The two main causes of being forced away are either that you were online and didn’t respond to messages, or your app has auto-away enabled.

You should only be logged into one Instant Messaging client per agent at any one time. If you connect to us with more than one client at a time, you may end up missing messages which can cause you to be Forced Away.

Olark Force Away

You will receive a message from the Olark Helpdesk saying that you are being forced away when you have received a message from a visitor but have not responded.

Force Away Screenshot

If you do not respond to the initial inbound chat within 5 minutes and no other messages are sent to other visitors, Olark will automatically force you away so you will not miss any more new visitor chats.

When does the timer begin?

  • The first message on any conversation that doesn’t start with [info] starts a 5 minute timer for each agent the message was sent to.

  • Whenever we hear from an agent for any reason (presence update, messaging that visitor, messaging another visitor) we clear the timer.

  • If the timer expires we mark the agent as away and send them a notification that they have been set to away.

Chat client auto-away

The second cause is that your chat program may be setting itself away after a certain amount of time spent idle. These options vary depending on the IM client, but can usually be found in the Preferences or Settings menu.

You can follow the following links for more info about the auto-away feature for the following clients:

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