Disable Skype’s forced updates

The Problem

Older versions of Skype (e.g. 3.6 or 3.8) are being forced to update, with a message which states “Skype must be updated now for security reasons”.

The Cause

Microsoft’s recent acquisition of Skype has meant an increased number of updates. If you’re like me, the necessity and legitimacy of these updates is questionable. Skype automatically downloads these updates in the background to your temp folder.

The Solution

This solution has several parts:

  1. Skype settings to prevent automatic updatesDisable Auto-Update in Skype’s settings.
    If you can still access and use Skype, go to Tools -> Options -> Advanced and ensure the auto-update boxes are all unticked.
  2. Block Skype’s update server using your computer’s hosts file.
    To do this, navigate to C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\etc and open up the file called “hosts” using a text editor.
    Enter the following on a new line at the bottom of the file:

    127.0.0.1   ui.skype.com

    Make sure you enter this on a new line at the bottom, not an existing line, and the line should not begin with a # symbol.

  3. Prevent Skype from sneakily downloading update files in the background.
    Skype downloads updates silently (and sneakily) to your temp folder. To ensure it can no longer do this:
    – Navigate to %temp%
    – Delete SkypeSetup.exe
    – Create a new blank text file in Notepad, and use File -> Save As to save it as SkypeSetup.exe
    – Right click your new file, choose Properties -> Security -> Advanced -> Change permissions -> Add -> type “Everyone” -> Choose “Deny” -> OK -> OK

Done.

89 Replies to “Disable Skype’s forced updates”

  1. Thanks for someone trying to fix this, but it didn’t work for me. Already had updates disabled although can’t access Skype program at all now; tried no. 2 and still got ‘must update’ screen. There is no skypesetup.exe file anywhere on computer that I can find. Searched all temp folders-AppData, Windows, etc. Even tried creating skypesetup.exe, saved to temp file in AppData\local\ and did permissions as suggested – no go. Would greatly appreciate if you post alternative solution here or where you posted on skype community. I hate updates. 3.6 or 3.8 rock, more secure in my opinion, whereas updates allow spam etc. Please forgive bogus info but concerned about privacy. Thanks.

    1. I had the same issue, but the fixes above worked. Have you edited your hosts file as directed? Blocking Skype’s update server is what fixed it for me.

      If you’ve done this, could you please download Fiddler2, run it, open Skype, and you should see which update URL it attempts to access. Please let me know.

      P.S. don’t worry about bogus info. You’re quite right.

      1. Wow, you are a star, thanks so much!! After seeing same problem with Skype on another computer running XP, tried your solution and saw that the hosts file looked slightly different from W7. In W7 I had typed what I saw above, ie a #, then space, then the 127.0.0 etc. In XP, I just typed the 127.0.0 etc from the left edge, no #, found there was a skypesetup.exe in the Temp file there and your solution worked. Hurray! Then went back to W7 machine and changed the host file slightly to take out the # and put the numbers at the left edge and voila – it worked! I did download and run Fiddler2 – I don’t understand what I’m looking at yet (after seeing Result 404, ui.skype.com ui/0/3.6.0.248/en/getlatestversion?ver=3.6.0.245&hash= [then a long series of numbers and letters] all in red, underneath that are 17 lines of ‘Tunnel to’ then a series of numbers, all of the last three digits being 443. Any idea what that is? Many, many thanks for your help. I hope Skype/MS get the message and stop harrassing people who want to use earlier more efficient versions. Ta muchly!

        1. Excellent, glad to hear it worked. Thanks for the fiddler2 info – the URL you pasted is Skype’s update URL which we are blocking using the hosts file. I just wanted to make sure it was the same URL for you. 🙂

      2. Starting early May I encounterd this same problem – that Skype would demand an update for “security reasons” (I use v3.60248). I got around this by blocking Skype’s access to IP 91.190.216.9 (which I guess is more or less the same thing than your solution with the hosts file).

        However, this morning Skype stopped working entirely.

        Am I the only one experiencing this; or is this the end of v3.6?

