Last October I reviewed the Skype for Business iOS client. Three readers commented about a bug they experienced while using it.

“Whenever I miss a conversation (why is it missed?) I can see the first few words of the message I missed but when I click on it, I can’t see the rest. I can never see the full message. Where does it go?”

“Nearly every day, I will see that I had a message come in, and I will only see the first few words. “Hey, Liza! It’s really important that we—” and then when I tap into the conversation, it’s gone. Unrecoverable.”

“I have the same frustrating problem — I will miss a message, but when I go to open it I can only see the first few words followed by “…”, then I click on it and it brings me to a new message screen. I can never see my missed messages, which is the whole point of having this app in the first place.”

I promised to investigate, and so I did. Unfortunately, I don’t have many answers.

Three Parts Investigate, Only One Part Success

I took three paths to investigate the missing-message issue.

  1. Examine app reviews for other user impressions,
  2. Do some more support research, and
  3. Try to duplicate this in our office.

First up, review. How widespread is the issue? How many people does this affect? I checked reviews on the App Store and Microsoft-related forums, like this one: iOS Client for Skype for Business 2015 – SkypeFeedback.com

“Missed messages vanishing” is mentioned in both places. As are other sync issues such as voicemail. In fact the limitations are clearly wearing on iOS users. Makes me wonder how the new Mac client will turn out after the preview releases.

Research: From the bug description, it sounds like a failure of Server-Side Conversation History. Which informed my search. Is your Conversation History fully enabled? If you’re not sure, here’s how to check: Enable Server Side Conversation History – Martin Boam’s Microsoft UC Blog

I did find this note on an Office Support page:

“Note: Conversations that were accepted on other Skype for Business (Lync) clients but were missed on your mobile device don’t appear in the Chats tab.”

Might explain some instances of this happening. I’m sure it doesn’t explain all, though. It didn’t explain mine!

Duplication: I was logged into Skype4B on my iPhone, but answered a new message on my laptop. Sure enough, I saw a “Missed” conversation on my phone’s Chats tab. And it contained the message contents when I checked it 15 minutes later. Hmmm.

Skype for Business iOS Missed Message

In fact I could not duplicate the “missed message” issue no matter what. We tried two other iPhones, one 5 and two 6s in total. I even removed the Skype for Business client and reinstalled fresh.

We definitely have a bug here. But it’s not consistent.

Is the Bug Already Updated?

Skype for Business on iOS received updates recently – the latest of which came on May 2 (described as “general bug fixes”). My client automatically updated before I tested for the missing-message bug. So did the other iPhones I tried. This might be the reason why I didn’t have any trouble.

(By the way, I mentioned in the review that you couldn’t see a contact’s Contact Card in the iOS client. You can now–just tap a contact and tap their name. You’ll see a “See Contact Card” option drop down.)

iOS Contact with Contact Card

I know losing a message for any reason is frustrating. Right now, the best I can do is advise a safer practice:

  1. Use the iOS client for calls and meeting reminders. Unfortunately, this bug means it’s a bit unreliable when it comes to Instant Messaging. Still works, yes, but if you want to share important information with colleagues, use the Call button.
  2. Update your iOS client to the latest version, and keep it updated. Even general bug fixes can have a big help.

If you’ve updated your Skype for Business iOS client to the latest version, do you still see the “missing messages” bug? Please comment or email me your experience. If Microsoft fixed this bug, then we’re all a bit better off! If not, the bug needs reporting.

Update on the iOS “Missing Message” Bug
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14 thoughts on “Update on the iOS “Missing Message” Bug

  • May 5, 2016 at 10:15 am
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    In my organization we were unable to get any history to sync with the mac 2011 lync client unless we set the user up with a Windows profile and logged the user into Lync via windows first. Alternately the user could login to the 2010 Attendant Console. Before we resolved this we had a lot of trouble trying to figure out why some mac users had history and some did not. The history was all in OWA, but on the problem users the Conversation History folder did not have a special icon and was not syncing back to the Lync client. The root of the problem appears to be an issue with the sync between Lync 2011 and OWA. The February release of the Mac Lync client update seems to have resolved this for us. Anyway, i thought i’d mention this since it involves chat sync and mac client.

