Removing Skype for Business

Joost KuinSenior Consultant
If Skype for Business came with your office 2016 or office 365 installation, you may find that it's almost impossible to either disable or remove it. The application will often launch with each start of Windows, even when explicitly configured not to do so.

Things I tried prior to the solution that worked for me!

(Described further below)

1) Modify startup setting in the Skype for Business application options

Procedure followed

  • Open Skype for Business
  • Choose the tools (small gear) icon and then Tools > Options
  • On the left, choose Personal
  • Uncheck Automatically start the app when I log on to Windows and Start the app in the foreground.

  • Then click OK.
  • Choose File > Exit.

The Result I got


After rebooting my system it seemed that these setting had no effect as Skype for Business would still appear at the start of windows. I went back to the options to see if the settings had been restored. The settings were still unchecked but appeared to have been ignored.

2) Remove Skype for Business from Office installation

Procedure followed

  • Go to Control Panel > Programs > Programs and Features > Uninstall or change a program
  • Select Microsoft Office 2016 Pro plus from the list of programs
  • Hit the Change button (at the top)

The Result

I was expecting to get a window showing me all office applications with an option to add/remove individual applications (such as 'Skype for Business') But instead, I was presented with a dialogue box titled "How would you like to repair your Office programs" with only two options to choose from:

* Quick Repair

* Online Repair

There was no option to remove any individual component.

3) Completely remove Microsoft Office 2016 Pro plus including Skype for Business

Procedure followed

  • Go to Control Panel > Programs > Programs and Features > Uninstall or change a program
  • Select Microsoft Office 2016 Pro plus from the list of programs
  • Hit the Uninstall button (at the top)
  • Reinstall Office without Skype for Business

The Result I got

The setup does not even ask which components should be installed (like previous versions of Office did). So Skype for Business was part of the package again. Total waste of time! :(

4) Disable Skype for Business from windows startup list in the Windows Task manager

Procedure followed

  • Open Windows Task Manager (press CTRL + SHIFT + ESC)
  • Choose More details at the bottom
  • Go to the startup tab
  • Find and disable the Skype for Business entry (or so I thought)

The Result I got

There is no entry in the startup tab for Skype for Business! So I figured to go old school into the registry to delete the entries manually from:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run and/or


But neither of these locations contained any Skype entries

The Procedure that finally did work for me!

Frustrated, I searched and found a Microsoft article at " that finally allowed me to remove Skype for Business from my system.  (Source: Original article)

The following steps will guide you through the process of removing Skype for Business

  • Download the Office 2016 Deployment Tool from this link
  • Run the downloaded .exe executable file
  • Select a local folder (for example C:\ODT2016) and extract the files to that folder
    "You will get two files, setup.exe and configuration.xml"

  • Open "configuration.xml" in a text editor (like notepad)
  • Replace the complete content of the configuration.xml with the following lines:


<Add SourcePath="C:\ODT2016" OfficeClientEdition="32">
 <Product ID="O365ProPlusRetail">
 <Language ID="en-us" />
<ExcludeApp ID="Lync" />

<Display Level="Full" AcceptEULA="TRUE" />


  • Change OfficeClientEdition="32" to OfficeClientEdition="64" if you are on a 64-bit system
  • Save the changes and close your text editor
  • Open a 'Command Prompt window' as administrator
  • At the command prompt, type: (assuming that you extracted the files to "C:\ODT2016")

cd c:\ODT2016

  • Next, enter the following command:

setup.exe /download configuration.xml

  • Wait for the prompt to return. (Note that It may take a while for this command to complete)
  • Enter the following command:

setup.exe /configure configuration.xml

  • Confirm to close 'Skype for Business' when asked
  • Wait for the setup to finish
  • Close the 'Command Prompt window'
  • Remove the folder where you extracted the files
  • Restart your computer to test the result

For me this worked like a charm and Skype for Business was finally gone from my system. 

Also worth noting is that all of the remaining Office applications still work just fine. The procedure has had no impact of any of their settings.

I hope this article is of help to those of you who have or are facing the same problem!


Comments (4)

Mark EgginkSystem Administrator

Nice article!
Life safer, absolute legend.

I followed the instructions exactly including the edit for x64 bit.  (It did take quite a while for the download to finish)
Was told I needed to uninstall my Microsoft Office 2016 Pro Plus x64.  
I did the uninstall the usual way (and I kept the command window open while doing this so I could continue following the instructions after the uninstall finished)
Then what was installed was Microsoft Office 365 and it did not ask about closing Skype for Business as the instructions suggested it would.
I tried putting my Office license key back in.  Office said the key was for the desktop version not 365, but then proceeded to use the key to activate the installed software as the fully paid desktop version.
I rebooted and there was NO Skype for Business hassel that had been there before.
So I think everything is ok :-)
Thank you !!

This is a great solution but did anyone notice other features go missing? Namely, the voice dictation feature in Word (picture of microphone toward the right) and the LinkedIn Resume Assistant under the Review tab in Word.

Edit: Updated Office and those features are back. Thank you!

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