      3. Good aternoon TerseTechTips Admin i have download the Fiddler2 so what do i do next, i really needed this skype 3.8 on my widows 7 i3

  2. 1. Open Skype.exe in HxD hexeditor, goto address 09323AB (CTRL+G)
    2. replace next 10 bites with 90 (NOP)
    so replace B8 01 00 00 00 E8 F7 12 FB FF with 90 90 90 90 90 90 90 90 90 90
    3. Save Skype.exe
    4. Done … run Skype.exe and all upgrades al absolutely disabled 😉
    This is for 3.6.0.248 version of Skype 😉

    1. Hi Peter, thank you for your advice. I have been trying to follow it but now confronted with “cannot open file for write access”. I can see the content in the HEX editor, but I am unable to change anything… I tried to change permissions in file Security Properties but it does not make any difference. Please, what do I do& Thanks alot!

  3. Nice! That works! Thanks to this guide I am able to keep my beloved version 3.6.0.248 which is running under W7 64-bit Pro

  4. Hi guys! I’ve tried all of the steps on my laptop, but it didn’t work. I’m using Skype 3.8.0.188 (I think this is the version).

    I really want to use the old Skype. Please give me an advice what to do. When I launch Skype it either crashes or gives me this stupid dialog window “for security reasons skype needs to be updated”.

    If there is any hope for this to be fixed, please write a solution. Thanks!

    1. Can you please see my reply to “Thanks”, above, (comment #6) and try the same advice? If it doesn’t work please post your Fiddler2 URL as “Thanks” did, too.

  5. I did everything you said and it worked for me! I’m using Win7 64 and skype version 3.6

    Just wanted to make a little note, that 3.6 used to crash and say i must uptade imediatly and i couldnt change auto update option..i had to install skype 3.8 (it crashes after 30 sec on win7 x64, bet i was fast enough)

    Shout outs and big thank you who ever made this tutorial, why they made such a peace of shit new skype i have no idea!

  6. Great! Thanks a bunch! Seems to be working.
    A tip for those who cannot save the edited file: close notepad and copy the host file to desktop – or wherever, edit, save and then put the file back into the etc folder making sure to overwrite the old one.

  7. Blocking Skype’s update server from the host file worked for me. Thank you very much.
    I know it doesn’t apply to all, but when someone refuses to make updates there’s probably a reason for it. And Skype should respect this choice.

  8. Hey mates,does anyone having trouble with video?i have seem cannot get video working if other side has newest skype…

  9. THANK YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU I had 4 different “Computer Savvy” friends that couldnt fix it. I saw ur post did exactly what you said and POOF it was fixed…Sooo thank you thank you thank you

  10. Hello from Bulgaria! And thank you so much for this solution! Blocking the domain is better than blocking the IP address, bcause the ip can be changed. But ui.skype.com is in the source code of skype 3.6 and it cannot be changed because the version is already in your computer! So, edit the host file is the right solution! Thank you again, man!

  11. @peter – thanks for posting that patch, works great!

    tip for future users; make sure to clear Skype.exe’s readonly flag, and run hxd as administrator 😉

  12. Thanks for the sollution! I have a question though… I can no longer make video-calls from within Skype, has this happened to anyone else?
    I’m using the pre-bloat 3.6.0.248 version.

  13. ei,

    everything was great. But now Skype 3.6 don’t work! Is this the end or what! Is sombody has an idea?

    The Peter’s method and the other method stop workin. there is no chance to sign in! thse skype stop and return me to the password and user name.

  14. This worked for me too but for some reason I can no longer launch multiple instances of Skype. Is that one of the trade-offs for still being able to use the older version using these steps?

  15. Lovely, after months of following steps from other sites, none work unless yours. May God richly bless you and enrich you in knowledge

  16. Mine Skype 3.8.0.188 still works. No login problems, just updates disabled in the preferences. No video calls possible though.

  17. 3.6.0.248 worked just fine, but the headache came back yesterday again 🙁
    I wasn’t able to start video with anyone using any of the newer versions, but it worked with older versions without problems.

    Unfortunately, yesterday a window popped asking for the password and it doesn’t want to login anymore. This happened with 2 separate versions, both on Windows 7 64-bit.
    However, it works just fine on Windows XP Professional which is weird.

