Uninstall Skype for Business with OCT or Click-to-Run


The Powers From On-High have declared that no more shall Skype for Business be installed in your organization. No more recipe sharing, pictures of Ms. Coddlebottom’s trip to Aunt Bethany and Uncle Cleatus’ gator farm, or HR infractions in the form of wildly inappropriate memes involving kitchen utensils and spray foam. You have been tasked, and you will prevail.

Depending on which of the two methods you used to install Skype for Business, there are three methods of expungement. The first uses the Office Customization Tool (OCT), the second uses PDQ Inventory to (help) remove the Office Deployment Tool (Click-to-Run or C2R), and the third uses an XML to remove the C2R version.

If my math is right, that’s one for the OCT and two for the C2R.

Here we go.

Method the First: Office Customization Tool (OCT)

Uninstalling Skype for Business as a feature of Office 2016 is relatively straightforward. With the exception of the MSP, uninstalling follows the same steps as installing Skype for Business.

  1. To remove Skype for Business after an Office 2016 (OCT) installation, create another MSP using the same parameters as the install, except for the Set feature installation states. Change the features as seen below:
    how to uninstall skype for business
  2. Save the MSP. In this example, the MSP is saved with the highly creative name of SkypeUninstall.MSP.
  3. Create a package in PDQ Deploy. Add a PowerShell step. You will need to kill the process first or the uninstall will fail with a 17002 error or something else that will not be at all helpful:
    Get-Process "Lync*" | Stop-Process -Force
  4. Add an Install Step. Select the MSP file in the Install File field using the File Picker […]. The necessary parameters are added for you automatically because we are wizardly beings of deployments. For more information on how to create the package with Conditions and Options, please see the Deploy Office 2016 KB.
  5. Save the package and deploy (right-click the finished package and click Deploy Once) to computers with Office 2016 and the Skype for Business feature installed. As always, it is recommended to test the package first.

Method the Second: C2R Using PDQ Inventory

We’re going to do this quickly.

  1. In PDQ Inventory, double-click a computer in a collection that has Skype for Business (C2R) installed.
  2. Click on the Applications page in the Computer Window and navigate to the entry for Skype for Business. The Uninstall column contains the uninstall string for Skype for Business 2016:
    "C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\ClickToRun\OfficeClickToRun.exe" scenario=install scenariosubtype=ARP sourcetype=None productstoremove=SkypeforBusinessRetail.16_en-us_x-none culture=en-us version.16=16.0

    The uninstall string above can be used to create a package in PDQ Deploy to uninstall Skype for Business. Exclude the last two statements, culture=en-us version.16=16.0.

  3. Create a new package in PDQ Deploy, name it something meaningful.
  4. Add a Command Step and include the following in the Command window, which has the culture=en-us version.16=16.0 removed (for Free users, you can create a .bat file and deploy that using an Install Step, but Enterprise = More Magic).
    "C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\ClickToRun\OfficeClickToRun.exe" scenario=install scenariosubtype=ARP sourcetype=None productstoremove=SkypeforBusinessRetail.16_en-us_x-none
  5. Save the package and deploy (right-click the finished package and click Deploy Once) to computers with Skype for Business Click-to-Run installed. As usual, we recommend you test this first.

Method the Third: C2R Using an XML

Follow this handy walkthrough:

  1. If you haven’t done so already, download the Office 2016 Deployment Tool (for C2R deployments) from Microsoft’s site: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=49117
  2. Create the necessary shared directory to serve the C2R/Skype for Business “deployment”: \\server\share\
  3. Install the Office 2016 Deployment Tool for Click-to-Run, choose the extraction location to the previously created \\server\share\
  4. Copy the configuration.xml (created with the deployment tool) to SkypeRemove.xml or another name of your choosing, in the same directory.
  5. Edit SkypeRemove.xml. Your XML should look something quite close to this (change the Language ID and Product ID as appropriate):
       <Product ID="SkypeforBusinessRetail" >
        <Language ID="en-us" />
     <Display Level="None" />
  6. In PDQ Deploy, create a new package and name it something meaningful.
  7. Add a Command step (Click New Step > Command or Steps and select Command), modify to match your \\server\share choices from above:
    "\\server\share\setup.exe" /configure "\\server\share\SkypeRemove.xml"

    Set the deployment Run As option to Deploy User (Interactive)

  8. Save the package and deploy (right-click the finished package and click Deploy Once). Once you’ve determined Skype for Business has been removed successfully, deploy at will.

Notes and Addenda of Some Import:


  • Error 17002. This error occurs if the Lync.exe process is still running when an uninstall is attempted, specifically the Skype for Business feature (OCT) uninstall.
  • Make certain you are uninstalling the appropriate product as expressed by the Product ID defined by Microsoft. Skype for Business has two Office 2016 options: SkypeforBusinessRetail and SkypeforBusinessEntryRetail.

See Also…
Deploy Office 2016 Using The Microsoft Office Customization Tool
Deploy Office 365
Silently Installing Office 365
Admin Arsenal Live! : Uninstalling Microsoft Office with PDQ Deploy
Admin Arsenal Live! : Adding and Removing Microsoft Office Components
Configuring and Deploying the Microsoft Office Customization Toolkit
Preparing The Office Customization Toolkit For Deployment
Deploy the Office Customization Toolkit Remotely>
Product IDs that are supported by the Office Deployment Tool for Click-to-Run
Office 2016 Deployment Tool
Office 2013 Deployment Tool
Language Identifiers

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