Cannot initiate conversations to Skype users from Teams

Daniel Schmidt

Hey Everyone,


Not sure if I am running into a bug or if it's working as designed.

1. Skype for Business and Teams are both cloud based

2. AD is synced from On-prem, all accounts are local

3. Org default is "Islands" and My personal default is "Teams only"


Here is what I am seeing

I am only able to see presence of people who have Teams turned on, when I create a new Message to someone they do not get it unless they have Teams open.


A skype user is able to see my presence, they are able to IM me and I am able to respond.  I am able to see their presence once they initiate the IM and I see two entries in my Teams client one of them the one they never receive and then one with Skype logo on it.


What I want is to be able to see Skype presence in Teams and be able to send IM's to skype users if they are not signed into Teams.




25 Replies
You need to get all your users set over to Skype Only. Islands is what it is, 100% stand alone products with no coexistence. You can get messages from Skype because you are Teams only and don't have a Skype endpoint so it routes to you. But you going out goes to Teams by default because all your users are Islands and have both endpoints.

From experience setting the org to Skype Only didn't seem to work correctly but you can try it, but it will take a day or two to take effect where you can then initiate chats to Skype users from Teams. If it doesn't work, you might have to set your Org Default to Teams only, and set all your users manually to Skype Only.

Guessing because we haven't gotten to this point yet... You may have to set the user to a Skype for Business modality (via powershell SfBOnly, SfBWithTeamsCollab, SfBWithTeamsCollabAndMeetings) so the interop knows which client to target.


Reference https://aka.ms/teams-upgrade-deck - Slides 74 - 79. The matrix on slide 79 is really helpful.


EDIT/Advisory: You may want to set the modality to a test user to try it out... I recall that this was being worked on to revert a user back to Islands mode. Don't remember where I read it though.

I'd recommend this playlist, especially the 4th video, for your Teams journey. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7zKlscXOt8&list=PLaSOUojkSiGlxbdgrAjx5iWFOM-4XeO8N

So far, from our experience, setting the Org-Wide to Skype Only did not solve the problem (same issue as OP).  I can only message people that have sent me a message first from Skype to Teams. I noticed in our setup, those messages actually have the Skype icon on the same line as the preview and it mentions at the top, this is a Skype user.   I havent tried changing the Org-Wide to teams then switching the users to Skype yet. 

Yeah that was the only way I could get the cross talk to work, before that it would act as you guys experience, something setting Teams Only org wide triggers something on the back end for this it seems. Or it could just be actually setting individual users to Skype Only that triggers it as well. But Islands def. needs to go away first thing :P.

I have the same issue.  The problem here is in migration process from SfB to Teams and/or doing a POC.  So we want to trial a group in teams, but the way it is setup right now does not work as advertised.  We have over 1,000 users, so I can't just change the org wide setting to Teams Only easily. (Well that is debatable, I am decent with powershell but not these commands).  However, I can't use the solution presented, because new users would be automatically added as Teams Only and we don't want that.  So I would have to script around that as well.  Would be nice if this was as easy as the video's and documents say it is.  What is the point of the org-wide setting? Seems to be irrelevant.


On a side note, as the only one in my org who is Teams Only at the moment, My directory status simply says online, while everyone else's states "Hybrid (online)".  Maybe this is why I can't initiate a chat with anyone in Skype?  It seems to think they all have Teams up and running (Islands Mode).

It's impossible to send someone a message in Skype if you are set to Islands, it doesn't work and it's not supposed to work. All your chats as a Teams Only user will go to their Teams side of Islands. They can message you from Skype since your on Teams only and you can respond, but you cannot initiate a chat with a Skype user set to islands.

I would try setting your org default to Skype Only by powershell. You can use my blog if you need help on that just plug in sfbonly instead of teamsonly and wait a day or two, see if it works, it might via Powershell, I know in the past I had people say it worked by using powershell.

When you type new chants in Teams using new chat icon to a Skype user once that's set and you wait, it should automatically switch to showing they are using Skype when you tab to the chat box.

Also keep in mind, when doing transition to Teams, Skype users cannot do group chats with Teams users, it will also want to do a meeting via Skype etc. Just something to keep in mind as some functionality is lost when dealing with coexistence.

Yea, I knew the islands would not work.  However I expected when I set the org-wide setting to Skype Only that it would then work.  But it doesn't.  Sorry if I was not clear on that.


I did set the org wide to Skype Only using the web UI, and like others posted it did not change anything.  So I don't know if that is because we were on islands initially?  Maybe?


I will give your site a shot and use powershell to set it to Skype Only and see if that works.


I did figure out that group chat doesn't work in this scenario as you stated, found it in my testing.


Thanks Chris for being so involved in the community and sharing your knowledge and experience.

When did you change coexistence mode to SkypeOnly mode? I've seen delays for a couple of days up to a week before it works when moving from Islands to SkypeOnly. Microsoft support have not been able to help with this, it just started to work and then messages arrived in the Skype client as they should.


