ShoreTel Communicator On 64 Bit Windows

This is one of those questions I get asked a lot. “Does Shoretel Communicator Work With Windows 7 64 Bit?”. The answer is pretty easy. Yes it does. I’ve got it running on several machines here with just a couple of issues.

I checked my settings to make sure I hadn’t added any compatibility settings or anything. So here’s a rundown of what I’ve got. Your mileage may vary.

I’m running 12.2



ShoreTel Communicator is not running as Administrator. I do have Privilege Authority running on my network with Shoretel.exe being given permission to run in the Administrators group, so that might be a reason.

There are no compatibility settings checked, it just runs and works as far as I can tell.


I’ve run into two issues with Communicator on the 64 bit version of Windows 7.

The first issue is really with Office 2010. I could not get Outlook voice mail integration or contact importing to work. My users don’t really use the Outlook integration so the ones that do I just have it e-mail a wave file. They’re mostly checking it on cell phones, so existing users already had this set up.

The second issue had more to do with installing it. For some reason my workstations didn’t get the package from Group Policy. My Windows 7 32 bit PC’s had no problem with this whatsoever. I really can’t tell if this was a problem with the package, my GPO, Windows or ShoreTel’s installer package. We just installed it on our image and it ran fine. I haven’t run any updates to see if there’s a problem there.

So that’s the easy answer. You can install ShoreTel Communicator on Windows 7 64bit and it will work just fine. The Outlook integration thing might not be a big deal for most people and it’s easy to work around.

If you found this information useful or have any questions feel free to drop me a line here, or on Twitter.



Deploy ShoreTel Communicator With Group Policy

I realized that I didn’t have any instructions on how to push ShoreTel Communicator out through Group Policy even though I talk about it a lot.

Also welcome Redditors! Yeah I know this article was published in 2012, but it’s updated fairly frequently. Thanks for stopping by! 

You’ll find a couple of other processes to do this and they work with varying degrees of success. If you’re running older versions of ShoreTel, it’s a good idea to uninstall Call Manager from your workstations before deploying Communicator.

You might want to read my article on Active Directory Integration and do that first as that will make most of the deployment process through group policy a LOT simpler. It will actually make a lot of things simpler for your day-to-day maintenance of the ShoreTel system.

Please note that newer versions of Communicator need .NET Framework 3.5 or higher. You’ll want to push this update out before attempting to deploy Communicator like this. The install package allegedly installs this but don’t count on it if your users aren’t allowed to install packages.

So on to the process…

Prepping Your Install Files

So first step is to download Communicator.  Go to the following URL and click the “Click Here to install ShoreTel Communicator” link at the top:

http://[your ShoreTel server name]/shorewaredirector/clientinstall

Run the install but do not click the “Next” button for the first time, or any other button. You’ll want to find the MSI file it just extracted. You can do a search on your hard drive for “Shoretel Communicator.msi”. This takes a while, so here’s how to find it faster. Go to the following directory:

C:\users\[username you are now logged in as]\AppData\Local\Temp

You’ll see a bunch of directories that look like this: {B4249ECA-4C17-4CE3-AAC6-5F110F8238D5}. The Communicator MSI file and all the files it needs are located in one of these folders, so you can either click-through them all or do a search in them. Select all these files and copy them.

There are a few options for where to put these files, but basically you just need  a shared folder on your network. I typically make a folder in the “Netlogon” folder on my domain controller called “ShoreTel Communicator”. Paste the files you copied before into this new folder.

You can cancel or finish your ShoreTel Communicator Installation now.

Alternative Way To Find MSI Files

Thanks to Dmitry who commented below with a quicker way to find the MSI files. Here’s what I did to make this work.

Download the setup.exe file for Communicator. Here’s a quicker link to the file:

http://[your ShoreTel server name]/ShoreWareResources/ClientInstall/setup.exe

I like to put it in my C:Temp directory but put it anywhere you want.

Step 1 – Open a command prompt and type cd temp

Step 2 – Type “setup.exe /a”

Step 3 – It will open up the installation program and ask you for a path, type in “C:\Temp” or wherever you want the files to be unzipped to. It will then dump contents of the installation package to that directory. The Shoretel Communicator.msi file will be in the C:\Temp directory.

Deploy ShoreTel Communicator

I’ve done this with both Server 2003 and Server 2008, it works equally well with both. The instructions below are for the 2008 style Group Policy Editor. It’s not much different for 2003. I am assuming at least a basic knowledge of Group Policy here.

