Late last year, we covered a little tip to show you how you can run multiple instances of any app on a Mac. It requires you to run a script and is pretty simple even for someone who has never used the AppleScript Editor. Though there is one caveat with that method – it doesn’t work for all apps, as we noted in the aforementioned post. Skype was one such app that we identified would not run multiple instances with the script. The reason has something to do with Skype itself, rather than the script. If you were disappointed by this and have the need to run multiple instances of Skype, Multi Skype Launcher is a free Mac app that will do the trick. It’s currently in beta and requires OS X Lion or higher. The app is basically a launcher for Skype, but allows you to launch a new instance of the popular app each time you click it, be it a hundred times if you need to.
You can open and sign in to the first instance of Skype like you normally would but for all subsequent instances, run Multi Skype Launcher. You will be asked to authorize the app to make changes to your system by entering your password. For each instance you run, you will have to give the app permission again.
It might take a few minutes for the second or any subsequent instance to start but once running, another Skype icon will be added for the instance to both the Dock and the Menu Bar. Needless to say, you can sign in to separate accounts in each instance.
Multi Skype Launcher is only an app launcher made specifically for Skype, and it won’t help you manage your audio input and output between multiple instances, nor will it mute one instance when you’re on a call in the other. Therefore, managing the different Skype instances is entirely up to you. We tested two instances of Skype side-by-side and were able to send and receive messages normally. For Windows users who need something similar, give Seaside a try; not only does it run multiple instances of Skype, but it also lets you save the accounts that you sign in to.
For some users, the very thought of running two instances of Skype might be ridiculous, but for those who use the app at both work and home, running two instances is the easiest way to make sure you remain in touch with your contacts on both your accounts without having to sign in and out with them again and again.