The Skype app included with Windows 10 now has a notification area icon. That’s fine, but what if you never use Skype and don’t want Skype to start every time you sign in? Here’s how to get rid of it.
Sure, you can just right-click the Skype tray icon and close it, but it’ll come right back the next time you boot your PC.
Disable Skype Auto Start via Task Manager
Luckily, the latest version of Skype now functions like a regular Windows application again. You can’t use Skype’s built-in options to disable automatic startup without logging in first, but there is another way: Disable it with the Task Manager.
To find this option, press Ctrl + Shift + Esc or right-click your taskbar and select “Task Manager.”
Click the “Startup” tab. If you don’t see any tabs, first click “More Details”.
Find “Skype” in the list, right-click it, and select “Deactivate.” Windows will not automatically open Skype the next time you sign in.
Skype will continue running if it’s already open while you do this, but you can right-click the Skype icon in the notification area of your taskbar (don’t call it the system tray!) And select “Quit Skype” to close it immediately.
How to Remove Skype From Your System Tray in Windows 10
Update: You may have the newer Skype app installed on your PC now, so the instructions above should work. If not, follow the instructions below for an older version of Skype.
With the older “Modern” Skype app, you can’t just right-click the Skype tray icon and close it like a traditional desktop app. Skype doesn’t give you a “Sign Out” option. Skype doesn’t give you a “Sign Out” option.
Microsoft’s modern Skype app doesn’t even appear on your list of startup programs, so you can’t disable it by managing your startup programs from the Settings app or Task Manager.
However, you can hide the icon from the Skype settings window. Right-click the Skype icon in your notification area and click “Settings” or open a Skype window, click the “…” menu button, and click “Settings.”
Click the “General” category and disable the “Show Skype in Windows notification area (system tray)” option. The Skype notification area icon will disappear.
Note that people can still send you Skype messages if you are signed in, even though Skype does not appear in the notification area. To stop it, quit Skype. Click the “…” menu in the Skype window and click “Sign Out” to do so.
If you don’t want to use Skype at all, you can delete it too. Find the Skype shortcut on your Start menu, right-click it, and select “Uninstall.” Windows 10 lets you remove many other built-in apps this way too.
If you have multiple Skype apps installed and you just want to remove the default Windows 10 version, look for the Skype shortcut marked as “Trusted Microsoft Store App” and delete it.
The traditional Skype desktop app does have a “Quit Skype” option when you right-click on its notification area icon. That version of Skype works just like the traditional Skype client you are used to.
It’s quite confusing because the default Store version of Skype and the modern desktop version are pretty much the same, but the desktop version of Skype offers a lot more features.