It is easy to run two Skype accounts at once on the same computer. This is useful if two people use the same Windows logon account or if you need different accounts for work and home use – and want both to be active at the same time i.e. ready to receive or make calls.
Having two Skype accounts means that you can keep your business/personal contacts separate and have a more professional username for work use – handy if your personal username is JennyLovesKittens or something ;-)
To run 2 accounts at once you need to start a new instance of Skype – opening it with the usual shortcut twice won’t work, it will just display the current Skype window.
1. Navigate to the program file – Skype.exe which is usually found in one of the following location (assuming Windows is installed in C: drive)
XP and Vista/W7 32bit – C:\Program Files\Skype\Phone\
Vista/W7 64bit – C:\Program Files (x86)\Skype\Phone\
[Note: if you have file extensions hidden the program file will just be called Skype – the file Type will be ‘Application’.]
2. Right click on this Skype.exe program file and select ‘Send To’ then ‘Desktop (create shortcut)’ as shown below:
This will place a new shortcut to Skype on your desktop – it will be called Skype.exe or Skype (if you have file extensions hidden).
[Note: if you already had a shortcut to Skype on your desktop, the new one may have a number after its name e.g. Skype (2) – to distinguish it from the original.]
3. Right click on this new desktop shortcut and choose ‘Properties’ to open the Properties window.
4. In the Target field, add a single space then add /secondary
The new Target field should now be:
“C:\Program Files\Skype\Phone\Skype.exe” /secondary
“C:\Program Files (x86)\Skype\Phone\Skype.exe” /secondary
Press OK to finish – you have now changed the shortcut to run a second instance of Skype.
Using Two Accounts At Once
Open your original version of Skype in the usual way.
Now double click your new desktop shortcut to open a second instance of it – enter your second set of username/password details to log in.
You should now have two accounts running simultaneously – obviously if you are in a call on one account you may wish to change the Online Status of your other account to ‘away’ or ‘busy’ to prevent new calls interrupting you.
The above /secondary command is only for Windows.
I haven’t tested it myself but Skype forums suggest that the following method should work to run two accounts at once on Mac:
1. Open Skype in the usual way
2. Open Terminal
3. In the Terminal window type:
[Note the single space between sudo and /Applications]
4. Enter your user account (logon) password when asked
A second instance of the program should open after a few seconds. You should be able to now close the Terminal window – if you find that Skype closes too, in future you will have to keep Terminal open (minimize it) as long as you need to run two accounts at once.
This isn’t as neat a solution as for Windows and, unfortunately, as Microsoft now own Skype I wouldn’t expect that further development for Macs is top of their agenda…
Running two Skype accounts at once is easy to set up in Windows but more laborious on a Mac.
It can save a lot of time compared to having to log out and log back in as a different user – and because both accounts are active they can both ‘listen’ for incoming calls at the same time.