Skip to main content

Remember the time when you just couldn't get rid of Skype?

The Skype apps on Windows 8 and Windows Phone have been involved in a rather heated, yet slightly humorous discussion in the past. Microsoft originally made it so consumers could not close down the app completely on either platform, unless you rebooted or uninstalled the app.

Cartoonist Scott Adams has published the above Skype comic, illustrating just how annoying this problem was (and still is) for some.

So many choices...

Thanks to changes made to the apps, you're now able to sign out on the Windows Phone app, as well as completely close the Windows 8 app (hint: drag to the bottom of the screen to close or hit ALT + F4). But even on the desktop version, you still have a lot of choices, and it just never seems easy to exit the darn thing.

How's your relationship with Skype coming along?

Source: Dilbert; thanks, Sean, for the tip!

Rich Edmonds
Rich Edmonds

Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

106 Comments
  • I remember lol
  • Finally
    Always had to go to task manager to end its process...
    Skype (y)
  • Three finger salute never let me down...
  • I've never had any issues signing out of Skype. I always just used the quit from the icon in the notication center. I enjoy Skype quite a bit, I just wish it was more baked into Windows/Phone instead of an app.
  • same here.
  • Same here too! ++925
  • Same here. Not that difficult....but I was always surprsied to see so many people being confused about how to close it.
  • Same here too
  • Same. The only thing that annoys me that you can't minimize it to the notification tray.
  • Raxcie, there's an easy fix for that. Navigate to your skype.exe, go to properties -> compability and choose to run skype in xp sp3 compability mode.  (Screenshot, in Swedish though: http://puu.sh/5aOMS.png ) If you do this it will minimize to tray when you close the window and not stay on the task bar, like this: http://puu.sh/5aOK3.jpg
  • You can. If you go in to Tools > Options > Advanced Settings, there is a probably intentionally awkwardly worded option that says Keep Skype in the taskbar while I'm signed in. Uncheck it. It will feel like the biggest relief ever. I spent a year looking for this option. You can also turn off the ads by going to Notifications > Alerts and Messages and unchecking Promotions.
  • OMG Dude. Thanks!!!
  • +1520
  • Well, 8.1 is practically around the corner and Windows 8.1 just got Skype baked into the OS more (with it replacing the messaging app) than before, so why not WP8.1.
  • I won't be satisfied until Skype can be my one location that aggragates (most) of my messaging. If I get a SMS on my phone, it should show up on my Surface, where I can respond and it sends it out.
  • Agreed. Never felt the need to tombstone it. I use it more than MS Office. :)
  • Same, It ain't so hard :D
  • On the other hand, if they made it easy to kill they'd get nonstop complaints that Skype doesn't work and people aren't getting their messages and calls. I didn't have trouble making it go away.  I just wanted to make sure everything goes to my phone and not my computer now that the WP app is prettty good and reliable. Now, all the crap that itunes keeps launching on my desktop, that gets annoying. Just keeps respawning.
  • Steam is the same way on desktop. Wish they had an official app
  • LMAO. My first deed after installing Skype was to tell it to NOT start when I started Windows. If I needed it, I'd launch it. Then quitting was just a right-click and click on Quit. I did finally tell it not to show the warning or play the goofy muzak... Maybe because I'd experienced that same TSR behavior with Messenger, I didn't find it all that hard to figure out.
  • TSR?  You're old!!
  • I'm not old. I'm vintage and I was on the bleeding edge of technology in 1985 with a screaming 386x16 PC... I started using Microsoft Office the year after it's introduction in 1989 (DOS version), My internet addiction started in 1995 with an unmetered Earthlink account. I got my first cell phone in 1996, shortly before my daughter was born. It sucks when your life timeline can be recalled according to technology adoption. I didn't bother with Skype until last year. Mom doesn't have a webcam on her PC and I don't have the energy to walk her through Skype so the phone is easier. But Skype has come in handy for communicating with freelance clients around the world... BTW, E Lizzle, I'm proud to say that I'm finally playing with a full deck of 52 years.
  • I was a DesqView user and we'll just leave it at that!   -E  
  • Ha!!  The first Networkk Admin job I had our Netware 3.1 server was a Compaq 386/33 screamer with a full 4mb of RAM.  We ran DOS 3.3 on the desktop with Wordperfect and Lotus 123.  The first time I got online was with Compuserve in 92.  I'll stop there for now.
