I have some old contacts in Lync that I couldn’t delete.
Ordinarily all you’d have to do is right-click the contact, click “Remove from Contacts List”, and click Yes to confirm.
But that’s not working for these two.
The contacts are Federated Contacts from another organization – one that was recently bought. The domain was taken offline. These contacts have been inactive for weeks.
Initially, I thought that was why I couldn’t delete the contacts. The lack of domain federation means Lync 2013 is having trouble understanding that the contacts actually exist!
However, my initial thought was wrong. I did figure out how to remove these old federated contacts…and here’s how.
Step 1: Cover the Basic Contact Management Moves
I tried the basic support methods:
- Signing out & back in
- Signing in on my phone
- Setting the contacts to Blocked
- Even tried removing my local cache files (the process is here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2435699)
No luck there. The contacts just kept smiling back at me.
Maybe I needed to circumvent Lync entirely, and delete the contacts out of Outlook instead?
Step 2: Look in Outlook
I looked in Outlook, under People/Lync Contacts. And I found not just one copy of these federated contacts–but dozens of them!
When I tried to delete any of them, I received this error message:
“You cannot make changes to the content of this read-only folder”
Research indicates that this is an infrequent bug in the Lync client. It generates a new Lync Contact every time that contact enters a conversation. (Make sure you apply Cumulative Updates when they come out, to avoid such bugs disrupting more important functions!)
So we at least know WHY I couldn’t delete a couple old federated contacts. But how do I get rid of them?
Some more searching found me this relevant blog post: Fix for Excessive Duplicate Contacts – The EXPTA Blog
So the problem might be in Exchange, hmmm? Let’s go there.
Step 3: Use OWA to Fix Lync Contacts
I signed out of Lync, and closed Outlook. Then I logged into OWA, and located the Lync Contacts folder.
The EXPTA post says I should delete the whole Lync Contacts folder. But I couldn’t do that, either.
What I did discover, instead, was another way to get rid of the duplicate contacts. Here’s what you do.
- In OWA’s Lync Contacts list, click the Lync Contact you want to delete.
- Under “Linked contacts” on the right, click Manage.
- You should see a list of the contact’s duplicates. Click the first one.
- It will open. At the top you’ll see a button marked “unlink”.
- Click this button. Wait a second. OWA will return you to the previous window, with the list of duplicate contacts.
- Repeat Steps 3-5 until there are no more linked contacts under the original.
- These unlinked contact duplicates are moved into the main Lync Contacts list. From there, you can right-click each and click “Remove from Lync contacts.”
- Do the same with the original.
This is a tedious solution. But it does work – when I reopened Lync, the two contacts were long gone!
Now, there is likely a server-level solution for this. Temporarily changing the Exchange permissions level for a user, for one. But I didn’t want to mess around on the server for what I (initially) thought was a simple contacts error.
And by the time I realized it was more complex than that, I’d fixed it!
Have you encountered “stuck” contacts? How did you resolve them? Please comment or email me!