    A similar happened about a month ago when deleting the whole profile and letting Skype recreate it resolved the login problem, but that trick didn’t work this time. Uninstalling the whole 3.6.0.248 and installing it again didn’t help either.

    It looks like M$ is trying hard to force all of us to switch to the ugly bloatware and if we don’t find another solution the only alternative would be to use some of its alternatives like Trillian.

  18. Done & done.

    I hate the forcing of updates – even if you switch off automatic updates it will keep downloading the latest setupversion under %TEMP% named SkypeSetup.exe AND pop up a window every few minutes telling you there is an update downloaded and reasy for installation. Really? I just disabled it.

    ONE THING TO ADD. under %PROGRAMFILES%\Skype\Updater you will find an executable and a dll. Just move them away somewhere or delete them alltogether.

    How incredibly stupid by Microsoft to force pre-SP 3 XP users to upgrade if they want to use the latest version of Skype. Or maybe it is incredibly smart. Or Evil.

    Or both.

  19. Hi,
    I know I will look stupid , but I do not know haw to proceed with the step >3<

    Navigate to %temp%

    WHERE IS %temp% (I have XP home)

    Thanx

    1. Just type %temp% in the search box when you press Win button + E.
      You’ll be directed there. Although don’t expect that to work anymore.

    2. DearJoe
      In Window XP
      Press START which use to open programs list etc
      Press RUN which is at bottom
      And in pop text box , write %temp% and hit enter
      you will have temp folder opened

  20. I followed the instruction
    I had Skype update off from option menu but it was still updating.
    Moved to 2nd step and added line to bottom.
    Went to temp folder and deleted Skype Setup.
    Made a new blank Skypesetup.exe and put it in folder.
    I did not see any tab by name of “Security”
    I opened all tab but did not find anywhere I can change permission.
    Got frustrated and deleted a wrong file ” Skype***” and thoght I totally screwed whole thing.
    But i started Skype and wow there was no prompt to Update Skype.
    I closed and again restarted and no prompt to update.
    This worked for me even when i could not do it as it has to be done.
    Thanks to author for sharing the trick

  21. Have some one tried to use Resource Hacker? I used that for some years ago when I wanted to fake version number so I still could connect with forbidden version numbers.

  22. Thanks author for the wonderful trick 🙂
    Just one doubt, whether this trick will work on new updated skype installations. My tripping point for the auto update has come on latest update of skype (6.0.xxx) and now i don’t want any more downloads.

    But thanks to author anyway and will update this forum if the same is helpful apart from skype version 3.xxx also.

    Cheers

  23. What can you do when Skype has already updated you and now I can’t access it anymore? Supposedly I need to upgrade to XP service pack 3, but my computer refuses to accept that for some reason (running service pack 2). All I want is an older version back that works! I think I had a 6.something, but a few versions removed from the current one. Thanks.

  24. @anre: uninstall skype, go to oldversion.com and download the version you want. for me that would be the latest 4.2.
    btw you really must upgrade your xp to SP3, just use windows update. your security is at risk.

  25. This happened back in 2011 when Skype started overriding the user preference for automatic updates. I was at a hotel room in London with no Internet access, when I had to go on line briefly for client support. I used my mobile as a modem using expensive roaming charges so I did just the necessary stuff on line aiming to use just 1-2 Mb (I used a specific application and I knew what I was doing). Skype 4.2 was running in the background. I had the setting ‘check for updates’ and ‘download updates’ OFF in Skype for this very reason. (I also had Windows update just notify me of updates, not download them.) After 20 minutes or so connected, all of a sudden I had used 20MB. I was like what?? Turned out, Skype had sneakily downloaded the new version in the background. Cost of the 10 minutes on line was €20. WTF!

  26. Thanks, worked. was needed especially since the latest skype tends to show ads in the chatwindow.

    i can advise to use search to find all instances of skypeupdate, it not only is in the temp folder but also in the prefetch folder.

    interestingly i had deleted it from temp before, and it still came back, had also disabled the skypeupdate service. skype more and more starts behaving like a piece of malware.

  27. A few days back I got that message that I need to upgrade to the latest version of Skype – I am using v5.7.0.123.
    Today it logged me out by force and can’t of course log in back.

