Staff Email - Getting started with Skype for Business in Office 365

Skype for Business is a useful application within Office 365 which allows you to quickly connect with colleagues. You can also use it for instant messaging, online meetings, calls and video calls, conferencing, and sharing and collaboration. Below is useful information to help you get started with Skype for Business.

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Downloads & Access


  1. Launch Skype for Business
  2. The first time you sign in, for Sign-in address, enter your Trinity email address eg
  3. Enter your Trinity password
  4. Click Sign In


Skype for Business allows you to set up contacts and groups so that you can easily communicate with people that you frequently interact with.
Creating a group

  1. In the main Skype for Business window, click the Add a Contact 
  2. Choose Create a New Group

Alternatively, right-click any group name in your contacts list (e.g. Other Contacts), and then click Create New Group

  1. A New Group box will appear. 
  2. Your group has been created, and you can start adding contacts to it

Finding and adding contacts

In the main Skype for Business window start typing the name in the search box.

A list of matching people from your Contacts will appear.

Right-click on the required name and select Add to Contacts List, which then gives options of adding to a specific group.

You can also add contacts from the Add a Contact icon, then choose Add a Contact in My Organisation

You can also add contacts worldwide from Skype. 

Type either the person’s name or (if you know it) their Skype name in the search field, but this time selecting the Skype Directory tab. 

A list of Skype users will appear. Add them to your Contacts in the same way as you add local contacts.

Controlling Privacy Relationships

This setting controls the connectivity and the type of information that can be viewed by your contacts. If you want to view or change the privacy relationship with a contact, right-click the contact’s listing, and then click Change Privacy Relationship. You may also use this setting to block a contact.

Communicating with your contacts (making a call)

If you have a microphone, a headset (or speakers) and a webcam attached to your computer, you can use Skype for Business to make and receive audio and video calls.

Skype for Business automatically detects your audio and video devices, but before making an audio or video call you should check that they are set up correctly. To do this: 

  1. Click the Options menu (cog icon ) in the main Skype for Business window 
  2. Choose Tools > Audio (or Video) Device Settings

To make a call

  1. Locate your contact in Skype for Business, 
  2. Click the Audio or Video icon.

Contacts who have a webcam set up, and so can accept video calls, have Video Capable on their contact details.

When you call a contact, an alert pops up on their screen.

To accept the call they can click anywhere in the photo area of the pop-up (or they can choose to reject the call).

Once in progress, you can control the call by putting it on hold, muting your audio, switching between audio devices, and changing the way the video appears on screen.

To end the call, close the window or click the End call button.

Recording Audio and Video conversations

When you record a Skype for Business meeting, you capture audio, video, instant messaging (IM), screen sharing, PowerPoint slides, whiteboard activity, and polling.  Any of the presenters can record a meeting and save it on their computer. Click the Options button to start and manage recordings. 

Communicating with your contacts (Instant Messaging)

Instant messaging (IM) allows you to communicate with people in real time, and at a moment’s notice. It is less formal than email, and faster than a phone call. You can have an IM conversation with one or many people, send pictures and files or add audio or video.
Starting an IM conversation with one person

  1. Locate the person you want to send an instant message to
  2. Display the communication options for that person using one of the methods above
  3. Choose the instant messaging icon. A conversation window will appear
  4. Type your message at bottom of the conversation window 
  5. Press the return key or click the send icon (>)
  6. Your conversation appears at the top of the conversation window
  7. You can use the Notification tools to add an attachment, emoticon, or mark the message as important.
Responding to an IM alert
  • When someone starts a new IM conversation with you, an alert pops up on your screen. To see the message, click anywhere on the photo area to accept it.
  • The IM conversation window will open to display the message. To reject the message, click Ignore. The message goes to your Outlook Inbox.

  • If you do not want to receive new IM alerts, set your presence status to Do Not Disturb. You can do this using the Options menu on the alert box or see Displaying your availability: Presence.

Your Conversation History

Skype for Business conversations are saved by default.  To view Conversations:

  • In the main Skype for Business window click on the Conversation tab. All conversations will be listed with the most recent on top; double click on one to open and view a conversation. 


  • In Outlook, Skype for Business conversations are saved in a folder labelled Conversation History

Unimportant conversations may be deleted.  You can stop saving conversations by disabling the option (Options > Tools>Options >Personal).

Skype for Business Meetings, including scheduling a meeting, unscheduled meetings, and sharing your screen

The meeting feature gives you the capability to collaborate by making presentations online and sharing desktops, programs, files and a whiteboard between meeting participants.

Scheduling a meeting

If you use the Outlook desktop client or Outlook 365 online, you can use Skype for Business Meeting to schedule a single or recurring online meeting similar to the way you use Outlook to schedule regular meetings. To initiate an online meeting request in the desktop client 

  1. Start as you would normally by going to your Outlook calendar
  2. Click the New Skype Meeting button on the ribbon and in the meeting request window 
  3. Enter the attendee and date/time data as for a standard meeting 

A link is automatically added to your meeting request that invitees can click to join the conversation.

With the meeting request created, you then have access to the Meeting Options button on the ribbon where you can set preferences and permissions.

Starting an unscheduled meeting

For spontaneous meetings, the Meet Now feature in Skype for Business allows you to hold impromptu meetings without the need to schedule in Outlook.

  • In the Skype for Business window, go to the Options menu (the cog icon), select Meet Now
  • A meeting conversation window will open and you will be able to invite participants using the Invite button  

Sharing your desktop and other content

You can share content with colleagues either from the messaging conversation window or during a meeting.
This presentable content can include your computer desktop, a single program file or a PowerPoint slideshow. You can also share a virtual whiteboard, conduct polls and hold a Q&A session.

NOTE:  When you share your desktop, everyone participating can see your entire desktop including notifications. If you have confidential information or documents that you don’t want people to see, close them or use program sharing instead.
Start sharing
  • Start sharing by first establishing a connection to your contacts by starting an IM conversation, audio/video call or a meeting 
  • To share your screen, click the Present icon from within a conversation or meeting window    

From the content options menu:

  • Click Present Desktop to show the entire contents of your desktop (if, for instance you are working with multiple programs).  If you have a dual-monitor setup, you can choose to select all monitors, the primary monitor only, or the secondary monitor. or
  • Click Present Programs and double-click the program window you want to share (the program for sharing must already be open)
  • Click More… to access other presentable content items such as Whiteboard and Polling

When you share a program file or desktop, the window will have a yellow border and a Now Presenting tab will display on your desktop. 
Your presence status will also automatically change to Presentation, and will thus restrict other Skype for Business alerts appearing.
Your participants will receive an alert to notify them that you are sharing content. Once they click Accept, the shared content will appear in a window on their screen.