Office 365 has Features That You Can Only Configure by Using Windows PowerShell


Topic Last Modified: 2013-12-13

The Office 365 Admin center was never meant to be all things to all people. Instead, it was meant to be most things to most people. In other words, the Admin center was designed so that the typical administrator could use the tool to carry out the most common management tasks. By definition, that means that there are some tasks that can’t be completed by using the Admin center.

To better explain this, let’s take a look at the Lync Online Admin center. The Lync Online Admin center provides a few options for managing meeting settings. Actually, what it does is allow you to create custom meeting invitations:

Lync Online custom meeting invitations.

That’s a very nice feature: it helps add a touch of personalization and professionalism to meeting invitations.

However, there’s more to meeting configuration settings than simply creating custom meeting invitations. For example, by default meetings allow:

  • Anonymous users to gain automatic entrance to each meeting.

  • Attendees to record the meeting.

  • All users from your organization to be designated as presenters when they join the meeting.

Are these things you need to worry about? That depends on the needs of your organization. For now, what’s important is the fact that these features are entirely under your control: you can enable or disable them as you see fit … provided that you use Windows PowerShell. These additional meeting configuration settings cannot be managed by using the Admin center.

And so it’s Windows PowerShell to the rescue. For example, here’s a Windows PowerShell command (one that requires you to install the Lync Connector module) that disables the three settings we listed a minute ago:

Set-CsMeetingConfiguration -AdmitAnonymousUsersByDefault $False -AllowConferenceRecording $False -DesignateAsPresenter "None"

That’s all you have to do. If you change your mind and want to restore the default settings then just run this command:

Set-CsMeetingConfiguration -AdmitAnonymousUsersByDefault $True -AllowConferenceRecording $True -DesignateAsPresenter "Company"

Is this as simple as selecting or deselecting a couple of checkboxes in the Admin center? Maybe not. But, then again, it’s not exactly rocket science, either.

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