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How to disable Skype on startup on Windows 10

Microsoft owns Skype, and it owns Windows 10. This means that you’ll be seeing a lot of Skype whether you want to or not. Skype is installed on a fresh Windows 10 installation by default. It also tends to start when you boot the system.

The Skype version on Windows 10 is the UWP app. The desktop app is long gone and this particular version doesn’t have a setting that can prevent it from running on startup. That said, it’s not impossible to do.

Disable Skype on startup

This applies to the Skype version on Windows 10 2004 i.e., the May 2020 update.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Go to the Privacy group of settings.
  3. Select the Background apps tab.
  4. Look for Skype, and turn the switch next to it off.
  5. When you next shut down and boot to the desktop, or when you next restart the system, Skype will not open automatically.
  6. To open Skype, look for it in the apps’ list, and run it from there.

disable Skype on startup

If Skype is already running, you can quit it. You won’t have to sign out of the app like before on older versions of Windows 10.

To quit the Skype app;

  1. Right-click the Skype icon in the system tray.
  2. From the menu, select Close Skype.
  3. Close is the equivalent of quit and the Skype app will exit. You will not get any alerts from the app.


Apps that run in the background do so for a reason; they need to periodically check for push notifications. When an app is unable to run in the background, it cannot update until you open it, or refresh it manually. This may mean that you miss important notifications/alerts that an app sends.

In Skype’s case, you may miss new message alerts though it’s unlikely that you will miss a call when it comes in. If you ever have to use Skype, make sure you enable background app activity for it.


Microsoft will continue to push the apps it owns onto Windows 10 users. Some of the apps that it pushes are easy to ignore but Skype isn’t one of them. What makes things more complicated is the fact that Skype doesn’t show in Task Manager’s Startup tab.

It gives the impression that there’s no way to turn it off. On that note, if you don’t use Skype at all, it might be a good idea to uninstall it. Right-click the app in the apps’ list, and select the uninstall option. You can always download it again from the Microsoft Store.


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