  • I use Lotus 8.5 at my work. It has an amazing 2 times more features than Lotus 123 and loads up 40% faster.
  • Here's an internet!
  • LOL, Caliborn. My 386/16 was a dedicated graphics workstation with a second graphics box loaded with phoenix cards, 3 monitors (1 for DOS commands, 1 for raster images, 1 for vector images), a Bernoulli box (the big one that held 8.5x11 20mb cards), a JVC industrial-strength video cam permanently mounted on a copystand for shooting stills of 3D objects, a dot matrix printer, a Technographics wax sublimation color printer, a 35mm film image digitizer for creating slides, and a Kurta digitizing tablet. The system had a room of it's own. Now, I carry more power and functionality than that in the palm of my hand.
  • LOL. This whole thread is crackin' me up. All of us old-timers with "walked to school in 10 feet of snow, uphill both ways" stories. I have to wonder if we've seen so many "next big things," we've become a tiny bit jaded.
  • I'm digging this whole cloud thing, being able to pull up docs on multiple machines and on the phone, too.  For a while I was nonplussed by the "faster CPUs more memory" race, but the newer stuff finally seems to bolt a lot of these loose pieces together.  And Metro reminds me of the transition from DOS to Windows .  If I want to see the weather, I just mash my finger against a square box on a piece of glass.  It's just easier.
  • I agree E. I love my live tiles on my phone and my puter. Just today I discovered I can not only split the screen between two metro/modern/whatever apps, but also do a desktop/metro app split. And reading list? I LOVE THAT APP! I've quit creating shortcuts on my desktop to every blasted thing I want to look at later. But you gotta admit, stoopid geek tricks like UU DOS and fake desktops were fun.
  • I did not know that about the desktop/metro split!  
  • When one or the other is a thumbnail in the upper left corner, just drag down and to the right... Voila! We're just old dogs with new tricks. :D
  • Ditto
  • I have the same technology history as yours. Except that my real computer history starts a little later with a 486 DX w/ DOS/W3.1 (1992) and I starting using Skype right from day 1(10 yrs ago). Before my current Mechanical Engineering carrier, I was programming in Pascal, Basic and C/C++. Wow! That was 20 years ago.
  • Nice!
  • Sweet comeback...Vintage. You are officially awesome ;)
  • TY, MediaCastleX. ;-)
  • Where's flmk and flush when you need em eh?  How about some park while we're at it.  Oh, how I miss that...
  • I confess, my favorite was the Energizer Bunny ergo timer that marched across my screen and reminded me it was time to take a break.
  • Well... I used to compute with an abacus!
  • That is an art form, sicnus!
  • Slide rule, anyone?
  • I counted with my fingers, but I was born only in 1986...oh, well...
  • That's a good thing, Winnabe! You're a digital native and will probably live to see amazing things that we were promised -- a real world filled with George Jetson/Star Trek technology.
  • I did that in school, Jack, but don't ask me to remember how. I remember the cool basic function calculators with teeny tiny LED displays for $500. And being overwhelmed the first time I saw an HP Engineering calculator. LOL
  • $500 for a calculator... think when current (powerful) computers that cost thousands today, will be laughably simple and obsolete in 50 years.
  • Its funny, even my family's 2005 desktop is obsolete when its compared to my 2011-12 laptop. Now my laptop is quickly becoming obsolete, i have an i7 processor but newer computers are already outpacing mine... Tech is evolving too fast :)
  • My first home PC was a huge Gateway tower that cost $5,000 in 1996, and I used to tell my students to buy as much computer as they could afford. Now I advise people to buy as little computer as will get the job done for them. It's a lot less painful when you want to replace it in 2-3 years.
  • Voicemail support would be nice. Someone leaves a message and i can't listen on rt or wp8 grrrr
  • I don't remember that time... shows how late to the party I was XD
  • Doesn't have any relationship with Skype since I don't use it nor have it installed... Having 44640 minutes included each month I hardly see the point with Skype.
    But for those using it, the possibility to shut the shit down must be a relief :P
  • You hardly see the point with Skype???? Wow!. Have you ever tried calling outside the US? How about video chat? People who have family outside the US love Skype. I am sure you hardly see the point with family too. :)
  • Don't live in the US :P
