Bringing you more control over your Skype status

We have heard your feedback on the Skype 8 Presence model. We have seen two major feedback themes emerge – (a) My contacts don’t see me as Active/Online even though I am (b) Give me more control on my presence. We are actively working on addressing them and would love your feedback on some of the changes we are planning.

My contacts don’t see me as Active even though I am

This by far has been the biggest feedback. We are addressing it immediately. We are currently testing the change in Skype Insiders and hope to roll it out to everyone shortly. Earlier, we marked you Inactive when you minimized the app. Going forward, your contacts will see you as Active if the Skype app is running on your computer and you are either using the mouse or the keyboard. This change also aligns us with the Skype 7 behavior you are familiar with.

Give me more control on my presence

How we share our availability and intent to communicate with others has evolved significantly over time, thanks to the ‘always on’ world we have come to live in where each of us is connected 24X7 through multiple devices. The simplified Skype 8 Presence model was a step in that direction. Your feedback makes it clear that there are times when you would like more control on how your presence is represented in the Skype ecosystem.

We spent a lot of time learning from users what aspects of the current model worked or did not work too well. The result is a streamlined model with four states – Active, Recently Active, Away and Not Active. The table below summarizes what each state means, how it’s represented, and how you would transition among these states.

If your status is Active Recently Active Away Not Active
Contacts will see you as

Active Now

Last active [n] mins ago

Last active [n] hrs | days ago

Last active [n] mins | hrs | days ago

It means You are in the app. On Desktop: you have the app running in the background and are either using mouse or keyboard You were active less than an hour ago You were active more than an hour ago You are signed out, not reachable or have not been active for an extended period
Can you set the status Yes No Yes No

 If you are wondering where are ‘Invisible’ and ‘Do Not Disturb’, we have you covered. 

Hide my Presence – You will be able to turn off your presence from Settings. Once you turn off your presence, you will be marked Not Active. We want to foster an environment of trust and openness. So, if you hide your presence, you will not be able to see others’ presence.

Quiet Mode – Many users shared that they found the Do Not Disturb status rude and preferred to sign out to minimize interruptions. We plan to have a new feature that we believe is a subtler but better way to handle unwanted interruptions.  Quiet mode will silence all incoming messages and calls. If you would like to let your contacts know that you will not be taking calls or responding to messages, you can select the ‘Do not Disturb’ custom status. Just like before, you will have the flexibility to decide if you want to be alerted to incoming calls or messages. 

When these states are just not enough - Many of us use the status message in addition to the presence states to share more about our availability. We plan to make status messages an integral part of your presence on Skype so that your contacts will easily know if you are unreachable because you are on a vacation or should expect a delay in response as you are attending a conference. We plan to make these status messages intelligent in future so that you don’t have to remember to remove an old status message.

1. Select from a pre-defined list of statuses


Figure 2.Your status message is visible across the app

Some of you may have contacts who are still running Skype 7. This is how the states will map

  • If you are Active they will see you as Online.
  • If you are Recently Active or Away they will see you as Away.
  • If you are Not Active they will see you as Offline.

We believe our new model and controls will make it easier for you to manage the way you connect with the world through Skype. We look forward to hearing from you.


Discussion Info

Last updated October 21, 2018 Views 4,097 Applies to:

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The buggy presence status indication implemented in Skype 8 was my main objection against using this application. How it was working was inconsistent and confusing.


The new model is a significant step forward to reduce this inconsistency and confusion.


However, the "Hide my Presence" option is not what one would expect.


" We want to foster an environment of trust and openness. So, if you hide your presence, you will not be able to see others’ presence."


Why when in this mode (essentially the same as Invisible) we should not be able to see the other users presence status? This should still work like in Skype 7.X version. Appearing Offline to your contacts, but being actually fully Online. I don't see any problem with trust and openness when using the old Invisible option.

If you're equating Not Active with Offline, more or less, why not actually call it Offline?  It's just one less unfamiliar thing that way.

And what's the logic in being able to set Away but not Offline Not Active?  That's something that could be done before, so again, this ties to familiarity.

I totally agree

"We want to foster an environment of trust and openness. So, if you hide your presence, you will not be able to see others’ presence."

What is the logic here? "I do not wish to share my presence info, therefore I am not able to view the presence info of other people who are happy to" feels more like a passive aggressive way to force me to share my presence.

It's like Google Maps not showing me a map unless I share my location.

My preference would be much simpler options:

Automatically detect presence: On / Off

If Off:

Set Presence:Active/Busy/Away/Offline

(Also, regardless of the above):

Status Message: {textbox}

Happy to see the status "Away" coming back (at last !), BUT : it's personnal but I liked the old yellow / orange color of the badge for away status. The new badge of Away status is not very visual.

