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How to stop Skype from starting automatically when booting Windows 10?

I can't find such an option, either in the Skype app settings or in the Task Manager > Startup tab.

  • Try utilizing one of Microsoft's tools like Autoruns. It will show you everything that could potentially startup on your system, and allow you to disable it if you wish. – Run5k Jan 23 '18 at 16:43
  • See my answer Want to delay startup of program but can't find it in Task Scheduler - it lists 17 different ways programs can be started and several programs that can be used to find the startup location. – DavidPostill Jan 23 '18 at 16:46
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    Autoruns does not contain an entry for Skype, and Msconfig -> Startup tab contains only a link to Task Manager. I'm hoping not to have to look in all 17 places to find out how to disable Skype... – dr_ Jan 23 '18 at 16:48
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    With the Skype app open, navigate to Tools > Options. Highlight the General settings section on the upper-left, uncheck the option to Start Skype when I start Windows on the right and click the Save button. – Run5k Jan 23 '18 at 16:59
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    If you are utilizing the relatively new Skype UWP app, this answer from Microsoft may help: How do I stop Skype from auto start when starting Windows 10? – Run5k Jan 23 '18 at 17:42
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Preventing the classic Skype application from starting

With the classic Skype application window open, do the following:

  1. Navigate to Tools > Options.
  2. Highlight the General settings section on the upper-left.
  3. Uncheck the option to Start Skype when I start Windows on the right.
  4. Click the Save button.

Skype - General Settings


Preventing Skype for Windows 10 (Skype UWP) from starting

On the other hand, if this is the Skype UWP app those options won't be available. Based upon a similar question on the Microsoft Answers web page, their Skype Community Moderator explained what needs to be done:

The new Microsoft Skype for Windows 10 (Skype UWP) application has never been present in the Startup tab. Windows apps are not managed the same way as a Win32 application. The classic Skype for Windows Desktop is a Win32 application, Skype UWP is not.

If you close your computer without signing out of the Skype UWP application, then on next computer boot, Skype will auto run in the background. To maximize Skype UWP you will just need to click on the application icon.

If you prefer not to be signed in automatically on Skype for Windows 10, you can sign out from the app. We won't sign you in automatically after that.

In other words, Skype UWP users simply need to logoff from within the app to prevent it from starting automatically during a subsequent Windows 10 login.

As a potentially viable alternative to the Skype Community Moderator's advice, you can turn off the background app functionality for Skype. Navigate to the following location:

Start > Settings > Privacy  

Ensure that you have selected Background apps on the left-hand side, scroll down on the right until you find the entry for Skype and change the slider to Off.

Background apps

That being said, in addition to the obvious advantages there are minor drawbacks to using this method:

Bear in mind that there’s a downside to this. If you prevent the Alarms app from running in the background, for example, any alarms you set won’t go off. If you prevent the Mail app from running in the background, it won’t notify you of new emails. Apps normally run in the background to update their live tiles, download new data, and receive notifications. If you want an app to continue performing these functions, you should allow it to continue running in the background. If you don’t care, feel free to prevent the app from running in the background. You can still use the app normally, but you may have to wait for it to fetch new data after you launch it.


Uninstalling the classic Skype application

Taking it a step further, if you want remove the application entirely, the classic Skype Win32 application will be listed within the Programs and Features applet in the Control Panel. Simply highlight the Skype entry in the Name column and select the Uninstall button near the top.

Skype Classic Uninstall


Uninstalling Skype for Windows 10 (Skype UWP)

In contrast, the Skype UWP app won't be found in Programs and Features. As a result, if you want remove that particular version, navigate to the following location:

Start > Settings > Apps  

Ensure that you have selected Apps & features on the upper-left, scroll down on the right and left-click Skype to select Uninstall.

Notably, if the Skype UWP application is already running, before attempting the Uninstall you may need to first select Advanced options, then choose Terminate to "Immediately terminate this app and its related processes." After that, select Uninstall as desired.

Skype UWP Uninstall


Additional reading: Download Skype for More Features Than Windows 10’s Built-In Version

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    I've signed out of Skype and will be signing off/on each time. Unbelievable that Microsoft removed this essential option. Very typical of Microsoft trying to simplify a software by ditching useful features and making it cumbersome to use instead. – dr_ Jan 30 '18 at 8:25
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    This is the kind of behavior (= force the user) that I hate so much that (1) I've uninstalled skype (2) for all my clients meetings I'm now using Teamviewer. Microsoft simply killed skype (not to talk about the ads that are not even targeted to my profile... what a shame). – Olivier Pons Feb 2 '19 at 22:16
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    Not true! "Skype UWP users simply need to logoff from within the app to prevent it from starting automatically during a subsequent Windows 10 login" Not true. I signed out, restart, Skype loads up again albeit signed off. – Echeban Mar 28 '19 at 10:59
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    Then, I followed the other route suggested: Start > Settings > Apps > Background Apps > Skype> OFF. The same thing, after a restart, Skype starts again. How can I get rid of Skype w/o uninstalling it? I want to open Sky only when I need it. – Echeban Mar 28 '19 at 11:11
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    Sneaky Microsoft has remove the option from BOTH Task Manager and Skype's General Settings as of version 8.46.0.60 (WTF is "Application version 14.46.60.0"???) – ericn Jun 10 '19 at 15:39
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EDIT

I just realized there is a difference between "Skype for Windows 10" and "Skype for Windows" UNINSTALL the one for windows 10 (its the Store App version) INSTALL the Skype for Windows via the drop-down on the skype home page. You then have options to disable the start-up and running in the background as you would expect.

Original post

Just another solution to simulate not starting automatically with the Windows APP style skype application.

  • Create yourself a batch file somewhere, like in your profile or documents.
  • Add one line to it --> taskkill /f /IM skype*
  • Create a shortcut to it and place it in the "Startup" folder of your profile.

This will then terminate the skype app and both background apps just after you login to your profile.

You will still be able to launch it (and you won't need to login again)

I know this is not a solution but it prevents you from having to remember to sign out and then manually sign back in when you want to use it.

Also, it gives you a way to terminate the app via the shortcut when you're done with it regardless of you logging out)

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