Also I recommend disable chat and Meetings when running SkypeOnly mode until the real SkypeOnly coexistence modes starts to roll out (starting 25th of March), you get an warning about this when you set SkypeOnly modes with powershell. 

Disable UserChat
Grant-CsTeamsMessagingPolicy -Identity user@contoso.com -PolicyName “Disable Chat”
Disable PrivateCalling
Grant-CsTeamsCallingPolicy -Identity user@contoso.com -PolicyName “DisallowCalling”
Disable MeetingScheduling

Grant-CsTeamsMeetingPolicy -Identity user@contoso.com -PolicyName “AllOff”





When you set it, give it a day or so. I left Friday and came back Monday and it was working, but it does take quiet a bit for it to take hold once setting.

You could also try setting a few users manually to Skype only as well, and then testing with them after the change after 24 hours or whatever and see if the org setting takes or if individuals take. If that don't work you might have to go the set everyone via powershell and Teams only org, but hopefully it won't get to that and one of those 2 options will get it going.
Good stuff Linus, wasn't aware of the updates to the modes finally being updated. Definitely recommend that for the Skype only folks so they don't try sending Teams chats to users and adding Team chat links in their recents lists.

Thanks Linus and Chris!


I changed my org-wide setting a couple weeks ago, and the issues still remain.  Interestingly I noticed that in my "suggested" people under chat it suggests users with the skype logo.  Which was not the case before I change my org wide setting to SfB. 


However when I attempt to type that same name in a new chat it goes to their teams account.


I will follow the information that you two have posted.  I have been digging into the transition documentation, but it seems there is quite a bit of moving parts (coming features) and transition experience that would be nice to know without finding out the hard way.



we are seeing the same problem.  Org has been changed to SkypeOnly, 3 test users have been set to TeamsOnly.  After 72 hours, the test users are still unable to start a conversation with a Skype user from Teams (They can receive messages though)

Just have to be patient unfortunately. The chat transition can take longer than 72 hours for client cache service to update the endpoints. Make sure you set them and leave them alone they will eventually update.

Does the translation happen when using web client?

It does eventually transition over. Our organization took over a week but at this point, when I search a person in teams, it will show they are using Skype and I can initiate the chat.  One note, that I havent seen mentioned (and it does mentioned it in Teams); it will be with limited functionality.  You cannot screen share which that one did not surprise me but the one thing that did... you cannot send attachments or screenshots.  As one in IT, that is kind of a bummer, as I am always sending users screenshots and vise versa.  The screen share is not a big deal as we use Teamviewer. 

@Chris Webb It doesnt work in the web client yet either.  The change was made on Sunday, so I'll keep waiting.  Concerning to see there is this much delay because when we start moving people over to Teams Only, the response we have to give end users is 'it will work sometime in the next week, i dont know when'

Not sure when you're planning on doing your transitions, but I can tell you there is work going into improving the experience around the speed of switching modes where it will take a much shorter period of time to update those endpoints, I just can't get you a date for when these improvements will happen but it should be in the near future.

I switched the entire company to Skype for Business only (and myself and a couple others are Teams Only)


After waiting over the weekened, now when I initiate a conversation in Teams with a user I've never chatted with before, some will show up as "Using Skype for Business" and these chats work perfectly, but some show up as just "Starting a new conversation" and these continue to not work. Will wait another week or two to see if these start moving over.

We did the change about a month ago and every now and then the same issue occurs for random users. It can also not be working for some users while being ok for others.

Looks like we'll just have to force everyone over to Teams as fast as possible to avoid interruption. Good thing we only have 500 some employees - how would you deal with this if you have 5-10k? Why couldn't Microsoft just release an update that turns Skype for Business into Teams... I don't understand.

We have +25k employees :) The issue (but also the good thing) with Teams is that it is not only replacing Skype but also adds a lot of another fantastic functionality and in order for us to make the change we need to train our users and tell them how to benefit from Teams.

Oh I am not upset we have to move to Teams, it is a lot better than S4B, it's just frustrating how the upgrade process works (or doesn't work)

I have been working with support on it. What I had to do to get it to work is


1. Set One user to SFB only and the other Teams only

2. They made me clear out all of the SFB users AppData for Lync/SFB and Credentials Manager

3. Made me delete Teams only users lot files in AppData (not sure if that one was necessary)


Then once both logged back in it finally recognized that SFB only user

@Daniel Schmidt That's good info there.


@microsoft feel like it should be written into an article for troubleshooting... maybe a best practice to run a script to clear out caches on first run when modalities are turned on during off hours for users. Maybe publish near this article in particular: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoftteams/migration-interop-guidance-for-teams-with-skype ;) ;) Nudge Nudge saynomore.


@Daniel Schmidt thanks Daniel, I will try clearing credentials

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