New Skype for Windows 10 update brings tweaked UI for PC and Mobile

If you're a fan of the Skype UWP app on Windows 10, we've got some good news for you. Microsoft is now rolling out a new preview version of the app for Insiders in the Release Preview ring that introduces a slightly tweaked UI, likely in preparation for the big Skype refresh that was recently launched on iOS and Android.

The update, while looking similar to the previous version, actually has some noteworthy differences. For example, the hamburger menu is no longer present on either PC or Mobile versions of the app, relying on the back button to go back and fourth between your chat window and list of active conversations on devices with small screens. I personally prefer this UI design, as the hamburger menu seemed oddly out of place in the Skype app.

Furthermore, a number of areas of the app, such as the new conversation UI now display themselves in mini windows, which is a new change over the previous version. The app version is 11.19.805.0 and is available to Insiders in the Release Preview ring now. We're expecting Microsoft to roll out a major redesign of the Skype app for Windows 10 soon, aligning it with the new Skpe experiences on iOS and Android. Hopefully we'll see a bit of Fluent Design too.

Thanks for the tip, @NecrosoftCore!

Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows 10 on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.

  • What do you mean by mini window? Haven't noticed that one in the chat UI
  • Just like picture in picture mode for Films and TV, to video chat while you do something else on the desktop.
    He could also be referring to a smaller sized Skype Window.
  • Still different from the major overhaul on ios and Android.
  • Yeah, and thank goodness for that. I think those changes could be the final nail in the coffin for Skype. It's like the people in charge of Skype strategy keep getting distracted by different things ever since MS bought them. The brand is not going to compete successfully with WhatsApp, SnapChat, FB Messenger even - I think these attempts to make it one of those apps is weird, the brand just doesn't have that "cool" factor behind it. If they feel they need this kind of app they'd be better buying the next one that blows up and goes viral. Like they bought Minecraft when it was already ATR with people of different ages. These changes could just end up alienating their remaining user base. To gain any real traction they'd need to have Samsung install it as the default messaging app with SMS relay - We know W10M doesn't have the user base to increase Skype popularity alone. Come to think of it, Skype is like the W10M of the messaging/social world - Always being rebooted, good things often get removed, mixed messaging about what it should actually be, little to no marketing
  • So "we know w10m doesn't have the user base to increase Skype popularity alone", "they'd need Samsung to install it as their default messaging app" but then you don't want them to make changes to reach the functionality and trending nature of what modern messaging platforms do? You want them to get better by doing nothing? Some people on this site are just old fashioned and time waits for no man! Get with it or get left behind. That's mindset is why Ms has consumer struggles now and consumers run personal computing NOT that old fashioned enterprise/businesses model. Ms needs to cater to the new paradigm and the so called beloved fans need to get with the times or watch the company wither away with along with your aging minds and bodies. It's not about y'all anymore. Face it! It's about survival and you know what group of people will always survive? The young. Y'all die with y'all old ways. Time waits for no man!!
  • No, I'm saying Skype will never achieve that popularity even with the features. Not unless it becomes the default messenger on a popular device. They aren't pushing W10M now, so they'd need it to have all the features and be the default on popular Android devices. iMessage is popular because it's just there on a widely used device. Many people are sick of having 10 different messaging apps on their phone because there's just no point having an extra one unless many people use it.
  • The Skype brand will never be that, especially since they'll get distracted by something else in 6 months. They'd be better to buy the next messaging app that explodes in popularity because MS don't have a good track record of building products that go viral - I don't think the Skype name is capable of competing, they'd have to work a miracle. The app can have every feature of iMessage but who's really going to bother with it if most of their friends are on iPhone anyway. Those who aren't are already on WhatsApp
  • I've misclicked and accidentally reported your comment. Who's idea was to put the report button right next to the upvote button? Horrible UI/UX decision.
  • Well, by the review on ios,and of the new interface, I would say that's a good thing :)
  • Still better than the iOS/Android redesign.
  • Most of my friends and family have left Skype after the big Skype redesign fiasco last week. We have all moved to LINE and WhatsApp
  • Could we be seeing the first signs of an end to that horrible 'hamburger' menu in the design language? Here's hoping...
  • It took them ages to add it to be consistent with other operating systems so I don't think they'll drop it from all their apps...Skype is not the app others will follow it's the app nobody can decide what it should be or how it should look lol. MS used to have really good logic and research in the W8 and WP8.1 days about why the back button works, why the command bar should be at the bottom. They added the hamburger to be more like the competition even though it doesn't make sense in a lot of apps. They have made a more complete hamburger menu rather than JUST providing the raw split view in the newer SDK so they will deffo be leaving it for other developers to use and I think Groove will keep it on PC
  • I NEVER WANTED THEM TO BE CONSISTENT WITH OTHER SYSTEMS!!!! That's why I loved WP8/8.1.  That's also why I DESPISE W10M.
  • I sure do hope so. I'm always having to hold the Windows button to bring it to a reachable position. I don't understand how the super smart computer gurus could possibly think that hamburger placement was a good idea, especially now that phones have gotten larger. The fact that it's industry wide just proves the adage: book smart, common sense dumb. 
  • And ironically they got it right to begin with in WP8.1.
  • The new Skype in Android is just not usable. Crashes every-time I launch it. "Unfortunately, Skype has stopped working" dialogue has been troubling me for weeks! I can only hope that it won't be the case in Windows 10.
