"I hate the look of the current Skype for Business client and I want my old Lync 2013 back!!"

I hear that loads of times.

I myself have converted my Skype for Business (SfB) client BACK into a Lync 2013 client - just the look and feel aspect...  Why you may ask?

Well there are still some people who are Hybrid or actually on premise with Lync and can't / won't change their clients.  And having one of my machines running the Lync 2013 client or "pseudo" Lync 2013 client, is a good thing.  I can help out and I know that the customer is talking about.

So how do I change my SfB client to look "old school" as Lync 2013 was?  There are two methods which I have found, and there may be others (just let me know via a message below).

Change the look of the SfB client via PowerShell (0365 & on-premise)

Its easy really, just need to fire up a Remote PowerShell session and then fire off this command, to enable the SfB UI:

Grant-CsClientPolicy –PolicyName ClientPolicyEnableSkypeUI -Identity <username>

Then to disable the look and feel:

Grant-CsClientPolicy –PolicyName ClientPolicyDisableSkypeUI -Identity <username>

You can drop the -Identity parameter if you want to do it for a load of people, or just use the other parameters in the Grant-CsClientPolicy cmdlet (https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg412942.aspx).

Also, the guys at Microsoft have released a website describing all of this, and honestly, I knew about this before they released the page... honestly :) - https://support.office.com/en-gb/article/Switching-between-the-Skype-for-Business-and-the-Lync-client-user-interfaces-a2394a4c-7522-484c-a047-7b3289742be0.

Change the look of the SfB client via a MS-DOS batch file and mucking around with the local registry

Ok, so I did this first and continue to do it.  This is because I am on-premise and can't access my logon script...  This also applies if you can't use the cmdlet above.

Right, so I:

  1. Found out where my new SfB (in effect Lync) shortcut was pointing at.  It can change and will do with the new Office versions. So I would just right click and find the file until you get to the exe.  Which was lync.exe.... surprisingly.

  2. Then I looked up the registry to see if the SfB client had changed anything.  It had added a key called "EnableSkypeUI" in this key [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\Lync] and the value was hex:00,00,00,01.

  3. Now I created a registry file.  I used a text editor, added and saved the following:

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00


  4. Then I created a batch file and put this text into it (obviously change the <User Name> part):

    C:\Windows\regedit.exe -s "C:\Users\ <User Name> \OneDrive for Business\RegChange\changeSkypeToLync.reg"
    START "LYNC" "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\root\Office16\lync.exe"

  5. So, I put the registry and the batch file in the same directory.  I created a shortcut icon to the batch file and then I can run this, and it changes the registry to start Lync errr as Lync.

This obviously changes the registry EnableSkypeUI back to 0 and disables the new look.  This is because the domain admins always set the registry to enable the Skype UI.

Hope that helps someone!