Skip to main content

Presence Status in Outlook on the Web

Outlook on the Web will display your current presence/availability based on your calendar information and your current activity.

This article applies to: Skype (Outlook on the Web)


By default, only those people you have added to your Skype Contacts can see your presence. See our Understanding Presence article for a complete description.

Our testing finds the presence feature in Skype/Outlook on the Web to be a bit wonky. Your status—and the status of your contacts—depends on whether you also have the full Skype client running and whether you are signed in to a version of the Skype mobile app. There is a known issue that these indicators within Outlook on the Web are not always refreshed when your presence status changes. In other words, the presence status you see is not necessarily correct.

Other people will be able to see your presence status

  • next to your name in email headers (the To, Cc, and Bcc fields) when they view an email message,
  • next to your picture (or the generic human icon) when they view email from you, and
  • next to your picture in the People (contacts) section.

You will also see your own current presence status in the small circle overlay on your picture (or the generic human icon) at the right end of the red, Cornell-themed tool bar.

Presence indicators will also appear for others in the email you are viewing. If you do not see the indicators as shown in the screenshot immediately above, click the double down-facing arrows next to the names.

Presence statuses available within Outlook on the Web are

  • Available (Green)
  • Busy (Red)
  • Do not disturb (Red with a white line)
  • Be right back (Yellow)
  • Appear away (Yellow)

Set Your Presence Status Manually

Click your picture (or the generic human icon) at the right end of the red, Cornell-themed tool bar, then select the status you want displayed.

Once you have set your presence status manually, OWA does not provide a way to return to automatic status (based on your calendar and activity).
If you manually set your status as Busy or Do not disturb, your status will return to automatic after 24 hours.
For the other manual statuses (Available, Be right back, and Appear away), you will need to use the full Skype client to return to automatic presence status updates.

Photos courtesy of jonathancoulton.com.

About this Article

Last updated: 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016 - 9:07am

Was this page helpful?

Your feedback helps improve the site.

Comments?