How to see who is online in the Outlook toolbar     

One of the great side-benefits of Instant Messaging and VoIP applications like Skype is that they let you see which of your friends and associates are currently online.

The following steps show you how you can make this information more conveniently visible, by showing which of your Skype contacts is currently online, in the Outlook toolbar. (These steps assume you have Outlook and Skype installed – see Skylook prerequisites for details).

1. If you don’t already have Skylook, download and install it from here.

2. Start Outlook. If you are running Skylook for the first time, you will see the Skylook licensing wizard and the Skylook Welcome wizard. Follow the prompts to ensure you have Skylook set up the way you want.

3. You will notice that Outlook contains an additional toolbar, which contains buttons similar to these:
Skype contacts in the Outlook toolbar

4. By default, the toolbar shows online contacts first, then contacts who are away, not available, then other contacts. (Offline contacts are not shown, unless their corresponding Outlook contact is selected in Outlook). If there are more than four contacts, the extras are shown in the “more” menu (shown as “5 more” above, meaning there are 5 more contacts).

5. To change the order in which contacts are shown, and to configure the toolbar to show more contacts, click the “Options” button in the Skylook toolbar:

Then choose the “Toolbar” tab:
Online Skype contact options

Select your favourite contacts and add them to the “Show these contacts first” list. Alter the “Show X contact presence buttons in the toolbar” to the number of contacts you want to show. To make more room on the toolbar, you can check either or both of the “Hide Captions” checkboxes.

6. After you click OK, the Skylook toolbar will adjust itself so that the people you selected are shown first, if they are online.

7. The presence buttons in the toolbar have dropdown menu options attached to them that you can use to perform various tasks:
Presence menu options

If you have any problems getting this to work, we can help – just email us at for assistance.