ToolBox -

Microsoft Skype for Business is a communication and collaboration tool targeted toward corporate environments. All current UW students, faculty, and staff have a Skype for Business account by default. Whether or not you choose to use it is up to you but know that at the Information School we recommend and support Skype for Business as our official IM, Video Conferencing and Online Meeting tool.

Skype for Business allows for instant messaging and audio/video conferencing with both UW-affiliated (read: anyone with a UW NetID) users, federated (read: trusted) non-UW-affiliated users and regular Skype users.

Features of Skype for Business include:


Installing Skype for Business

If you are using an iSchool issued computer, Skype for Business is already included, and no installation is necessary. As of this writing if you are using a personal computer running Windows you will need to install an Office suite that includes Skype for Business or get the stand-alone version of Skype for Business Basic. If you are using a personal computer running Mac OS you will need to install Skype for Business for Mac as this application is not included in Office for Mac.


Organizing Contacts

Note that with Skype for Business you don’t need to add anyone as a contact since they already exist and you can look anyone up just like you search the Address Book when composing email. This is about creating groups to let you view the presence of the members at a glance.

1) click the Add a Contact button Add a Contact Button, click Create a New Group, type a name for the group

Skype for Business, Windows, Create New Group

Add users to group

1) type a name or NetID into the search box, right-click the user, move mouse pointer over Add to Contacts List, click the name of the group you want to add the user to

Skype fo rBusiness, Windows, Add Contact To Group


Instant messaging

1) double-click a contact to bring up an instant messaging window, type messages to your contact in real-time

Skype for Business, Windows, Start Instant Message


Adding Skype contacts (non-UW-related Skype users)

1) click the Add a contact button Add a Contact Button, hover mouse pointer over Add a Contact Not in My Organization, click Skype

Skype for Business, Windows, Add Skype Contact

2) in the Add Skype contact window, for IM Address: enter the Skype address, a green circle with a check mark will appear indicating the address is legitimate, select the group to add the contact to, select the privacy relationship, click OK

Skype for Business, Windows, Add Skype Contact Box


Video conferencing (Windows and Mac)

1) if a contact in your list shows as “Video Capable”, click a contact’s picture, click the video call button Skype for Business, Windows, Video Call Button, a meeting window opens and you and the contact can converse with audio and video

Skype for Business, Windows, Ad Hoc Video Meeting


Schedule a Skype video conference meeting

Outlook 2013/2016 for Windows

1) start Outlook, click New Items, click Skype Meeting

Skype for Business, Windows, Schedule Skype Meeting

2) add any email addresses in the To… field, enter Subject, select Start time/End time, enter text for the body of the email, (note that the -> Join Skype Meeting link in the body of the email means you are actually sending/scheduling a Skype meeting), click Send

Skype for Business, Windows, Schedule Skype Meeting 02

3) everyone on the To… list receives an email with a link to the Skype for Business video meeting, invitees can Accept or Decline the Skype for Business Meeting invite exactly like other Outlook/Exchange appointments

Skype for Business, Windows, Schedule Skype Meeting 03


Join Skype for Business meeting with the Skype for Business client (Windows and Mac)

1) click the Meetings button Skype for Business, Windows, Calendar Icon, double-click the meeting, a video conferencing window opens with all meeting invitees

Skype for Business, Windows, Join Skype Meeting


Join a video conference meeting using the Skype for Business web app (OS agnostic)

Note this is something you might do if you are working from home and using OWA (Outlook Web App) or don’t have Skype for Business installed.

1) find your email with the Skype for Business Meeting invite, click Join online meeting

Join Online Meeting Email Link


2) a web page opens in a browser, click Join Using Skype for Business Web App instead

Join Using Skype for Business Web App

3) click Skype for Business Web App plug-in, follow the installation steps (click through, run, allow, and check all boxes and installation prompts)

Install Skype for Business Web App Button


4) when installation is finished, go back to the previous web page and click the Join the meeting button, a prompt may appear asking you to start the Skype for Business Web App, check Remember my choice for all links of this type., click Launch Application

Join Meeting External Request Message


5) enter your name, click Join the meeting

Join Meeting Page Enter Your Name


6) a prompt appears asking you to allow the Skype for Business Web App Plug-in to run, check the box for Always allow the plug-in for this domain, click Allow

Allow Skype for Business Plug In


7) a new browser window opens for the Skype for Business meeting, the video and microphone buttons are clickable to allow you to share (or not share) video and audio

In Meeting Layout


Share your Desktop, individual programs, PowerPoint presentations, and more


1) while in a video conference, click the Present button Skype for Business, Windows, Present Button

Skype for Business, Windows, Present Options

2) select whether you want to share your Desktop, individual programs, PowerPoint presentations, and more with the other members of the video conference


  1. while in a video conference, click the Present button
  2. From here, you can share your desktop

Skype for Business instructional videos from Microsoft are here. Quick Reference PowerPoint guides for Skype for Business from Microsoft are here. Microsoft’s FAQ for Skype for Business is here.

If you have any questions after reading this article or if you need any help, please don't hesitate to contact the iSchool IT Help Desk.
(206) 616-3086