    Reply
    • May 5, 2016 at 10:24 am
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      Very helpful comment Tommy! Thanks for posting it.

      Reply
  • November 4, 2016 at 8:58 am
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    Hi, I’m still seeing this issue. I am on iOS 10.1 on an iPhone 7 and have Skype for Business v6.9 (latest in App store). I shut down my laptop while traveling, and saw a missed message notification on my phone while I was traveling. Same issue. I see who it is from, and the first few words in the message. When I click on it, it takes me to a blank chat screen with that person. I cant see the message now, either on my phone or even on my laptop. highly frustrating

    Reply
  • November 22, 2016 at 9:05 am
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    I can confirm, on the latest iOS client, the problem still occurs. I believe this is due to an organization wide disabling of conversation history. It creates a bug in the iOS app where messages seemingly vaporize. Very frustrating!

    To reproduce, simply have someone send a new Skype message while the iOS device is in standby. A notification is displayed to show the new message, but when you unlock / tap on the notification you are taken to a blank conversation window in the Skype app and there is no way to look back at the old message.

    You only get to see the beginning part of the message in the original notification. If you don’t have Skype open on your computer, you’re screwed. Frustrating to say the least.

    Reply
    • February 9, 2017 at 10:08 am
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      RE: Ken – dealing with this same issue on latest iOS 10.2 and latest iOS skype for business app. Wonder if the Microsoft executives put up with this -_-

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      • February 15, 2017 at 12:55 pm
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        Kyle – I kind of hope they do. Might speed up the fixes!

        Reply
  • February 24, 2017 at 2:11 am
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    Same issue here, someone just sent me a message while I was in the car with important information about a meeting later this day. Because I was driving I couldn’t open the message. When I arrived I unlocked the phone (iPhone 5s with iOS 10.2.1 and Skype for Business 6.12.0.219) and the message was gone, nowhere to be found in either the chat window, chat history or perhaps in missed conversation in my email. This is highly frustrating and I hope they are working on a solution.

    Reply
  • May 5, 2017 at 2:41 am
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    Yes, still an annoying problem. What I have found is that it is missed and inaccessible if the sender has shut down their ‘char’ window after sending the message. Needs fixing asap.

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  • July 10, 2017 at 1:10 am
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    I have exactly the same issue here… Fix this guys!

    Reply
  • July 18, 2017 at 7:41 am
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    This seems ridiculous! What’s the point of having an app to connect via messaging if you can’t read the messages? I have to ping and ask to repeat the message. This seems very basic and needs fixing.

    Reply
  • August 2, 2017 at 12:32 pm
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    I have the same problem! I get notified of a chat message while my phone is locked, but when I click the alert to go to the conversation the conversation is blank! This is apparently a widespread issue. The conversation is simply gone. Nowhere in the mobile app can you bring it back. What’s the point of a messaging app when you can’t read your messages when they come through? All you can see is the preview in the alert, which typically isn’t enough! Help, please! So frustrating!

    Reply
  • October 25, 2017 at 4:45 pm
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    I have the same issue described here, but on my MacBook Pro (macOS 10.12.6, Skype for Business 16.11.149). If I don’t get a message within 5 minutes (300 seconds), I only am able to see the first few words in the preview of the chat, but when I click on the chat to read and respond, it says “This content of this message was removed because it’s restricted by policy.” I edited the plist for Skype and upped it to 10 hours (36000 seconds), but the issue persists despite only being logged in on one device. Honestly, Skype for Business for Mac and for iOS are absolute trash. I can’t even add my colleagues at work to my Frequent Contacts list in the macOS client!

    Reply

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