How to delete your Skype account the right way

By , Apr 5, 2016

Skype for iOS group video calling iPhone screenshot 001

Microsoft has made closing Skype accounts more convoluted than it needs to be. It’s understandable that no online provider would advertise the account deletion option front and center. With that in mind, permanently deleting a Skype account is a multi-step process so you’ll typically need to remove payment methods, cancel any subscriptions you may have, unlink your Microsoft account from your Skype account and more.

But don’t your worry, iDownloadBlog’s account-deletion series is here to help. This tutorial will guide you through the steps needed to successfully close your account on Skype the right way. As a bonus, we’ll show you how you can request a refund for your unused credits and unlink your accounts.

Closing Skype account the right way

Regrettably, there is no such thing as a magic button for closing a Skype account in one fell swoop.

“If you want to close your Skype account, you’ll need to contact us so we can close it for you,” explains Microsoft. Contacting Skype is the easy part. What’s crucial here are the three steps that must be taken before you kill your Skype account for good:

  • Unlink a Microsoft account from your Skype account
  • Cancel any active subscriptions and request a refund
  • Cancel a Skype Number, if you have one
  • Remove recurring payments by disabling the Auto-Renew feature
  • Update your mood message
  • Set your status to Offline or Invisible
  • Sign out of Skype on all devices
  • Remove personally identifiable details from your Skype profile

I’d wholeheartedly recommend that you use up any Skype credit you may have before you delete the account as you won’t be able to get these back after the account is closed.

Skype account vs. Microsoft account

If you signed up for Skype with a Microsoft account, closing your Skype account will also delete its linked Microsoft account. This might not be what you want because your Microsoft account is also your key to Outlook.com, Xbox Live, OneDrive and other Microsoft services.

Therefore, people who did sign up for Skype with their Microsoft account should first unlink the accounts to ensure uninterrupted use of their Microsoft account after their Skype account is gone.

How to delete your Skype account

If you did not sign up for Skype with your Microsoft account, proceed to step 5.

1) Sign in to your Skype account at skype.com in a web browser.

2) Go to your account settings: scroll down to the bottom of the webpage and click Account Settings under the Settings and Preferences heading.

How to delete Skype account web screenshot 001

3) Next to your Microsoft account, click the Unlink option.

How to delete Skype account web screenshot 002

Tip: If the option reads Not linked rather than Unlink, your Skype account has not been linked to your Microsoft account. If that’s the case, you can safely proceed to step 5.

4) A confirmation message appears. Click Continue to confirm the action. Your Skype account should now be unlinked from your Microsoft account.

Tip: If your Skype name in the interface shows as live:[your email address without domain] or outlook:[your email address without domain], unlinking the accounts will cause you to lose all of your Skype contacts across Microsoft’s online properties like Outlook.com.

You can only unlink your accounts a limited number of times. Should you get a message saying you cannot unlink the two accounts, contact Skype Support using an online form.

Tip: Unlinking accounts may sign you out of your Skype account. If so, just sign in again at Skype.com to proceed with the account deletion process.

5) You will now have to cancel any Skype subscription or recurring payments. In your Skype account settings on the web, click the subscription you want to cancel in the blue bar on the left.

How to delete Skype account web screenshot 003

6) Click Cancel Subscription to continue.

7) Now click “Thanks but no thanks, I still want to cancel” to confirm subscription cancellation.

Tip: Now may be a good time to request a refund for any Skype subscriptions that you haven’t used. You can do this either in a live chat with Skype’s support staff or fill out the online Cancellation and Refund form.

8) If you purchased a Skype Number where people can ring you, you should cancel it before closing the account: click Skype Number in the Manage Features section, then click Settings and finally hit the Cancel Skype Number option.

How to delete Skype account web screenshot 006

Your Skype Number subscription remains active until its expiry date, which is noted in the web interface. After it’s expired, Microsoft will reserve your Skype Number for 90 days.

“This means no one else but you can purchase this particular number during this period,” explains Microsoft. To renew your Skype Number subscription, click Skype Number in the Manage Features section, then Skype Number and finally Reactivate Settings next to the number you’d like to reactivate.

Keep in mind that you cannot request a refund for a cancelled Skype Number.

9) If you use recurring payments to have your Skype credit automatically topped up when the balance falls below a certain amount, disable the Auto-Recharge feature: in the Account Details section on the web click Billing & Payments, then hit Disable under the Auto-Recharge tab right next to Status.

How to delete Skype account web screenshot 005

Although both involve recurring payments, don’t confuse auto-recharging Skype Credit with having a Skype subscription.

10) Now that you’ve cancelled your Skype subscriptions and removed recurring payments, contact Skype Customer Service and tell them you’d like to close your account.

The consequences of closing Skype account

Deleting the account permanently removes any data that was associated with it, including your Skype contacts, purchases and chat history. Microsoft says that it might take up to 30 days for your name to disappear from the Skype directory after the account is closed.

After 30 days, no one will be able to find you in Skype. Your name will still appear in your friends’ contact lists unless they remove it, but they won’t be able to contact you.

If for whatever reason you’d like to prevent people from finding you on Skype before 30 days have passed, consider changing your profile picture and mood message, setting your status to Offline or Invisible and removing other personal information from your Skype profile.

Removing your Skype profile information

To make it more difficult for others to find you in the Skype directory, remove your personal details from your Skype profile and perform other housekeeping actions detailed below.

