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 get instant notifications when someone sends you a message or calls you.

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 remains open like normal—and messages and calls can come in—until you sign out or close it down.

Instructions in this article work for current versions of Skype running on Windows 10, Windows 8, and macOS.

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

Skype for Windows 10 and for Windows 8 can be configured to stop starting automatically with Windows. However, the steps are different depending on how you installed the program.

Windows 10 Skype App

If you obtained Windows 10 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.

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

  1. Select your profile image (it's located in the upper-left corner).

    Skype with the profile setting highlighted
  2. Choose Sign out.

    Skype with the Sign Out button highlighted

    You might also be asked whether to remember your account and app settings on this device. It's up to you how you answer that.

  3. Exit the Skype window.

Normally, when you leave Skype open and you’re logged in, SkypeApp.exe is running in Task Manager. When you close the app without logging out, it remains running so that you can receive notifications. 

However, when you log out of Skype in Windows 10, that process closes down, too, so that you're no longer notified about messages and calls.

If you want to completely close down Skype after logging out, look closely at the notification area on the Windows taskbar. If you see Skype running there even though you exited, right-click the icon and choose Close Skype. You can prevent this from happening in the future by editing an option in the General area of the program's settings.

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

Standard Skype Program

If you installed the standard Skype program in Windows 10 or Windows 8 (through Skype.com), open its 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 remain logged in the next time you open the program.

  1. Select the three-dotted menu (it's located next to your name on the main page).

    Skype with the three-dot menu highlighted
  2. Choose Settings.

    Skype with Settings highlighted
  3. Go to General.

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

    Skype's General settings with the Automatically start Skype switch highlighted
  5. Exit the settings screen.

macOS: Remove Skype From the Login Items

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

  1. Go to the Dock and right-click the Skype icon.

  2. Go to Options.

    Right-click menu in Mac dock with the Options section highlighted
  3. Select Open at Login to remove the checkmark.

    Options menu for the Dock on a Mac with the Open at Login option highlighted

The other way to prevent Skype from opening automatically in macOS is to remove it from the list of startup items in System Preferences.

  1. Open System Preferences.

    System Preferences under a Mac's Apple Menu
  2. Select Users & Groups.

    Users & Groups in Mac System Preferences
  3. Select your username.

    Users & Groups settings on a Mac with a username highlighted
  4. Go to the Login Items tab.

    Users & Groups settings on a Mac with the Login Items heading highlighted
  5. Select Skype.

    Login Items settings on a Mac with Skype highlighted
  6. Select the minus/remove button (it's located at the bottom of the screen).

    Login Items section of Mac Preferences with the minus sign highlighted