  1. Open Group Policy Management under Administrative Tools on your Domain Controller (you can do this remotely if you have these tools installed on your workstation).
  2. Go to whichever OU, or Group Policy for whichever group of users that need the ShoreTel application and Select “Edit”. I do this on a user basis, but some admins will do this on a computer basis, either works.
  3. Under “User Configuration” drill down to Policies -> Software Settings -> Published Applications.
  4. Right click on the white space on the right hand panel and click “New” -> “Package”.
  5. Point it to the MSI file in the Netlogon directory you made before.
  6. Choose between Published, or Assigned. You can manually set this up if you choose advanced. You can refer to this article here for an explanation if you need it:
  7. Click OK, make any changes you need and depending on what you chose, the next time your users log in they should get the software.

I usually Publish the application and reboot all the machines after hours. I will typically send out an e-mail warning about this as it can force a reboot as soon as the user logs in.

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ShoreTel Communicator Not Installing Properly – Fixes

If you’ve got a new ShoreTel system install, there are a few things that can go wrong with installing Communicator on people’s machines. Several problems I’ve run into are the following:

  • ShoreTel Communicator install isn’t writing the registry key. It seems to install fine otherwise.
  • Communicator fails midway through the installation.
  • Communicator demands to have .NET Framework 3.5 installed, but can’t download it.
  • Some other dependency won’t install.
  • Pushing Communicator out through Group Policy doesn’t work.
  • Pushing Communicator out through Desktop Authority (or similar software) doesn’t work.
  • Communicator asks for a password to install.

Most of these problems are not actually problems with ShoreTel Communicator, they’re security policy conflicts. Here’s how to remedy these 99% of the time.

  • Turn off UAC in Vista if you can. This is a big one, it screws up some older versions of the install package. Most of the stuff UAC controls, you can control with group policy. This assumes you have a domain.
  • Try to install Communicator from a local administrator account. Sometimes running it as Administrator won’t cut it, especially if you’ve got roaming profiles and such.
  • Do a Full Uninstall of Communicator. You must be logged in as an Administrator account. I use the local Administrator account when I do this for speed reasons. Here are the steps:

Step 1– Uninstall Communicator the normal way. If this fails, just skip to the next step. If it succeeds, well you need to do the following steps anyway.

Step 2 – Delete the following folder: “C:Program FilesShoreline Communications”. Delete all of it. Use one of those disk wipe utilities if you have to. If ANYTHING is in here, this can cause the install to fail. If you see a Shoreline Teleworks folder here too, get rid of it.

Step 3 – Delete the following registry key: “HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareShoreline Teleworks”. Usually you’ll find one under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREShoreline Teleworks. You may also see a “Shoreware Communications” or similar key. This is usually because of an older install on the computer. Shouldn’t see this with a brand new install.

Step 4 – Go into Control Panel and click on Phone and Modem. You may have to set this up, just entire an area code, the number 1, and the number 9 in the blanks.

Step 5 – Once you have the Phone and Modem thing set up, click on the Advanced tab and make sure to delete any entry here with “ShoreTel” in the name. Normally you will see one entry: “ShoreTel Remote TAPI Service Provider”. If you see two like this, that’s why ShoreTel isn’t installing right, or isn’t working right once installed.

Step 6 – Click OK and Reboot your computer.

Step 7 – Once you’ve done this, log back into the computer under the same local administrator account and re-install Communicator. It should install just fine.

Step 8 – Log into the user’s account, run ShoreTel again and let it finish setting up.

  • Sometimes it’s not Communicator or any security policies but a corrupt user profile. Remove the user profile and many times that will fix the problem as well.

I’ve found that if you get to step 8 of the “Full Uninstall” and it isn’t remembering settings, meaning it won’t write the registry values, that you need to turn UAC off if at all possible.You may need to delete the ShoreTel registry keys from the current user as well. You might have to log in back as an administrator and load that user’s hive if your permissions don’t allow you to do this from their account.

A tool that can help is Privilege Authority from ScriptLogic. That’s cleared up a lot of problems for us. They have a free version that will help you solve this.  There is a ShoreTel Communicator rule in the Community. If you have a 64 bit version of Windows you’ll need to alter the path of where it looks for the program (just add (x86) to the Program Files part of the path).

If you’re upgrading your ShoreTel installation you’ll get some similar problems to above. The Full Uninstall method will clear these up too. One odd problem I’ve found when pushing Communicator through Group Policy or Desktop Authority is that it doesn’t always uninstall the old version correctly. You’ll know this happens when you see two entries for ShoreTel Communicator, and one may or may not have the icon filled in. This requires you to do a Full Uninstall and then delete all the registry keys. After you’ve done this you’ll need a tool like CCleaner to remove any entries in Programs and Features.