How to Stop Skype From Starting Automatically

It's really easy to prevent Skype from launching when your computer starts

By default, Skype opens automatically each time your computer starts and you log in to your user account. This happens so that you can always get instant notifications when someone sends you a message or calls you.

However, you might not like to have Skype always running — maybe you don’t want alerts all the time, or your computer starts too slowly when Skype opens at the same time. You can stop Skype from auto-starting in Windows or macOS in just a few simple steps.

When you disable Skype on startup, you have to manually open it the first time you want to use it after starting your computer. Once it’s open, it will remain open like normal — and messages and calls can come in — until you sign out or close it down.

Windows: Sign Out or Change Skype's Auto-Start Settings

Both Skype for Windows 10 and for Windows 8 can be configured to stop starting automatically with Windows. However, depending on how you installed the program, the steps for disabling the auto-start feature is different.

Windows 10 Skype App

If you’re a Windows 10 user who obtained the program from the Microsoft Store, you can’t technically disable Skype on startup. However, you can log out of the program to close it down and prevent all notifications.

Screenshot showing how to log out of Skype in Windows 10 to stop Skype from autorunning

Here’s how to log out of the Skype app in Windows 10:

  1. Click your profile image on the upper left-hand corner.

  2. Click or tap Sign out at the bottom of the pop-up window.

  3. Skype will exit automatically.

Normally, when you leave Skype open and you’re logged in, SkypeHost.exe and SkypeApp.exe will both be running in Task Manager. When you close the app without logging out, SkypeHost.exe will remain running so that you can still receive notifications. 

However, when you log out of Skype in Windows 10, the SkypeHost.exe process closes down, too, so that not only will you no longer get notified about messages and calls, but the program will shut down.

The SkypeHost.exe process might start back up when you log back into Windows after a reboot, but the program will not log you in because you logged out the last time you used it.

Standard Skype Program

Screenshot showing how to stop Skype from starting automatically in Windows 10 and Windows 8

If you installed the standard Skype program in Windows 10 or Windows 8 (via Skype.com), open the Skype settings to disable the auto-start feature.

Unlike the Windows 10 method above which requires a sign off, when you use these steps to disable Skype from automatically starting, you will remain logged in the next time you open the program.

  1. Click or tap the three-dotted menu next to your name on the main page.

  2. Choose Settings.

  3. Go to General.

  4. Toggle Automatically start Skype to the off position (the button will turn grey).

  5. Exit the settings screen.

macOS: Remove Skype From the Login Items

There are a couple ways to disable autorun for Skype on a Mac. The first, and easiest, method is to do so from the Dock.

Screenshot showing how to stop Skype from starting automatically in macOS
  1. Right-click the Skype icon from the Dock.

  2. Go to Options.

  3. Click Open at Login to remove the checkbox.

The other way to prevent Skype from opening automatically in macOS is by removing it from the list of startup items in System Preferences. This method is handy not only for stopping Skype from opening automatically but also for viewing and disabling other startup programs.

Screenshot showing how to remove Skype from the list of startup items in macOS
  1. Open System Preferences.

  2. Click Users & Groups.

  3. Click your user name.

  4. Open the Login Items tab.

  5. Click Skype.

  6. Click the minus/remove button at the bottom of the screen.