How can I run multiple Skype clients on Mac OS X?

migrated from stackoverflow.com Apr 16 '11 at 14:18

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11 Answers 11


Here's a solution that doesn't require sudo or have any of the other issues described elsewhere:

open -na /Applications/Skype.app --args -DataPath /Users/$(whoami)/Library/Application\ Support/Skype2

Replace "Skype2" with as many numbers as you need instances of skype and go nuts.

  • 1
    I don't know why you answer is not the accepted, but still - it seems the proper solution for me. Everything is is one user context and without sudo. – Jevgeni Smirnov Sep 17 '14 at 6:45
  • 2
    @JevgeniSmirnov It's not accepted because I was about 3 years late to the party. Feel free to tell your friends though! – Matthew Scharley Sep 18 '14 at 9:01
  • 2
    This is the best, the cleanest and the proper elegant solution that avoids any race conditions. +1 – KoCMoHaBTa Dec 2 '14 at 10:16
  • 1
    I urge everyone to upvote this answer. Comparing to sudo/su solutions, it has copy-n-paste working correctly. – alx Oct 5 '15 at 12:43
  • 6
    stopped working after latest Skype update :( – a4arpan Dec 3 '17 at 2:23

Run Skype.app, then use this command in terminal:

sudo /Applications/Skype.app/Contents/MacOS/Skype /secondary

Tested on Mac OS X Lion 10.7.4 and Skype

  • 5
    This is the real best answer. You retain your own sound settings and can copy an paste properly with this method. Not so on the other one. – wizonesolutions Sep 18 '12 at 16:33
  • Working fine on 10.8.4. Many thanks! – Sveatoslav Circel Jun 24 '13 at 16:07
  • checked on Yosemite (10.10.1), working fine – Mani Dec 3 '14 at 13:15
  • 4
    As stated below, it's not smart to run Skype as root. Use any the method suggested by Matthew Scharley instead. – t.mikael.d Dec 31 '14 at 19:27
  • Works on the latest skype! – Sparrowcide Dec 19 '17 at 8:22

It's not easy. Skype actively prevents opening additional instances using open -na Skype and /Applications/Skype.app/Contents/MacOS/Skype in Terminal.

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You need to launch a Skype instance, then go to ~/Library/Application Support/Skype, and delete the files Skype.pid. Then open Terminal and execute one of the commands above (I recommend the open one).

Remember: The Skype developers actively work toward preventing you from doing that, so some things might go terribly wrong if you do this. But, I was able to log into my account twice. No idea about anything else.

  • 1
    This hack is working good but after some time, my two Skype instances are becoming mad and use all my proc !! I need to kill them manually to avoid damaging my proc ... "Things might go terribly wrong", it actually make sense for me ;) So I have still no idea how to run 2 Skype instance 'properly' ... Some precisions, I am using Mac OS Lion & Skype – paco Dec 5 '11 at 10:01

The command line switches have changed, I found the new ones on this page. Copying the format from Matthew's excellent answer, we have the following command:

open -na /Applications/Skype.app --args --secondary --datapath="/Users/$(whoami)/Library/Application\ Support/Skype2"

Replace "Skype2" with as many numbers as you need instances of skype and go nuts.

  • Perfect solution. Thanks for sharing. Worked great with new skype – Faisal Sarfraz Jun 26 '18 at 16:49

I have done the following workaround to run multiple instances of Skype on facebook.

Make sure you have more than one user created on Mac, if not then you can create one now. Open Terminal.app from Applications>utilites>terminal Type the following commands.

$ su username

Note: Replace with the name second user on you Mac Now you are logged into second user via terminal. All we need is to start Skype APP for the second user, which can be done by typing the following set of commands

bash-3.2$ cd /Applications/Skype.app/Contents/MacOS
bash-3.2$ ./Skype

To see it live you can watch video explaining this on my blog post. Hope that helps.

  • Welcome to Super User - We generally prefer you include details and not just links. Could you EDIT your answer to add more information from the link? – Simon Sheehan Dec 19 '11 at 20:36
  • That's done, please check :) – Sachin Khosla Dec 20 '11 at 6:24

I recommend to use Daniel Beck method.

