Why do I get a Disk I/O error when I try to sign in to Skype for Windows desktop?

This article is also available for:

Sometimes you may see the "Disk I/O error" message when attempting to sign in to Skype.

 

The Disk I/O error message displayed when trying to sign in to Skype.

To resolve this problem, make sure that you are using the latest version of Skype.

However, if the same error happens again, choose your operating system from the list below and follow the steps:

  1. Quit Skype. If you can see the Skype icon in the taskbar (at the bottom right of your screen), right-click it and select Quit. If you cannot see the Skype icon, use Task Manager to close Skype. Simply press Ctrl+Alt+Delete and click Start Task Manager. In the Applications tab, select Skype, then click End Task.
     
  2. In Windows Explorer, go to Tools > Folder Options.
     
  3. Click the View tab.
     
  4. In Advanced Settings, under Hidden files and folders, tick Show hidden files and folders, then click OK.


     
  5. In Windows Explorer, navigate to: C:\Documents and Settings\<your_windows_username>\ApplicationData\Skype (Where <your_windows_username> is your Windows user name).
     
  6. Look for the folder with the same name as your Skype name and delete it. If you're signing in with your Microsoft account, the folder will start with live#3.

    This will delete your chat history. To save your chat history, open the above folder and copy the main.db file and the chatsync folder to another location. You will be able to transfer them back (described in step 8, below). Be aware that we cannot guarantee your entire chat history will be restored.
     
  7. Restart Skype and sign in with your Skype name and password. If you forget your password, these instructions tell you what to do.
     
  8. The folder you deleted in step 6 will be re-created. If you saved your chat history files (described in step 6), transfer them back into the folder with the same name as your Skype name.
  1. Quit Skype. If you can see the Skype icon in the taskbar (at the bottom right of your screen), right-click it and select Quit. If you cannot see the Skype icon, use Task Manager to close Skype. Simply press Ctrl+Alt+Delete and click Start Task Manager. In the Applications tab, select Skype, then click End Task.
     
  2. Click Start > Control Panel Appearance and Personalization > Folder Options.
     
  3. Click the View tab.
     
  4. Under Advanced settings, tick Show hidden files and folders, then click OK.


     
  5. In Windows Explorer, navigate to: C:\Users\<your_windows_username>\AppData\Roaming\Skype (Where <your_windows_username> is your Windows user name).
     
  6. Look for the folder with the same name as your Skype name and delete it. If you're signing in with your Microsoft account, the folder will start with live#3.

    This will delete your chat history. To save your chat history, open the above folder and copy the main.db file and the chatsync folder to another location. You will be able to transfer them back (described in step 7 below). Be aware that we cannot guarantee your entire chat history will be restored.
     
  7. Restart Skype and sign in with your Skype name and password. If you forget your password, these instructions tell you what to do.
     
  8. The folder you deleted in step 6 will be re-created. If you saved your chat history files (described in step 6), transfer them back into the folder with the same name as your Skype name.
  1. Quit Skype. If you can see the Skype icon in the taskbar (at the bottom right of your screen), right-click it and select Quit. If you cannot see the Skype icon, use Task Manager to close Skype. Simply press Ctrl+Alt+Delete and click Start Task Manager. In the Applications tab, select Skype, then click End Task.
     
  2. Click Start > Control Panel. From the menu bar, select Tools > Folder Options….
     
  3. Click the View tab.
     
  4. Under Advanced settings, select Show hidden files, folders and drives, then click OK.


     
  5. In Windows Explorer, navigate to: C:\Users\<your_windows_username>\AppData\Roaming\Skype (Where <your_windows_username> is your Windows user name).
     
  6. Look for the folder with the same name as your Skype name and delete it. If you're signing in with your Microsoft account, the folder will start with live#3.

    This will delete your chat history. To save your chat history, open the above folder and copy the main.db file and the chatsync folder to another location. You will be able to transfer them back (described in step 7 below). Be aware that we cannot guarantee your entire chat history will be restored.
     
  7. Restart Skype and sign in with your Skype name and password. If you forget your password, these instructions tell you what to do.
     
  8. The folder you deleted in step 6 will be re-created. If you saved your chat history files (described in step 6), transfer them back into the folder with the same name as your Skype name.

There are two possible fixes for the Disk I/O error. The first is to delete and re-create your user folder:
  1. Quit Skype. If you can see the Skype icon in the taskbar (at the bottom right of your screen), right-click it and select Quit. If you cannot see the Skype icon, use Task Manager to close Skype. Simply press Ctrl+Alt+Delete and click Start Task Manager. In the Applications tab, select Skype, then click End Task.
     
  2. In the Start screen, press the Windows key Windows key. on your keyboard or, if you’re using a touchscreen, swipe from the right edge of the screen and select Start. Windows 8 switches to the desktop.


     
  3. Open the File Explorer then copy and paste the following path to the address bar:
      %appdata%\Skype
     
  4. Look for the folder with the same name as your Skype Name and delete it. If you're signing in with your Microsoft account, the folder will start with live#3.

    This will delete your chat history. To save your chat history, open the above folder and copy the main.db file and the chatsync folder to another location. You will be able to transfer them back (described in step 6, below). Be aware that we cannot guarantee your entire chat history will be restored.
     
  5. Restart Skype and sign in with your Skype Name and password. If you forget your password, these instructions tell you what to do.
     
  6. The folder you deleted in step 4 will be recreated. If you saved your chat history files (described in step 4, above), transfer them back into the folder with the same name as your Skype Name.
The second solution fixes a problem where you changed your environment variables (temporary files) to a location outside your profile, and are therefore missing some necessary permissions. These steps use the example of C:\Temp for the temporary folder, but it can be any location you set up for temporary files. To fix this error:
  1. Quit Skype.
  2. Browse to C:\ on your computer and right-click the Temp folder (C:\Temp).
  3. Click Properties.
  4. Click the Security tab.
  5. Click Edit.
  6. Click Add in the Permissions for Temp window that opens.
  7. Make sure the From this location field shows your PC name. If it does not, perform the following before going on to step 7:
    • Click Location.
    • Select your PC name from the Locations list.
    • Click OK.
  8. In the Object names to select box, enter ALL APPLICATION PACKAGES.
  9. Click Check Names; the ALL APPLICATION PACKAGES will be underlined.
  10. Click OK.
  11. ALL APPLICATION PACKAGES will be added to the list of accounts able to access the C:\Temp folder.
  12. Click the check boxes for Full control, Modify, Read & execute, List folder contents, and Read and Write to grant ALL APPLICATION PACKAGES full control.
  13. Click OK to close the Permissions for Temp window.
  14. Click OK to close the Temp properties window.
  15. Re-open and re-run Skype.

 

If you’re still experiencing problems signing in, please contact Skype Customer Service.

Did this answer your question?

Thank you for your feedback

Did you know you can make video calls with three or more people anywhere in the world with Skype Premium? Find out more.

How else can we help?

You can always ask your question in our community, or if you have some feedback that could help us improve this FAQ, you can leave it below. Learn more about getting support for Skype.

Important: Do not enter any personal information (such as your Skype Name, email address, Microsoft account, password, or real name or phone number) in the field below.

Share this article