Older versions of Skype's desktop app will stop working on March 1

If you're using an older version of Skype's desktop app, you'll want to upgrade soon. In a new blog post (opens in new tab) promoting improvements coming to the app, the Skype team has also announced that some older versions of its Windows and Mac desktop apps will no longer to allow you to sign in after March 1.

From Microsoft:

Because we want to provide our users with the best possible Skype experience, necessary changes must be made along the way. So, beginning March 1, users running older versions of Skype for Windows desktop (7.16 and below) or Skype for Mac (7.0 to 7.18) will no longer be able to sign in. If you're one of those users, all you'll need to do is download the new update. For more information on which devices and operating systems Skype currently supports, please check our support site.

As Microsoft notes in the post, the move is a part of Skype's transition from a peer-to-peer infrastructure to a "modern, mobile-friendly cloud architecture." Essentially, that allows Microsoft to keep improving performance and adding features like mobile group video calling and cloud file sharing. While the post doesn't mention any of Skype's mobile apps, it's likely we'll see older versions of those impacted at some point as well.

Keep in mind this is only for the desktop version of the app, and all you have to do to keep using it is update to the latest version. If you're running Windows 10, you can also give the Skype Preview universal app (opens in new tab) a try as well.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl

40 Comments
  • And the Skype preview app is screwing up Outlook.com. So, good progress 👎. Ah...what ever....
  • How so?
  • There are many problems.
    Just an example. My brother is a contact in Outlook.com. Also in Skype-preview. My brother got a new mobile with a new number. So, I deleted - in Outlook - the old number and replaced it with his new number. But, after some time, the old number in Outlook is back and I have a new contact in Outlook with my brothers name but without any number.
    Skype overrules Outlook, so it seems.
    So, my brother is mentioned twice in Outlook. 1 time with the wrong number and 1 time without any number. I deleted Skype from my PC and 950 and now I don't have those problems. Again, this is just one problem Skype preview is causing. I don't know about people in the US but on Microsoft Community in The Netherlands and Germany this problem is mentioned many times.
  • That...sounds like a pretty minor issue in the greater scheme of things.
  • It is just one example.
  • Would Settings\Filter contact list in People app do any help to you? There you can uncheck Skype Preview. Hopefully that would help.
  • Allready did, didn't help.
  • Had the EXACT same thing happen.
  • @Gerard Corbier: You are right. The damned App has made me to delete my contact unintentionally due to what you described above. I later realised I have no contact, and was wandering what happened. Another issue is sending or receiving SMS message. After installing/decoupling Skype from SMS, the message App does not notify you about an incoming SMS anymore. You have to constantly open the app to see if there are new messages. When you couple Skype preview app to the SMS app again, you start getting SMS alert again, but then, you can no longer send text messages over Skype preview. This is happening to me on a Lumia 950 dual sim, and I have never installed any insider version on the gadget ever.
  • Maybe you need to set Messaging as your default SMS application. Just an idea you could try if you haven't yet.
  • I agree. The way skype handles contacts is terrible, confusing and chaotic.. Every time you send an SMS from a contact not in outlook, it creates an OL contact. If you add a phone number on a skype contact, it creates an OL contact with the number only, even if you have a contact in outlook already, multiple times in some cases. I found i had like 5-6 contacts with the same number in my address book, all linked together. If one of your contacts adds his number crazy things happens when it syncs to your address book.
    I think they should *at least* write a post to explain thoroughly HOW the app handles this mess once for all so we all know what to expect.
  • Yep, that's also a problem with Skype. Question is: is it a Skype problem or Outlook problem? Did you try deleting a Twitter contact in Outlook? You can't. I hear, I don't use Facebook, but you also can't delete a FB contact in Outlook.
