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Remarkable features of Skype

How to run older versions of Skype for Windows

In my opinion, the most unpleasant and only undeniable shortcoming of the latest versions of Skype is impossibility of making video calls on older processors without the support of the SSE2 instruction set. In order to help such users to enjoy video calls on older computers again, I decided to write a guide on installing version 6.1.999.130 – the latest version that supports video on processors without SSE2. Of course, instead of this version you can use any other, but it’s this one that I use as an example.

Version 6.1.999.130

Since version 6.1.999.130 is no longer supported, when entering a login and password the following error occurs: Skype can’t connect. But there is a trick: if you authorize to Skype using a new version (that is, which is supported), close Skype, and then run the old version – you will be automatically authorized in Skype, without errors, and you won’t have to enter your login and password. Thus, you can use Skype, as if the version was still supported, and most importantly, all the basic functions work: video calls, audio calls and instant messages.

1. Installation

  1. If you already have Skype installed, remove it from the control panel. After that, open the %appdata%\Skype folder and delete the file shared.xml. In the same folder, open the folder with your Skype login and delete the file config.xml.

  2. Download the old version 6.1.999.130 and install it. If after installation Skype has started automatically, it is very important to close it.

  3. Open the installation folder (for example, C:\Program Files\Skype\Phone) and rename the file “Skype” to “Skype_6.1.999.130” (if the operating system asks for your permission, confirm that you want to rename the file).

  4. Right-click on “Skype_6.1.999.130”, select “Send” and click “Desktop (Create Shortcut)”. A new shortcut "Shortcut for Skype_6.1.999.130" should appear on the desktop.

  5. Download version 7.17.0.104 (the oldest version that is officially supported) and install it. Please note, you shouldn’t remove the old version 6.1.999.130.

  6. After installing version 7.17.0.104, there should be two shortcuts on the desktop: “Skype” and “Shortcut for Skype_6.1.999.130”. The first one starts version 7.17.0.104, the second one – 6.1.999.130.
    Before going on, make sure that you have succeeded.

2. Settings

  1. Start Skype using the shortcut “Skype” (that is, you need to run version 7.17.0.104). If you are not sure that you have launched the correct version, click “Help” in the menu bar and select “About Skype” (there you will see the version number). If everything is correct, log in using your username and password.
    Authorization in Skype 7.17.0.104 for Windows


  2. Open Skype → Tools → Settings → General Settings and uncheck the box next to the option “Start Skype when I start Windows”. In the same section, just below, check the box “Sign me in when Skype starts”.
    Disable automatic authorization


  3. Then, in the menu on the left, click “Advanced”, select “Automatic Update”, click “Disable Automatic Updates” and click “Save”.
    Disable Automatic Updates

3. Using

  1. To run the old version, use the “Shortcut for Skype_6.1.999.130”. Of course, you can switch between versions at any time (for example, run 6.1.999.130, only when video communication is needed, and in other cases use the new version).

  2. Before you start one of the versions, make sure that no other version is running (for example, before running 6.1.999.130, be sure to close 7.17.0.104).

  3. To close Skype, right-click the Skype icon in the system tray (next to the clock) and select “Quit Skype”.

  4. Never use the “Sign out” option, because you won’t be able to enter the old version until you re-enter the new version.

Attention

  • When you first launch the “Shortcut for Skype_6.1.999.130”, the firewall may ask if you agree to allow the program to access the Internet. It is very important to click “Unblock” or “Allow” and permit Skype to connect to the network.

  • Authorization data are saved for a limited period of time (approximately 30 days from the last login to Skype). After the expiration of this period, you will have to run the new version again and authorize to it.

  • If after authorization to the old version, Skype closes automatically and requires a password, close Skype and delete the files shared.xml and config.xml.

  • There are “patched versions”, so to speak, in the Internet that allow you to log in to Skype, even if they are no longer supported. However, these versions have been changed by strangers, can contain viruses, and Skype developers forbid their use.

  • I cannot guarantee that tomorrow this method will still work. Therefore, I highly recommend, if possible, update and always use the latest version.

I don’t know, how many people use old computers without SSE2 support and still need older versions of Skype, but if they are numerous, I promise to develop a simplified version of this instruction. In general, as always, I wait for your feedback and comments.

