Skype remains one of the applications Microsoft preinstalls on user-licensed versions of its latest operating system (Windows 10). The built-in Skype program belongs to the class of Universal Web Applications (UWPs). Nevertheless, many users still prefer to use the Skype desktop application (created using legacy code).
In this guide, we will address the issues users tend to encounter when they try to uninstall Skype. We guide you through multiple uninstallation procedures. This way, by the time you are done going through them, you are likely to have found a way to remove the Skype application from your PC successfully.
Why can’t I uninstall Skype on Windows 10?
The uninstallation operation to get rid of Skype might have failed because its components or processes were still running when you initiated the procedure.
Some Skype programs like Skype for Business from Office 365 cannot be removed easily because they are part of the integrated Office suite unit. You should be able to remove the regular Skype for Business Basic, though, using standard software uninstallation methods.
Moreover, certain Skype versions cause issues that result in users being unable to remove their applications. If you came here to find out how to fix the older version of Skype cannot be removed issue, you must skip the standard uninstallation operations (especially if you have tried them out already) and use the alternative or advanced methods instead.
How do I uninstall Skype on Windows 10?
We will outline the best methods of removing the Skype app, starting with the simple approaches to the more advanced operations (or fixes for specific users). It is best you go through the list of procedures in the order they appear below.
Perform a preliminary operation:
To prevent Skype uninstallation from hanging or freezing, before you act to remove the app, we will walk you through the termination of processes employed by Skype. Do this:
Open the Task Manager app. You can do this by pressing (and holding) the CTRL and ALT keys on your PC’s keyboard, and then tapping the ESC button.
You can also launch the Task Manager application by right-clicking on the Windows Start icon to see the Power User menu apps and options, and then selecting Task Manager.
Note: If Windows brings up the limited view Task Manager program window, you must click on See more details. The full version of the application will be displayed now.
- Under the Processes tab, you must check for the Skype app. If the application is running, you must right-click on it, and then select the End task option.
Check for Skype processes (or anything with the ‘Skype’ name). Right-click on them, and then select End task. We advise you to go through the listed executables and services carefully to identify and terminate all the unwanted Skype components.
- Close the Task Manager application window. If the Skype icon is still visible on the taskbar on your desktop screen, you must right-click on it and select the Exit option from the menu list.
If you did everything correctly, Skype should no longer be running by now. You can proceed to the main task.
Uninstall Skype from the Windows Start menu:
The steps here probably constitute the fastest method of uninstalling the Skype application (provided complications or problems are non-existent). Follow these instructions to remove the Skype app from your computer quickly:
- Bring up the Windows Start menu: You can do this by pressing the Windows logo button on your computer’s keyboard or by clicking on the Windows icon at the bottom-right corner of your PC’s screen.
- Locate the Skype app in the list of programs or options. If this application is missing from the menu displayed, you must search for it.
Type Skype. The text field will show up once you begin typing. Skype (Trusted Microsoft Store app) or a similar item should appear in the search results list.
- Right-click on Skype, and then select the Uninstall option from the short menu list.
- If the Skype app you are trying to remove is the desktop version, Windows will display the Programs and Features screen in the Control Panel application window. You have to check the fourth operation for steps on continuing (or a detailed description of the process involved).
- If the Skype app you are trying to remove is the universal or basic version, then the process in your case should be relatively more straightforward. Your system will simply bring up a dialog box to verify that you want to continue with the uninstallation operation.
- Click on the Uninstall button (once it shows up) to confirm things. Your computer will now act to uninstall Skype.
Uninstall Skype through the Settings application:
The Skype app might be missing from the list of applications on the Windows Start menu. In that case, you have to navigate to the Apps and Features menu in the Settings program. You can get the job done in no time here since this method is effective in removing Skype irrespective of what version of the application you installed.
Follow these instructions to uninstall Skype:
- First, you have to open the Apps menu in the Settings app:
- Start by launching the Settings application: You can do this by pressing the Windows logo button on your PC’s keyboard (hold it) and then tapping the letter I key.
You can also launch the Settings application this way: Bring up the Windows Start menu (as we showed you earlier), and then click on Settings (or its icon).
Assuming the Settings application window is up on your screen, you must click on Apps. Windows will now display the Apps and Features menu.
- Here is an alternative method of getting the Apps menu up: Use this keyboard shortcut to view the programs and options that make up the Power User menu: Windows logo button + letter X key. Now, click on Apps and Features.
- Locate the Skype app in the list of applications currently installed on your PC, and then click on it. Skype will be highlighted now.
- Click on the Uninstall button. You have to click on the Uninstall button again on the dialog box or window to confirm the uninstallation operation.
- Follow the instructions that come up on your screen (if anything shows up). Windows will work to uninstall Skype.
Uninstall Skype through the Programs and Features menu in Control Panel:
Before the introduction of new utilities and setups in Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10, users always had to go through the Programs and Features screen to uninstall applications on Windows (Windows 7 and older iterations). Fortunately, Microsoft retained the old process (or popular procedure) on newer versions of Windows, not least because there were no alternatives to it.
The method in view can be used to remove the desktop version of Skype on all builds of Windows (even on Windows 7) that are capable of running the application. Here are the steps involved:
- First, you must bring up the Programs and Features menu in the Control Panel application: Use this keyboard shortcut to open the Run app quickly: Windows logo button + Letter R key.
Type appwiz.cpl into the text field provided on the small Run program window, and then tap the Enter button to run the code you just inputted. The Programs and Features menu in Control Panel will be displayed directly now.
- Go through the list of installed programs, locate Skype, and then click on it to highlight or select it.
- Click on the Uninstall button (close to the bottom-right corner of the Control Panel application window). Windows will bring up a confirmation dialog or box.