Using sudo is asking you to run Skype as an administrator. If something happens to your Skype package like it was disassembled by some hacker, running as an administrator or super user is not a good idea. Deleting the .pid file actually works and has no problem. Skype runs by checking multiple instances by checking the .pid file under ~/Library/Application Support/Skype/Skype.pid (as the file).

Also, if you're a developer, you might be wondering why port 80 is not working, that's because Skype is using it when calling your port 80 from localhost or using your IP v4 address. Skype somehow blocks it since it's running via administrator or super user account.

The above works, though it won't allow you to run simultaneous account at the same time, same machine, same user account but that's fine, obviously.

So to make up the command, this can be done by,

  1. Click your Skype somehow in Dock or using Finder
  2. open your terminal and type, "cd ~/Library/Application Support/Skype"
  3. remove the .pid file by, "unlink Skype.pid"
  4. run, in your terminal, "open -nW '/Application/Skype.app' &"

using the command "/Application/Skype.app/Contents/MacOS/Skype &" works too but if you close your terminal, the Skype too will exist, as the session will be hold by the current session of your terminal. So using "open" command is perfect.


Matthew Scharley provided the best answer. With his method, you keep the same account but separated settings for the 2 accounts, so auto-login will work fine. This is not the case with the .pid file delete method.

If you're using the terminal, the following 2 aliases will help you start the 2 skype instances in any order:

alias skype='open -n "/Applications/Skype.app"'
alias skype2='open -na "/Applications/Skype.app" --args -DataPath /Users/$(whoami)/Library/Application\ Support/Skype2'

You can also create 2 automator scripts if you want to start these commands from spotlight.


I use this command:

skype --dbpath=~/.Skype-other/

This works for me on linux; I assume the option is also available on OS X.


Now there is a new way:

  1. Install FluidApp (search for it your self)
  2. (Optional) Get a license from FluidApp if you want to run more than one fluid Skype Apps
  3. Create a fluid app
  4. Open the newly created Skype@YourOrg app
  5. (if you did 2) Preferences → Securities → Cookie Storage → Separate from Safari. This will allow you to create Skype@OtherOrg fluid apps.
  6. Login to Skype, now you can start to chat
  7. If you want A/V conference, flow the instruction install Skype for Web plugin
  • This is not going to help what OP is trying to do – pun Oct 12 '15 at 18:36
  • But it achieves the same thing with better security. – Miao ZhiCheng Oct 12 '15 at 21:51

Since the latest Skype update ( I had to merge 3 steps from others users to work (I don't know if is the best solution because the steps are kind of tricky (special the last one) but...it is working. If you have/know a better solution please say)

  1. Create Application from Script Editor (steps Daniel Mettler) but you must change the content to the command line above (from ZaaiM)

do shell script "sudo /Applications/Skype.app/Contents/MacOS/Skype /secondary"

(also you can close the script application after skype launch)

tell application "Application_Script_Editor_Name"


end tell

  1. To remove the error "sudo: no tty present and no askpass program specified' error?", you must grant the user to use the application without prompting for the password (from nicdaniau)

sudo visudo

(add at the end but replace "add_your_username")

"add_your_username" ALL = NOPASSWD: /Applications/Skype.app/Contents/MacOS/Skype /secondary

  1. (Optional) Add as Startup Item

System Preferences > User & Groups > Login Items tab > + (plus) button


I'm currently using a slight variation of the accepted answer (on Mac):

open -na Skype --args --secondary --datapath="/Users/$(whoami)/Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Skype for Desktop/Profile1"

Source: https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/skype/forum/skype_windesk-skype_startms-skype_signms/how-can-i-run-multiple-skype-812014-accounts-at/c64540e4-20b5-4a78-a039-fd8ab2c59624

  • And what happens after you use that variation, does it work? Also, this question has no accepted answer, so which answer is it? – Pierre.Vriens Sep 17 '18 at 16:27
  • Yes, it does work very well. I'm currently using my personal Skype account and this second work only Skype account with this method. Also, you're right, there's no accepted answer but it should (at least at the time it was written), I'm referring to #48 by Matthew Scharley. – deblike Sep 19 '18 at 16:08

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