HOWTO fix Skype hang during login on OSX 10.10.5

A few days ago, my Skype stopped working. Specifically, every time I started Skype, it would hang while logging into the Skype network. It took a while to debug this, so here are the details of how I fixed it, in case it helps others – or I have to do this again!

What am I running:

  • MacBookPro running OSX 10.10.5
  • Skype-for-Mac v7.18.342

When starting Skype, I saw the usual blue Skype window with the white blob moving in a circular pattern to show progress… and after literally one second or maybe two seconds, that blue window would disappear, leaving the Skype icon grayed out on the Mac taskbar. If I tab-switched to the Skype application, the mouse cursor would instantly pinwheel and the Skype menus would not respond to any mouse clicks. If I pressed command-option-escape to view all running applications, the Skype application was listed as “Not responding”. At first, I dismissed it as some odd intermittent problem, then killed and restarted Skype. Only to have it hang again, exactly the same way. This hang happened 100% of the time.

It had been almost a week since I last used Skype, so I wasn’t *certain* what I had changed since my last Skype call. I knew there were no hardware changes, OS patch changes. If anything changed at all, it is possible that Skype auto-updated or that Adobe Flash prompted me to manually update since my last Skype call, but I am not 100% certain.

Here’s some things I tried first, unsuccessfully:

  • Force-quit Skype. Double-click on Skype to restart it. Hang.
  • Force-quite Skype. Reboot mac. Double-click on Skype to restart it. Hang.
  • To verify that my Skype account was ok, the Skype servers were up-and-running, and my wifi router was not misbehaving, I started Skype on my phone and also on my tablet. Both logged in fine, using wifi and both worked first time.
  • Download the latest version of Skype (which was the same 7.18.342 version) from download page. Installed new download of Skype 7.18.342 over existing installation of Skype 7.18.342. Reboot mac. Double-click on Skype to restart it. Hang.
  • All to no success.

Frustrated, I spent some time googling the internet, tried lots of variations on the above steps – all without success. Finding old unanswered pleas for help in customer forums from others with the same problem is never encouraging. Now it was serious. I finally stumbled across this post about Skype crashing a computer which helped – even though my skype was not crashing, and certainly not crashing my computer!

Here’s the steps that fixed it:

  • Kill Skype. Out of paranoia, I rebooted my mac.
  • Using Chooser, rename the directory “/Users/[your-user-name]/Library/Application Support/Skype” to “/Users/[your-user-name]/Library/Application Support/Skype.broken_yyyy_mm_dd” (I find this helps me later figure out when I last had to fix this problem!)
  • Change skype on Dock to not auto-start on login.
  • Download new installation Skype dmg from download page. At time of writing, the latest version was v7.18.342 v7.19.407. v7.21.350
  • Install new Skype 7.19.407 over existing installation of Skype.
  • Reboot mac.
  • Double-click on Skype icon on Mac Dock or in Application folder. (Do *not* double-click on located in the “Application Support” folder – that will not work.)
  • Success!
  • On first login, my contacts and previous messages were all missing. However, over the next minute or so, all my previous contacts as well as all previous messages showed up again. When all settled down, the only thing that was missing all was my “starred contacts” list, which was easy to manually re-create.

Hope that helps.
(Updated to include new version of Skype, and to note that after several weeks of Skype running just fine, Skype hung again this morning. If this happens again with Skype v7.19.407, I’ll update this post. joduinn 27jan2016)

(Updated to include new version of Skype, and to note that after several weeks of Skype running just fine, Skype hung again just now after reboot. Unclear if caused by reboot or by upgrade to xcode, which caused me to reboot. Lets see if this new version v7.21.350 works better. joduinn 27feb2016)

6 thoughts on “HOWTO fix Skype hang during login on OSX 10.10.5

    • hi Daniil;

      Urgh. Never heard of that before. So you see these steps fix the problem, and then see the problem re-occur later? If you redo these steps again, does it re-fix the problem until the next time? Is there a pattern to when the problem re-occurs? Does the problem re-occur when you update Skype?

      (I’m lucky so far this fix worked for me – and the problem has not re-occurred… yet! Fingers crossed.)

  1. hallelujah, you are my hero. I have had this problem for more than a year, it always happened after skype updated to a new version (to avoid it I have never accepted automatic updates but today skype did not let me login before updating and ofcourse it happened again). The only solution has always been to delete all skype files and revert to an old version. But this trick solved the problem (atleast for now – hope it does not reappear) for the latest version of skype. Now for a drink

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