    And I call family and friends on a regular basis, and visit them since they all live in a 2 hour radius :)
  • What network gives you that many minutes with international video calls included? Might need to migrate!
  • I thought I was the only one that hated it...its good to not be crazy.
  • I am really interested to see what they do with Skype in the WP8.1 update. Hopefully there's some deep OS integration that makes it much more viable than it is in its current state.
  • I want to see MS integrate Skype into the messaging hub in a way similar to how Apple has integrated iMessage.
  • Hasn't the messaging hub died? Ever since I've got 8.1 i can't find it anymore
  • WP8.1 not W8.1
  • Somehow Skype has gone from being the de facto Internet calling application to an annoying, watered-down user-unfriendly (ESPECIALLY in Windows 8) piece of near-spyware.  It's so sad.
  • Wwhhhhaaaattttt?
  • Yeah he's off his rocker
  • "Quit Skype" has been there on the Desktop version for a while now...(in the Jump list on Windows 7 and 8) or from the System tray icon. Still tricky, won't deny that.
  • I've been using Skype for a long time and really never had issues closing it.  That said, my relationship with the Win8 and WP8 Skype apps is really, really not good right now.
  • I never wanted to close it, seems like defeating the purpose. Like plugging in my phone only when I want to make an outbound call.
  • ^Smart
  • I don't understand why skype doesn't recognize contacts that have skype on my phone, and it never really got fully integrated with messenger, my contacts from messenger are separate from the skype ones that I had before it became one...not good
  • Do you use your Microsoft ID to log into Skype? I didn't start using Skype until Messenger was absolutely dead and buried, then converted. All my messenger contacts converted over. As for phone contacts, it seems Skype doesn't automatically hunt down all the contacts in your e-mail or phone directory and that's okay. I don't know about you, but I don't want everyone who has my e-mail to automatically add me to their Skype directory too. I'd rather have the option of inviting and accepting invitations.
  • Don't want Skype installed let alone intertwined with the OS like some folks want it. Could change in the future, but at this point I just don't have much use for it...
  • Uh.. I've always just right clicked and quit.. Since before MS even bought them out. Am I missing something?
  • Yes, you couldn't log out or quit the the modern app.
  • How ironic, because once you open Skype on Windows Phone it stays open. The only way to stop receiving messages it to set yourself to invisible. I'm still trying to figure out how the hell to stop receiving messages on my latop and phone at the same time.
  • I agree that the laptop/phone thing is a problem. I want to be able to receive Skype calls on my phone when I'm away from my computer, so the cell # link is a must, but having both notify me simultaneously of incoming calls is crazy-making.
  • My problem is to keep it active. It seems sometimes that it isn't running on the background.
  • i noticed skype was a bit harder to close than wlm on W7, i dont have any problems with skype if i dont start thinking about all the features it falls short of wlm 2011, the most annonying one is you cant use a dark skin, having a full white screen at night is painful, the same happens for wp, they should make it adjust to your current windows theme, and i hope they improve the photo sharing so you dont have to download each picture your friends send, and i miss playing checkers with em too, would be great if they manage to get games back for both desktop and windows phone apps
  • Its coming along horribly. Linking someone's Skype account to their People account is nearly impossible. Skype should work the way iMessage does. Instead it is a side bastard that is just confusing and way to complicated to use.
  • Skype needs to get groupme into their app as their messaging platform. Wp8 should be integrating Skype completely no apps
  • On windows 7 I still have to go to start task manager :/
  • Hahahaha I always went into the notification thing on the bottom right corner and quit it, that usually got it closed. Also stop it from starting with windows
  • My Skype works when it want to
  • To hide it to the systray when clicking X, simply go to settings and tick the checkbox. To end it, right-click and press "end skype". I dont get the problem. Why do you have Skype installed if you dont want it to run in Systray to catch calls for you.
  • On one hand I like the integration MS has done with Skype, but on the other it's more Messenger than Skype. Its still cool that it is more and more a part of eg. Outlook and live.com.
