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How to disable Skype 5 auto update

Explains a simple way of disabling automatic updating of Skype.

How to disable Skype 5 auto update
How to disable Skype 5 auto update
  1. 1. Another try
  2. 2. Yet another

Even though I’m not an intensive Skype user a lot of other people use it and sometimes I just have to talk to them. For this I’m using portable Skype version. However, even in that version it still has autoupdates which pop up every time I’m logging in.

After an unsuccessful search for any «Disable automatic updates» checkbox in Skype’s settings I’ve turned to Google and shortly discovered that there’s actually no official way to disable Skype updates. However, one of the users on Skype’s forums has presented a way to do so using Windows Security permissions.

Here are the instructions to disable Skype auto-updates based on the original post (close Skype before doing this if it’s running):

  1. Click Start → Run and type %TEMP%. Click OK
  2. In the opened folder find file SkypeSetup.exe:
    1. If it exists delete it and proceed to step b.
    2. If there’s none (in this case Skype hasn’t yet downloaded an update) create an empty text file (thanks to Mick Seymour for the tip) and rename it to SkypeSetup.exe. If you were using Windows Notepad double-check it’s not saved as SkypeSetup.exe.txt.
  3. Open File → Properties of SkypeSetup.exe and go to Security tab
  4. Click Advanced; in the opened window uncheck «Inherit from parent…» (if it’s checked) – if prompted select Remove
  5. If there are any «Permission entries» left Remove them until the list is empty
  6. Now click OK – you should get a warning saying that no one will be able to access this file anymore – click OK
  7. Close File Properties by clicking OK

Now Skype shouldn’t be able to autoupdate because of inaccessible temporary file. You can verify that it’s indeed inaccessible – try to Open it (double-click) – if you’re getting «Windows cannot access the specified device, path or file…» message then you’ve done everything right; if not – write a comment and I’ll try to help you out.

Simple way using Read Only attribute – contributed by Mick Seymour: open Properties just as above but check the Read-only flag and click OK. This should have the same effect as changing file permissions which sometimes might not work.

Another try

Some people say that the above doesn’t work in latest versions of Skype. For me it still works but you can also try the following method if Skype continues to nag you with its autoupdates:

  1. Open Registry Editor (Start → Run, type regedit.exe)
  2. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/Policies
  3. Create a new key named «Skype» and a new subkey of it named «Phone»
  4. You can check that you’re in the right place by looking at the status bar – it must say HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Skype\Phone
  5. Finally, create a new DWord Value named «DisableVersionCheck» and with the value 1 (Base radiogroup can be set to any choice)
http://proger.i-forge.net/Компьютер/Улучшение/[20120322] How to disable Skype 5 auto update - registry.png

Yet another

One of the readers (Davide Andrea) has suggested another solution to prevent Skype from seeking updates:

  1. Open Windows Notepad or any equivalently simple editor (not MS Word or similar)
  2. Click File → Open and type the following path: \windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts (don’t miss the leading backslash) – then click Open
  3. You should now have a file opened; add the following line to its end and save it (changes should be in effect immediately but you might want to restart to make sure):
204.9.163.158 127.0.0.1
204.9.163.247 127.0.0.1

The above blocks access to Skype’s update server by mapping its IP to your local machine (which of course won’t respond to its update requests).

Tech note: Skype gets updates from 204.9.163.XXX subnetwork which they own entirely according to MaxMind. Sometimes they change the exact server IP (XXX) like it was in 2012. Thanks to rick.

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Comments RSS20

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1 December 2012

I finally get things set the way I can use them and suddenly Skype wants to update. This was not the first time I’ve searched how to disable skype updates, but the first time I found your site. I followed your Run > %temp% > SkypeSetup.exe instructions, (I’m using Win7), and it worked perfectly!

