How to stop M365 Business Premium from force-deploying Skype for Business?


Apologies if this was discussed before and thanks for pointing me to it if so.


Despite my sincere and varied attempts to prevent it, M365 Business Premium ALWAYS force-installs Skype for Business on any AADJ device which has M365 apps installed.


Does anyone know how to stop/block that?

What I (unsuccessfully) tried so far:

1. Turned various SfB options off within "M365 installation options" in the Admin Center.

2. Uninstall SfB app individually using Office Deployment Toolkit. Works until the next update just re-installs SfB. No user-space option anymore, since SfB is now part of C2R.

3. Created an Intune M365 App policy as I would for E3/E5, with SfB OFF. Works until the next day, when M365BP discovers installed M365 Apps and simply forces an "update" by installing M365 Business Apps alongside M365 Enterprise Apps. Of course, including SfB again. This wreck havoc in other places as well, and I'm not even sure having two C2R versions installed simultaneously is supported...


Here is why we can't ignore it:

1. Skype for Business confuses users. They do not understand what it is for. (neither do I tbh :rolling_on_the_floor_laughing:)

2. It installs itself alongside Teams within Outlook and other M365 apps - if you're lucky. (see screenshot) Tho it seems that if Skype got an update after Teams, it may even displace Teams from Outlook... Behavior is inconsistent, making it a support nightmare.

3. It seems to disrupt the "Online Meeting"-Button in Windows' inbox Calendar app. When only Teams is installed/present, Calendar will show the "online meeting"-Button as expected, with both SfB and Teams installed, it seems not.


Thanks for any pointers!

3 Replies

Hi and thanks for the quick answer.

I'm not trying to block the online service (don't care) - I'm trying to block the client app from installing on user's devices.

After days (!) of research and testing, I think I found the answer.
1. M365 BP doesn't have an easily discoverable way to NOT install SfB. Any manual install initiated by users on will ALWAYS include SfB.

2. When you use Intune to deploy M365 Apps using an M365 App policy (which excludes SfB), it seems to work. At first... But sometime the following day (after about 12 hrs) M365 BP C2R detects M365 Enterprise Apps installed and decides these aren't expected. Seems M365 BP is hard-wired to look for M365 "Business Retail" Apps. So it tries to "update" M365 Enterprise Apps to M365 Business Apps, using Business Premium's standard which always includes SfB. Duh.
The result: Devices now have M365 Enterprise AND M365 Business Apps installed side-by-side (didn't know that was even possible/supported). And since the Business Apps were the last to "update" - they install themselves as the default Office apps all over the place. Including SfB unfortunately...

So what I tried isn't documented in context of M365 BP, but common for E3/E5: I created an Intune M365 deployment policy using a custom .XML config file which specifies:

<Product ID="O365BusinessRetail"> to enforce installation of M365 Business Apps and
<ExcludeApp ID="Lync" /> to block SfB.

>24 hours have passed and it seems to be holding. Got some updates since devices were initially autopiloted and SfB remains off of our devices. :thumbs_up:

If I don't report back here, this fixed it.

PS. I created the .XML config file here:

@Dom Cote 

Thank you for posting this, it has been driving me mad for weeks - same scenario, SfB deploys no matter what we do and there is no way to auto-uninstall.


Thankyou for taking your time to post this