    The old encrypted p2p-days are unfortunately long gone. I hardly believe they use anything from real Skype but the logo and user portfolio.
    NSA didn't win, the terrorists did. They made someone sell our freedom...and yes, that is highly relevant in a Skype comment! The moment MS bought Skype I'm sure they were forced to hand over the keys...
  • I really enjoy skype on my 1020 but for some reason I have to log in ever 2-3 days. Missing my calls as i am logged out and i don't even know. Cant find a fix
  • 1. Have you tried turning it off and on again?
    2. Is it plugged in?
    3. Watch the IT Crowd.
  • @simphf thanks. I have restarted, reinstalled, factory reset and nothing seems to help. Never had a problem with L800.
  • F you skype! Close already!!
  • On my computer I have an alright relationship with Skype, but on the phone we are frenemies!
  • Anyone know how to send feedback re: the Skype app for WP? It is highly annoying how you cannot relocate or resize the view of your camera like on the desktop app. Instead your camera view sits on the bottom left covering the face of who you are skyping with.
  • I didn't install Scroogle hangouts.
  • Here i thought i am alone in this world ..
  • I never had a problem with Skype, I mean that's the reason why I signed up in the first place to have VoIP.
  • I hate the W8 Skype app. It asks you for your Microsoft account instead of your Skype account. My Microsoft account is linked to a Skype account that was deleted (doing that was also a nightmare) so it's pretty much useless.
  • That's my biggest issue too, I had an account already on Skype but because I didn't link it in the browser it created a new account when I launched the app on my Surface RT. What a mess that was to clean up especially since you can't delete your Skype account.
  • You can delete your Skype account but like I mentioned, it's a nightmare. You have to contact Skype to do it. I had also contacted Skype to get that linked account issue fixed but the rep had no idea what was going on so I kind of just gave up.
  • Funny thing is I haven't really had a problem closing Skype. My problem has been Skype never can detect my connection speed properly. I can't even begin to guess at how many times it says slow connections and sound and video gets downgraded. Since when is a 50 down and 5 down to a 15 down and 2 up with a ping time of 20ms or less a SLOW CONNECTION. I have checked this many times during the call and still get those speeds during the call even. To make matters worse, voip tests say the lines are exellent and other VOIP solutions work great. Frustrating.
  • The windows 8 version is awesome. I have it snapped at the smallest while I play minecraft.
  • This is a tangent, but have you played Survival craft on WP8?
  • Yup. :P
  • Just right click the tray icon or and quit it. It's been like that since like what, version 2? I know other messenger applications have this same method. What's the fuss all about?
  • Could you help me out : I don't want to close it, but just want it to run so that I can keep getting my calls and messages.. I just want to close it enough so that it not on my list of swipe able apps, can this be done?
  • I d/l'd the desktop app from the Skype website. It stays handy in the tray, but doesn't appear separately.
  • Havn't been using it yet. Well i did in 2008. Now im on unlimited calling in canada.
  • With 32 megs of ram and just about every option possible plugged into the laptop...i guess I wasn't caring much... But yay to more user control!
  • How many people do they think really need a context menu shortcut on the systray for signing out of Skype? Quit? Yes. Set status to visible/invisible/whatever? Yes. Signing out? Good grief.
  • skype app on windows 8.1...now sucks mainly because MS wants you to use you MS id to sign in (live.com, hotmail etc), since i have to sign into windows with hotmail id then its the same with skype app, i cant sign in with another skype account with out having to log out of windows and/or switch to a local account!  In short i can only use my windows login account with my skype app, otherwise its a pain to use another skype account. to fix this many windows 8.1 users say to download skype for desktop and put that tile on the metro page. also skype app for wp8 does not let you erase any conversations, they are stuck on there forever unless you uninstall the app or erase it using the desktop app
  • I need help some time ago I don't recall when I activated an account with skype I have never used it I don't want it and skype keeps taking money out of my credit card and I can't find a way to stop it I am a senior citizen and need my money to live on how do I get them to stop robbing me it's like paying for a taxi you never want to go anywhere please someone help I am at my wits end