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Skype for Business Online retires July 31, 2021 – here’s what to expect

Published Apr 29 2021 08:00 AM 21.3K Views

As we approach the retirement of Skype for Business Online, we want to take a moment to appreciate the efforts organizations are making to complete their transitions to Teams prior to July 31, 2021, as well as those who have already upgraded to Teams. Thank you! If you still have Skype for Business Online users, keep working your upgrade plan. Regardless of the technical and change management dynamics with your upgrade, you can accomplish so much over the next three months.


What to expect as Skype for Business Online retires?

Skype for Business Online will be fully functional through July 31, 2021 to allow customers time to transition users to Teams or to an instance of Skype for Business Server. Here are some other details you should know about the Skype for Business Online service retirement:


Microsoft-assisted upgrades to Teams

In the coming weeks, we’ll begin scheduling Microsoft-assisted upgrades to Teams for Skype for Business Online customers with cloud-only or hybrid deployments. Assisted upgrades help with last-mile technical steps of the transition to Teams. Customers will be notified through the Teams admin center and the Microsoft 365 Message Center, 90 days prior to the scheduled date of their assisted upgrade. Customers tracking to complete their transitions to Teams Only prior to their scheduled automated upgrade date are encouraged to do so for better control over the timing of their upgrade experience.


The duration of each customer's upgrade will vary by volume of users and characteristics of their deployment, but generally users within a tenant will be upgraded within 24 hours from the start of the upgrade. During this time, users will still be able to access Skype for Business Online. Once the upgrade has completed and users log out of Skype for Business Online, they will only be able to use Teams to initiate and receive messages and calls as well as to schedule and host meetings. These users will be able to join a Skype for Business meeting scheduled by a user on Skype for Business Server or in a federated organization.


When the assisted upgrade completes, the coexistence mode for upgraded users is set to Teams Only. Admins should review Teams Only mode considerations prior to upgrade. Learn more about Microsoft-assisted upgrades to Teams.


Teams upgrade resources

Whether you’re at the start of your upgrade journey or are wrapping up, these resources can help guide your organization through its transition to Teams:

The retirement of Skype for Business Online and corresponding assisted upgrades do not affect the Skype consumer service, Skype for Business Server products and Skype for Business Online operated by 21Vianet (China Sovereign Clouds Instance).


Additional guidance for customers with hybrid configurations

In the coming weeks, we will be sharing more retirement guidance for Skype for Business customers with hybrid (server + online) configurations.


See you in Teams!

Occasional Contributor


I would like to hear, how to migrate after 31 July 2021? There is not much info about that out there...

Regards Andres

Senior Member

@Andres Bohren, does not make any sense to concern about that if the product will be discontinued.


@Microsoft_Teams_team, what about SfBO DNS register? I am not sure if Teams needed it as SfBO does. Is there any information about that? I am talking about that:

Occasional Contributor

@douglash I know several Customers with Skype for Business OnPrem with Enterprise Voice. I would like to know what is the Migration Path to Teams an how that can be done after July 2021...

Senior Member

@Andres Bohren, I think you should migrate directly to Teams, instead SfBO and then to Teams, but you are right. Should exist documentation providing orientation about this new procedure.


Hi @douglash ,@andres,


No impact on Skype OnPrem users neither Skype consumer, if there is no remaining users on OnPrem you need to decommission hybrid and point DNS record to online, more guidance for hybrid will be released very soon as mentioned in the last paragraph.

Occasional Visitor

Good morning,


What happens with environments where its still Lync 2013. In this case, at the moment first you need to migrate to SfBO then Teams. I suppose it is going to be Lync to Teams, but could someone confirm that?




Occasional Visitor

Hi - 


We have migrated to Teams Only mode, however we have not replaced desk phones, Poly VVX series, yet due to COVID.  


1) Will they continue to be supported?

2) When is the estimate time the support will end?





Hi @Anil please work with poly to confirm if there is any firmware upgrade available for devices, if not we encourage you to upgrade the devices to Teams compatible devices. If the devices are not compatible with Teams it will work with minimal features (voice) but we cant guarantee (support) the performance in this case


Hi @attila more guidance will be announced soon for OnPrem experience and migration after retirement. Very high level no impact on OnPrem users after SfBO retirement, after that you will be able to migrate to TeamsOnly mode directly and we will take care of the needed processes in the backend to assist that migration.


After the customer is fully upgraded to Teams, what is the best way to uninstall SFBO without having everyone in the company manually do it themselves?


Hi @LishaeMerkley ,


Best way is to use SCCM or Group policy, but no worries to keep Skype client as is.

Senior Member

We received notice that our tenant will be auto-upgraded on 8/11/2021. The notice references that a three month extension will be availalbe but also still says Skype will be retired 7/31/2021. 


If we request the three month extension, will we be able to use SfBO until early November when the extension expires? If yes, are there any caveats/limitations during the extension period after Skypes formal retirement date of 7/31?


Hi @t-revif your service extension request is approved, you will be able to use Skype for Business Online for three months beyond the July 31, 2021 retirement. Your tenant will be re-scheduled for an assisted upgrade to Teams at that time. However, we encourage you to self-upgrade prior to the new date as you're able. 

Team can you advice how do we tackle SMB customer in our solidary whom we do not have a direct relationship or contact information . What if they come back to Microsoft  post the deadline for migration support will we have any mechanism to support them . regards CPE lead India  

Looks like once a tenant is converted to Teams Only, ie no SFBO provisioned, Control Panel GUI migrations to Teams will not work anymore due to the CSCP and MACP's reliance on the old SFBO module. Any chance this will get updated in a CU to use the Teams Module so that GUI migrations will still work?


Occasional Visitor

@Eric Marsi  
Our organisation noticed the same behavior.

Following the instuctions below, we managed to move a user from sfb online to our sfb on-prem again. (with the powershell commands, not in GUI. Which I also hope they will fix.

Although I get the move for retiring the sfb online, Sfb on-prem is still here and has mainstream support untill 09 january 2024 and extended support till 14 october 2025.

Can anyone tell if it is possible to migrate sfbo users to teams(only) and be able to move users between teams and the on-premises SFB server ?

So we have time to move the enterprise voice to another telephony platform.
Teams still lacks some essential basic features to be suitable as a voice solution for us.
Aside of the problem that Teams is also used for many other things than voice/telephony, which interfers with a person which function is to answer the phone. (so I was glad that SfB and Teams were seperate products.

@Laurens_vd_Vleuten To move a user from SFBO to Teams Only, simply change the coexistence mode to Teams Only. As long as the user was first created on-prem you can move them back on-prem with the Move-CsUser cmdlet with the target of as the poolfqdn.

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