I am also totally agree with Ruwim.B about the behavior of "Hide my Presence" mode (and the name : "Invisible" is clear and made the job)

More of that, I hope when I set the "Away" status on my computer and I go to skype with the mobile app, the status will not be changed automatically to online. If I set manually "Away", I want to control when I will be online again, even on the mobile app. I don't know what is the behavior actually, I don't use anymore the mobile app since monthes because of that.

In a lot of cases Skype is not used only for personal usage, but also in pro environment. And in a professional usage, users want control their communication and presence.

Thanks for listening :)

1 By far the most important thing, is to NOT!!! been showed as "online" when I log in to my E-mail, Onedrive etc

(When I check/answer my mail…. Upload /arrange file etc  I don’t wanna be disturbed! Aka seen as online!  Especially since my E-mail accounts, don’t correspond to my Skype accounts and there is NO way to disconnect them.) Have that been solved?

2 Make Skype remember my last manually set status……if I set my self as "offline" on my phone and login on my PC I should still be showed as offline and even more important if log in to my E-mail!

3 Whatever you settle for make it reliably and consistent between versions and devises! Otherwise the whole meaning with status is lost (Sorry to say but over the last two years it been anything but consistent!)

4 what is the timeout for been showed as "online" (how long inactivity before I show up as away)?

5 how fast will I see a status change if someone go "online", "offline" etc?

6 it would be easier and more intuitive to see the status, if you left the yellow indicator for "away" instead of the “green thingy”

7 It would be nice if you could set your status differently for different contact (like "online" for your boss, hubb/wife , but "offline" for everyone else)

Thanks for sharing your feedback and for being an active member of the Skype community. Can you please help me understand why would you want to set Not Active/Offline status? Understanding your use case will help us make the model better. 

Yes. I use Offline now for when I'm leaving for an extended period of time, say, overnight, but the PC is going to be on for whatever reason. I do this so my contacts have no ambiguity for any period of time that I'm just "Away," or worse, that I'm still there (the change of status is immediate)--and because it's easy to do via the tray icon. It's also much easier/faster than closing, and then later restarting, Skype. It's also somewhat easier/faster than signing out of Skype, and then later signing into it, especially since the means to do that isn't in the tray icon.

BTW, the version of new Skype that I would ever use beyond testing--the Win10 app version, since it avoids the Electron baggage (embedded Chrome) of Skype 8--doesn't even have a tray icon and may never, since Win10 apps in general don't support such sophistication.


The Inactive maps to Away but the away status is equivalent to offline.  This is WRONG

The problem with the new model is that it is trying to map the old values to new ones.  However, there is not a parity because what you are trying to do is change the use paradigm of Skype from a communication tool to a messaging app.

This is what we expect and how Skype is expected to function:

  • Online = I'm online and available
  • Away = I'm away from the keyboard but online
  • Offline = it's after-hours, or I am otherwise not actively taking calls right now.
  • Busy = Do not message me - I'm actively using my computer but in a meeting or something similar.

All status should be manually settable, but away may be set by timer if the user chooses.

No status except offline should affect your local view of contacts!  As a reminder, if I'm invisible don't go getting on your high horse and show my contacts as offline - that is pointless, and an overstep.

Skype should use this workday-related-status as it always has.  Too bad that your new model is trying to turn Skype into a metoo messaging app - THIS IS A BAD IDEA!  Skype, with all its flaws, filled a specific set of functionality that worked.

Now you want to broadcast my status, where I am, what device I'm using?  No thanks!  Skype is not iMessage, Hangouts, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Slack, or Zoom and It shouldn't want to be!   STOP trying to follow other app paradigms and make Skype function as it did only better.  

Update on functionality:  As of the latest release of the Desktop and Win10 App, at least I can see people when they are actively online.  Of course, all other Status types STILL have no indication and appear as if offline.  Away contacts have no status indicator.  And the empty gray circle should mean invisible, so why are you trying to repurpose that to mean "inactive"?   Away also made sense.  Inactive has negative connotations.  So why, anyway, are you trying to rewrite the dictionary of terms?  Just WHY?

then again what's the point asking users and clients to MIGRATE  to your new toy rich bunch  if u are still working on it and nothing in the 8 version  is done yet?? clearly there are some issues in the 8 version clearly you need to solve them  so finish the 8  version first keep it as a beta and leave the classic version alone ...

Why are you trying to fix something that ain't broke? (Well, it is broken now, because you did it).

All I want to know is:

  • is the person I want to contact logged in to Skype and using his/her computer (Active)
  • is the person I want to contact logged in to Skype but temporarily away from his/her computer - in which case he/she may still respond to the ringing tone or to the IM (Away)
  • is the person I want to contact not logged in or does not wish to be contacted (offline or Not Available).

Please, think "desktop app" and not purely "Skype for mobile".

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