    I want to keep my old version – How?

    This is what I have done:
    — I can’t process point anymore
    — did
    — did (despite there was not SkypeSetup.exe in it)
    — quit Skypev5.7 and restart it
    — still ask for update and can’t login

    I need your help please! How can I further proceed? Did I miss something?

    I like the idea of comment nr 6 by “TerseTechTips Admin” using “Fiddler2” and comment nr 11 title “Thanks”.
    The idea of comment Nr 4 by “Peter – Open Skype.exe in HxD hexeditor” is also interesting

    In all those three comment points I need further help and advice that works for v5.7.0.123

    Thanks a lot for your valuable help and advices (y)

    1. Ups, just notice that my point marks are not displayed due to me using a wrong character. So here again my points:

      This is what I have done:
      – I can’t process point [1] anymore
      – did [2]
      – did [3] (despite there was not SkypeSetup.exe in it)
      – quit Skypev5.7 and restart it
      – still ask for update and can’t login

  28. A few days back I got that message that I need to upgrade to the latest version of Skype – I am using v5.7.0.123.
    Today it logged me out by force and can’t of course log in back.

    I want to keep my old version – How?

    This is what I have done:
    – I can’t process point [1] anymore
    – did [2]
    – did [3] (despite there was not SkypeSetup.exe in it)
    – quit Skypev5.7 and restart it
    – still ask for update and can’t login

    I need your help please! How can I further proceed? Did I miss something?

    I like the idea of comment nr 6 by “TerseTechTips Admin” using “Fiddler2″ and comment nr 11 title “Thanks”.
    The idea of comment Nr 4 by “Peter – Open Skype.exe in HxD hexeditor” is also interesting

    In all those three comment points I need further help and advice that works for v5.7.0.123

    Thanks a lot for your valuable help and advices (ok)

  29. I can’t sign in to Skype, so I can’t do step one.

    I went through the instructions, changed the host file, could not find the SkypeSetup.exe in any TEMP file, though I did find it in DOWNLOADS.

    I added the “new” SkypeSetup.exe as directed, but there was no DENY to choose, so I canceled. If I type in EVERYONE, as instructed, then hit ENTER, a window with a long list of things to be denied pops up. Again, I canceled.

    Is there any other way to maintain Skype 3.6 and be able to use it?

    Thank you so much!

  30. ya all these tricks are not working for me either , fiddler2 is not able to pickup and active connection when i try to login despite that i pointed fiddler to the process it self 🙁

  31. Thanks for the tip! Skype got me today. The hosts file edit works on Mac as well. OS 10.6.8 and minimalistic Skype 2.8x

  32. Thanks! This (#2) worked for me for the most recent forced upgrade on Mac OS 10.9.4, with my old Skype version 2.8.0.886. The hosts file on Mac is /etc/hosts, and you may need to change its permissions to edit it.

    Other advice I’d seen to block download.skype.com the same way did not work.

  33. HI All,

    Since a few weeks I have the terrible WIndows8 and try to manage. I was quite surprised today to find the following message when clicked skype: The new skype is here. Time for you to update, so you can enjoy the latest fixes,features and fun. Get the update”
    END of message , and of possibilities.
    I am quite chocked, and don’t want to go all “parano” on this ,but what the hell? I am not a programmer and just that fact makes me feel like a blind (wo)man walking through a SOUK, but up until now i had the vague illusion that i COULD DECIDE what i wanted and not wanted to install. I have already been freaking out for years , ever since I got the smartphone, with the crazy amount of info and access i have to grant to install some apps, but now skype , i have been on since like 13 years, all the way back to a beta version….
    yes yes it’s now Bill’s, but my question is:

    CAN i still use it ( win 8 and no can’t logg in anymore) without update?
    and if not, what alternative can i use, that is less creepy ( and doesn’t belong to a blood thirsty giant) ??
    HELP?

  34. Sorry for my ignorance, but when you are saying look in the %temp% folder are you talking about the temp folder under windows?

    I can find Skypesetup.exe in a lot of places on my computer, but not there. Then I have a lot of Skypesetupfull.exe, and a lot of Skypesetup.exe followed by numbers in the prefetch folder.

