Search Microsoft Security

Privacy in Skype

Privacy in Skype

Video calls with distant friends and loved ones can be an engaging and personal experience. At the same time, you may have concerns about who can contact you or see you or your family online. At Microsoft, your privacy is our priority.

Skype’s privacy settings give you control over who can contact you on Skype, and help you manage your conversation history, all from one page. To learn more about Skype privacy, read the Skype Privacy Policy.

Note: The instructions given here are for Windows desktop. You can also get directions for Windows 8 and Mac OSX.

Control who can contact you

By default, only the people in your Skype contact list can see your profile picture or share video or their screen with you, but anyone who searches for you can call you or send you an IM. Here’s how you can change these settings.

  1. On the Skype menu, click Privacy.

  2. Under Privacy settings, select the level of privacy you want.

    In this step you define who you will allow calls or IMs from, who you can automatically receive video from, and who can share your screen.

  3. Click Save.

Control your conversation history

You can choose how long to keep the conversation history stored on your computer, or delete it altogether.

To change conversation history settings

  1. On the Skype menu, click Privacy.

  2. Under Privacy settings, in the Keep history for list, select how long you want to keep your Skype conversation history.

  3. Click Save.

To delete your conversation history

Caution Following these steps removes your entire conversation history from your computer. This includes instant messages, calls, voice messages, SMS text messages, and sent and received files. When you delete your conversation history, you cannot recover it.

  1. In the Keep history for list, click Clear history
  2. Click Save.

Manage ads targeted to you

By default, Skype displays to non-paying Skype users ads from third parties through Microsoft Advertising. (Skype users who pay for such Skype features as making calls to landlines and mobiles do not receive these ads.) To deliver ads likely to be of greater interest to you, the ads you see are based on information that does not identify you personally, but that you have included in your Skype profile or otherwise provided to Skype, like your age, gender, language, and country of residence. Ads served by Microsoft also draw on other information that Microsoft Advertising collects outside Skype.

To opt out of targeted ads

If you opt out, you will still receive ads based on your language preference, your country of residence, and the location of your IP address, but no other information will be used by Skype to target ads to you.

  1. On the Skype menu, click Privacy.

  2. Under Privacy settings, click to clear the Allow Microsoft targeted ads… check box.

  3. Click Save.

Note: Learn more about your advertising choices in Skype.

Back to top  ^


Return to Your Privacy is Our Priority >