The other day, a reader commented with this question. 2016-11-30_14-08-04“Is there an option in Skype4B to have it set up where your chat does NOT blink or pop up on your screen? I would like just an icon on my taskbar, until I acknowledge it.”

You know this one. Whenever you get a new IM, or an incoming call, a little box appears in the bottom right of your screen with a message – “John Smith is calling!” – and an Accept button.

I replied to the comment, saying, “I’m not sure the option you’re looking for is available. Part of Skype for Business’ central approach is to show you notifications when someone wants to chat or call you. That said, you CAN turn Push Notifications on & off for the mobile apps.”

Afterward, I did a little more research. Judging from the results, this reader is definitely not the only person interested!
Disable Pop-up Notifications – Forums

I pored through help files, forum threads, and even the cmdlets index. We know that you can limit alerts on the Windows client–for example, stopping them when your Presence is set to Do Not Disturb.

What about a universal “turn off alerts” setting though? Does it exist?

Skype for Business – Disable Notifications –

After the research (example: the above link) and user comments, I can say this. No, you cannot totally disable the Alert notification popup. But you can control where it appears, and how often.

So we have something, at least! Let’s list out how to control what we can control here.

Control Where the Alert Popup Appears

By default, the Alert Popup appears on the bottom right of your screen. But you can change that.
Enter Settings by clicking the gear in your Skype for Business client, and select Alerts in the left column.
Look in the first box on the right. You’ll see a line saying, “Where should alerts appear?” with two dropdown menus.


Click the second dropdown (titled “Position”) and you’ll see the options. Lower-Right Corner, Lower-Left Corner, Upper-Right Corner, Upper-Left Corner.
Click the option you want, and then click OK.

Control How Often the Alert Popup Appears

The Alerts window contains more options than just Position. They’re broken up in three categories: “General Alerts,” “When my Status is Do Not Disturb,” and “Contacts not Using Skype for Business.”

  • In “General Alerts,” you can turn off alerts for someone adding you to their Contacts list.
  • In “When my Status is Do Not Disturb,” you can turn off all alerts, show only alerts from people in your Workgroup, or show all alerts (but only conversation alerts from people in your Workgroup).
  • In “Contacts not Using Skype for Business,” you can block all invites and communications, allow invites but block all other communications, or allow anyone to contact you.


Your system admin may set some of these via Group Policy. Otherwise, you can change them yourself.

If the “Don’t show alerts” option was in the “General Alerts” section, this post would be over. One click and we could shut off alert popups. Sigh.

Control Push Notifications on Mobile

We have a little more Alert Popup control on mobile devices than on desktops. There are two ways to control Push Notifications on mobile: on the phone itself, and on the Skype for Business Server.

On the Phone (iPhone):
Open Settings.
Navigate to the Skype for Business app (it may be labeled just “Business”) in the apps list.
Tap Notifications.


To turn off all notifications, tap the toggle next to “Allow Notifications.”
*Note: If you have grayed-out options, then push notifications are not enabled on the server. See the next section.

On Skype for Business Server:
Log into the Skype for Business Server Control Panel.
Click the “Clients” menu.
Click “Push Notification Configuration.” You may have an existing Global policy set. Like this:


If so, double-click the Global policy. (If not, click “New” to generate a new policy.)
Check (or uncheck) the boxes next to “Enable Microsoft push notifications” and/or “Enable Apple push notifications.”
Click Commit.

Control Notification Sounds

For this, I hearken back to the original 2015 post I did on notifications: Make Lync Stop Bugging You – How to Shrink its Powers of Distraction

Look at Option 1, “Turn off the annoying “Ding!” sound when an IM comes in.” We end up doing this a lot for customers, for some reason…

We Cannot Make the Skype4B Alert Popup Go Away. Yet.

At the end of the day, you’re still going to see someone’s face pop up on your screen, when they want to talk to you. It’s central to Skype’s communications.

That said, nothing says this won’t change in time. We’ve already seen third-party tools for modifying alerts & notifications, like SuperToast. I’m not a developer, but I can easily see one building a tool to control Alert Popups.

I’d bet many of us would gladly pay for such a tool, wouldn’t we?

What do you think about Skype’s Alert Popups? Useful reminder or productivity-attacking pest? Please weigh in, in the comments or via email.


Can You Turn Off Skype for Business New Message Alerts?

19 thoughts on “Can You Turn Off Skype for Business New Message Alerts?

  • December 8, 2016 at 9:55 am

    Alert Popups: I don’t need to see someone’s picture. I don’t need to have a large space showing where someone’s picture might be. I certainly don’t need to see the beginning of a conversation. All this takes up space, on my monitor and in my brain. I already have too much going on in both places. Just show me an icon that says:Name – conversation requested. It’s 1 small line.
    Get it done.

