Monday, December 20, 2010

Understanding Recording and Configuration Options in Lync 2010

The Lync client comes equipped with full recording capabilities for both peer to peer conversations and conferencing.  This includes the ability to record audio, video, IM, and shared content.  With this great functionality (and great power) comes the need to control it.  Note that recording is not enabled by default.

This post will be separated into two parts: Administration and Client Experience.


Recording options are configured within the Conferencing Policy on the Lync server.  You can view and configure the policy by either navigating within the Lync Control Panel (LCP) to the Conferencing node or through the Lync Management Shell (LMS) using the CsConferencingPolicy commands.


LyncRec - LCP - conf


LyncRec - ConfPol1 - shell

Note: The above policies are looking at the Global Policy for conferencing.  If more granular policies are needed, then multiple policies can be created.

There are three parameters that are configurable that effects recording capabilities:

  • AllowConferencingRecording – Indicated whether users are allowed to record the meeting, and applies to all users taking part in the conference (default value is false)
  • AllowExternalUsersToRecordMeeting – Indicated whether external users (anonymous or federated) are allowed to record the meeting.  Note that this applies to the user who organizes the conference (default value is false and is dependent on the AllowConferencingRecording value set to true)
  • EnableP2PRecording – Indicates whether users will be able to record peer-to-peer sessions. (default value is false)

To enable one or all of these settings, within the LCP –> Conferencing –> Conferencing Policy tab, open the Global (or desired) policy.  Configure the settings as shown below:

LyncRec - ConfPol1 - markup

LyncRec - ConfPol2 - markup

Or these parameters can be set utilizing the Set-CsConferencingPolicy command.  In the following example, I enable P2PRecording with the following command:

Set-CsConferencingPolicy –EnableP2PRecording $True

LyncRec - EnableP2PRec - shell and output - markup

Client Experience

Now that users have been enabled for recording, the Lync client will have additional menu choices.  Within a conversation, a user can set their Recording Options by clicking the Alt key and selecting Settings –> Recording Options.

LyncRec - Menu-RecOptions

This will bring up the ability to set what modalities the user wants to configure to record.

LyncRec - RecOptions

During a conversation, a user can initiate a recording by selecting Start Recording option from the menu picks.

LyncRec - Menu-StartRec - startmarkup

While a conversation is being recorded the initiator will see:

LyncRec - Client - Recording - markup

And the attendee will see (if they are also using a Lync client):

LyncRec - Client - Recording - attendee view - markup

Once the recording has stopped, the Lync client will start processing the recording.  The initiator will be able to change any last minute options and also create a one-file *.wmv format of the recording (along with the multi-file native Lync format). 

LyncRec - Client - Recording - StopOptions

When Lync is installed, another component called the Lync Recording Manager is also installed.  This is the tool that will be used to view, publish, and manage recorded conversations.  You can access the Recording Manager either by accessing the program from the Start Menu, by clicking the System Tray icon, or by selecting Manage Recordings from within the client.

System Tray:

LyncRec - recordmgr - systray - markup

Client – Manage Recordings:

LyncRec - Menu-StartRec - manage markup

This will launch the Lync Recording Manager:

LyncRec - recordmgr - client

Note that options to Play, Browse, Publish, and Rename are available within the client.  To access the native files, you can click browse.  By default the recordings are saved in the user’s windows profile under the Lync Recordings folder.  Both the single file *.wmv and the multi-file Lync recording will be in this folder:

LyncRec - recordmgr - browse - wmv

The default recording location can be changed within the users’ client options:

LyncRec - SaveLocation - markup

As always, comments welcome.


  1. Cool feature. How can recording of voice calls be scripted to save all inbound voice calls to a given user/extension in a specific folder with a tame/date stamp?

  2. There are third party products that will handle call recording and compliance from a global level. I can not speak for these solutions, but some companies that have plug-ins to OCS (and assuming Lync) include Telrex, SIP Print, and Riverbed.

  3. Awesome features. I have never used this but after understanding the whole process I am excited to use it. You have explained the whole thing step by step that its has become very easy to understand it. Thank you for explaining it so well.

  4. This helped me alot Tim thank you! Our situation is that we have quite a few remote users, they are users in Lync just not part of the domain. Are they considered external users? Would I have to set AllowExternalUsersToRecordMeeting = True?

  5. Did you get an answer regarding the external users? I will appreciate your sharing with us..

  6. @Jeff Can you explain what you mean by "they are in Lync just not part of the domain"? If they are in your Lync environment, then they are considered corportate/internal users. If you are talking about Federated Lync contacts, then they are considered external users and would need the -AllowExternalUsersToRecordMeeting option enabled.

  7. Is there any way to hide recording from attendee ( hide the option "Other are recording")and only initator aware that recording is in progress?

  8. Is there any way to change the quality (resolution/bitrate/etc) of the recordings? They seem very average compared to the live stream.

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