Thank you for taking your time to post these instructions. Now, perhaps you can cover Java and Adobe update popups next? LOL

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1 December 2012

Glad you’ve solved the problem. Adobe and Java are much easier to handle as they don’t force you to update – you are free to turn them off via Control Panel and they won’t bug you again. Unlike Skype :)

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30 November 2012

Follow thread #18

Mick Seymour

Thanks for the tips. The XP machine I run Skype 5.10 on doesn’t show a security tab on a file’s properties which is probably something I said yes or no to 6 years ago when I bought the box.

I seem to have prevented Skype from downloading the SkypeUpdate.exe by creating a text file of that name and simply making it read-only. My login is an administrator account. 2 days without being pestered so far. Time will tell.

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30 November 2012

You might have XP pre-SP2 (or was it SP1?) where it still was discretion between Home and Professional versions. Home doesn’t have the Security tab. Or you could have changed Administrative Templates some time ago.

One way or another your solution is a great demonstration of how simple some things can be if only we wouldn’t have thought of them as complex. I’ll add it to the post, thanks for this tip.

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10 December 2012

Follow thread #18.1.3

Mick Seymour

OK, it didn’t work with Win 7 Home Premium. I’ll give the ’remove all access’ a shot on that one.

Skype on Win XP has not asked me upgrade for 2 weeks so I guess that one’s in the bag.

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6 December 2012

  1. Note that it isn’t just setting SkypeSetup.exe to read-only

Good idea, updated the post. Thanks.

  1. I’m guessing you’d need file extensions to be visible otherwise you’d probably end up with a SkypeSetup.exe.txt which won’t work.

You can simply save a new text file with Notepad specifying File Type «All files» and setting File Name to SkypeSetup.exe – it then will use the .exe extension without adding .txt.

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6 December 2012

Follow thread #18.1.1

Mick Seymour

6 days and still no pestering to upgrade. I’ve used the same trick on my wife’s Win7 Home Premium too.

Its XP Pro SP3 but started off as SP1. Admin templates rings a bell.

Note that it isn’t just setting SkypeSetup.exe to read-only; remove the 26MB downloaded file and create an empty text file of the same name. I think Skype then can’t overwrite it with a fresh download because it’s read-only and can’t validate it because it is an empty file so gives up and goes home.

I’m guessing you’d need file extensions to be visible otherwise you’d probably end up with a SkypeSetup.exe.txt which won’t work.

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28 November 2012

According to this post, the 204.9.163.158 (which no longer pings) was replaced by 204.9.163.247 (which does). I’m not sure if that’s currently correct, but I don’t think the 158 one is.

http://community.skype.com/t5/Windows/I-want-to-turn-off-automatic-updates/m-p/51626/highlight/true#M5809

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28 November 2012

Thanks, I’ve updated the post.

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30 October 2012

Homepage Follow thread #16

manuelfradique

HELP ME STOP UPGRADE SKYPE

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30 October 2012

I have described all the methods I knew in the article. You can skim through the comments below to see if something in there can help you out.

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19 October 2012

Follow thread #15

Anonymous

what works is this…disable auto updates on your actual windows update area.... im on XP and i went to start, control panel,system,auto updates tab..disable. This though will also disable your windows updates of course..but anything trying to update on your machine needs to go through this and if its off there should be no breach… maybe you can only turn it on briefly whilst you need to update your system, and hope skype doesnt jump in there,,haha

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20 October 2012

Huh, it really does work? Skype doesn't update when Windows Update is disabled?

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18 October 2012

Using Skype 5.9.0.123, Windows XP, first method, there is no «Security» tab in the SkypeSetup.exe Properties. Maybe there's other way to reach it.

TIP: Rename or delete the SkypeSetup.exe won't work, since it will be automagically restored.

MS Skype, what a crap

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18 October 2012

  1. there is no «Security» tab in the SkypeSetup.exe Properties.

You should have either SP3 or Professional version of earlier SP's. You shoul also be an administrator.

Yes, Skype's license states that it can enforce updates.

