How to switch between Skype for Business and Lync Client UI

We are all going to get a new client for Lync and it is going to look a lot more like Skype. But here’s an interesting thing. With this new client, named “Skype for Business Client” now you or in many instances the administrator of your organization has the ability to change the UI of the client, either to;

  • Skype for Business Client
  • Lync 2013 Client

This new Dual User Experience mode that controls the Lync/Skype UI is managed via in-band settings. The client is by default configured to check for the Server Version of the environment and set up the looks. The below table lists what you may see by default.

Server Version Default Client UI
Skype for Business on-prem Skype for Business
Skype for Business Online Skype for Business
Lync Server 2013 Lync 2013
Lync Server 2010 Lync 2013


Although this is the case, the Lync/S4B administrator always have the option to change the UI via changing in-band policy settings that will manually override the default UI. There will be a Client Policy parameter that will determine the default UI for users within the organization. To enable the Skype UI and Lync 2013 UI the following commands can be run from the server end respectively.

Set-CSClientPolicy -EnableSkypeUI: true


Set-CSClientPolicy -EnableSkypeUI: false

So what happens from the users end? Head over to REGEDIT, Navigate to


and notice the value for EnableSkypeUI;

  • 00 00 00 01 – Skype for Business UI
  • 00 00 00 00 – Lync 2013 UI


However, there’s a catch. Based on the UI that you choose to have, the features may vary as show below.

Feature Skype UI Lync UI
First Run Experience Yes No
New Emoticons Yes Yes
Call and Video Monitor Yes No
Call via Work Yes No
RCC No Yes
Rate my call Yes Yes
Server side conversation history Yes Yes
Skype-Lync Video Interop Yes Yes





Update: Amanda Debler has written a nice piece of code that will help you to get the UI switched in seconds, you can grab the powershell script here.

Please note that the above information is provided “AS IS” with no warranties, and confers no rights. The content may be changed as and when the finalized information is been publically announced by Microsoft.



  1. i’ve been working on this for a while and it’s pretty confusing. I have Lync2013 client and server (2013 pool) and wanted to install the eval update – I have installed the x32 update from the eval site – but I canNOT seem to get the skype interface for the client to show up. I have used the regedit above and ADDED the key (1) as well as set my clientpolicy to enableskypeUI=true and verified replication. Any ideas what i’m missing here? Thx!


    1. the only thing strange about what i’m doing is that the 2nd file in the ZIP won’t install … the lynchelploc.exe but I doubt that’s important … right? (either the 32/64 neither will install)


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