Lync users can't communicate with external contacts who have Microsoft accounts that have a custom (EASI) domain

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Article ID: 2566829 - View products that this article applies to.
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Consider the following scenario:
  • You add an external contact that uses a Microsoft account to a Microsoft Lync Online user’s contact list. 
  • The external contact uses a custom domain or an "email as sign in” (EASI) ID domain instead of a default address.
  • You add the contact to Lync by using the contact’s email address. For example, you use the email address
In this scenario, you may experience the following issues:
  • Presence is unavailable, and the status is displayed as Presence Unknown.
  • Instant messages can't be delivered or sent.
Note In the following sections, the following placeholders are used as examples of domains:
  • Lync Online domain:
  • Windows Live EASI domain:


To resolve this issue, use one of the following methods.

Microsoft Lync 2013

The best method to add external contacts in Lync 2013 is to use the Add Contact icon. For more info about how to add contacts through search or the add contact wizard, go to the following Microsoft website:
Add a contact in Lync

Microsoft Lync 2010

Use the Microsoft account together with Public Internet Connectivity (PIC) when you add a user to your Lync contact list. To do this, you must make a change in the search field. A Lync Online user who wants to add the Microsoft account that uses a custom domain, such as <username>, must add an address that resembles the following to the search field:


This method allows for a quick resolution if Lync Online users are going to add only a few PIC contacts.

Alternative resolution by using DNS

The Lync Online administrator must add the correct Service (SRV) Federation records to the Domain Name System (DNS) host for the Lync Online environment. The domain owner for the external contact’s custom domain must also add an SRV record that resembles the following example:
port = 5061
server hostname =
Administrators can let Lync Online users add contacts without having to use the special format that was discussed in the "Microsoft Lync 2010" section. To do this, administrators must add an SRV Federation record that Lync Online users can access to add contacts to the Windows Live EASI domain.


PIC in Lync Online supports connectivity with Microsoft accounts (, and However, when you add PIC contacts that use a Windows Live EASI domain such as, Lync Online can't resolve the Instant Messaging (IM) Federation server based on the domain suffix. 

If you directly add a PIC contact by using the contact’s EASI ID (for example, you use, a specific SRV record is required in the DNS for This SRV record is required because the Lync Online server uses the domain suffix in the user's EASI ID to determine how to route messages. In this example, the Lync Online server tries to use the domain suffix.

For more info about how to troubleshoot Lync Online federated contacts, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base
2392146 Lync Online users can't communicate with external contacts
Note This scenario also applies to contacts that are logging in to Skype by using their Microsoft accounts.

Still need help? Go to the Office 365 Community website.


Article ID: 2566829 - Last Review: June 26, 2014 - Revision: 26.0
Applies to
  • Microsoft Lync Online
  • Microsoft Lync 2013
  • Microsoft Lync 2010
o365 o365a o365e o365p o365022013 o365m KB2566829

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