Lync 2013 Client Auto Start Registry Key

I have had a couple inquires of how to set the Lync 2013 Client to start automatically when logging into Windows. This can be done multiple ways depending on how many users you need to set this for. If you want the users to do this themselves they can just open the client and go to tools\options\personal and check the box for “Automatically start Lync when I log on to Windows”. This is the same for both Lync 2010 and the 2013 clients.

Now let’s say you need to do this for 50,000 users. With both versions you could use a script or deployment product (SCCM) to create a registry key and set that keys value on all the users workstations. The difference is where the key needs to be created. Below are the values and locations for each client version. By default both of the clients are set to automatically start.

Lync 2010 Client

Registry Location


Registry Key Name


Registry Key Type


Registry Key Value

0 – Lync client won’t start automatically

1 – Lync client will start automatically


Lync 2013 Office 15\Basic Clients

Registry Location


Registry Key Name


Registry Key Type


Registry Key Value

"C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office 15\root\office15\lync.exe" /fromrunkey


The path in the value would be where you installed Office 15. Also if you want to disable the client from starting automatically just delete this key.


Comments (22)
  1. @Andrew – that's why I put in the notes "The path in the value would be where you installed Office 15". It could be different depending on installation location and bitness. Easiest way to find this is right click the Lync 2013 Client, choose properties, and find the copy the target.

    @Brian – Not that I know of…What you can do is run process monitor, uncheck the option in the Lync client, start process monitor capturing, check the option in the Lync client and click OK, then look for a RegSetValue for process Lync.exe. That will tell you the key that's being set.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Good thread, thanks everyone for sharing.

  3. Andrew says:

    2013 Lync 32bit run key for default install is

    "C:Program Files (x86)Microsoft OfficeOffice15lync.exe" /fromrunkey

  4. Brain says:

    Lync 2013 still launches on login even when the key is not present.

    Is there a REG_DWORD for lync 2013?


  5. Rakesh says:

    I did try this but Lync still doesnt launch when a user logs in. However if user launches lync after logging in; logs off and then login back again, it launches.

    Please advise.

  6. Christian says:

    I 'd like to change some parameters on Lync and blocking changes, like log conversations, put offline, close lync using task manager, etc. Is that possible ? Thanks in advance.

  7. dodeitte says:


    Also check in HKU for the registry key.  If the user has already launched Lync once on the machine, then the Run key is copied to their HKU registry store.

  8. GaryBoyd says:

    FYI if you have a 32 bit client on 64 bit OS you’ll have a different run key location

    Also, I needed to change from OCS Communicator starting by default to Lync 2013, and just updated the current run key:
    “C:Program Files (x86)Microsoft Office Communicatorcommunicator.exe” /fromrunkey
    To Lync:
    ” C:Program Files (x86)Microsoft OfficeOffice15lync.exe ” /fromrunkey

  9. udom says:

    could not find the key and therefore could not stop it from autostart on Windows 2008 r2

  10. Every IT Guy that works with Lync says:

    So, why in MS’s infinite wisdom, did they take a setting that could be present simply in a SINGLE location, set configure it to now use no less that 2 (Wow6432Node, C:Program Files, C:Program Files (x86)? What was wrong with the old method? If it needed to change, WHY WAS IT NOT ADDED TO THE LYNC 2013 ADMX FILE TO BE CONTROLLED BY GROUP POLICY??????

  11. Another IT guy that works with Lync says:

    Probably because it sits in two locations and that’d make it harder work for them to control 🙂

  12. Steve says:


    Thanks Gary! Lync not auto-starting has been driving me nuts. Completely forgot about the two different registry areas. As Every IT Guy said, I have no idea why Microsoft has to use two separate locations. It’s working again for myself and a number of my users

  13. james says:

    Just as a follow up, this setting does NOT work if you are running a virtual Office 2013 using the ODT. The key is deep in the "virtual" registry and while it gets "set" it is not set correctly.


    It is being set as "[{AppVPackageRoot}]Office15lync.exe" /fromrunkey which is not correct.

  14. I Found mine in says:

    C:Program FilesMicrosoft Office 15rootoffice15

  15. Jordan says:

    FYI, Office 365 in our case put’s Lync.exe in a "root" subfolder, had to make our gpo reg key path to reflect this: C:Program FilesMicrosoft Office 15rootoffice15lync.exe

    Also as some one else pointed out, this reg key applies the reg settings on first logon but does not actually launch lynk on first login after the GPO is active. On the SECOND login with this GPO the key exists and does launch Lync.

    Shame on MS for not including this in the Office 2013 ADMX, as that was the first thing I did only to be disappointed when it was not there and had to resort to this. Either way this article meets my needs.


  16. mike says:

    I have training machines that I would like Lync 2013 not to autostart on but still be available to launch once needed (so I cant disable it altogether). I created a GPP to remove HKCUSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionRunLync but it runs after
    the lync.exe is executed. The second logon it doesn’t launch Lync.exe but I need it to be disabled on the first logon for a new user. What adds the Lync run key to new user profiles? I looked in .default and I don’t see it defined in the run key. Something
    has to add it to a new profile on first logon.


  17. Sopan says:

    Awsm man…i really like it…

  18. Simon says:

    Yes annoying change!! I’m using 4 different options using preferences to insert the key based on item level targeting which only applies it if the file exists. One reason for the change could be that in a Citrix / RDS environment you might get Lync launching
    when a published app is run with the old method, rather than the run key which is not processed for remoteapps / citrix published apps…

  19. pradeep says:

    This is so awkward. Why do we have to all these for such a simple option.? I get so annoyed when Lynch gets automatically logged into my office system without my knowledge. I don’t want people to ping me when I am at home.

  20. JC says:

    I found that Key at another location

  21. sam says:

    Is it possible to launch minimised to the taskbar when a user first logs in? I find that users want it to be available but don’t want it maximised at login – any suggestions?

  22. Ben says:

    We have skype inside a citrix environment and when a call is recieved the volume is set to 0 we found that if we Clear the values under UCCPlatformLyncAudioRender in regedit it hold on the default 40%
    but we have to do this manually, we have tried using a group policy to fix this on start up but with no luck.
    Any one have advice?

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