  • Go to contacts and at the very top will say "showing" and after that in your accent color will say "All" or " Only with number" touch on the words in your accent color and a new screen will pop up. There you will find a list of where you want your phone numbers to come from. It will have a box with a check in it and after Outlook. Then Skype and maybe Facebook and I even have Telegram. Just uncheck the Skype box and all Skype numbers will disappear, same if you uncheck Facebook. It's not the phone it's you.
  • Not only outlook. Also microphone and -drivers on tablet PC's.
  • @jbappie, did you report your hardware config to MS or the problem to the manufacturer so they are aware? It's definitely not a universal problem. On my tablet and laptop, I just use the built-in mic, speakers, and camera, but all those work fine (2 different computers). On my desktop, I use a USB mic run through a mixer and an external USB WebCam (an old MS Lifecam Cinema) and the speakers connected to the built-in motherboard sound card. That seems a relatively complex configuration and I've never had any problems. I appreciate that the newer version of the Skype Preview app allow me to select the mic and speakers to use within the app, in case I want to switch to headphones, while still having other sound go through the speakers (though you can also do this by setting the Default Audio device to be different from the default Communication device for the whole system).
  • Good news - for security alone, people should really keep their apps updated.
  • I don't even know what version I have, but I'll open it to update sometime.
  • Day 497 of #Nutella hiding his Skype mess under the ridiculous title of "Preview". For the love of god, this and phone messaging should have been left combined and it should have been perfect by now. Nothing better than getting my text messages on my laptop and being able to respond. This new setup is a glitch, bogged down mess.
  • Dont worry, it should be out of preview in the next 1 to 15 years :p
  • I've said it before and ill say it again, under Nutella they love to label everything preview or beta then cry "no foul!"
  • @missionsparta, SMS messaging in Skype on Windows Phone 10 and via SMS link to PC works great for me, but I did have to re-sync my phone and PCs a few times. It seemed to lose the sync between them and require re-set up a few times. That said, the last time I had to do that was about 2-3 weeks ago, with no problems since. I think when they added the validation code, the changed the way the devices sync, which broke connections for people, but now it seems to be stable.
  • 7.16? Seems fair, given current version is 7.32 I think
  • So on that day Skype on Windows Phone 8.1 will stop working?
  • Windows phone had stopped working period.
  • And yet, Skype belongs to Microsoft, while it is going to work on Android 4.0.3. Now...
    Android 4.0.3 was released on October 18, 2011, while
    Windows Phone 8.1 was released on April 14, 2014, and Windows Phone 8.0 was released on October 29, 2012. Just saying.
  • Skype belonging to Microsoft is an Alibi ownership. The Skypist get to do their thing. If Microsoft has not bought Skype from eBay, you wouldn't have had an App for Windows Phone at all. That you got an app, Microsoft had to practically throw away 8 billion dollars out of the Windows.
  • Stop being an apologist of MS. No wonder WP is in shambles
  • They even don't care about their Android app either. It's too heavy, and on Android one cannot change the notification sound. The default notification is too silent.
    We have two disappointments here - they don't solve issues on their Android app, plus they are dumping their wp8.1 users.
    Later nobody will use Skype just like very little people use Internet Explorer.
  • English?
  • Fixed those typos.😊
  • It's not that the Skype Team can't update their WP8.1 app with the new protocols, it's that they don't want to. Plus, the WP7.5-8.1 Skype app has always been a disaster.
  • Skype for WP never worked lol.
    Anyway, if you build an app for Android 6, it's quite easy to get it to work with 2.3.3 (there are compatibility libraries released with each API).
    As Windows 10 ditched Silverlight in favor of UWP, they can't do that, and maintaining that app for WP8 is useless now (people should have migrated to 10 by now)
  • Skype Preview is now much more stable than the desktop app (which isn't saying much) so I use it exclusively. Would be nice if Microsoft didn't keep backpedalling on moves to unite sms and Skype messaging.... Sending a sms reply from a keyboard was brilliant while it lasted, with combined Skype and phone conversations.
    Morons. They need more visionaries like Panos Panay who have a strong passion to push boundaries and challenge expectations.
