SharePoint has a nifty feature that integrates with Lync and Exchange to display a person’s presence information, also known as the “skittle”. J This feature allows you to see if the user is currently busy, available, offline, etc. It also allows you to quickly email, Instant Message, call someone directly from Lync.

Unless the web site is production facing, I typically find this feature very useful and typically keep it enabled.

However, you do have the option of disabling it for a web application, which is useful for public facing web sites. If you do not disable it for public facing web sites, anonymous users will likely get the dreaded yellow bar at the top of the web page asking them if Microsoft can use the Name.dll ActiveX control. Not cool.

Disabling Presence Information for a Web Application

You can follow these steps if you want to disable presence information for an entire web application.

  • Go to Central Administration.
  • Select Application Management -> Manage web applications
  • Select the web application and click the General Settings toolbar button.
  • In the section entitled Person Name Actions and Presence Settings -> Enable Additional actions and Online Status for members, choose No.
  • Press OK


I recently ran into a circumstance in which I had a list view that contained a lot of records and was set to page at every 250 items. I noticed that the list view was loading pretty slowly and seemed to be pretty bogged down. The reason was that each record contained at least two people (and sometimes as many as 5) and it was taking a long time for the presence information to load. This resulted in the browser to be unresponsive for about 15 seconds while it finished.

For my purposes, being able to display 250 lines at a time was far more important than having the presence information enabled on this list. I decided to increase the list performance by removing the presence information.

It turns out this is pretty easy to do as well.

Disabling Presence Information for a List

  • Go to List Settings.
  • Click on the person field or fields.
  • Notice that the Show Field item defaults to Name (with presence), but includes many additional options. In my case, I changed it to simply Name.
  • Press OK.