    3.8 has worked perfect for ever. But I thought I would try to update to the latest version even though I didn’t want to, but I had lost the ability to have video. Well it wouldn’t install and then when I went to run version 3.8 now it won’t run either.

    I am using Windows XP service pack 2. I know I should have upgraded to 3 but when I tried to, it crashed my computer and it took me two weeks to get it back on line again. So I have been running SP2.

    Any help you an give me would be appreciated my livelihood depends on SKYPE and right now I am screwed.

    Thanks!

    Doc from Las Vegas

  35. Since Monday I can’t login with 3.8. (can’t login, check connection) Password is correct since I can login via web. Anyone else having the same issue ? (Yes, I tried different OS+ISP.)

    Is there any other Skype client or should I give it up then ?

  36. Hi. I’m in the same situation as above. I used Skype v3.8 or v5.0, I don’t wanna go higher. When I was logged in there was no problem, but I had to reinstall my OS so I can’t log into Skype with that old versions anymore. But my friends who have v3.8 logged in successfully are still able to work with it. S o my thoughts are that there’s some info saved in the registry which makes it able to work. Unfortunately I don’t know what to search for. I tried to backup all the settings from Appdata folders etc, but it didn’t work. I’ll be very happy for any solution.

    1. My comment above is awaiting moderation, so I can’t point you to that link I posted yesterday.

      But – my 3.8 stopped working out of the blue, so I highly doubt it is a registry issue. Are your friends really using 3.8 ?

  37. Yeah, my girlfriend and some others are still on v3.8 with disabled updates and since you don’t log out it works.

    1. Huh ? They leave their PCs on 24/7? 😀 Anyway something was changed in the login process, so if they log out, they are doomed also.

  38. Hi. No even they turn off the computer and and than back on old Skype works. Just when you log out it doesn’t work. But it’s for sure something in the registry, cause I tried portable version of Skype on my laptop where also the v5.0 works and it worked. So I copied it to the flashdrive and run it on my desktop PC and there it didn’t log in, so some registry tweak should be possible.

  39. For all those searching for a solution, search for :

    winaero outdated skype

    in Google. There are already patched versions posted as comments. I can confirm that I can log in with this patched version 3.8. Enjoy.

  40. I’ll for sure try it, but the solution 2 won’t work, cause it’s not possible to log in with the v3.8 installation. If it was, I wouldn’t search for alternatives.

    1. do you still can use 3.8 if yes
      please explain what you do
      before 3 days my skype 3.6 and 3.8 stop forever
      i forced to use last version :=(
      if you really still could you please advice

  41. I can’t log in my 3.8 any more and don’t know what to do about it

    1. same done with me on 03-Sep-2014
      i couldnot use
      i tried a lot finally i find no other option and install Last SKYPE version :=(
      if you find any solution please advice me

  42. I need help at this step please…

    Prevent Skype from sneakily downloading update files in the background.
    Skype downloads updates silently (and sneakily) to your temp folder. To ensure it can no longer do this:
    – Navigate to %temp%
    – Delete SkypeSetup.exe
    – Create a new blank text file in Notepad, and use File -> Save As to save it as SkypeSetup.exe
    – Right click your new file, choose Properties -> Security -> Advanced -> Change permissions -> Add -> type “Everyone” -> Choose “Deny” -> OK -> OK

  43. cd %temp%
    ren SkypeSetup.exe BadSkypeSetup.exeBad
    and also add lines “127.0.0.1 xxx” to the hosts file, where xxx is a bunch of xxx.skype.com hostnames.

  44. skype is driving me crazy! is there an alternative? Does anybody know how to get rid of these 2 stupid faces? “call and chat with facebook friends for free” I do not even use the damn Facebook!
    I found, downloaded and tried to install skype 6.9, but what do you know? the damn thing is still trying to go out and download the latest version!!! Microsoft at it’s best – daddy knows better! grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
    hate it!

  45. Any update for 2017-2018 regarding Skype for Mac Desktops?
    The URL Skype checks for updates is no longer valid. Not sure if there is another specific URL for that purpose or if Skype utilizes other means.
    Any help would be appreciated.

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