Thursday, July 21, 2011

Completely Disable IM Archiving and Outlook Conversation History in Lync

Compliance in the enterprise is a funny thing.  Some companies take the approach that they have to save everything forever.  Some take the opposite approach that they only keep limited backups, control what the user can save, and purge everything else.  This post will describe how to control and prohibit users from saving IM’s to Outlook or their local folder structure.

There are three major ways to archive/save IM conversations for Lync:

  1. Install and configure the Lync Archiving Role
  2. Allow client side “Conversation History” through the Outlook client
  3. Allow users to save an IM to a file

We will not go into #1 since if you do not install or configure the Archiving role, then IM’s will not be centrally saved within a SQL database.

Disable Conversation History in Outlook

By default when Lync is installed, Lync integrates with Exchange/Outlook and creates a Conversation History folder to save all conversations including IMs, audio, video, and web conferences.  Also by default, all conversation logs are set to save in this folder.

Lync Dis Arch - Conv History

These options can be set in the client by the user:

Lync Dis Arch - client option - markup

The administrator can disable these settings from user control by setting a Lync client policy which gets applied to the client through in-band provisioning.  There are two parameters that can be set here, one for IM conversations and one for call logs.  The following command disables the automatic saving of both options:

Set-CsClientPolicy –Identity Test –EnableIMAutoArchiving $false –EnableCallLogAutoArchiving $false

Lync Dis Arch - cmd disable autoIM

Note that I am setting a specific policy which is already granted to my users.  You could easily set these parameters on the Global Client Policy to apply to everyone.

After applying the policy, the options are now unchecked and disabled from user control:

Lync Dis Arch - client option disabled - markup

With these policies configured, a user still has the option of saving IM conversation manually.

Disable the Ability to Save IM Conversations Manually

When in an IM conversation, a user has the option to save an IM to Outlook or as a separate file:

Lync Dis Arch - Client Save As - markup

The administrator can disable this option by setting a Lync client policy which gets applied to the client through in-band provisioning. The following command disables the ability to manually save IM conversations:

Set-CsClientPolicy –Identity Test –DisableSavingIM $true

Lync Dis Arch - cmd disable saving IM

Note that I am setting a specific policy which is already granted to my users. You could easily set these parameters on the Global Client Policy to apply to everyone.

Now the option is no longer available within the IM conversation:

Lync Dis Arch - Client Save As Disabled

This post described how to disable IM conversation logging and saving.  Hope this helps.

31 comments:

  1. Dear Alex, Had you any problem with this settings?
    I have problem with this, in my case, lync 2010 saves conversation randomly.

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  2. Piter, can you describe you problem more clearly? Do you have multiple Exchange accounts configured in your Outlook profile? Do the settings above no block IM archiving for you?

    Tim

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  3. Hi Tim, I set a client policy with "–EnableIMAutoArchiving $false" but I saw a randomly IM conversation on my conversation History folder. I check my Lync 2010 option, and have "Save instant mesage conversations in my email Conversations History folder" disable.
    I dont know way save some conversation.

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  4. Good work Tim, keep up the good work :)

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  5. How do we implement these changes when the Lync 2010 server is Cloud Hosted?

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  6. If you are referring to Office 365, there is no way to enforce these settings since you cannot create/apply client policies through in-band provisioning. If you are talking about a private cloud solution, then this should be possible.

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  7. if i want to save my IM details in conversation history folder only for last 15 days and older things should get deleted..how can i do this from Lync server?

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  8. @Anonymous Once the IM is in the Conversation History folder it is then controlled by Exchange, not Lync. So if you wanted to control retention on those messages, then you would need to create retention policies on Exchange or use some other mechanism to delete the messages.

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  9. Tim:

    You can use ocs.adm (R2 edition) for Office 365 lync policy handling. Do you have additional information on saving IM conversations manually?

    Regards to Azaleos!

    Bob Krangle

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  10. Hi,

    Is there any option to enable "instant message conversations in my email conversation history folder" from client side.....

    Regards
    Vimal

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  11. Hi, My adminstrators did this on communicator and I was able to override it from the registry but now they moved to lync and it doesn't work any more ;(
    How can I enable these features from the client side please?
    Thanks a lot

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. These options are now controlled by Lync's in-band provisioning instead of OCS GPO/registry. You cannot override these if set with in-band provisioning as it takes precedence over registry settings. You will need to create multiple Lync client policies and set the options appropriately.

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  12. Hi Instead of using the $false option that greys out the box. Is there an option that will remove the tick and will allow users to put in the tick by themselves

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    Replies
    1. At this time, there is no way to set preferences, only policies.

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  13. Is there any way in Lync to stop sending IMs converstion to outlook, instead of disable/enabling the option in outlook.

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  14. Is there a way to delete the "Conversation History" folder from Lync users' mailboxes in Exchange 2010 once these features are disabled? It acts like a system folder (Inbox, Sent Items, etc) in certain respects - user cannot delete it themselves from OWA or when in Online Mode in Outlook 2010. User can delete it Outlook when in cached mode, however it is restored the next time the client is restarted.

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    Replies
    1. Any thoughts on this? I've got a exec that has 'opted out' of using Lync in our environment and is stuck with this Conversation History folder, much to frustration. My only option is to create a new mail file and migrate the old contents to the new one, not a task I am looking forward to.

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    2. Are you by chance accessing this outlook profile from another machine that also has lync installed? Also, check in Outlook Options - Add-ins, there is a Conversation History add-in listed, make sure it is disabled.

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  15. Is there a way to have the employer/supervisor monitor the IM conversations that other users have? If a supervisor wants to see the conversation history between employee a and b, would it be possible to have some lync configuration done to see the conversations or would this need to be configured in exchange in some way?

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    Replies
    1. You can achieve this by deploying the Lync Archiving role (centralized archiving). Then you can utilize SSRS to run reports. See this link: http://dusk1911.wordpress.com/2011/03/02/lync-2010-im-archive-report/

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  16. hi tim,

    how do you go about creating client policies so that i can override the grayed out portion by the administrators. previously i was able to edit the registry and enable auto archiving but now it doesnt seem to work

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are wanting to override the policies configured by your administrators? This is not possible. The Lync client policies will take precendence over registry settings.

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  17. Hi Tim,

    which type of Lync software this setting to take effect? We use both the Lync 2010 client as well as the Attendee software. In addition, we communicate with people that do not use our company's computers.
    We want to turn off the chat archiving for all users.

    Matthias

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  18. Microsoft Lync Console you can find 3 icons 1st Contacts, 2nd Activity Feesds , 3rd Conversations.
    Click on 3rd icon Conversations.
    At bottom of the console you can find "View More in Outlook" Click on it and find all the conversation history folder in outlook.

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  19. How configure send messager offline in Lync Server 2013??Pls

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  20. This is great, thank you for this run down. This worked perfect in my Lync 2013 environment!

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  21. i need to disable totally disable chat histry on MAC clients. is there way to do this task?

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    Replies
    1. Any luck with this? Looking for a solution for MACs

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  22. Works on PC client not on Mac any suggestions?

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  23. I have a problem:
    because I use lynk 365 without OUTLOOK
    a decision of my company
    so I need I find the saving file one my pc
    but I do not find
    can you give the @ of saving file
    leroy.vivien@free.fr

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  24. Any chance there is a way to disable the message that says that the conversation has been saved? I mean, I know it has been saved already because I can see it in Outlook and on my computer.........

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