unofficial blog

Remarkable features of Skype

How to run multiple Skype accounts at the same time?

Many users have or wish to have multiple Skype accounts, but few of them know how to run two or more Skype accounts simultaneously on the same computer. The problem is that by default, the Skype shortcut does not launches additional instance of the program, but switches to the already running, and thus, to switch to another account you need to close the current and launch the needed. In this article, by providing very simple instructions will teach you how to run two or multiple Skype accounts at the same time.

To get a step-by-step instruction, complete the form below:
Type your Skype username:

Choose your Skype version:

  1. Right-click on desktop (or inside desired folder) and choose «New», then click «Shortcut».

  2. As the location of the item paste the following command, and click «Next»:
    "%ProgramFiles%\Skype\Phone\Skype.exe" /secondary /username:skype_login

  3. Enter the name of shortcut (eg Skype.exe) and click «Finish».

  4. Now on your desktop will appears a new shortcut — double-clicking on it will launch Skype with your username. You can copy the shortcut to any folder, or if you want to automatically launch it at Windows starts up, copy the shortcut to the folder:
    %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu

How does it work in the classic Skype?

The Skype supports a very useful command line option: “/secondary” which allows to run multiple instances of Skype at the same time, we just need to pass it to the Skype.exe, using a shortcut or the command line. To tell which Skype login we want to use, we should specify the “/username” option.

As a result, we obtain the following command:
"%ProgramFiles%\Skype\Phone\Skype.exe" /secondary /username:skype_login

For convenience, we can save this command as a shortcut which launches Skype: right-click on the desktop and select the «New» and then click «Shortcut». Now, it remains to enter the above command as the item path and type the shortcut name.

How does it work in Skype 8?

The new Skype also has the ability to run multiple accounts at the same time, but the command line option /secondary is replaced by --secondary and you must use --datapath intead of /username.

As a result, we obtain the following command:
"%ProgramFiles(x86)%\Microsoft\Skype for Desktop\Skype.exe" --secondary --datapath="F:\Skype8"

Why Skype.exe cannot be found?

If during shortcut creation you get the “The file Skype.exe cannot be found” error, it means that Skype is installed elsewhere. Locate the installation folder and manually change the path of the item. For example, instead of:

"D:\Programs\Skype\Skype.exe" It is important to note that in the new Skype the default path is changed to:
"%ProgramFiles(x86)%\Microsoft\Skype for Desktop\Skype.exe"

Why do I need it?

For example, if you have two Skype accounts (personal and for work), you can use this method to start them simultaneously, and communicate with both friends and colleagues. Moreover, you can change settings for each account separately. For example, if you want to communicate only with colleagues, while friends should not disturb you, do the following: for the personal account change your status to Do Not Disturb, and for the second one set it to Online.

Does this method work in the new Skype?

Yes, the instruction works in the new Skype (that is, version 8 and above).


  1. 1 +1 0
    John Nakulski (karma: +4),
    To run multiple accounts on your Android device, simply download and install these 4 different versions:
    1. Skype for Android (the regular app we all know and love)
    2. Skype Beta (which shows you forthcoming features when you first open the app)
    3. Skype Lite (aimed at the India market but available and working worldwide)
    4. The China version of Skype, sometimes known as Skype Rover, which is now legacy but still works as of July 2018. It is unavailable in the Google Play store and must be side-loaded onto your device, which requires temporarily changing a security setting. Don't try this if you are nervous about privacy.

    I use all 4 simultaneously. I set up the colour schemes of the first 3so that I know which one I'm in.
    Hope this helps!
    John at Konnekt Videophone
  2. 0 0 0
    Lee (karma: 0),
    Thank you so much!!! :)
  3. 0 0 0
    Ronnie581 (karma: 0),
    Cant sign in to a paid Skype name , keep getting will send a code , this comes and then gets rejected as incorrect the versión is the latest one and I cant get info on how to change users wouldnt a drop down menú be useful , so you could just have both installed and select the one you want to use
  4. 0 0 0
    miko86 (karma: +301),
    I was using skype skype_7.40.0.104 till last night and have communicat "the next time you sign out or restart your computer, you'll need to update skype before you can sign back in" so i'm forced to use new skype Skype- I was looking folder where skype 8 have folder with my accounts and i found it here: C:\Users\Dell\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Skype for Desktop\skylib. I want be able to run multiple accounts. In checkbox "Save account settings in a separate folder" i can use this location C:\Users\Dell\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Skype for Desktop\skylib or it must be different?
    1. 0 0 0
      Administrator (karma: +1193),
      You can specify any folder you want.
  5. 1 +1 0
    Paolo (karma: +4),
    thanks, it worked for me! (Win 10, Skype 8.45)

    A couple of notes though:

    1) although I had first to create the folder on a non system drive (ie a USB key), later I was able to move the same folder onto the system drive. After correcting the path, the shortcut worked.

    2) the method does not work for those new skype ID having "live:..." or an email. (invalid ID error)
    1. 0 0 0
      Administrator (karma: +1193),
      Thank you for your message. I'm very glad that you found it useful. As for your notes:
      1) This happened because Windows do not allow Skype to create folders/files on the system drive. If you want to bypass it, you should run Skype as Administrator.
      2) It should work, even if this instruction do not allow you to use such username (well, now I fixed it). The only thing to remember is that you should replace “:” with “%3A”.

      By the way, I’m using this solution to automatically create portable Skype and run multiple accounts. It supports legacy usernames, as well as email and “live” accounts.

Add new comment

Comments are moderated by the administrator and cannot immediately appear on the site.
Want to be notified of new comments?
If you activate notifications, you can at any time cancel them.
Before you start receiving notifications, you’ll have to confirm that the email you provided is yours.
• When asking a question, please specify the operating system and the version of Skype.
• If you encounter any errors, copy the full text of the message here.
• Do not forget that this is an unofficial blog, and here you get help only from regular users of Skype.
Rate entry: