How to Stop Skype from Starting Automatically in Windows


The Skype app that comes pre-loaded with the Windows operating system starts automatically when you start your computer. This is frustrating for people who either don’t like the idea of a communications service always running on their computer, or just don’t like the idea of an application seemingly running without their permission. Thankfully, while it’s not intuitive, Microsoft does make it possible to stop Skype from starting automatically when you start your computer. Disabling Skype at startup can be done quickly, and only takes a few clicks. Examples of all instructions in the steps can be seen in the YouTube video below.

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Steps to Stop Skype from Starting Automatically

  1. Right-click the Windows icon on the left side of your task bar to open a context menu, and then click “Settings” in the context menu. The Windows Settings screen appears.
  2. Click “Privacy” in the table of options on the Windows Settings screen. The Privacy screen appears.
  3. Scroll down the menu on the left side of the screen until you arrive at the App Permissions section, and then click “Background Apps” in the Privacy section. Background Apps options appear on the right side of the screen.
  4. Scroll down the list of apps that are allowed to run in the background until you find Skype. Click the toggle to the right of Skype to set it to Off.
  5. Restart your computer. Skype will no longer start automatically in Windows when you boot up your computer, and as a result, it will also no longer appear in the notification tray until you launch the application.

5 Reasons to Stop Skype from Booting up Automatically in Windows

1. Faster System Startup

When Skype automatically boots up with Windows, it consumes valuable system resources. This slows down your computer’s startup time. Many users prefer a quick and snappy startup. Disabling Skype can significantly speed up this process. Each program that launches on startup adds to the delay. By eliminating non-essential apps like Skype from the startup sequence, the system boots faster. This is crucial for those with older hardware or limited RAM. Ultimately, a faster startup enhances your computing experience. It allows you to get to important tasks quicker without waiting for unnecessary applications to load.

2. Improved System Performance

Skype running in the background can impact overall system performance. It not only occupies RAM but also uses CPU resources. This can be particularly problematic for users who run resource-intensive applications. Gamers and professional graphic designers stand to benefit from every bit of available power. Disabling Skype from automatic startup ensures that these resources are available for crucial tasks. Additionally, if Skype is not a daily necessity, having it run in the background is an unnecessary drain on system resources. By keeping it inactive until needed, you maintain a leaner, more efficient system environment.

3. Enhanced Control Over Applications

Some users prefer to have control over what runs on their computer and when. Automatic startup of applications like Skype can feel intrusive. By stopping Skype from auto-starting, you dictate when and how your applications are used. This is important for maintaining organizational and operational efficiency. Moreover, this practice can extend to other applications, fostering a more managed and intentional use of software. Ultimately, users who prefer this level of control find their systems more manageable and responsive to their needs.

4. Minimized Distractions

For professionals and students, minimizing distractions is key to maintaining focus and productivity. Skype, when running in the background, can pop up notifications that distract from the task at hand. By disabling its auto-startup feature, you reduce the likelihood of these interruptions. This decision is especially beneficial during work hours or study sessions. It’s one less application to worry about when you’re trying to concentrate. Keeping focus sharp and interactions deliberate enhances productivity and reduces stress.

5. Better Privacy Management

Privacy-conscious users often prefer to limit the number of applications running automatically. Skype, when active, can potentially share data and status updates inadvertently. Keeping Skype from starting automatically adds an extra layer of privacy control. Users decide when they are visible online and to whom. This is particularly relevant in an era where digital privacy concerns are at an all-time high. Controlling application activity on your computer ensures that you are only online when you choose to be, keeping your digital footprint as small as possible.

About Max

Max has nearly 20 years of experience working in IT across three different industries in project management and management capacities: publishing, telecommunications and healthcare. He holds the following degrees and certifications: BS Communications, MA Communications, MBA and Project Management Professional (PMP). His tutorial-focused YouTube channel earned more than 100,000 subscribers in its first four years, and currently has more than 160,000 subscribers, 110,000,000 video views and an insane 2.4 million hours of watch time. Max enjoys learning new technology, reading and collecting comic books, listening to audiobooks and playing video games.

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