How-to Stop Skype starting automatically

Skype start screenEver since Microsoft took over Skype, it installs automatically with Internet Explorer, starts itself at boot time and is impossible to stop from the Skype client as there is no longer an option in the settings to do so. Nor does it sit in your Start Up Programmes folder. In fact, alongside the in-stream advertising and the removal of the log of calls made, duration, destination and cost, Skype now behaves like the worst kind of malware.

Unfortunately the Malicious Software Removal Tool won’t get rid of it. And it is occasionally useful for messaging and video conferencing. I just don’t want it hogging resources all the bloody time. Note to Microsoft; don’t annoy us Northerners. You wouldn’t like us when we’re angry.

So if you don’t want Skype running all the time, how do you prevent it starting up as part of the computer’s booting up process?

Since the latest version of the Skype application has no option provided to turn off Skype at Windows startup you need a different route.

MS Config - start up programmesClick the start menu and either using Search programs and files, “msconfig” or just type “msconfig.exe” directly. You can still use the Run command window to open msconfig.exe. MSConfig is the Windows system configuration tool.

Click and open “msconfig.exe”, and you will get “System Configuration” dialog Window.

Select the Startup tab, and you will get the list of Windows start up applications. You may need to sort by name (click on the column heading) in order to find it. Un-check “Skype” from that list and click Apply and then OK button.

Then you will get restart confirmation message for System Configuration Restart, asking to re-boot now or later for your changes to take effect.

After your machine restarted, you will not get Skype at windows startup. Be aware that MS-Config is a powerful tool that can easily land you a whole lot of trouble if you start randomly messing with settings, so the advice is don’t, unless you know what you’re doing. AJS

11 thoughts on “How-to Stop Skype starting automatically

  1. Stuart says:


    The Start-up tab in System Configuration now just has a message telling you to use the Start-up option of Task Manager instead. Trouble is, Skype is not listed there so you can’t stop it from booting this way?

    • Allan J. Smithie says:

      that’s where I went to close the dam’ thing in the first place; and no, taskman doesn’t list it, presumably because it treats Skype as a ‘service’ not an ‘application’. That’s why I had to go to msconfig to nail the blighter.

  2. Bryan says:

    Just went from using a easy but slow ‘ol Mac to a higher-end gaming laptop and Skype auto-opening was something that immediately annoyed me. Glad that it was able to easily be fixed and the instructions were clear enough so that even someone with poor computer skills like me could understand it, thanks!

  3. Robert says:

    Please update this post for Microsoft’s latest Windows 10 shennanigans…. While Skype autoloaded, it is NOT appearing in the list of programs in my Task Manager. I suspect Microsoft of this malicious activity. How do i kill skype until I want to use it without having to remove the program?

  4. Bob C. L. Aaron says:

    Actually you can just launch Skype, then go under ‘Tools’-‘Options’-‘General Settings’ and then uncheck the box for ‘Start Skype when I start Windows’.

  5. Roger Noble says:

    New to Win 10 (just 2 days since upgrade from Win7.)
    Cannot find anything, and fail at first step in your instructions:

    > Click the start menu and either using Search programs and files, “msconfig” or just type “msconfig.exe” directly.

    Where do I find “Search programs and files”?
    Or, where do I type “msconfig.exe”?

    All I see is 3 icons on the left –
    My Account
    and then a mess of kindergarten pix on the right.

    Maybe I shall use Skype sometime, but until then I don’t want it hogging my system and slowing it down.


    • Allan J. Smithie says:

      boot into your Windows 10 desktop; bottom left corner is the start button and the white box ‘type to search’; enter msconfig.exe there and the results will come up ‘System Configuration / Desktop app / best match.’

      The current version of Skype has an option under its own settings – ‘automatically start the app when i log on to windows’ so you can stop it from there also.

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