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Skype doesn't ring desktop speakers - keeps switching back to "Use selected speaker"

Posted on 2014-02-03
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On multiple computers, I have an issue where Skype won't ring to my desktop speakers.

I can go into the audio settings and select my desktop speakers under "Ringing", which works for a short while, but by the next day, or within a few hours, it switches back to "Use selected speaker".

When it switches back to Use selected speaker, it rings on my USB headphones that are specified in the Microphone and Speakers settings.  The headset works fine, but the problem is that I can't hear the ringing for an incoming call once Skype changes the destination for the ringing.

I've had this problem for a few years on three different desktops and haven't figured out a solution.

This thread appears to discuss the issue, but they believe it is a loss / change of functionality with a new version--but I've had this issue for 3-4 years.

http://community.skype.com/t5/Windows-desktop-client/Ring-on-speakers-audio-on-headset-Windows-8/td-p/1812143
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Question by:Steve Endow
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Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016 earned 2000 total points
ID: 39831603
I spent hours on the web, especially in the Skype community forum (where your link is from), and am convinced that this a bug with no user-level fix possible – we need to wait for the developers at MS/Skype to fix it. The problem is compounded by the fact that the "Ring on all devices" option was removed in version 6. This is such a serious issue that I uninstalled 6 (I was on 6.11.0.102) and installed the latest release of 5 that I could find, which is this:

http://download.skype.com/msi/SkypeSetup_5.10.0.116.msi

After installing 5.10.0.116, I now have the "Ring on all devices" option via Tools>Options>Audio Settings:

skype5 ring on all devicesThis option stays in place and solves the problem. I'm not thrilled about running an old release, but until MS/Skype either fixes the bug of switching back to "Use selected speaker" or puts the "Ring on all devices" option back into a current release, I'll stay on the older release.

Btw, if you ever get a Bluetooth headset and want to be able to answer (and hang up) calls via the media buttons on the headset, take a look at this EE article:

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Microsoft/Applications/A_12756-Answer-Skype-Calls-with-Bluetooth-Headset.html

Regards, Joe
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by:Steve Endow
ID: 39831612
Okay, thanks Joe.  I can understand what the Ring on All Devices means, but what in the world is "Use Selected Speaker" supposed to mean?

Does that just means that it defaults to the "Speaker" setting, which is my headset?

That seems like an unbelievably bone-headed "design choice" given that many / most people use headsets with Skype.  If they would just leave the "Ringing" setting alone and let me choose a single audio device I would be fine, but defaulting back to the headset and overriding my manual setting doesn't make any sense.

Baffling.
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by:Steve Endow
ID: 39831613
Thanks!
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by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016
ID: 39831649
> what in the world is "Use Selected Speaker" supposed to mean?

It means to use the speaker that is selected in the "Speakers" drop-down. There's nothing wrong with having this as a choice, and folks who use external speakers for Skype will choose this, but for anyone who uses a headset, this is not what you want, unless you have your headset on at all times.

> If they would just leave the "Ringing" setting alone and let me choose a single audio device I would be fine, but defaulting back to the headset and overriding my manual setting doesn't make any sense.

Yes, this is the real problem – and it's a bug! It changes the setting, seemingly at random times (according to the community reports) – it should, of course, not do this. It also seems to do this "internally"...what I mean by that is this...there was an interesting idea in the Skype community to make the config file (config.xml in Skype's AppData folder) read-only at the file system level. This would presumably keep Skype from changing the Ringing setting, since that setting is stored in the config file (along with other settings). And it does work if you exit and restart Skype...it reloads the config file, which still has the correct Ringing setting because it is read-only. But the amazing thing is that it still changes the Ringing setting "internally" while it is running! So even though the Ringing setting in the config file has your external speakers, the Ringing setting in the running program has reverted back to your headset! Weird! And a bug!

> Baffling.

Yes, and what's really baffling is why they haven't fixed it in such a long time...and also baffling why they removed "Ring on all devices" in v6.

> Thanks!

You're welcome! Regards, Joe
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