Lync contacts showing Presence Unknown

Brian Hadfield -


This is an issue that occurs when a user searches for a Lync contact and gets a Presence Unknown status for that user even though they were selected from the Lync address book and the contact is with the correct SIP URI and email address.  The most common cause of this issue is that the user SIP domain was either renamed ( to or the customer was migrated from another hosting provider and they renamed the SIP Domain address or IM field when they moved to the Arkadin platform.


The specific cause of this is that the end users have contact cards with the old IM address in their People folder (Outlook 2013) or their Contacts folder (Outlook 2010) and the Lync client is configured to use Outlook as your Personal Information Manager.  By design, Lync will look in the Outlook Personal Information Store first for the user being searched for.  If it finds a Contact Card or Contact Object with that users name Lync will try to use it by sending a Presence Request to the SIP Address in the IM field.  In the case where there is a failure, Lync sees the Contact Card, checks the IM Address field and tries to get the presence for that user.  That query fails because the SIP Domain now doesn’t exist or is invalid.


Update the Contact Card using OWA

  1. Have the user sign into OWA.
  2. From the left window pane, click on Contacts.
  3. Select the Lync contacts.
  4. Search for the contact that is showing Presence Unknown.
  5. Double-click to open the Contact Object for that user.
  6. Find the IM Address field.
  7. Update the IM Address field to reflect the correct SIP Address.
  8. Click the Save and Close button
  9. Repeat for all contacts with this issue.

 Update the Contact Card using Outlook

  1. Open the Outlook 2010/2013 client.
  2. Select the Contacts or People tab.
    1. In Outlook 2010 select the Contacts tab
    2. In Outlook 2013 select the People tab
  3. Select the first Contact folder on the left hand window pane
  4. Enter in the user you just updated in OWA above.

NOTE:  If that user is not found in the first folder, select each folder and select Search until you find the Contact Card for the user in question.

  1. Double-click the contact card and ensure that the IM address field is now correct.

Validate the Contact Card is fixed

  1. Launch the Lync client.
  2. In the search dialog box, enter in the name of the contact that was changed.
  3. Verify that presence information is now available for that person.

If the issue persists, go back to OWA and search again for any additional contacts with that name and perform the steps listed above to fix them.

For additional information, see

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