So tired of Microsoft’s Walled Garden….


All I want to do is remove Skype for Business from my Office 365 installation and there is simply no way to do that.

I can prevent it from ever starting up, but I cannot remove it completely…

I’m just so tired of not having the ability to control what is and is not installed on my computer.

This is NOT progress.

Comments (16)

16 responses to “So tired of Microsoft’s Walled Garden….”

  1. Paul Thurrott

    This not worth stressing over.

    The reason it's this way is that it's Office 365: Microsoft develops the suite with the understanding that every application is there. This lets them update the applications as a whole and not have to worry about what happens when one or more apps are missing. The cloud parts of Office 365 works similarly. You can't "remove" Exchange Online either.

    But the most important thing to remember is that this doesn't hurt you in the slightest: The Office applications share tons of code and even if you did remove the exe and whatever unique supporting files, you'd probably be looking at some low MB (maybe even KB) of disk space savings.

    • wright_is

      In reply to paul-thurrott:

      With the admin console or the local installation package, you can adjust which components get installed.

      For example we don't install Skype for Business, Access or Publisher, because none of our users need them.

  2. sentinel6671

    I think you need to stop sweating the small stuff and work on other important things in your life. Obsessing about every single bit installed on your computer is so 1992.

    • wright_is

      In reply to sentinel6671:

      But if it is installed, but disabled (cloud / server side) for your business, you just get users moaning at you all the time, because it doesn't work. That is why Microsoft offers at least 2 ways of removing unwanted elements from the local installation. You need to have studied the documentation though.

    • Xatom

      In reply to sentinel6671:

      Um, no. It's my computer my drive space and no I don't want your spyware on it. Thank you very much.

  3. abillimore

    Some people think getting a plate full of food is good value for money. For others it ruins the meal. Walled garden would be the wrong term to use here I think but I understand your point to some extent.

  4. Tony Barrett

    I understand you concern. While others say it's not worth worrying about, what this highlights is the ever growing issue of cloud services taking away your control, and ultimately, that's what it's all about. In Microsoft's case, remember, 'they know best', and it will only get worse. Even if you don't use all those extra features, they will keep adding things you might never use in the hope you add them to your monthly subscription, thus they then increase revenue per user. This is the approach they're taking with Win10 too - basic feature after feature added, in the hope you start paying for the more advanced subscription packages. Offline online 'free' is a good example - fine for the simple stuff, but it leads to Office 365 if you want something more advanced.

    • StevenLayton

      In reply to ghostrider: Sorry, but Microsoft isn't a charity. Like any company, of course they want your money. As others have said, you don't have to use it, and the individual bits tend not to take up too much space.

      If it bothers you too much, the ultimate choice you have is to take your business elsewhere.


        In reply to StevenLayton:

        I agree this is a minor annoyance and I am a control freak, but it's not all my fault. Our company is trying to standardize on Teams now instead of Skype for Business. Teams shouldn't be a separate install by now. Maybe the issue is that it is taking Microsoft too long to bring Teams into the fold.

    • wright_is

      In reply to ghostrider:

      Except you have full control over which elements are installed - or rather the Admin has full control.

  5. Fhm

    The Office Deployment tool supports custom installations of Office 365 (and 2013, 2016, 2019). Microsoft's end user instructions for it aren't great, but they definitely do fully support partial installations of Office 365.

  6. Minke

    Try Linux. You are in control there and do as you please with most distros. Ubuntu even has a "minimal install" option that doesn't include much software at all. You can install exactly what you want and remove what you want. But, I suspect because you are here you want and need Office and all its baggage. Frankly, I find that most features of Office are overkill for what I need and do. Sure, once in awhile there is some Microsoft-specific feature I miss, but most of the time I am very happy with the Linux replacements.

  7. waethorn

    Wow. The comments about "don't stress out about it" are pretty ignorant and unhelpful. Fhm has the correct answer.

    Petri even has some (outdated) information about it here:

    Here's Microsoft's documentation directly:

  8. wright_is

    You can change it in the allowed software, this restricts what is installed. I'm not getting Skype for Business on my installations, because we have disabled it and removed it from the install package.

    Have you tried changing the XML file that says what is installed?

    I don't know if re-running the install package afterwards will remove Skype for Business, or whether you will first have to de-install and then re-install. But adjusting the XML definitely disabled it for us.