Introducing Offline IM in Skype for Business 2016 (client)

Beginning with build 16.0.3331.1000 of Skype for Business 2016 client, you can now send IM messages to contacts even if they are not signed in.


This feature lets your contacts know that you have been trying to reach them. You don't have to wait until someone is online before sending them a message. And you'll no longer receive those "this message can't be delivered" notifications when you send a message to someone who is offline.


Send a message to an offline contact


When you start to send a Skype for Business message to someone who is offline, you will receive a message confirming that even though the person is offline, they will get the message.

Message that recipient is offline.

Note: Offline messaging can be used for person-to-person conversations only.


Retrieve a missed message


If you have received messages while you were offline, Skype for Business will let you know in the conversation window and also via Windows Alerts.

See your missed messages in the conversation window


Access missed messages from your Skype for Business IM page


In the Skype for Business conversation window:

  • Double-click to open a missed conversation.

  • Unread messages with the conversation will be indicated by an orange dot.

  • Missed conversation indicators will clear automatically after the conversations have been viewed or after they've been tabbed through.


Be notified if have missed messages via Windows Alerts


Windows Alerts will let you know if you have missed messages.

Be notified of missed messages via Windows Alerts


Server side requirements


The csclient policy assigned to the users must have EnableIMAutoArchiving and DisableSavingIM properties both set to True.  If either or both of these settings are set to False, offline IM will not be enabled.  This is required so that conversation history is enabled and maintained.


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This post originally appeared on Office Support here.


Stay up to date with the latest news and blogs for Skype for Business and all Microsoft server technologies with the PFE Direct UWP Windows 10 app here!

Comments (2)

  1. Dieter Tontsch says:

    Hello, I cannot confirm that offline IM messages works for Skype for Business for me. At least I have build 16.0.6741.2026 if build # means also lync.exe file version number. Where else can I tell which build I run?
    However, assuming this is the build number, I cannot confirm that offline messaging works. Except the fact that we now get this nice message that xy is offline and will recieve the message once he is online again, nothing else happens. Oh, one thing happens,
    my Outlook Drafts folder gets filled up with dozens of emails resulting from one offline message I wrote. I only can get rid of this once I delete all .hist files from "C:UsersxxxAppDataLocalMicrosoftOffice16.0Lyncsip_xxx@mobilexag.deHistory Spooler".
    Just deleting the email objects in Outlook does not hepl, as long .hist file is there it will ocntinue pushing emails.
    Anyway, just the fact that the only requirement is a certain CLIENT build (additonally to these two policy settings server-side) is a sign that even though it would work, it’s implemented rather bad. From my point of view, for such a feature a server-side change
    is required, th eserver to accept a message for an offline user and keep it untill the user logis in, pushing it that tom him. Maybe with a treshold like, max. 30 days or so. But if this only works client <-> client, via Outlook/Exchange probably (EWS), whatever,
    it does not convince me. Especially not, if such a core feature does not even work, when it is assumed to do so. (in our environment at least).

    Maybe there is still something configured wrong on our side, don’t know.

    kind regards,
    Dieter Tontsch
    mobileX AG

  2. Dieter – Offline IM is a client-side feature. It uses Conversation History in Outlook basically. You can confirm that its working by sending an offline IM to a recipient and when they sign in, they will get the notification/IM. Does the recipient not see
    your messages after they log in?

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