Some instant messaging client features are not available in Outlook

Original KB number:   2859256


Some of the instant messaging features that are shared between your instant messaging (IM) client and Microsoft Outlook may be missing. For example, in Microsoft Outlook 2010, the Quick Contacts items from Microsoft Lync are not available in the Outlook To-Do bar; or presence information and contact photos do not appear in Outlook.


This problem can occur when a wrong or incompatible IM client is listed as the value for DefaultIMApp in the registry.

In one case, Microsoft Support teams saw the problem that is described in the Symptoms section by noticing that the value of DefaultIMApp was set to Cisco Jabber. Cisco Jabber is manufactured by Cisco Systems.


[ !IMPORTANT] Follow the steps in this section carefully. Serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Before you modify it, back up the registry for restoration in case problems occur.

To resolve the problem, make sure that the DefaultIMApp string value is set to the appropriate value for your installed IM client. The following table lists the values to use for the different IM clients from Microsoft.

Installed IM client Value for DefaultIMApp
Microsoft Office Communicator Communicator
Microsoft Lync 2010 Communicator
Microsoft Lync 2013 (Skype for Business) Lync
Skype for Business 2016
Skype (Consumer)
Microsoft Teams Teams

To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Exit Outlook and your IM client.

  2. Start Registry Editor. To do this, use one of the following procedures, as appropriate for your version of Windows:

    • Windows 10, Windows 8.1 and Windows 8: Press Windows Key+R to open a Run dialog box. Type regedit.exe, and then select OK.
    • Windows 7: Select Start, type regedit.exe in the Search box, and then press Enter.
  3. Locate and then select the following registry subkey:


  4. Select the DefaultIMApp string value.


    If the DefaultIMApp value is not present under the IM Providers key, it must be created manually. To do this, follow these steps:

    1. Right-click IM Providers, point to New, and then select String Value.
    2. Right-click the new string value, and then select Rename.
    3. Change the string value name to DefaultIMApp, and then press Enter.
  5. On the Edit menu, select Modify.

  6. Type the name of your IM client, and then select OK.

  7. Exit registry editor.

  8. Start your IM client.

  9. Start Outlook.

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