  • All friends and family including me have moved on to greener pastures. We are using LINE which offer apps for all platforms (yes including W10 and Windows phones).
    It is such a better experience and wondered why I was stuck in Skype for so long.
  • I'm on the Fast ring on W10 mobile, should I not get the update as well?
  • As written, only Release Preview Ring....
  • I only have the option of Fast and Slow on my phone. However, Fast and Slow rings are before Release Preview Rings in terms of then updates are usually released. If it's only for Release Preview, why skip the Fast and Slow rings this time?
  • Because the Fast and Slow rings are currently not getting app updates so that they can test the new inbox experience as a new user/installer would experience it.
  • New inbox... Like for Mail? 👀
  • No, sorry. "In-box" as in what's "in the box" on a clean install.
  • The term is more "out of box experience". Initial setup and stuff
  • Yes, that was my typo in the first comment. The "in-box apps" (the phrase I intended to use) are the ones you get during the out-of-box experience because they are "in the box". That's why the Insiders aren't getting updates right now.
  • wow a new inbox for outlook? big fail for MSFT
  • I was able to get through the Reddit post.
    Some one linked the appx link.
    I wasn't able to install it successfully, but once I deleted skype and installed through store again, the new version was installed.
    I'm on fast ring as well
  • Which subreddit?
  • Also there is now the ability to give an emoji status for received chat messages - please add this to the article. It is pretty nice actually. And also you can now finally share stuff to Skype via the Win10 share system. A really good update imho.
  • I truly hope MS will abandon the mess that is Skype on Andriod/iOS, and keep this as the standard. The overwhelming negative reactions of the Android/iOS users should be enough to kill this abomination of a Skype monstrosity.... And get some people fired... ;)
  • From what I know, the majority of Canadians are leaving Skype and BBM as we speak. I have also closed my Skype account and moved to LINE.
  • Hahahahahahahahaha aha ha hahaha!!!! REALLY? The back button???? The same back button that they have been reducing functionality for - for years?? I STILL can't "back" out of a UWP app on desktop, but it'll be a key navigation feature for Skype? If only "back" was utilised in desktop the whole Windows 8/10 environment would be a delight for the "5ft experience" (I.e. a remote control). I'm just going to hide under a rock.
  • What? It still works the same way for me, you're stuff is broken dude lol 😅
  • Can you use the back button to return to start? (i.e. "back out")
  • Are you talking about Desktop? Desktop UWP apps use back button incorporated to the app itself by the developer not the operating system. It will only navigate within the app. Windows mobile has an operating system level back button and it works fine. There's no point in having an OS level back button in a window managed environment.
  • Windows 10 also has a back button in tablet mode. It works exactly the same as W10M.
  • Yes, desktop with a MCE remote. The back button has never allowed this function on any UWP/modern app I've tried. It allows [back] within an app, but not out to the start menu.
    I will test again based on your (and Shaheed's) assertions.
  • I need a transparent live tile at first. 😁😎
  • I just wish they would make Skype usable for messaging on W10M. I keep giving it a chance and always end up reverting back to the Messaging app after a week or too. Skype is still too clunky. It takes too much time to select recipients or to attach a picture. Add that it still isn't integrated into the Share Charm and I just can't see what the benefit is to using it. Even the multi device sync is hit or miss. Come on MS, you can do better!
  • After all these years its quite obvious Microsoft CAN'T do better.
  • Hope to see the desktop version recieving the new UI updates aswell with 8.0
  • It's not available for Windows 10 Mobile 🙄
  • It is available, but to the Release Preview Ring. Fast & Slow Ring Insiders are not getting it at the moment. But I read formal user here that uninstalling the app and reinstalling should get the new version (for fast/slow ring)
  • I'm not sure if you're referring to me, but yes that's what I did and received the new version. It is faster to open now and general performance better.
  • Why is this refresh rolled out on other platforms first makes no sense at all
  • I was wondering the same thing lol
  • No more swipe to delete thread on Skype for iPhone. It's the most illogical update I've gotten in years on that platform. It's as if they're going out of their way to be different, and not different in a great way... I almost never send files in Skype. I chat and video call. How about supporting standard emoji without sending [?] boxes for many of them?
  • Also, since updating Skype on my iPhone, I can no longer be found when someone searches my Skype Name in contact search. I've tried it myself. It's impossible for people to send me contact requests, even if they know my user name. Randomly don't get notifications for messages. It's completely broken. I'm looking for an alternative solution (Hangouts, maybe).
  • Don't forget you can now share to skype as well!
  • Bring on the new Skype experience! Let's weed out these psuedo-enthusiasts off of the platform just for them to pick up another platform that will emulate Microsoft's innovation years later. 8.1 was genius ui but the old fashioned stale face long in the tooth, "in too old to learn anything new" whiners slow down development. Half weren't ever going to buy most of the products or services they complain about in the first place. Where you going to go? Ios? Have you seen 8.1?! Android? We know who's design language and functionality they emulate. Let them go. Bring that new Skype experience!
  • I like this new Skype experience they released on iOS. Its a damn shame nobody uses Skype anymore
  • Alot of Recruiting firms use Skype to do initial interviews.
  • I have it since yesterday and I'm using L950 / fast ring.
  • T.Hanks man! You da real MVP.
  • Who the hell still uses skype? You are not even allowed to remove a conversation. Ridiculous app. Skype is dead.
  • Alot of HR departments use them for employee interviews
  • Terrible design, can't delete conversation and forsing people to use it if we want to sync sms from phone? No.
  • Since I got this new version of Skype, Skype no longer auto-starts when Windows starts, so I'm not receiving calls in Windows 10 unless I turn it on manually. Can't find a start-up option in the new settings either. Anyone know what to do to get this new version to start automatically? Thanks.