How do I manage my privacy settings in Skype for Windows desktop?

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Skype’s privacy settings let you control who can contact you on Skype, and help you manage your conversation history. You can change your privacy settings to prevent nuisance calls or spam messages, as well as block and report any nuisance contacts.

Learn more about your online privacy and security.

To control who can contact you on Skype

When you first download Skype, by default only the people in your contact list can see your profile picture, or share their screen or video with you, but anyone who searches for you can call you or send you an IM. You can change these settings at any time.

To change your privacy settings:

1

In Skype, from the menu bar, click Skype > Privacy....

The Privacy selected from the drop down menu under Skype.

The Privacy Settings panel is displayed.

2

Control who is allowed to make Skype-to-Skype calls to you.  

Under Privacy settings, choose Allow anyone to contact me or Only allow people in my Contact list to contact me.

The Allow anyone to contact me and Only allow people in my Contact list to contact me options displayed under Privacy settings.

3

Click Show advanced options on the right to display more options to manage your privacy settings.

4

Control who is allowed to send you video and share their screen with you.

Under Automatically receive video and screen sharing from, choose anyone, people in my Contact list only, or no one.

Privacy settings panel showing receive video from options

5

Control who can send you instant messages.

Under Allow IMs from, choose anyone or people in my Contact list only.

Privacy settings panel showing IM options

6 Check the Allow Microsoft targeted ads, including use of Skype profile and gender option if you want to share your profile details with advertisers.

The Accept Skype browser cookies and Allow Microsoft targeted ads, including use of Skype profile and gender options displayed.

Learn more about who can see your profile information.

To manage your conversation history

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

To change your history settings:

1

In Skype, from the menu bar, click Skype > Privacy…> Show advanced options.

2

Below Keep history for, click on the drop-down list and select the amount of time you’d like your history to be saved for.  

Choose from forever, 3 months, 1 month, 2 weeks or no history.

Privacy settings panel showing keep history for options

To delete your conversation history, click Clear history. This removes the entire history from your device, including instant messages, calls, voice messages, SMS text messages, video messages, sent and received files.

Important: If you delete your conversation history, you cannot recover it.

To block a contact

You can easily block a contact to prevent them from calling you, sending you instant messages and seeing your status. To do so:

1

In Skype, on the Contacts tab, right-click on the contact you want to block and select Block This Person…

The Block this person option selected from the menu displayed after selecting the contact you want to block.

2

Check Remove from your Contact list.

3

To report a nuisance contact to Skype, check Report abuse.

The Block this person dialog box with Report abuse and Block options selected.

4

Click Block. The contact is removed from your contact list and won’t be able to contact you again.

To unblock a contact

It’s easy to unblock a contact so they can call you, send you instant messages and see your status:

1

In Skype, from the menu bar click Skype > Privacy…

2

Click Blocked contacts.

The Privacy settings panel showing blocked contacts.

3

In the Blocked people box, click the contact you want to unblock and click Unblock this person.

The Privacy settings panel showing unblock this person button.

The contact is added back to your contact list and can contact you.

To learn more about your online security, safety and privacy, visit our security center.

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