Change your profile pic—To change a profile picture that identifies you on Skype, tap My Info on Skype for iOS, hit your profile picture and select Remove Profile Picture.

How to delete Skype account Mac screenshot 001

On Skype for Mac, simply click the camera icon on the profile picture preview and then browse for a different picture (try replacing it with a generic mugshot image).

Update your status—You should leave a polite status message on your Skype profile. This shall help your contacts realize you’re no longer active on the service. On Skype for iOS, tap the My Info tab or click your profile picture in Skype for Mac to update your details.

How to delete Skype account iPhone screenshot 001

Now tap Enter Mood Message to update your status message on Skype.

Set your status to Offline or Invisible—This is a recommended step to ensure that people will no longer be able to see you on Skype. To get started, tap My Info → Status on Skype for iOS, or click File → Change Status on Skype for Mac.

How to delete Skype account iPhone screenshot 002

Then, set your status to Offline or Invisible.

Sign out of Skype on all your devices—To sign yourself out of Skype on any other devices you might be using, type the chat command /remotelogout into the chat window on one of your Skype devices.

How to delete Skype account Mac screenshot 002

As a last step, don’t forget to sign out of Skype on the device you’re using now.

How to delete Skype account Mac screenshot 003

Removing other Skype profile details

Updating your other Skype profile details may be easier in the web interface.

Sign in to your account on skype.com, go to your profile, scroll to the bottom of the page and click Edit Profile under Settings and Preferences. Next, click Edit in the Personal Information and remove all identifiable information from the Personal Information and Contact Details sections.

How to delete Skype account web screenshot 007

I’d typically type some random characters in mandatory fields before clicking Save.

“You should leave your email address in your profile so that we can verify your account when closing,” cautions Microsoft. “After we have closed the account, we will remove your email address.”

Keep in mind that you cannot edit your Skype name.

Deleting other online accounts

If you like this article, check out the following resources:

Need help? Ask iDB!

Got stuck? Not sure how to do certain things on your Apple device?

Let us know at help@iDownloadBlog.com and our future tutorials might cover your specific problem and hopefully provide a solution.

Submit your how-to suggestions at tips@iDownloadBlog.com.

  • Share:
  • Follow:

  • genericid

    If you click on “unlink” you will see that you can’t unlink Skype and Microsoft account anymore.
    To make sure, I just contacted Microsoft support by chat and they confirmed that this is no longer possible.

    Microsoft has been changing a lot lately, but this, together with forced telemetry, still stand out as typical Microsoft crappy attitude. FU Microsoft for forcing decisions on me!

  • MSi_ GS70_6QE

    it’s bullsht i cannot remove primary email skype cannot be removed

  • genericid

    In my comment I said that you cannot unlink the accounts anymore.

    Your comment makes no sense, but you will never get to read this, since you couldn’t be bothered choosing a username. Good job.

    • Anonymous

      I read it. I think you want to retain your Microsoft account. Skype doesn’t allow to create new accounts and now links the Microsoft account to the Skype account. So the username now becomes “live: Microsoft id”. The unlinking option isn’t working. So if you are Okay with deleting the entire account which you created for Skype purpose, you can delete the live account. I don’t care if you want to bash the vendor Microsoft. The intention of this blog is to help someone delete their Skype account.

      • genericid

        The intention was helping users delete it *the right way*, as per title, implying not needing to do harm to your MS account. Which is now impossible thanks to MS, which is way MS is being full of shit on this and this must be said aloud.

        The whole point of my first comment was that I verified with MS support that it’s not possible anymore to unlink the accounts, so it was obvious that the only solution to delete your Skype account is deleting your MS account, which is why I couldn’t see the reason for your reply, advising me to delete the MS account and as if it was a “good alternative”. It’s a destructive path that MS is forcing on users, without giving them choice and MS has to strongly condemned for this attitude. Now you wanna be the “peace” dude, ok, but users have to be aware of this. As I said MS lately has been doing good, but they still act shitly in some areas. This is one of those areas and users must know.

      • Anonymous

        But I think that’s the way they want it to be. Like you automatically get access to Hangout once you have a Gmail id. Maybe they no longer want to keep Skype account separate. So for new users like me who opened a Microsoft account just for Skype and now no longer want it, deleting the whole account should not be a problem.

      • genericid

        Of course that’s the way they want it to be, and there’d be nothing wrong with it if they would have sent a notice to users informing that the two accounts would be joined. IIRC this is what Google did when unifying YouTube accounts into Google accounts, letting people know beforehand that this change was going to happen (but since this didn’t happen yesterday, I might not be recalling this 100% right).

        Anyway, what’s done it’s done, and as you say you can now only delete the entire MS account.

        But remember that MS accounts started out with Hotmail, so the vast majority of MS accounts were created for email. Having to change your (presumably old) email address just because you want to unlink it from another service is not exactly a really nice thing to be forced to.. And many people use it not only for email, but also developer services and other work stuff..

        Only users who only opened it for Skype like you are lucky. But it shouldn’t be a matter of luck here.. it’s a matter of correctness, by not denying freedom of choice.

  • disqus_vXqSqVsRv1

    I have deleted my Skype account and MS states it take 2 months to close and gave me a date. Does my profile disappear or is it still appearing on others Skype contacts? Thank You….

  • disqus_vXqSqVsRv1

    To clarify my message below. MS gave me 2 months if I decide to change my mind about closing the account. Does my Skype Profile immediately disappear once I submit “close” to MS. Does it appear in contacts on other Skype participants?