My first reader email of 2013 contained a question about receiving Instant Messages. Specifically, he asked if he could use Lync IM on his iPhone and his laptop at the same time.

He was asking if multiple simultaneous logins are possible for Lync – signing in with your account on more than 1 computer. And receiving IMs to both locations.

I told him that Lync Server 2010 does not support multiple logins. But I would check to see if Lync Server 2013 can support this. Here’s what I found.

Why would you want multiple logins in Lync?

Unless you have a mysterious power to be in two places at once, multiple logins for communications software like Lync Server seems unnecessary. Lync treats your latest login as the ‘active’ one, whether that’s on your phone on your desktop. Since, presumably, that’s where you are!

However, I can think of one *good* reason to want multiple logins:  Conversation History. In case one client isn’t recording IM conversations properly, or you want multiple copies of a conversation.

(If one of your devices isn’t recording your IM conversations properly, this is a setup issue. Tell your systems administrator.)

Multiple Login Workarounds for Lync Server 2010

Sadly, I must repeat: Lync Server 2010 does NOT support multiple logins for one user. The reason is simple: each user can only have a single SIP address.

However, some workarounds DO exist to facilitate multiple connections.

While looking for reference links to show my reader, I came across this TechNet Forum thread: Lync Multiple & Simultaneous Account Login

Here we find a response from Matt Landis (if you’ve been reading Lync Insider, you know I’ve pointed Matt out as an excellent Lync specialist in the past!). He lists out some workaround solutions–and cautions that not all of them are supported by Microsoft!

What about multiple logins in Lync Server 2013?

We still have to wonder if Lync Server 2013 would support multiple logins. Many aspects of user management were updated in this version. Maybe an improvement to SIP addressing allows for multiple simultaneous logins?

After checking in TechNet and reviewing some fellow Microsoft bloggers, I have to say…no. Multiple logins is still a no-go for Lync 2013.

However, many of the workarounds Matt listed on the forum thread will work for 2013 as well. Personally, I think the best choice would be: Run a virtualized (second) copy of Lync on your desktop.
This would let you use a mobile client at the same time. And still be on Lync at your desktop. In terms of capabilities available, this seems the most promising.

Lync User QuickTip #4: Running Lync Twice on the Same PC – Matt Landis

PLEASE NOTE: This is NOT a supported solution by Microsoft! You take your chances. (And do a backup first!)

Lync knows where you are…in one spot

I always hate giving readers bad news…especially when they take the time to email in! But, “one login at a time” is just how Lync was made. It does make sense, considering Presence is intended to track where you are and what you’re doing.

We’ll just have to see what updates & modifications 2013 will bring.

Would you like to modify how Lync handles user access? In what way?


EDIT:  Please read the comments below if you’re confused.  I referred to simultaneous login activity with this post, not just signing in on more than one client!

Doubling Up: Does Lync Allow Multiple Logins?

7 thoughts on “Doubling Up: Does Lync Allow Multiple Logins?

  • January 18, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    I”m possibly misreading this post, but I think there might be a mislead here – you certainly can sign in to Lync 2010 and 2013 using the same Login on multiple devices.

    For example, I”m signed in on my Lync Client on my PC here, also periodically on my mobile (when I”m away from my desk for a while), i”m also signed in for Enterprise Voice on my Snom phone, and once in a while I remote onto a Windows 8 PC where I”m signed in to Lync Client, and by accident, into the new Lync Store App too.

    Yes this is excessive, but at different parts of the day I”m using all these devices so keeping signed in on all of them is ideal – Lync does a great job of keeping track of my Status (away/busy etc.) across all the devices simultaneously too.

    Now the bit that certainly is true is that IM conversations aren”t shown on all of these logins – the first message someone sends to me is sent to all endpoints, and then whichever one I then use to reply is the one that has the converstation window, the others are left with just the first message.

    However, don”t forget that Conversation History is stored in your Outlook/Exchange mailbox (as you note, assuming it”s working correctly!) so you can always refer back to that.

    I think I also read that there are some changes happening to Conversation history with the Mobile clients in future, but I may have dreamed that!

    Putting the above aside though, if I”ve got the wrong end of the stick then many apologies!

    • January 19, 2013 at 2:13 am


      I”ll have to eat a little crow here. Obviously I was not clear on what I”d intended to say.

      You”re right; you can log into more than one device. What the reader was asking – and I tried to explain – was the notion of simultaneous Lync activity on all devices. An IM comes in, you reply on one device, and the conversation appears on all other devices. As you say, this isn”t what happens. Lync doesn”t replicate conversations to all logged-in clients.

      I think we had the same dream about Conversation History on mobile; I recall seeing something about that too. Don”t remember where, though…that”ll bug me!

      To all my readers: I”m sorry for the confusion on this post! My language was not clear enough this time around. Peter”s comment should clarify things for you.

  • January 18, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    One very common office scenario: my phone i my pocket, I am sitting at my desktop, I go for coffee, I go to printer, I go to meeting room -> in all these cases I want my phone and desktop to work in parallel !
    Without this working well I cannot use mobile phone with Lync !
    Arguments with presence is false: my status does not change according to which device I have in hand and the location is bound to me !

  • August 25, 2014 at 10:38 am

    An old post, but just wanted to add my 2 cents.

    We’ve just switched from Google Apps for Business to Office365.

    Since microsoft acquired Skype.. I was expecting similar functionality.

    Here is our scenario:
    We have an employee doing to jobs, reception, and payroll.
    This means she’s either at her reception desk PC, or payroll office PC.

    In skype: you login in many places many devices, you keep track of the same conversation everywhere. You may not always get the sent messages, but at least you get replies in all places.

    Right now, we have her logged in with same account on both computers.
    However, messages either go to one, or the other, somewhat randomly.
    And no way to find out which. The conversations are separate as well, as in, she can’t keep track of either convo from both.

    And lately, some messages just don’t get delivered, even tho it says delivered.
    It’s pretty pathetic.

  • April 1, 2015 at 5:41 am

    Similar here. We start to play with 2013 now, from ground up. I often work from home, logging into vmware and connecting to my dedicated developer machine over RDP. Edge is not installed yet, but as far as i can tell double login doesn’t work. And it would be great to have both a local chat as well as a chat to copy and paste at my development machine. Especially when audio comes in.

    I’m eager what skype for biz will become. Hopefully the current skype functionality will be supported.

  • September 2, 2016 at 5:14 am

    Here’s a very simple response to why someone would need multiple logins, such as myself! I work for a consulting firm, we currently us skype for business, I’m doing consulting work for a current customer(long term staff aug position) they use skype for business. It would be nice to use one of my PC’s to access both skype accounts so that I don’t have to bounce back and forth between my consulting firms laptop and my customers laptop. TIA!

  • January 10, 2017 at 1:12 am

    Actually logging in from multiple devices makes a lot of sense today, when it’s normal to use multiple devices at the same time. For example, I would like to connect via my desktop in order to use my phone line with a wireless headset (which has a base station connected to the desktop), and at the same time connect from my mobile phone to see the shared screen while I am roaming the office.
    As it is today, I am not able to use my wireless headset if I want to also use the mobile phone. I need to connect via the phone and use a BT hands free set connected to the phone, which has much lower sound quality.


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