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Disabling Skype for Business on Start-up via Group Policy

I had the requirement to create a group policy to disable Skype for Business from starting upon login as this was significantly reducing login times. I found the below command that removes the Lync key from the start-up folder on the machine.

REG DELETE “HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run” /v “Lync”

I confirmed this was working by running this on my machine and rebooting. This successfully disabled Skype for Business on start-up. I wanted to apply this to multiple machines so I used a group policy to achieve this goal. You can also complete this by creating a BAT script with the above command. This will work on most environments but would not work in certain VDI scenarios as I found out. The group policy can be created as below –

You will need to navigate to Group Policy Management Editor, Click the Group Policy Objects section. Right click in this section and select ‘New’ and type a name for the policy. For example I used JACOB_SKYPE for this policy.

GPOs - Disabling Skype for Business on Start-up via Group Policy

Right click the policy you created and select ‘Edit’

JACOB SKYPE Group Policy - Disabling Skype for Business on Start-up via Group Policy

Navigate to Computer Configuration –> Preferences –> Windows Settings –> Registry

You will now need to create the entry in the right column. Right click and select New Registry Item and copy the below settings –

Key Path: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

Value Name: Lync

Lync Registry Key - Disabling Skype for Business on Start-up via Group Policy

Select OK to save the policy.

You will now need to apply this to the relevant OU that your machines reside in. This can be completed by navigating back to the Group Policy Management Editor, Right Clicking the OU and select ‘Link an existing GPO’. Once linked you will need to complete a group policy update on the machine. This will happen automatically when the user logs off or the machine is restarted.

When the machine is logged in you can verify in the following location that the ‘Lync’ key has been removed.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

This will disable Skype for Business from starting when the user logs in to the machine.

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