Appear Offline is an option that all are used to in the public IM clients like Windows Live, Yahoo etc. Some administrators did enable it for their staff in OCS 2007 & 2007 R2 as well. A group policy setting was necessary to configure this status for all the staff, while a registry edit did the job for a single user (maybe an IT administrator) in OCS 2007 R2.
The “appear offline” status is not exposed in Lync 2010 client by default. The ones that are available out of the box are Available, Busy, Do not disturb, Be right back, Off work & Appear away.
Group policies are no longer used to configure settings for Lync clients. They have been replaced by Lync Client Policies (CsClientPolicy). There is a default policy configured as part of the installation, which doesn’t expose the “Appear Offline” status.
Hence, we can either edit the default policy or configure a new one (New-CsClientPolicy) to expose the features we need. In order to configure the appear offline status, run the following command (assuming that you have just the default policy);
Get-CsClientPolicy | Set-CsClientPolicy –EnableAppearOffline:$true
The user has to log off and log back in to see the change immediately.