How to Uninstall Skype

With many users finding more of a pressing need for video conferencing and instant messaging than ever before, Skype makes sense as a communications solution for millions of users. Even so, this 2003-old software isn't the best fit for every PC or phone user, and uninstalling it makes sense for those who favor alternate, competing messengers. Since some users complain of Microsoft's Skype integration tactics making the uninstall routines a little more arduous than usual, experts provide some solutions for the problem.

Before uninstalling Skype, make sure that it's not running. Skype also can be active 'in the background' without a visible window. Look for a Skype icon in the taskbar, right-click it and choose Quit. Note that the Task Manager (for Windows) and Activity Monitor (for macOS) programs are useful for identifying any programs that are still active without having evident UI elements.

Generally, users should use simpler uninstall techniques before more complex ones, such as editing the Registry manually, which experts suggest only as a last resort. A quick way of removing Skype is by clicking the Start button, scrolling through the shortcut list until you find Skype, right-clicking the icon and choosing the Uninstall option.

However, installed programs don't always have Start shortcuts. In older Windows versions, users may have the most luck using the Control Panel menu. Type 'Control Panel' into search and open the first result that appears. In the Programs section, click the link for 'Uninstall a program,' which brings up the program list. Users can search this list and sort it by details like names, publishers, install sizes, or install dates. Find Skype, right-click it and select the Uninstall option.

A more modernized method of the above solution is going through the 'Add or remove programs' section of Settings. Type that line into the taskbar as usual. This program list is similar to the previous one, but with another option for sorting by the hard drive. Scroll to Skype, left-click it and Uninstall.

In a macOS environment, the process of removing a program is a little more consistent and streamlined than in Windows. Users merely have to open Finder, go to its Applications section and find the program, such as Skype. Either right-click it and choose to Send to Trash option or left-click and drag it over to the Trash manually. However, unlike Windows users, they'll need to empty the Trash to confirm the deletion is permanent.

While users can delete individual files and folders theoretically and then erase Registry entries, there is rarely a reason for performing manual uninstall routines. Experts recommend that users always back their devices up, first, in case they delete components that are essential to the operating system accidentally.