Lync Quick Tip: Disable Pre-Population of Contacts

You may have noticed when enabling a fresh Lync 2010 or Lync 2013 user, upon first login they already have some contacts in their favorites or frequent contacts.  Sometimes these contacts are odd and show up as a phone or mobile number.  Where do they come from and how do you get rid of them?

Well, it’s actually been around and is a feature introduced in Lync 2010.  From the article: we read:

“The Frequent Contacts group shows the 10 contacts a user most frequently has conversations with (not necessarily the most recent). Lync pre-populates the group with the user’s team members. Users can pin their favorite or important contacts to the top of their Frequent Contacts group.”

In Lync 2013 of course, Frequent Contacts was renamed to Favorites.    These team members can be found in the Organization tab of the Active Directory User:


So, how do we turn this off?   Well, we can remove the direct reports in AD, but it’s probably there for a reason (we don’t want to go head to head with whomever in HR may have published them).  Enter the AutoInitiateContacts  parameter within the privacy configuration.  We can set this with the Set-CSPrivacyConfiguration command:  From the article: “If True, Lync will automatically add your manager and your direct reports to your Contacts list. The default value is True.”

To disable this for all of your privacy configurations, run the following command:

Get-CSPrivacyConfiguration | Set-CSPrivacyConfiguration -AutoInitiateContacts $False

To set it for a specific site, you’ll want to run the Set-CSPrivacyConfiguration with the identity parameter pointing to your site if you have this configured.


7 thoughts on “Lync Quick Tip: Disable Pre-Population of Contacts

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  4. Victor Reiner

    What about contacts that keep reappearing? I have 4 or so contacts that keep popping back up in my frequent contacts list. I remove them using “unpin from frequent contacts” and they go away – for a day, a week, a month. Randomly they reappear and I have to go through the process again.

    What’s weird is these contacts are people I rarely IM with. A couple are vendors that I haven’t IMed in a year or more – they are on our contact list because we’re federated with their SameTime server. A couple are co-workers (IE same company as me, same Lync server) but I hardly ever speak with.

    1. Victor Reiner

      One other note about my comment above: this issue has followed me to a new computer; I upgraded to a new laptop with an entirely fresh software load including Lync 2010 client. The problem followed me so my thought is this is a server-side problem.

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