33 comments

  1. 0 0 0
    Тай,
    but it wouldn't work ((((
    1. 0 -1 1
      Administrator,
      Please tell me more details, what’s the problem, which Skype version do you use, are you sure that everything is done correctly?
      1. 0 0 0
        Тай,
        1. to install the version of Skype 6.1.999.130 you need to uninstall the existing Skype
        otherwise version 6.1.999.130 is not set
        just remove the two files is not enough
        I have a question about Clownfish program where I can ask it?
        1. 0 0 0
          Administrator,
          As I indicated, first of all you need to uninstall current Skype version from Control Panel. But as regular uninstall do not remove files from %appdata%, you need to remove shared.xml and config.xml manually.

          You can ask here about Clownfish, but please note that I don’t use it and it is possible that I will not be able to help you.
  2. 0 0 0
    Christoffer,
    Do not work for me. Please help me to pay for a solution to the problem.
    1. 0 0 0
      Administrator,
      Hi! Are you sure that you followed the instructions as indicated?
      1. 0 0 0
        Christoffer,
        Yes I have. Can not you make a video?

        OS: Windows 7
        1. 0 0 0
          Administrator,
          1. 0 0 0
            Christoffer,
            Then I understand. But must select auto login for it to work.

            I have three skype accounts running at the same time how do you solve it?
            1. 0 0 0
              Administrator,
              Yep. I wrote that you need to enable the “Sign me in when Skype starts” option.

              About your question, look here How to run multiple Skype accounts at the same time?. If you need to run these accounts under 6.1.999.130, replace “Skype.exe” with “Skype_6.1.999.130.exe”.
              1. 0 0 0
                miko,
                It's works for me too with skype 6.20.0.104 but i don't understand how to run more than 1 skype account. Normally i could do it but with checked “Sign me in when Skype starts” i can't. I have one skype 6.20.0.104 signed in with one of my accounts, then i write "C:\Program Files (x86)\Skype\Phone\Skype 6.20.0.104.exe"/secondary but auto log not works because i'm already logged in my account and when i try type other accouts and passwords it can't connect.

                On other laptop i wanted have skype 3.8 but it not works the same like with skype 6.20.0.104, can't connect.
                1. 0 0 0
                  Administrator,
                  You should use parameters /secondary /username:"Username". For more details see How to run multiple Skype accounts at the same time.

                  By the way, you may consider to take a look at How to create a portable Skype for Windows (in this way I am running simultaneously two 6.1.999.130 versions + one 7.34.0.102).
                  1. 0 0 0
                    miko,
                    Thanks it's works but first i had to sign in on all my accounts with skype 7.17.0.104 and quit. Then i could run my accouts with skype 6.20.0.104. Now i can normally use skype for chat and call with old layout that i like but without option sign in and sign out i can't do a lot things i did before. Before everyday i deleted folder with my skype accout and refresh it. When someone was online they shared details with me, time zone and number of contacts so i was sure that they was online. And when my skype account was refresh i was clicking on all my skype contacts one by one, if i saw that there was country, age, gender or skype name (not skype id) then i knew that these contacts was online in last 24 hours. Now this is not possible because on skype 7.17.0.104 i see all this informations in all my contacts even if they was offline for 4 years and i see all mood mesages of my contacts on my "skype home". To use skype 6.20.0.104 i must first log into skype 7.17.0.104 and quit. And it means that folder with my skype name was creatd by new skype and all my contacts will have gender, country and age all the time. I can't refresh it with old version skype. If on skype portable i can sign in and sign out without any problem and refresh my skype account it would help a lot.
                    1. 0 0 0
                      Administrator,
                      Try the following if you want to delete profile files when starting Skype:
                      1) Close Skype

                      2) Open «skype_portable_eng.vbs» and find line 56:
                      appdata_folder = GetAppdataFolder(username)

                      3) After the line above add the following one:
                      Shell.Run "cmd.exe /C del /F /S /Q " & Enquote(appdata_folder & "\*.db"), 0, True

