My girlfriend logged into her Skype account from my Xubuntu 12.10 netbook, and ever since then Skype starts automatically every time I boot. How do I prevent this from happening?

Things I've tried:

  • Removing it from the Settings Manager->Session and Startup->Application Autostart - couldn't find it in the list.
  • Checking for a relevant setting in Skype itself - couldn't find anything of the sort. (I remember there was a similar Skype setting somewhere whenever I've used it on Windows. Considering my girlfriend is a Windows user, could it be that this is a setting that's available on the Windows client but not on the Linux one, and somehow got transferred?)
  • Using BUM to turn it off - again, couldn't find it in the list.
  • Uninstalling Skype with apt-get remove skype --purge and hoping that it removes all the settings as well - it didn't.

Save for reinstalling, what else can I try?

While on the same note - how is it possible for Skype to autostart without going through the normal Upstart route?

EDIT: Couple of more things I tried:

  • Looking for anything similar in Skype support - I didn't expect to find anything, and I didn't.
  • Looking through the .Skype folder in my home directory. I did find a couple of files which looked promising (.Skype/shared.xml, .Skype/[my username]/config.xml, .Skype/[girlfriend's username]/config.xml), but looking through them didn't yield anything. Plenty of SQLite files though. Could it be that this setting is somewhere within?
  • Try going to /etc/xdg/autostart see if an entry for Skype is there, if it is then delete it. – Mitch Mar 17 '13 at 11:22
  • Can't see it there. – Andrey Mar 17 '13 at 11:26
  • 4
    The solution for 2018+ version is this. – user47206 Mar 7 '18 at 7:07

11 Answers 11


Had the same problem and the following seems to have taken care of it: go to (Xubuntu) Settings > Sessions and Startup > Session, find Skype and left click where it says "If Running" and change it to "Never".

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  • 1
    Didn't do the trick for me, I'm afraid. – Andrey Mar 19 '13 at 19:18
  • 1
    Try to click "Clear saved sessions" under the same settings and make sure the "Automatically save session on logout" is unticked under "General". – azeam Mar 19 '13 at 20:43
  • Ah! Unticking "Automatically save session on logout" was something I tried previously, but I didn't spot the "Clear saved sessions" button. It worked, thanks for your help. – Andrey Mar 21 '13 at 0:35
  • 3
    For the 2017+ version see other answers. – int_ua Nov 16 '17 at 12:51
  • almost worked for me, the menu changed a little bit... just did tools>settings...> general – Rodrigo Laguna Jul 6 '19 at 11:51

For the new 2017 version of skype that's impudent enough to add itself to autostart each time it's started (seriously? Never installing it on my own machine) it's enough to create a folder with the same name as a file it's trying to create:

rm ~/.config/autostart/skypeforlinux.desktop
mkdir ~/.config/autostart/skypeforlinux.desktop
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  • 10
    It also worked for me to open the skypeforlinux.desktop file and (re-)save it with X-GNOME-Autostart-enabled set to false. I.e., X-GNOME-Autostart-enabled=false – Tom Jan 7 '18 at 16:10
  • rm: cannot remove '/home/cip/.config/autostart/skypeforlinux.desktop': No such file or directory – user47206 Mar 6 '18 at 23:24
  • @Tom - what about KDE? I do not have the line ` X-GNOME-Autostart-enabled` – user47206 Mar 6 '18 at 23:24
  • Logging in and un-checking the option to start with the system stops Skype from adding itself to autostart each time it's started – user47206 Mar 6 '18 at 23:31
  • Thanks, @cipricus, maybe there was no such option at the time of writing. Cannot verify it now. Does changing this option change the skypeforlinux.desktop contents? – int_ua Mar 7 '18 at 0:49

Since it seems the answers here change all the time, as of an install of skypeforlinux from earlier this week (version, I managed to get the autostart to cease with two steps.

First, open up Skype, go to Tools > Settings and uncheck "Automatically start Skype".

enter image description here

Then, inspired by azeam's suggestion, go to (Xubuntu) Settings > Sessions and Startup > Application Autostart, and remove the item for Skype. I'm not sure if unchecking works; I tried that first, but it may have conflicted with Skype's internal settings when I tried it.

