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Remarkable features of Skype

Command line parameters for the new Skype

When the new Skype (that is, version 8 or higher) was released, users found that the program no longer supported the command line parameters that allowed to start several accounts at the same time or to create a portable Skype. In fact, not everything is as sad as it seems, and at the request of users, I decided to tell about the parameters of the command line in the new Skype. As a matter of fact, I planned to collect more information first and only then publish the article, but since they have already switched to the new Skype or are planning to do it, I'll have to tell only what I know and checked by myself (at the same time, other useful information may also come up).

List of command line parameters in the new Skype

Parameter Description
--datapath="path" Changes the folder where the user data is stored (by default, Skype stores them in %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Skype for Desktop). If path does not exist, Skype creates all the necessary folders.
--secondary Launches several instances of Skype at the same time. To run multiple accounts, you must specify the parameter --datapath
--shutdown Closes Skype processes, started without the parameter --secondary
--_="URI scheme" Launches Skype using parameters of the URI scheme skype: (for example, if you pass --_="skype:echo123?call&video=true", Skype will make a video call to the echo123 service).

In addition to these, there are several other parameters, but I am not sure yet what they are intended for. Some of these parameters are given below:
  • --application-name
  • --auto-start
  • --migration
  • --no-sandbox
  • --type

How to run more than one account at a time?

For example, create a new shortcut for each account and specify the following path:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft\Skype for Desktop\Skype.exe --secondary --datapath="F:\SkypeNew\Login_1"

For a more convenient way, read How to run multiple Skype programs simultaneously or How to create a portable Skype for Windows.

The article clearly does not contain all the information about the parameters in the new Skype, so I will periodically update the material. Also, I will be grateful for any comments and additions.

6 comments

  1. 0 0 0
    jordinordbeck,
    I have just looking for official information in skype website but the guide is for the old interface (any reference at all about the issue in the new version). I'm lucky to find your recent post. I have created a shortcut for the desktop (from the new skype path) and I have added the "--secondary" parameter in Properties>Shortcut (tab)>Target . That's all!
    1. 0 0 0
      Administrator,
      Hello! You're welcome! Please note that this won't allow you to use multiple accounts if you have enabled the "automatic log in" option. That is, when you run the second one without the --datapath parameter, it will launch the first account.
  2. 0 0 0
    Sandi,
    Thanks for this update, it's great to have found at least one person who's written about the newest Skype and multiple instances to run. Would you happen to know or have the command line for Skype on a Mac OSx?
    Hopeful in advance,
    Cheers!
    1. 0 0 0
      Administrator,
      I'm glad you found it useful. As for macOS I'm not sure, but I think the same commands should work. Is this not so?
      1. 1 +1 0
        Sandi,
        Thanks for your quick response! I'm not too sure but the old command line that worked before this update worked and the new "suggested" one that doesn't seem to work for me. Here's the newest (and only entry command lines I could find that was written up, shortly after the new release of 8.13.x

        sudo /Applications/Skype.app/Contents/MacOS/Skype /secondary (Did not work for me as it suggested that my login was not in the Sudoers file.)

        nohup sudo /Applications/Skype.app/Contents/MacOS/Skype /secondary (Did not work despite Admin Password request and entry)

        For reasons I can only believe is because I'm not running under my main Admin account, is perhaps somehow circumventing it from executing. It does prompt me for my Admin Password (to make changes) but once it's in, nothing changes. I will attempt it in the Admin login, but unfortunately it has not worked that way before, either.

        Before the newest Skype release, the command line that I entered and set as a start up file as well, worked like a charm, and both of my Skype accounts logged in and both instances were opened and running.
        The even more baffling part to this is, the OLD command line for the old release, works on my Macbook Pro, once I set up the old command line (as a start up file as well). So, I'm really baffled.

        Sorry for the lengthy reply!

        Cheers!

        [Updated ]
        UPDATE: For Mac OSx

        Messaged Skype Microsoft Support and this is what user TechFreak wrote and suggested:

        open -na /Applications/Skype.app --args --secondary --datapath="/Users/$(whoami)/Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Skype for Desktop/Profile1"

        To create an executeable text file (code file) and so that it can be made into a Startup file, use this at line 1:
        #!/bin/bash
        and use the Command line above as line 3. The Bin file should be ahead of the command line. This can be typed in TextEdit or Adobe Code and saved to run as a UNIX file, to execute.
        It works like a dream. If you don't wish to create an executeable, those lines can bIt can be either used typed out in TERMINAL or Use it in Users as a Start up Item to run.

        Hopefully this helps Unix or Mac OSx users too!

        Again, thanks so much for your help!

        Cheers!
        1. 0 0 0
          Administrator,
          Hey! Thank you very much for sharing this instruction. Regards!

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