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How can I completely uninstall and then reinstall Skype for Windows desktop?

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First, try a simple uninstall and reinstall of Skype to see if that fixes the problems you’re having.

Before you uninstall, however, it's a good idea to back up your Skype history file so you can restore it later. Learn how.

To uninstall and reinstall Skype:

  1. Close Skype and make sure that Skype is no longer running.
  2. On your keyboard, press the Windows and R keys to open the Run dialog.
  3. Type appwiz.cpl and click OK.


     
  4. Right-click Skype that appears in the list and select Remove or Uninstall.

    Note: If you can’t find Skype in your installed programs, follow the directions here.



     
  5. Download and install the latest version of Skype.
    Get help with installing Skype.

If a simple uninstall and reinstall doesn't solve the problem you're having, you can completely uninstall and then reinstall Skype for Windows desktop by following the steps below. Note that by completely uninstalling, you might lose your account settings and chat history.

The following steps work for Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8 and above.

  1. Close Skype and make sure that Skype is no longer running.
  2. If you need to, save your personal information. Your contacts, purchases and account information are stored on our servers, but other personal files such as chat messages, voice messages and video snapshots taken during video calls, are only saved on your computer. To keep this personal information, you need to make a copy of it:
    1. On your keyboard, press the Windows and R keys to open the Run dialog.
    2. Type %appdata%\skype and click OK.


       
    3. Copy the My Skype Received Files folder and the folder with your Skype Name to another location, such as your desktop.
  3. Uninstall Skype.
    1. On your keyboard, press the Windows and R keys to open the Run dialog.
    2. Type appwiz.cpl and click OK.


       
    3. Right-click Skype in the list that appears and select Remove or Uninstall.

      Note: If you can’t find Skype in your installed programs, follow the directions here.


       
  4. Delete the Skype application folder:
    1. On your keyboard, press the Windows and R keys to open the Run dialog.
    2. Type %appdata% and click OK.
    3. Delete the Skype folder.
  5. Make sure that the Skype program folder has been deleted:
    1. Go to C:\Program Files (in Windows 8 and above, go to C:\Program Files (x86)).
    2. Delete the Skype folder and the SkypePM folder (if present).
  6. Delete any Skype entries from the Registry:
    Warning: Serious problems might occur if you modify the Registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. To be safe, it's a good idea to back up your Registry before making any changes. Click here for information on backing up your Registry.
    1. On your keyboard, press the Windows and R keys to open the Run dialog.
    2. Type regedit and click OK. This launches the Registry Editor.
    3. In the Registry Editor's Edit menu, click Find.


       
    4. Search for the keyword Skype and click Find Next.


       
    5. Use right-click to delete all the search results (there can be up to 50).
  7. Download and install the latest version of Skype.
    Get help with installing Skype.
  8. Restore your personal information if you saved it:
    1. Make sure Skype is not running. To close Skype from the taskbar, right-click the Skype status icon and select Quit.


       
    2. On your keyboard, press the Windows and R keys to open the Run dialog.
    3. Type %appdata%\skype and click OK.
    4. Copy the two folders you previously saved into this folder.

Reinstalling Skype can cause your firewall settings to become out of date. This can affect the quality of your audio calls. To avoid this, you can update your firewall settings.

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