What is a status setting and how do I change it in Skype for Windows desktop?

Your status lets your contacts know if you’re available to have a conversation. It’s set automatically, but you can change it manually at any time. Just click your status icon next to your name and choose the right status from the list.

Various status icons displayed next to the Skype Name.
Each of your contacts also has a status displayed next to their name in your contact list, so you know how best to contact them. Anyone with one of these beside them The Online, Away and Do not disturb status icons. is on Skype so it's free to call. If you see this symbol  next to your contact’s name, it means they’re on a mobile or landline. You’ll need a little Skype Credit or a subscription to call that contact.

If you roll your mouse over a contact’s status icon, you can see extra information about their status. If they’re offline, it will tell you if they have call forwarding or Voice Messaging set up, along with the date and time the contact was last online and when your last activity with them was: 

Additional information displayed for a contact with an Offline status: call forwarding options, the date of the last activity, and the last conversation with you.

The following table describes the different status icons that you can select for yourself, or that are displayed for your contacts. 

Status Description
This is your usual setting when you first sign into Skype. Your contacts can see that you’re online and can contact you. Instant messages will be delivered to you straight away.

Your contacts can see that you’re signed in to Skype but not necessarily at your computer. Instant messages will be delivered to you immediately and your contacts can still try to call you.

You can set how many minutes the computer must be inactive for before you are shown as Away. To do this:

  1. Click Tools > Options.
  2. Under General settings, tick Show me as Away when I've been inactive for [x] minutes, and enter the number of minutes in the field.
  3. Click Save.

If you have a value of 0, you will never appear as Away unless you manually set this status by clicking on your status icon and selecting it from the list.

  Do Not Disturb
Your contacts can see that you’re online but you don’t want to be disturbed. They can still send you instant messages and call you, but you won’t be alerted with sound.

You’ll appear to be offline to all of your contacts, but you can still use Skype as usual. It’s a good way to continue using Skype but not be disturbed by instant messages or calls from your contacts.


Automatically displayed when you’re not signed in to Skype. You can also set your status to offline by clicking your status icon and selecting it from the list.

When offline, you cannot send instant messages or make or receive calls. Instant messages sent to you will be available when you sign on, independent of the sender's online status.


Calls forwarded
Appears next to a contact if they’re not available but have call forwarding or Voice Messaging set up.

If you set up call forwarding on your own Skype account, calls can be forwarded to your work, home or mobile phone when you can’t take them online, so you need never miss a Skype call. 


Mobile or landline number
Appears next to contacts who are not on Skype. You’ll need a little Skype Credit or a subscription to call them.

  Contact request pending
Appears next to a person you added to your contact list, but you’re still waiting for them to accept your contact request.

Appears next to a group call or conversation window in your contact list.

Appears next to a contact you have blocked.  

The latest version of Skype for Windows desktop, lets you change your Skype status setting so you appear offline to your Facebook friends. To do this, click the status icon in the top left of Skype and select Facebook > Offline.

To appear online to your Facebook friends, first make sure that your status setting in Skype is Online. Then click the status icon again and select Facebook > Same as on Skype.

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