a company that doesn’t have federation set up properly or maybe doesn’t even have an edge server. The CEO of that company clicks on the hyperlink, and Lync starts up and then can’t connect. I am then called and
    tell the guy to copy the hyperlink, paste it into the browser and append ?sl=1 to the end. That CEO is thinking that we are using an inferior product since this "hack" doesn’t have to happen with Webex, GotoMeeting, or any other service. It shouldn’t be all
    that tough to have Lync/SFB detect if it can connect and open IE with the appropriate URL (including the ?sl=1) on a failure.

    This answer makes MS and every company that has to explain this to their clients look bad.

  14. Rama says:

    Absolutely fantastic solution. I was trying for hours to get this problem fixed when trying to connect with a team that wasn’t in my enterprise address book. Thank you so much for providing this solution.

  15. 012345678 says:

    A very helpful tip for external invitations! Thanks!

  16. Ammar Khambaty says:

    Amazing !! Worked for me. Thanks.

  17. Somnath Ingale says:

    Thanks for the great solution…..many time i got the escalation from the client for this issue.

  18. Prasath C says:

    Excellent. It worked, thanks a ton.

  19. Mike D says:

    Microsoft Lync Attendee do not lauch automaticly while put IE by default Browser. I tried with the ?SL=1 in the link … Attendee still not start ! 🙁

  20. o2infosystems says:

    I just want to say that I like your posting. In fact I am using your site regularly. Your articles are very effective and i am very thankful to you for sharing this site with knowledgeable content .

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