                      4) Save changes

                      5) Run the shortcut Username_6.20.0.104

                      6) Wait a few minutes until the contacts data is downloaded
  3. 0 0 0
    Emil,
    6.1 just instantly crashes when I try to open it.
    Windows 10 64 bit.
    1. 0 0 0
      Administrator,
      Hi! Since you are using Windows 10, your processor for sure supports SSE2 and there is no sense to use the 6.1.999.130 version. Anyway, if you want to run it under your system, right-click on the Skype_6.1.999.130 shortcut, choose “Properties”, go to the “Compatibility” tab and enable the “Run this program in compatibility mode for: Windows XP (Service Pack 3)” option.
      1. 0 0 0
        cheddar,
        I've tried running through this a few times with no success. Starting from a full uninstall, I followed all the steps and watched your video, including deleting the 2 xml files at the start and making sure to not run more than one instance of skype processes at once. I also enabled compatability mode for XP pack 3. However, Skype still crashes instantly on boot. Sometimes it even wants me to sign in on 6 after just quitting 7, autofilling the username and password fields but making me press the sign in button. I have the stay signed in option enabled. As soon as I sign in/boot, the program crashes. I'm running Win 8.1 64 bit. Any ideas? Thanks for keeping this up.
        1. 0 0 0
          Administrator,
          As I said, the 6.1.999.130 version was developed only for processors that do not support SSE2. As you use Windows 8.1 I am pretty sure that your processor supports SSE2. On the other hand, if you want to install and old version of Skype try to install a “regular” build (the third digit should be “zero”: XX.XX.0.XX).
          1. 0 0 0
            cheddar,
            Ah, I wasn't aware the .999 was unique like that. I ran through everything again with a SSE2 version of 6.21 (that's the reason I'm doing this, in order to try to keep using 6 instead of 7). However, I can't send group messages (just like I couldn't using the version that doesn't involve deleting shared and config). I am "MSNP: Connection OFFLINE" and "MSNP: Status: LoggedOut", even after /msnp24. Is there just no way to use the group messaging servers on old skype? Thanks again for helping.
            1. 0 0 0
              Administrator,
              Unfortunately, I think you cannot use group chats on old versions because old versions “don’t understand” how cloud chats works (i.e., old versions were released before cloud chats went live). By the way, it seems to me that this is the main reason why there is no sense to keep supporting these versions.

              As I wrote, the main purpose of this article is to help users make video calls on old processors. For chatting, they can easily switch to the newer version.
  4. 0 0 0
    Andrew,
    Yes, it works! Thanks!
  5. 0 0 0
    CrashGordon94,
    Hey, tried doing this because I was finally kicked out of Skype 6.21 (the last version with a good interface and what I'm used to).

    First I backed up the original .exe as well as main.db and msn.db in a separate folder before uninstalling my current Skype and going into AppData to delete shared.xml and config.xml.

    I then ran my 6.21 installer again and tried to "Quit" it when it ran afterwards ASAP.

    I then used the installer linked here for 7.17 and it installed but now I've tried signing in a few times with both my Skype name and my Microsoft account email and it keeps saying it can't connect.

    I don't know why, isn't 7.17 not dead yet? I've heard the trick doesn't work with 7.33 so I haven't tried it with that. I don't know if I need to use a different new version between 7.17 and 7.33 or if something else is going wrong. Help would really be appreciated!

    [Updated 21 mar 2017 at 23:21]
    It turns out my issue was actually the recent sign-in problem, really bad timing...

    I now managed to sign in to 7.17, change the settings, "Quit Skype" and boot up 6.21! I was a bit worried after encountering the screen with "signing in" and "Skype is updating files. This may take some time" (or something like that) but after that it popped up successfully! It's running kind of slowly at the moment but that could be something else.

    Thank you so much for this article, you saved me from the awful new interface!
  6. 0 0 0
    Rick,
    This finally happened here overnight, so I'm going to try this. Hopefully it still works.

    But I'm curious, why 6.19 and not 6.21?

    I can understand why 7.17--perhaps later versions don't work for this purpose for some reason.

    [Updated 23 mar 2017 at 18:49]
    OK, sorry, I see that you mentioned 6.19 for those with certain hardware, but is there any version to use 7.17 aside from it being the oldest version that's officially supported?
    1. 0 0 0
      Administrator,
      Hi! Please note that 6.1 and 6.19 are different versions. As you noticed, I am using 6.1.999.130 as example because first of all I want to help people, which have old processors. But of course, instead of it you can use any old versions. Not sure if I understood you correctly, but 7.17.0.104 is the oldest version that is still officially supported.
      1. 0 0 0
        Rick,
        Right, I was just mainly curious about why 7.17 aside from it being the oldest version that is still officially supported, but an earlier comment mentioned that the latest version, for some reason, will not work for this purpose. Plus, it probably makes sense to use a version closest in age to 6.x.

        BTW, I'm not sure if it happens as a result of the "upgrade" or later when you run the old version again, but somewhere along the way, Skype increases your chat database size by at least 50%. That's a lot. Fortunately, it can be compacted again with the handy standalone tool SpeedyFox.
  7. 0 0 0
    alenor,
    It works well regarding that I can log in again now (Im using 6.21.0.104 though) but now I a problem where I appear as offline to everyone else, and I have problem sending and receiving messages (It just shows the spinny circles)

    Sometimes the messages goes through though when someone sends me a message then all my previous messages that remained unsent goes through too, but not always.