- Click on the Uninstall (or Yes) button. Your system will proceed with the operation. Follow the instructions that appear on your screen to uninstall Skype.
Get rid of Skype’s unwanted files and entries:
We generally advise users to go a step further and remove Skype’s program files, entries, and other left-over items once they successfully uninstall the application. These items are redundant, and they are likely to cause problems for you in the long run. You will do well to get rid of them now.
Similarly, if you are looking to uninstall the Skype app from your PC because you want to install a different or better version of the same application, then the operation in view might do you some good.
Go through these steps to remove all files or entries associated with Skype:
- Use this keyboard shortcut to open the Run program quickly: Windows logo button + letter R key.
This time, once the Run application window shows up, you must type in the following code on its text field: %appdata%
Hit the Enter button. Your computer will execute the code now, and you will end up in a specific directory on a File Explorer application window.
- Go through the items in your current location. You should see the Skype folder. Right-click on it, and then select the Delete option from the menu list displayed.
Note: If you prefer to retain a backup of your chats on Skype, you must open the Skype folder, and then find a directory with the username you used on Skype. You will have to copy the contents stored there to a safe location (to serve as a backup). If you ever decide to reinstall Skype, you will be able to restore your old messages or chat history.
Now, it is time you moved on to delete the remaining Skype files stored in other directories. Continue with the instructions below:
- Use this keyboard shortcut to open the File Explorer app quickly: Windows logo button + Letter E key.
- Once the required application window shows up, you must click on This PC (or My computer), and then navigate through the following directories: C: \ Program Files (x86)
- In your current location, the Skype folder should be one of the items listed. Get rid of this directory by right-clicking on it, and then selecting the Delete option from the menu list.
You have finished removing Skype files. It is logical to proceed with the operation to remove its entries stored in your registry. The processes involved here are a lot more complicated, so we decided to leave this task as the last thing you do.
Note: Before you move on to work on the registry, we recommend you take certain precautions. You must avoid errors or mistakes. They might prove too costly. You can create a backup of the contents of your registry through these short steps:
- First, you have to open the Registry Editor app. Launch the Run app (using the instructions we provided earlier), and then type regedit into the text box available.
Click on the OK button. Your system will run the code and bring up the Registry Editor program window at once.
- Click on File (close to the top-left corner of the program window), and then select the Export option.
- Type in RegistryBackup in the text field for File name. Click on the radio button for All (under Export range) to select this option.
- Now, you must navigate through the appropriate folders to select the directory where you want your system to store the backup.
- Click on the Save button. Windows will now create the backup using the export function. We recommend you navigate to the selected folder to confirm that the file is there.
With the backup in place, if anything goes wrong (due to your work on the registry), you will be able to restore order quickly.
Once you are ready to remove the Skype entries from your registry, see these steps:
- Open the Registry Editor app again. You did this not so long ago (we provided the instructions).
- Assuming the Registry Editor window is up, this time, you have to press (and hold) the CTRL button, and then tap the letter F key. The small Find window will come up now.
- At this point, you must type Skype into the text field provided, and then click on the Find Next button to perform a comprehensive search for the inputted keyword.
Note: The checkboxes for Keys, Values, and Data must be ticked before the search operation commences. These parameters are selected by default, anyway.
- Go through the results. You have to delete every item where the term ‘Skype’ appears. To remove an entry, all you have to do is highlight it (by right-clicking on it) and then select the Delete option from the menu list displayed.
- You must repeat the described operation on every entry that has something to do with the Skype keyword.
If the entries are numerous, you will find yourself spending a considerable amount of time to get rid of them. If there is any consolation, you are likely to be better off once those entries are no longer stored on your computer.
Use PowerShell to uninstall Skype (an alternative method of removing the universal version of the program):
If (for some reason) you struggle to uninstall Skype through the standard operations, then this alternative procedure will come in quite handy. An elevated PowerShell window (one with administrative privileges) provides the platform where users get to deregister, disable or dispatch many pre-installed Windows applications in the universal program format (like Skype).
Follow these instructions to use PowerShell to uninstall Skype on your Windows 10 computer:
- Press (and hold) the Windows logo button, and then tap the letter S key. The Windows Start menu programs and options will be visible now.
This time, you must type PowerShell into the text field (that shows up once you begin typing). Right-click on the first result, which is usually Windows PowerShell (Desktop app), and then select the Run as administrator option.
Your system will act to bring up the Administrator: Windows PowerShell window now.
- Type in the following code: Get-AppxPackage *Microsoft.SkypeApp* | Remove-AppxPackage
- To execute the inputted code, hit the Enter key. Windows will now initialize the operations required to remove Skype from your PC, and the process should reach completion in no time.
Disable Skype for business if you cannot bring yourself to uninstall it:
Earlier, we explained that the Skype for business app is part of the Microsoft Office suite, which comprises of popular applications like Word, Excel, and so on. In any case, to remove Skype for business, you have to uninstall Microsoft Office completely.
Of course, we understand too well that you cannot bring yourself to carry out that operation because you do not want to lose other applications in the Office package. Nevertheless, you do not have to suffer the presence of Skype for business.
You can disable its automatic startup feature. This way, as long as you do not open the application mistakenly, you will no longer be bothered by it. Do this:
- Open the Skype for business app, click on the Tools icon, and then select Tools > Options from the drop-down menu. The Options window will come up now.
- Select Personal, and then untick the checkboxes for these options to deselect them:
- Automatically start the app when I log on to Windows.
- Start the app in the foreground.
- Click on the OK button. With this new setting in place, Skype for business will remain on your PC, but it will no longer start up or run independently – it cannot bother you anymore.
For good reasons, we outlined numerous methods of doing the same thing to ensure that you somehow find a way to uninstall the Skype app on your PC.
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