Skype Contacts Not Showing As Online? Here’s Why

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With its massive user base worldwide, Skype indeed has proven itself as a reliable tool for a plethora of collaboration tasks, including online video meetings, recording podcasts, and casual chatting with family and friends. But as amazing as this app is, it’s still vulnerable to bugs and has its unique quirks.

One of the disappointing things about Skype is that contacts appear offline, even when they are actually online. Supposedly, a logged-in member should be able to see all available online contacts they can call or chat with. However, there are rare instances when all contacts on Skype appear offline.

Unfortunately, this problem with Skype contacts not showing as online has been around for quite some time now. It has led to a lot of missed video conferences and even a strange falling-out among family and friends.

Why Skype Contacts Are Appearing Offline

To know if somebody is online, you need to check if there is a tiny green icon in a specific contact’s name. If you want to say hi, you have to right-click on the contact name and choose whether you want to Call, Video Call, or Send IM. If the contact is listed as offline, you are unlikely to be able to do any of that.

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Now if you are certain that a contact is online as you’ve been emailing each other or in touch on other communication platforms, there are a few possible reasons you need to look into. These are:

1. Your Skype Version Is Outdated.

An outdated Skype version may be the reason why your Skype contacts appear offline. To fix this problem, make sure you are using the most recent version. You can verify this by following these steps:

  1. Open Skype.
  2. Click Help and select Check for Updates.

If you are using an up-to-date version of the Skype app, then you should see nothing. Otherwise, there’ll be available updates you need to install.

2. Your Contact’s Status Is Set to Invisible.

There are times when the contacts you are trying to engage with on Skype appears offline, yet you can still communicate. This is simply because their statuses are set to Invisible. If you want to see them online, ask them to change their status from Invisible to Online. You may also simply give them a nudge and see if they will reply.

3. You Are Not Connected to the Internet.

You are probably logged in to your Skype account, but all your Skype contacts are not showing as online. In that case, you may want to check your internet connection. If it’s down, then expect all your contacts to be offline.

4. Something’s Wrong with the Skype App.

Sometimes, your Skype app may experience problems due to unnecessary files and cache that may be easily removed by a reliable PC cleaning tool.

To check if the Skype app itself is faulty, you may use Skype for Web to check the online status of your contacts. If they are online, try to restart the app and check the status of your contacts again.

If you’ve verified that there’s really a problem with the app, you have two ways to fix it: a simple uninstall and reinstall, or a complete uninstall and reinstall. But before you do any of the two, you may want to create a backup of your personal files and chat history first. That way, you can quickly restore them when you need to.

To back up your Skype chat history and files, follow these steps:

  1. Right-click on the Start button.
  2. Click Run.
  3. In the text field, input %appdata%\skype and hit Enter.
  4. Copy the My Skype Received Files folder as well as the Skype [Your Name] folder.
  5. Paste the folders to a different location like an external drive or your desktop.

After creating a backup of your files, perform a simple uninstall and reinstall by following the steps below:

  1. Log out of Skype.
  2. Open the taskbar.
  3. Right-click on the Skype icon.
  4. Choose Quit.
  5. Right-click on the Start button and select Run.
  6. In the text field, input appwiz.cpl and hit Enter.
  7. In the search results, find Skype and right-click on it.
  8. Choose Uninstall or Remove.
  9. Download and install the most recent Skype version from Skype’s official website. If the problem persists, consider completely uninstalling and reinstalling Skype.

Here’s how to do a complete uninstall and reinstall of Skype:

  1. Log out of Skype and close it.
  2. Open the taskbar.
  3. Right-click on the Skype icon.
  4. Choose Quit.
  5. Right-click on the Start button and select Run.
  6. In the text field, input appwiz.cpl and hit Enter.
  7. Right-click on the Start button again and select Run.
  8. In the text field, input %appdata%\skype and hit Enter.
  9. Right-click on the Skype folder and select Delete.
  10. Go to C:\Program Files (x86).
  11. Find the Skype and SkypePM folders and delete them.
  12. Right-click on the Start button and select Run.
  13. In the text field, input regedit and hit Enter.
  14. Delete any Skype-related files.
  15. Right-click on the Start button and select Run.
  16. In the text field, input regedit and hit Enter.
  17. Open the Edit menu and select Find Next.
  18. Input Skype. Right-click on each search result and select Delete.
  19. Download and install the most recent Skype version.

Take note that doing this may affect your firewall settings as well as your audio quality on Skype. To fix this, update your firewall settings.

5. Your Contact’s Skype Settings Has Been Set to ‘Away.’

It is possible that your Skype contacts have set their status to “Show Me as Away When I’ve Been Inactive.” To change this, ask your contact to do these steps:

  1. Open the Skype app and sign in.
  2. Go to Tools > Options.
  3. Select General Settings.
  4. Uncheck the Show Me as Away When I’ve Been Inactive option and change the status to Online.


If you ever see all your contacts offline again in the future, then you already have an idea why. It could be your internet connection acting up, or your contact’s settings have been modified to show as offline. It could also be caused by a problem in your Skype version.

Did this article answer your question on why Skype shows you online contacts as offline? Let us know below.

For other Skype issues such as stuck during installation, disconnecting calls, or linked to the wrong Microsoft account, click the follow links.

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