    • December 8, 2016 at 9:58 am

      From your keyboard to Microsoft’s screens, Lu!

  • March 15, 2017 at 12:29 am

    Microsoft has just not understood (again) what users want and need. I am the boss of my computer and applications and my life. Therefore, I want to define if get agonised by alerts or not. Same applies for disalbing people calling me if I am already on a call. I don’t want somebody rining into my ear if I am already talking to a client.

    Lync for Business I use because I have to. But I would never chose it if I could. Poor solution. Please fix it MS. You own it now.

  • May 2, 2017 at 8:18 am

    I agree with Bob S’s March 15, 2017 post. Yet again, Microsoft has no idea what end users want or need. Like Bob, I am the boss of my computer applications and am totally disgusted that when I have to focus on a task, I have run the risk of being disrupted by a pop-up alert unless I set my status to ‘do not disturb’. I am only using Skype/Lync for business because my employer is requiring me to do so and would pay money out of my own pocket for a third party tool for modifying alerts.

  • May 30, 2017 at 4:25 am

    Complete non-sense this.. Back in the days with the regular free skype you had options for EVERY possible alert whether to be displayed or not.

    You could set it up in such a way that in “Available” status the only thing that changes was for the Skype icon in the tray bar from regular to become one with a small flag on it. No disturbance, no intrusion. Nice and simple… I run old versions of skype on my personal computer.

    MS – the more you do the more you mess up the good stuff.. you should read those threads every now and then before you release an update!

  • July 28, 2017 at 9:27 am

    For the love of God please let me turn off all notifications!!!!!!! They are driving me insane. I don’t want them, I don’t need them. They serve only to annoy me. Who thought this was a good idea to annoy the ever-loving-*** out of your users? Please fix this Microsoft!

    • February 16, 2018 at 12:09 pm

      Startup menu > system > notifications >

      find skype on the list and turn that off! 🙂

      • December 7, 2018 at 12:46 am

        Shannon, please describe more in detail where you find this possibility of turning the notifications in Skype for Business off. At work I am on a Win7 system with Skype for Business 2016 installed.

      • January 15, 2019 at 6:16 am

        Nice idea, but no entry, probably disabled by Group Policy

  • October 2, 2017 at 8:59 am

    I would love an “auto-accept” feature or to turn off notifications all together. Currently if I receive a call through Skype and do not accept immediately, it disappears within a couple seconds, never to be seen again.

  • November 21, 2017 at 5:04 am

    I simply cannot believe how someone working at Microsoft can possibly think “pop up with the picture and the message and everything!” can be a good idea! Please fix this ASAP because it is ridiculous.

  • December 19, 2017 at 4:32 am

    Huh, surprised to see so many people not having any love these cute alerts. Personally, I sometimes miss the alerts when they show up like that in that small corner over there. I’m wondering if it’s at all possible to have them displayed on all four corners of the screens simultaneously and once more in the centre of the screen, for good measure, and slightly bigger so that I don’t miss it. Sometimes, I also work from home, and when the TV is on, is it possible to place one on the TV screen as well? Just to be really, really sure that I don’t miss it.

    Oh, for the next version could you also add a short video preview on those alerts (like Apple does with Live Photos) and then I could over hover over those previews, and if I like them I may reply back, or if I don’t I could ignore those boring people. That would be so totally cool.

    Thank you and wish you a Merry Christmas!

  • December 19, 2017 at 5:35 am

    I completely agree with other posters it is insane that I have to be Do Not Disturb to suppress notifications…

  • February 21, 2018 at 3:42 am

    but you can turn off notifications for specific conversation or chatroom. For any specific conversation or chatroom, you can simply go to the bottom right , click on the three dots … change notification settings and then untick the box “show me an alert”. you can do that from chatroom TAB on the top as well

    • May 22, 2018 at 6:21 am

      Hello, when I click on the the three dots there is NO such option “change notification settings ” and no box “show me an alert” at all.

  • May 30, 2018 at 10:25 am

    I arrived here looking for a way to have Skype pop up the full IM window with message when there’s an incoming IM, instead of just the alert in the corner.

    I get other alerts showing contacts becoming available/unavailable, and I want to keep those, but IMs get lost in the shuffle there and I want them to just appear full-size in the middle of the screen instead. Why is there no way to do this?

    Everyone has different priorities, what MSFT needs to do is have an options panel that gives complete control over alerts with all available options/triggers selectable based on any criteria.

    • June 1, 2018 at 12:33 pm

      Agreed, Neil. But it looks like we aren’t going to see that kind of alerts control for Skype for Business. Maybe in the Teams desktop client?
      Thanks for the comment.

  • September 26, 2018 at 9:33 am

    Why not just add an option of None on position?

    • October 3, 2018 at 7:25 am

      Now now Tom. That’s too easy of a solution. We can’t have that, now can we?


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