MS Lync Messenger FAQ

General Questions
Instant Messaging
Video Conferencing
Desktop Sharing
Personal Settings

Miscellaneous Questions

General Questions

How do I install the software?

Installation is very easy for either the MAC or PC.   Complete directions are at:

If you are using a MAC please contact the Helpdesk and we can assist you with the installation.

Who can I communicate with using Lync?

You can communicate to anyone on Harvard’s Icemail system.   This currently includes Harvard central administration (HUIT, finance, …), GSE, Divinity School and Design School.

Will Lync work with my colleagues at HMS?

Currently, Lync will not work from HSPH/Central HUIT to HMS as it is on a separate system.

How do I know who has Lync?  Who can I call?  Who has video conferencing?

Lync is an optional installation.  Unfortunately, there is no global list of who is utilizing the software and with which features.  This is similar to many communication software packages like Skype or Webex.  We recommend trying out the product with your work group to test the functionality.  As more users install Lync at HSPH, we hope that it will become more universal.

Does Lync work on a Mac?
Yes!  Lync is available for HSPH-owned Mac desktop computers and laptops. Please contact the HSPH Helpdesk to schedule an installation.

Will Lync work on my mobile device?
This feature is unavailable currently, but may be available in the future.

Can I install Lync on personal non-HSPH owned computer or laptop?
Lync is a licensed Microsoft product and can only be install on HSPH-owned desktop computers and laptops.

My work PC is at home, how can I install Microsoft Lync?
Lync may be installed at home on a Harvard-owned PC provided you have a VPN account.  You need to log onto VPN and then install the software.

Instant Messaging (IM)

Can I add someone that is using a different Instant Messenger?

Yes, you will have to put in the full email address, but you can add Yahoo Messenger, AIM and Google Talk users.

Video Conferencing

Do I need web camera/microphone/speakers to user the Microsoft Lync Video Chat feature?

  • Yes, you will need a web camera, microphone, and speakers to use the video chat feature. Most newer Windows laptops and Mac laptops and desktops already have these built into them and Lync will automatically detect them.
  •  People with Windows desktop computers will have to purchase these items. One recommended camera is a Microsoft LifeCam Cinema HD Webcam which has a built in mic. This is available through GovConnection, Item #: 10253626
  •  You can also use a head set in place of a separate microphone and speakers for privacy. Such as Plantronics C310 Blackwire Headset available through GovConnection, Item #: 13777564.

My audio seems to be very low in Lync and all my volumes seem to be maxed out, what do I do?

Click the gear and then click Audio Device in the left pane.  On the right pane you may adjust your microphone volume and speaker volume.


Desktop Sharing

I have two monitors.  Can I still do desktop sharing?

Yes.  Desktop sharing offers a choice between one monitor, a window of a monitor, or two monitors.

How is the quality?

Quality on campus is outstanding. 

Can remote users make edits to documents?

Absolutely, once you have established sharing your desktop/program, you may grant people control of the desktop by clicking “Give Control” and then select the Attendee you wish to give control within the dropdown menu.

I have granted them control, how do I take control back?

Let the person that has control know you wish to take back control otherwise you may end up working against each other with the cursor.  Then click “Give Control” and then click “Take Back Control”



How do I add/remove contacts?

To add a contact:

  • You may click in the Find a contact field.
  • Type in the contact’s email address.
  • Click search.
  • Then highlight their name below.
  • Click the + sign to add them.

Note: During this time if you want to create a new group you would click the down arrow next to the + sign and then select “Add to New Group.”

To remove a contact:

  • Click on their name
  • Press delete to remove them from a group
  • Press shift + delete to remove them from your Contacts List.

I see more than one contact when searching for a person to add to my contacts, which one do I choose?

Select the (Contacts) group.  If that isn’t an option, select the (Suggested Contacts) group.

Can I add someone from other Harvard Schools using Lync?

Yes, you can add users from most Harvard Schools, except HMS and the Business School; they are not connected to the University ICEMAIL System.  Once Microsoft Lync has been completely deployed, the schools have agreed to collaborate to fix this issue.


Personal Settings

How do I change my photo that is displayed in Microsoft Lync?

There are two ways to do this.

  1. Click on the empty picture in the upper left corner and it will open up a window to change your picture or
  2. Click the gear in the upper right hand corner and click My Picture on the left pane.

Note: If you need help changing the actual picture there is a link at the bottom of the My Picture screen in the right pane that will bring you to a webpage.  This page will have some information on how you can establish a web address from a picture.  Unfortunately, Macs cannot change their picture.

How do I change my font and font size?

Click the gear in the upper right hand corner and then click General on the left pane.  On the right pane you will have a selection to Change Font… click this button and then you can specify your font.

Can I start/stop Lync from starting up when I login?

Click the gear in the upper right hand corner and then click on Personal on the left pane.  On the right pane up at the top you will have a check box to start/stop Lync from starting up (Automatically start Lync when I log on to Windows).

Miscellaneous Questions

How can I get back into the Tutorial if I closed it?

When Microsoft Lync is open, click the arrow next to the gear in the upper right portion of the window.  Then go to Help>Welcome to Lync

How can I view my Conversation History?

Open up Outlook and one of the folders will be called Conversation History.