Lync User QuickTip #19: Understanding Lync to Outlook Calendar Based Presence Integration

One of the great things about Microsoft Lync is how it lights up hitherto hidden information. One of these items is the Outlook Busy/Free status. We find it is not uncommon for organizations/users to not be paying much attention to Outlook free/busy state until they implement Microsoft Lync …then presence starts being set by it and it is nicely visible! Outlook has been storing this information all along, but since it is somewhat "out of sight" it is not being set correctly by the user. This becomes important when Lync presence starts using that info.

Q. How to Turn On Lync Outlook Calendar Free/Busy Presence Integration

By default this integration is turned on, but if not: Just click on the Options button (upper right of Lync client) then click Personal as shown below.Lync Options Personal

Once you’ve configured this, your Lync presence will be set based on Meetings and Appointments from Outlook.

Q. I Added an Appointment or Meeting for Right Now, But My Presence Didn’t Update Yet. What’s Up?

So what is the delay? Well, by default Lync only checks in with Exchange Web Services and changes Lync Busy/Free state every so often (by default, roughly every 30 minutes).

Also, some users think that if they click “Reset Status” the Lync will immediately check Outlook and set Lync to Outlook Free/Busy state. In reality Lync will takes its standard interval (mentioned above) and check at the next interval. ( default up to 30minutes, but admin can set longer or shorter.) This may seems a little long, but it does optimize network traffic.


This interval can be changed/shortened by your Lync administrator using Justin Morris’ great article below:

Q. Since We Started Using Lync, My Presence is Always Busy/In Meeting Since My Days are Scheduled.


Depending on how you setup an appointment or meeting’s Free/Busy setting, will depend how Lync shows your status when that appointment is in progress.

For Appointments this is how Free/Busy Affects What Users See in Lync:

  • Appointment Free = Lync will show Available (green)
  • Appointment Busy = Lync will show Busy (orange)
  • Appointment Tentative = Lync will show Available (green)

For Meetings this is the mapping:

  • Free = Available (green)
  • Busy = In a Meeting (organge)



When I Hover over Calendar Field on Contact Card I can’t See Appointment/Meeting Details

If a Lync contact has you set as WorkGroup Relationship you can see their Calendar Appointment/Meetings’ Subject and Location as shown below.  This is very cool for answering the question “Your busy, but what are you doing?”.



If you cannot see the details of the Calendar appointment/meeting, this means that the contact in question does not have you set as WorkGroup (or Friends and Family) in Privacy Relationship. Just ask them to do this.


What Happens if you schedule a meeting/appt that starts before now?
-It seems this works fine, Lync will check the free/busy state at the normal interval, and change it.

What If i change/set my presence, does Hover to see current appt/mtg still work?
-Yes, it will say set presence, but still show meeting.

See the whole Lync User QuickTips Series:


  1. Hi Matt,
    We're using Lync 2010 in our company. But no matter what we create in our Outlook 2010 calendar, it shows up as "In a meeting" in the status in Lync, both appointments and meetings.

    Do you have any clue or tips on how to fix this, so Appointments only shows as Busy in Lync (which it did in OCS before we upgraded to Lync this winter).

    Thanks! :-)

    1. No, i haven't come across that one yet. Perhaps someone else has an answer?

    2. You are not alone!!!

      We have the same issue, appointments and meetings result in an "In A Meeting" status

    3. perhaps this should be dug into...alas time is short! ;-) If i find i will post back here. if anyone else does, please post solution.

    4. OK, it's been a while but I've just tracked this down to being an issue with EWS (which wasn't working correctly as I don't control our exchange environment).

      Anyhow, setting the srv record for autodiscover directly at one of the exchange servers ratyher than the CAS resolved the "in a meeting" rather than busy issue for the users housed on that exchange server.

      I'll post back when I find the 'proper' fix

    5. Steven, did you have any particular errors that led you to EWS not working? I'm trying to figure out why our Lync status isn't showing the calendar subject information from free/busy as well. Just "In a meeting" or "Busy" or "Out of Office". We would like to have the subject/location visible. Thanks!

  2. Hello Matt,

    Can you please tell me how should I set-up my Lync so that people who calls me through Lync gets forwarded to my mobile.

    Also I am missing the "call Forwarding" option in the settings.


    1. Hello J,

      Call forwarding is not really related to this blog ;-)

      Check this:

      Note specifically:
      "Note: This call forwarding button will be missing if your administrator has configured you as a Standard CAL (client access license) user."

      Take care,

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