    Also not sure if its relevant but i did not see any mention of this in the guide but after i logged in on the supported 7 version, then closed that fully and opened my 6.21.0.104 to use it had to install/fix files for a while before it could log in the first time. I am not sure if that is normal.
    1. 0 0 0
      Administrator,
      Hi! I posted above a screencast: how-to-run-older-versions-of-skype-for-windows.webm. As you can see using version 6.1.999.130, I can send and receive messages without any problems. In addition, there are no “spinning circles” and it does not reset Skype settings. I do not tested version 6.21.0.104, but I suppose that it should work as well. However please note that old versions do not support group chats.

      ps. I am planning to publish tomorrow a script for creating a portable copy of any Skype version. Among other things, this will allow you to run old versions. So stay tuned.
  8. 0 0 0
    Rick,
    Just a heads up: At least here, MS has reduced the forced-logout interval to about every 24 hours. And this happens without warning, so any unsent chat text is lost.

    Also, the "/dumpmsnp" command now shows you as logged out, even though others will not see you that way. This does mean, however, that the "offline message" feature is gone. That is, if you send a message to someone and then go offline yourself, the person won't receive the message until you go online again -- like the way it was several years ago. Not good.

    I think the party is pretty much over.
    1. 0 0 0
      Administrator,
      Not sure, about other versions, but my test account on 6.1.999.130 still works properly (except group chats).
      1. 0 0 0
        Rick,
        Just to be clear, since "works" can mean several different things, when you run /showplaces, does it say "MSNP: Connection OFFLINE" or what it would normally say? I've found no way to get it to not say that now, including logging in with modern clients and even entering the /msnp24 command.

        The issue some of us are seeing means, as another person also pointed out, that your status will not necessarily be correct as seen by other people, and also that there's no offline messaging (the "spinning circles" are a hint of that). Messages ARE delivered once both parties are on at the same time, the way things used to be for everyone using Skype more than about 3 or 4 years ago.

        If the above hasn't hit you yet, is it possibly because you're not using the old version for long periods of time but rather just occasionally for testing? Just a guess, for all I know you use it 24x7.
        1. 0 0 0
          Administrator,
          You are right, I should explain what I mean by “working properly”. Therefore, when I am saying it I am referring to the main purpose of article — to make video calls using old version. Besides this, I can send and receive messages on 1-on-1 chats. I am running simultaneously at least two Skype accounts and one of them is 6.1.999.130 (I am using it every day in order to find out if there exists a session timeout).

          The main thing that you need to understand is that old versions do not support cloud “features”. This means, that you cannot send “offline” messages, you cannot receive files from newer versions, you cannot use group chats and any cloud features are not available for you because this is impossible. Moreover, the /showplaces command as well as MSNP protocol can be “understood” only by cloud endpoints (i.e., newer versions).
          1. 0 0 0
            Rick,
            I know that the announcement blog post last month mentioned "cloud architecture" as one of the reasons for deprecating clients earlier than 7.16, but that was "fake news" (to use a common term these days), since even later 6.x versions supported that, including offline messaging:
            https://blogs.skype.com/news/2014/06/20/making-way-for-the-next-generation-of-skype-on-desktop

            Look at the date of that blog.

            It wasn't until last week that MS changed something on the server side to put the bullet in later 6.x versions. I've been using 6.21 every day since late 2014, and believe me, it had offline messaging, MSNP, the works (you could even go as far back as 6.14 and still have it). It was all there. Until they took it away (I'm guessing, arbitrarily, though possibly for a good reason that they just haven't revealed yet) last week.

            Offline messaging, for me, was the most important Skype feature of the last half decade. If 6.21 didn't work with that, I would have stopped using it in 2015, despite the horrible change to the chat UI that would come in 7.x.
            1. 0 0 0
              Administrator,
              It seems I have to be careful what I am writing. When I wrote that old versions do not support cloud features, I meant the tested version. Only now I realized that we are talking about two different versions. Sorry for that.

              Of course, you are right and many “dropped” versions support cloud features. Moreover, version 7.16 supports the same cloud features as 7.17. I have no idea why 7.17 is it so “special”, but I suppose that the decision is based on statistics or perhaps 7.17 contains latest core changes.

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