Teams and Skype interoperability

This article gives you an overview of the interoperability capabilities between Microsoft Teams and Skype (Consumer). Learn how Teams users and Skype users can communicate through chats and calls and the admin controls that apply.

Teams users in your organization can chat with and call Skype users by using their email address and vice versa.

  • Teams users can search for and start a one-on-one text-only conversation or an audio/video call with a Skype user.
  • Skype users can search for and start a one-on-one text-only conversation or an audio/video call with a Teams user.

These capabilities are available on the desktop, web, and mobile (Android and iOS) clients for both Teams and Skype. For an optimal experience, we recommend Skype version 8.58 and later.

Note

The Teams and Skype interop capabilities discussed in this article aren't available in GCC, GCC High, or DOD deployments, or in private cloud environments.

Chat and calling experience

Here's an overview of the chat and calling experience.

Teams user starts a chat or call with a Skype user

Teams users can search for a Skype user by typing their email address in a new chat or in the search bar. The Teams user can then select the Skype user in the search results to start a chat or call with them.

A Skype user may choose not to appear in search results. In this case, they won't show up in the search results in Teams and Teams users won't be able to find them.

Skype user starts a chat or call with a Teams user

Skype users can search for and start a chat with a Teams user by using their email address. The Teams user is notified that they have a new message from a Skype user, and has to first accept the message before they can reply to it.

  • If the Teams user selects Accept, the conversation is accepted, and both users can chat and call each other.
  • If the Teams user selects Block, the conversation is blocked, and subsequent messages and calls from that Skype user are blocked.
  • If the Teams user selects View messages, the message is displayed in Teams, which helps the user decide whether to accept or block the conversation.

Note

If you upgraded from Skype for Business to Teams and your users are in Teams Only mode, chats and calls from Skype users to Teams users are delivered to Teams. If your users are in Islands mode, chats and calls from Skype users to Teams users are delivered to Skype for Business.

Teams user blocks or unblocks a Skype user

After a Teams user accepts or blocks the initial conversation request from a Skype user, they can choose to block or unblock that person at any time. They can do this either in the conversation or in their privacy settings in Teams. Skype users won't know that they've been blocked.

Blocked Skype users, along with other people and public switched telephone network (PSTN) phone numbers that a Teams user has blocked, are listed on the user's blocked contact list in Teams.

Limitations

  • Conversations are text-only. This means that there's no rich formatting, @mentions, emojis, or other any of the other chat features that are available in a native Teams chat experience.
  • Conversations are one-on-one only. Group chats aren't supported.
  • Teams users and Skype users can't see each other's presence.
  • Searching for Skype users by using their Skype ID or phone number isn't supported.
  • Skype users can't call Teams users who set up call forwarding to another user's number, a delegate's number, or a Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) number. Only voicemail is supported.
  • Interop escalation, group calls, and meetings aren't supported.
  • The ability for a delegate to call a Skype user on behalf of a Teams user isn't supported.
  • Screen sharing with chat isn't supported.

Set whether Teams users can communicate with Skype users

As an admin, you use the Microsoft Teams admin center or PowerShell to set external access settings to control whether Teams users in your organization can communicate with Skype users. By default, this capability is turned on for new tenants.

If you upgraded from Skype for Business to Teams, the external communications settings that you configured in the Skype for Business admin center are migrated to Teams.

In the Microsoft Teams admin center

In the Microsoft Teams admin center, go to Org-wide settings > External access, and then turn on Users can communicate with Skype users. For step-by-step guidance on how to configure this and other external access settings, see Manage external access in Teams.

Using PowerShell

Use the Set-CsExternalAccessPolicy cmdlet together with the EnablePublicCloudAccess parameter to control whether Teams users can communicate with Skype users. Setting the parameter to true allows Teams users to communicate with Skype users. You can use the EnablePublicCloudAudioVideoAccess parameter to enable/disable audio/video calls.