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18 October 2012

Using Skype 5.9.0.123, Windows XP, second method, created the key in the registry path, closed skype, opened skype, auto-update pop-up showed again :(

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3 October 2012

Follow thread #13

Anonymous

very good.

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22 September 2012

Follow thread #12

Anonymous

tried all of them,,not having much luck…but maybe its becasue i deleted a file named skype in its entirety the first time it updated (in program files)

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29 September 2012

Follow thread #12.1

Anonymous

i did that too ..in program files…twice.!

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18 September 2012

Maybe success??

ok I went into regedit again under skype HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Skype\Phone and this time I deleted the file containing the word «download» (I can't remember the exact file name) but I deleted anything that mentioned the word download.

That was 3 days ago thus far updates from skype have not happened…hmm time will tell.

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21 September 2012

Follow thread #11.2

Anonymous

i did this now..so we will see..but the file was named… updater.

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22 September 2012

no..it / skype just made another folder and named it updater,,by itself.!

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21 September 2012

I only have DisableVersionCheck key there as on the screenshot:

http://proger.i-forge.net/Компьютер/Улучшение/[20120322] How to disable Skype 5 auto update - registry.png
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18 September 2012

I can't see any «download» keys on my system but keep us informed if it worked for you.

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21 September 2012

says updater

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16 September 2012

What just happened to me makes me think my computer is vulnerable. Last night I did an uninstall of Skype 5.1. I installed my favorite 3.8. I checked off in preferences «notify me of updates.» About an hour or two later I get a pop up asking if I want the update now or later, etc. and I check not now. I see it doesn't update. It was very late at night so I «quit» skype on my computer and continued using the computer for other things, still connected to the Internet. This a.m. I boot up, not connected to Internet yet (have mobile broadband) and Skype is showing icon waiting for a connection, but it's version 5.1! WHEN did that happened? When I'm connected but Skype is not on? After I said, no, not now and while I've quit Skype and it's not even on? Wow. Which do you think I should use of the above? It says «How to Disable Skype 5 Update» but does it really mean how to disable any updates? I'm not that techie so I'm not sure if I'm reading it correctly. Also, do you think there could be something in my Norton 360 I could do to say "blacklist this update? " I'm thinking that if Skype can «waltz» into my computer and update without my saying yes, doesn't that mean all software companies can and they just aren't voluntarily? That's all a scary thought.

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20 September 2012

Follow thread #10.2

Anonymous

me too.! not sure mine updates when im not on line,,but it definatly updates (when my auto updates have always and still are off in the settings of skype) when im not looking.! twice i have deleted skype,5.1 in 2 days ,then reinstalled my also fav version 3.8, and again it happened…i agree, how can skype justify this happening? its a security and preference breach..irritated.

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12 October 2012

it deos ,,it updates even when your not signed in…f…s.!~ i have a file with 3,8 in my received files so i delete the update of 5.5…and open 3.8 download again..works very quickly…but…if i dont delete 3.8 on closing my pc…sure enough it will update again as soon as i put on the power to pc… even when skype is not open or signed into.

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20 September 2012

If you check their license (that you were supposed to read) it clearly states that Skype is free to install updates, or even force them.

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16 September 2012

Hey Nancy,

  1. It says «How to Disable Skype 5 Update» but does it really mean how to disable any updates?

Yes, you can use this guide to disable Skype updates (but only Skype's). There are 3 ways to do this as of today – try them one by one (or all at once, doesn't matter) – it should be easy to follow the instructions without much technical knowledge.

  1. Norton 360

No, I don't think an antivirus/firewall can help you here.

  1. …doesn't that mean all software companies can and they just aren't voluntarily?

Yup. Whatever program you run it's free to do anything – from helping you type texts to wiping out your entire disk. That's why many free software has a disclaimer like «provided with no warranty», «can damage your system», etc. Using a computer or any other device with an operating system is sort of risky :)

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