  • You're lying. Anyone who uses Skype regularly knows how terrible that Preview is. I use Skype to teach English to foreigners and do language exchanges (to learn other languages). The Preview is literally useless. The Desktop App is the only way to get anything done, because the Preview freezes ALL THE TIME. The Video will still transmit, but you can't send any IM, or get any IMs, etc. I could reproduce this by trying to click on a link sent to me 100% of the time. Everytime a language partner would send me a link and I clicked it, the Preview App would freeze for over 10 minutes. I had to use my phone to chat during a session because of this. It's unusable. I've literally never had the Skype Desktop App freeze, crash, or glitch out on me. Ever. Not on Windows 10 and not on macOS. And that's ignoring the obvious feature and convenience disparity, like it's inability to keep a small video visible and on top of everything else when the main app isn't visible (which is a huge issue on smaller laptop screens, especially with lower resolution displays). I'm literally at the point where I'm not accepting any new partners or people who need help unless they can use FaceTime (which I can easily use with an iCloud Alias, without giving out my "real" address), because I'm not seeing the point anymore. Also, the Message Synching in the Windows 10 Preview for Skype is the absolute worse of any platform they support - mobile or desktop. It's extremely slow, and sometimes you get notifications but the messages themselves do not show up at all. It's all sorts of ridiculousness. And yes, I'm aware that "lying" is a strong word... But to say that the Desktop Skype app is not stable is an absolute fallacy. It is as Stable as Windows 10 itself. To state that the Skype Preview is now "much more" stable than the Desktop App is a complete fabrication. It's lying to push people to use a ****** UWP because you're toting the party line. The Skype Preview UWP is complete dog **** on Windows 10. I don't recommend anyone use it over the Desktop App. It's beyond terrible, and certainly not reliable if you need to use it for anything important, especially when you're working across multiple time zones.
  • Yes, wp8.1 Skype has better video call quality, and it's more reliable. And now we have preview version, and no regular one...
  • @n8ter#AC, if you're having those problems, it sounds like you must have a compatibility issue that you should report to MS. I have NEVER had any problems like that across desktop and laptop/tablet computers and two Windows Phones (mine and my wife's). I now much prefer the Preview version for the automotic updates, lower resource demands, and Dark Mode. I use Skype both for text (including the SMS sync'd with my phone, to see my wife's texts to me throughout the day), audio for group calls, and a few weekly video calls (just one-on-one's though, I don't currently do any group video calling).
  • @Bob Sled, SMS in Skype Preview works for me (1 phone, 3 connected computers). It does seems to lose connection every once in a while and need to be re-sync'd on both phone and computer, but it's been working since the last time I did that without issue for me for the past 2-3 weeks. In fact, I was getting so many SMS alerts on my PC for services I asked to text me with updates, I unsubscribed from several to stop getting the constants Skype notices. I can respond to my wife's texts from Skype. All works for me. If it's not for you, try re-sync'ing now that they've added a validation code to connect your computers to your phone and see if that doesn't fix it.
  • Well looks like skype is dead to me. I like the desktop version, as I can leave it running out of the way as a taskbar icon.
  • Desktop version will continue to work -- this is just pointing out that OLDER versions of the desktop app will cease to be supported so make sure you have an up to date version of the desktop app. That said, if you're on Windows 10, for most use cases, the new Skype Preview app is better than the desktop app. I used both in parallel for a while and finally just stopped using the desktop app. They can both launch with Windows (though you must manually add the Skype Preview App to the Startup folder), both run fine in the background, both support all the same text, audio, and video options, but the Skype Preview app stays updated silently in the background, seems to use fewer resources, and supports Dark Mode. In general, if there's a Store version of any app, it's better than the desktop version for security, updates, and resource usage, all of which are generally better for Store apps, though there probably are some exceptions.
  • I think half of the people complaining here didn't read the article (not even the whole title maybe). Skype desktop IS NOT being discontinued, only that old versions will stop working.