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Explaining Skype Icons

Posted on Jan 15, 2011 in Free Skype Tips, Skype | 5 comments


Explaining the online status icons in Skype

Many people who are new to Skype get confused with the different status icons and wonder what they mean. So here is a list of them with explanations for each one:


Skype Status Icons Explained

  • – “Online” – This is the default status when you have logged in to Skype and shows when contact of yours who is online.
  • – “Skype me” – This status tells users that you are interested in communicating. Skype Me! mode disables your privacy settings and allows anyone to contact you, whether you have authorized them or not. It is not advisable to do this as that invites anyone – and often strange characters – to contact you. I personally prefer to see someone’s profile before I am prepared to communicate with them.
  • – “Away” – Set your status with this setting when you are online but away from your computer. You may want to go somewhere but wish to leave your skype on in case of important messages you are expecting. This status is automatically activated if you are logged on to Skype, but have not used your computer for a while.
  • – “Not Available” – If you are at your computer but you may be busy with something you can’t leave and wish to let people know that you are online, but cannot respond to skype chats, you can set your status to this setting. This status is also automatically activated if you are logged on to Skype, but have not used your computer for an extended period of time.
  • – “Do not disturb” Calls and chat alerts will not pop up in this mode, however you can check for chats and calls in the events panel at any time. I normally use this for times when I do not wish to be disturbed at all because I amy be busy with a client or need to concentrate on an important task on my computer. You will not loose any messages if you are set to “Do not disturb”. All message will be stored for you and you can find them later. I will explain more about this later.
  • – “Invisable” – This status lets you use Skype as usual for chatting and calls but shows you as being offline in your contact’s list, iow – your window will still pop up to make you aware that you have a message.
  • – “Offline” – This is what your contacts will see next to your name when you are either not logged in to Skype, or set your skype status to offline. You will not receive any message but they will be stored for you until you are both online again.
  • – “Not a Contact” – If you have sent a contact request to someone but they have not yet responded you will see this icon next to their name in your contact list. If you are in a Skype chat room with many members you will have this icon next to all the names of people who are not your contacts.


How to View Your Missed Skype Events

Now! I am sure you need to know how to find your messages that you missed while offline or on “Do not disturb” Skype status. Your Skype icon in the tray at the bottom of your screen, will sometimes have a red flag over it to remind you of Skype events that you may have missed which are waiting for you. The image below shows you the same red flag in the upper right of your Skype v3.8 window. In Skype v4 and v5 there is no red flag anymore. For recent events you will see an orange circle with the number of events in it inside your Skype main window recent events tab and in the system tray, in the lower right of your monitor you will see a bouncing orange circle over your Skype Status Icon. In v5 if you click on the system tray icon you will see in orange, “View all xx New Conversations” xx being the number of new unviewed Skype events.

Skype Event Flag


There are quite a few Skype events that gets stored and denoted in this way:

  1. You have missed a message
  2. One of your contacts is having a birthday – the name will appear in your “missed events”
  3. Someone tried to call you for a voice chat
  4. You have someone who wants you to look at their Face Book profile and become a contact
  5. When you have a new contact request that you have not responded to yet.

This information is based on Skype v3.8 and may differ slightly in newer versions. I hope that this will help answer some of your questions. If you need to learn more about Skype, get the Skype Tips here and be sure to also join us in Julie’s Skype Tips Skype Chat Room. First read and follow the Room Guidelines. There is limited space available in this room so once you have read the guidelines and agree to follow them contact …..

  • Julie Wolf Skype ID: juliewolf,
  • AND Hyla Weimann Skype ID: hymagw OR
  • Xarah Skype ID: sarnetwork

informing us that you have read the guidelines and that you agree to follow them. You can join the Skype Tips room here.

5 Comments

Join the conversation and post a comment.

  1. Julie Wolf

    Thanks Hyla! I will try to get the image of Skype v3.8 for “not added/ not a contact” with the gray question mark and also the images of Skype v5 icons that are different from Skype 3.8. In fact, one difference between Skype 5, is you can not see this gray question mark when someone is not a contact yet. Some of us miss that in Version 4 and 5.

    It was nice to be able to see who is and who is not a contact yet.

    Note that no matter whether it is you not adding someone or them not adding you, this icon seems to be a gray ?. but again only in v 3.8, not in v5. In 5 it is just a gray outline, with an x in the middle, which looks exactly like any other offline contact.

  2. Donna Meyer

    Excellent article and information especially for newbies to Skype. Skype can be overwhelming if you do not know what you are doing.

    Donna Meyer
    Skype: dgm47dgm

  3. pat jones

    Very good description of skype icons…but being a new and older Skyper and not very practiced, it still leaves me with the question: what is the orange dot on the righthand side of the contacts box. They appeared after I accepted two new contacts. Thanks in advance

  4. Julie Wolf

    Pat, first off, sorry for the delay. Skype keeps me busy…what can I say?

    Yes the orange dots tell you of a new event. Like adding someone who added you back or vice versa.

  5. Julie Wolf

    Are you in my Skype Tips Skype chat room Pat? Add and chat with me on Skype from http://incomeassurance.com/skype chat and add buttons.


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