Disable Skype 5.5 Home Screen auto pop-up

Update

This issue has been resolved in Skype release 5.5.0.119

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Since version 5.5 Skype introduced a new “feature”. If “Compact View” is enabled, every time Skype starts, a second Window called “Skype Home” is displayed. For many people this is a completely useless addition, especially since the whole purpose of Compact View is to have a clean, minimalistic interface. Worst thing is that Skype don't give an option to remove or disable this annoying auto pop-up.

There are lots of users complaining about this in Skype forums and on their developer network:
http://community.skype.com/t5/Windows/Disabling-Skype-Home-autostart/td-p/46260
https://jira.skype.com/browse/SCW-3132

However as of 31.08.2011 there are no promises from Skype to fix it.

3 solutions to this problem:

  • Option 1
    Remove Skype and use something else. Google Voice or sipgate for example.

  • Option 2
    Downgrade to one of the older version. www.oldversion.com is your friend here. Be aware that old versions may have some security issues which were fixed in later releases. You may be also missing on some new features.

  • Option 3
    Third party utility. Andrew Worcester has created a little program which is specifically designed to get rid of Skype Home Screen.
    1. Download and run the KillSkypeHome.exe file.
    2. Right click on the icon in your system tray and select “Start with Windows” and “Minimize Skype on Start”.
    Now, every time Windows starts, KillSkypeHome.exe will wait until Skype Home Window appears, close it, minimize the  main Skype window and then even close itself.
    For those worried about security, there is source code available so you can inspect and compile it yourself.


Update 08.09.2011

Skype seem to be acknowledging the issue, but their responses so far have been very vague. Raul Liive, who has been assigned to the issue on Skype Developer bug tracking system "Jira" has said following so far:

17/Aug/11
Thank you all for raising this troublesome point in here and on our community.
We are working on improving the situation in-house and trying to determine the best possible solution for all the users.

19/Aug/11
Please do not start creating additional items about it.
This will not solve the problem.
Just a comment here will give forward the message.
We are working on improving the user experience there.

05/Sep/11
We are working on solution to improve your Skype user experience on this situation.
Please stay tuned for updates on this.


So, they are working to improve user experience. Sounds very much like an empty corporate talk... I think from enormous number of comments on Jira and 94 pages (so far) thread on Skype forum, they should have pretty clear view what their users want - do not show unexpected pop-ups or al least give an option to disable them!

Found quite interesting article ZDNet. It's an unrelated issue, but shows very well how ignorant Skype staff can be in handling such problems. Accidentally the issue was assigned to the same assignee (Raul Liive).

In a mean time couple of minor Skype updates were released but Home Screen auto pop-up is still there. Hopefully this will be fixed eventually, but I'm not holding my breath. Option 1 looks more and more appealing...

Update 26.09.2011

This is what Skype done in last couple of weeks to resolve this issue:

  • Closed 107 pages thread on Skype Form where people were complaining about the issue.
  • Kept ignoring growing crowd of people reporting issue on Skype Developer Network.
  • On the positive side 23.09.2011 on Twitter @SkypeSupport said "We are working on it as quickly as possible".

Update 30.09.2011

It took Skype over a month and thousands of users complaining, but finally this is fixed! In version 5.5.0.119 Skype home no longer automatically appear on startup if you are in compact view

 

Skype 5.5

Outlook favorites disappear

If your favourites in MS Outlook keeps disappearing you can try resetting the Navigation Pane.

Simply close MS Outlook, the run Outlook with /resetnavpane switch.
Start > Run > OUTLOOK.EXE /resetnavpane

This will clear and regenerate the Navigation Pane.

"Enable Third Party Browser Extensions" grayed out in IE

If none of your third party browser extensions (toolbars, etc) work open Internet Explorer > Tools > Internet Options > Advanced and check "Enable Third Party Browser Extensions".
If this option is grayed out it probably means this setting is managed by group policy. To enable it permanently you obviously need to change group policy
Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Internet Explorer\Internet Control Panel\Advanced Page\Allow third-party browser extensions

However if you only want to enable this temporally on a single computer or don't have ability to change GP settings you can do it via a simple registry change (must to have local admin rights to perform this):

Start > Run > regedit
Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main > Enable Browser Extensions change to yes

If you need to do more often, create a text file with with following text, rename it to extensions.reg and save on your desktop.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main]
"Enable Browser Extensions"="yes"

Whenever you need to enable extensions simply run the extenstions.reg file.

Whichever registry method you use after a restart settings may get changed back by the group policy.

Outlook NDR "None of your e-mail accounts could send to this recipient."

Your message did not reach some or all of the intended recipients.

      Subject:    Test
      Sent: 08/08/2011 10:00

The following recipient(s) cannot be reached:

      This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.' on 08/08/2011 10:00
              None of your e-mail accounts could send to this recipient.


This error often occurs when user tries to send an email after copying recipient address from a hyperlink (or clicks on an email hyperlink). Although address may appear normal in Outlook, actual copied address includes mail-to: prefix. This sets Email Type to Mail-To instead of SMTP which Outlook fails to send. On top of that, this invalid address is saved to Outlook Auto Complete list and is resolved every time user tries to send an email to this recipient.

To check Mail Type, double click on recipient email address in TO field and check Email Type (in Outlook 2010, additionally, you will need to click on More Options > Outlook Properties)

To fix this click on Internet Type button to change Email Type to SMTP.
Alternately delete incorrect entry from Auto Complete list (start typing email address, select incorrect entry and press DELETE). Then type full email manually or copy as a plain text from notepad or similar.

Outlook 2003
Outlook 2007
Outlook 2010

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