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  • 3
    The first step should be enough (and it is, at least in Ubuntu 16.04 with Plasma 5.8) as the setting in Skype is (should be) editing the autostart list . – user47206 Mar 7 '18 at 7:11
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    The 1st step is enough. Checked for Linux Mint 18.3 Cinnamon 64-bit, version 3.6.6. and Skype version – Alex.K. Apr 29 '18 at 16:24
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    Note that you must be logged in to Access the "Setting" menu. I have no idea how you could deactivate that auto-start without having an account on Skype. That's crazy. – Clément May 29 '18 at 14:19
  • will this work on Ubuntu ????? – Kishan Mehta Apr 4 '19 at 10:27
  • First step is enough, tested on Skype on Ubuntu 18.04.1 (Xubuntu). Note that you can't get to the settings without signing in to Skype, so I can see how the settings will follow a user from one computer to another. – jonathanjo Jun 20 '19 at 9:25

I had this same issue. I was able to prevent it from starting automatically by removing skypeforlinux.desktop from ~/.config/autostart/. I'm using lubuntu; the location of your autostart folder may vary. You can find by using:

$ locate skypeforlinux.desktop

You'll really only want to delete the copy in the directory called autostart, otherwise you won't be able to start the app from the icon.

I'm assuming that the next time you actually, intentionally run Skype (I hope, for the sake of your sanity, that this day is far in the future) that it will try to put that file back. In which case you might have to delete it again or scour Skype for the setting that will prevent that behavior.

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Go to Tools -> Options -> General settings. Uncheck the option "Start Skype when I start". Save and Quit Skype.

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  • Not from the client I'm using: imgur.com/EsiEKIl – Andrey Mar 17 '13 at 11:30
  • Well, it doesn't work because the option is there, but not in that tools column. Go to Privacy. – horIzoN Mar 17 '13 at 12:38
  • @nerof61 As I mentioned in my question above, I've checked the options already. There isn't a single setting that'll let me prevent Skype from starting at boot. – Andrey Mar 17 '13 at 15:48
  • That's only in Microsoft Windows. – John Scott Aug 16 '14 at 3:34

In Kubuntu 14.04, the problem was solved by going to Startup and Shutdown, then Session Management and checking Start with an empty session and Apply.

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  • It was before skype started adding itself to autostart each time you run it. I'm on KDE and it doesn't work. For 2017+ version check other answers. – int_ua Nov 16 '17 at 13:07

Skype (for Linux) Settings

Open Skype - Menue: extras -> settings -> category: start and close

1. Skype automatic start

switch setting:



=>file exist



=> file does NOT exist!

rm -rf /home/$USER/.config/autostart/skypeforlinux.desktop

Deletes autostart, but this file is created after changes again!

So it is better to change the code than deleting this file:


Autostart: X-GNOME-Autostart-enabled=true

NO Autostart: X-GNOME-Autostart-enabled=false

sed -i 's/X-GNOME-Autostart-enabled=true/X-GNOME-Autostart-enabled=false/g' $HOME/.config/autostart/skypeforlinux.desktop

2. Skype start in background







3. Skype run in background







Tested with:

  • skypeforlinux amd64
  • Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS
  • Cinnamon
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  • You can't open settings if you didn't sign in, which requires an account – Dani_l Dec 18 '19 at 9:21

For regular Ubuntu 16.04, search "Startup Applications". When the window opens, just remove the tick from Skype to prevent it starting at boot, then click remove while you selected Skype to clear it from the list.

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It seems to be the case that 'closing' Skype isn't actually really closing it. You can notice that also by the fact that if you 'reopen' it, it is already logged in.

You can really close it by typing in the command line:

killall skype

This way it won't be saved in your working session when you log out of your computer, and so won't be automatically restored when restarting your computer.

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Closing Skype is not the same as Quitting Skype. I did three things in Kubuntu 14.04. After Opening Skype I went to Skype(Menu)>Options>General and checked "Start Skype Minimised in System Tray". Then Options>Advanced and unchecked "Check for updates on Startup". Finally, rather than "Sign out" I clicked "Quit" at the bottom of the menu. I believe that it was the final step that did the trick.

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Just use GNOME Tweaks. Find Startup Applications. Find Skype and remove. That's all.

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