How to Disable IM in Communicator/Lync

Sounds strange but it can be done. This means that you will still see presence and still be able to do video, voice etc. but no longer have the option for IM. I have heard it works for Lync as well. Basically it’s a registry key setting on the PC. See below.

  1. Install the Communicator 2007 update package that is dated October 24, 2008. For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

    957707 ( ) Description of the update for Communicator 2007: October 24, 2008

  2. Configure the DisableIM registry entry. To do this, follow these steps:
    1. Click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK.
    2. Locate and then click the following registry subkey:

      HKEY_CURRENT_USER \Software\Policies\Microsoft\Communicator

    3. On the Edit menu, point to New, and then click DWORD Value.
    4. Type DisableIM, and then press ENTER.
    5. Right-click DisableIM, and then click Modify.
    6. In the Value data box, type 1, and then click OK.
    7. Exit Registry Editor.



  1. Dear support,

    How about just temporary, during a LYNC 2010 meeting? Just stop everyone and later enabling them?

    Thanks in advance.

    1. Hi got a reply for this? I'm having the same issue.

  2. Hi,

    I've managed to sell the concept of Lync 2010 and all it's functions to the Company I work for. However, one of the questions raised was "can you disable IM" over fear of productivity going out the window, so to speak.

    I'm trying to do this with Lync 2010 180 day trial version before we go ahead with purchasing the Enterprise 2010 software but the registry you have suggested does not exist on any of the Client PC's with Lync installed.

    Is this purely because it's a Trial version we're currently running? Please HELP!


    1. This is a legacy communicator reg setting so to speak so you may not find it but will have to create it for Lync for it to work. Dont be afraid to add a new registry setting if required, other settings like Telephonymode work similar.


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