How To Make Skype a Portable App

Mark O'Neill 20-01-2009

how to make skype portableAs yet, Skype doesn’t offer an official portable USB version of their software (with the exception of the U3 smart drive version) which frustrates a lot of people (including myself). This has led people to make an unofficial hack of a portable version for themselves.


Read on to find out how to make skype portable. It’s extremely easy.

1. The first step is to make the folder on your USB stick where it will all stay. So call it whatever you want. Let’s call it “Portable Skype” for example. But you can give it whatever name you want (it can be ‘skype portable version’ or just skype, doesn’t matter).

2. Now go to the installed Skype app on your computer (normally located at C:\Program Files\Skype) and look for a file called Skype.exe

skype.exe- skype portable version

Right-click and copy that file. Do not move it anywhere. Just right-click and copy.


3. Now go to the “Portable Skype” folder and insert that copied “Skype.exe” file into the “Portable Skype” folder.

4. In the “Portable Skype” folder, make a new sub-folder called data

5. Inside the “data” folder, make a new text document using Notepad or something similar.   Name the file skype.bat

6. Open this file up and insert the following line: skype.exe /datapath:”Data” /removable

7. Save and close the file. That’s it. You’re done. You now have a portable version of Skype.

How To Make Skype a Portable App usbstickI tested this by moving the whole lot onto a USB stick and then launching it from there. It launched immediately but the firewall asked me if I wanted to let it pass. So you would need to configure the firewall of the computer you would be using the portable Skype on to allow the app through.

There is an interesting thread on PortableApps about what should be put on the skype.bat file. If you want to fine-tune the file, you might want to read the thread.

This is just a “rough and ready” hack to put Skype on your USB stick and how to make skype portable app. Please note, future releases of Skype may cause this hack to stop working. I am hoping that Skype will eventually bring out an official portable version that works for ALL portable USB sticks, not just the U3.

Related topics: Portable App, Skype, VoIP.

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  1. johnmchugh
    December 12, 2009 at 7:54 am

    I got it to work on a usb thumb drive, with that bat file, using a computer running win2000.
    However, after closing skype, I searched the system drive and found 3 folders and more files it leaves behind.
    The files were .dat and skype-user named folders located in documentsandsettings/username/application data.
    While the hack works, the U3 version may clear out these traces automatically.
    And if you use the hack, you may want to remove the files created on the system drive.

  2. Rich
    November 5, 2009 at 2:18 am

    Hey, good thread. I just went to the link above and got the portable skype from portable apps. Never used portableapps before but intend to set up their firefox momentarily as I have a new computer and I'm going to put both on the mobile drive. I do have a question: I used the method above to set up the .bat file - incidentally I've seen this procedure all over the place online - and it didnt work - just got me a command prompt window that blinked for a second and then went off the screen. the PortableApps is working much better, it set up some directories and I just clicked the .exe file from there (no .bat), which I assumed was right but there is little on the portableapps site on how to actually properly launch.

    My question now is: I have all my call and chat history backed up from my old c: drive, can I just paste this over the portableapps Skype Portable and if so, where exactly?

  3. Daniel
    October 22, 2009 at 4:23 pm just released their own ( Portable Skype.

  4. Alfred
    July 30, 2009 at 12:05 pm

    hmm tried this on my comp and its not working, the grey skype icon comes and disappears.

    guess I have to try it on a USB ? Will try later then I get home

  5. B-Blogger
    February 6, 2009 at 3:18 pm

    Portable Skype available at

    Uses VMware.

  6. flyingstar16
    January 22, 2009 at 6:30 am

    In this thread
    is shown a way to build an executable file that runs Portable Skype; the main differences between the .bat and the .exe is that the .exe has an icon and, most important, shows up in PortableApps menu :)

  7. Eric W.
    January 21, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    This method nor Bravespear's worked, so I used this method instead: which did work, albeit I would have to change the flash disks drive letter when I put it on a new machine that associates it a different drive letter than my current one.

    • Mark O'Neill
      January 21, 2009 at 1:42 pm

      The method works perfectly well so if it doesn't work for you, then you must have done something wrong. Try again.

  8. Bravespear
    January 21, 2009 at 12:44 pm

    I had to place the Skype.bat in the Portable Skype folder fro it to work. Also, I used the command:

    start skype.exe /datapath:"Data" /removable

    to automatically close the command prompt window.

    Otherwise it starts just fine.

    I'm at work now and Skype is filtered by the firewall, so will have to test from home later.

  9. Not George Bush
    January 21, 2009 at 10:19 am

    Works like a charm. Good hack.

  10. Timothy
    January 21, 2009 at 10:16 am

    Nice tutorial. thanks

  11. Pedro
    January 21, 2009 at 8:35 am

    Awesome, thanks.

  12. Prateek
    January 21, 2009 at 8:25 am

    Vmware ThinInstall can be usefull in making a Portable installation too.

  13. brkdwn
    January 21, 2009 at 4:18 am

    Perfect ! work with Beta version

    Tank you ;)

  14. Petr Buben
    January 21, 2009 at 1:05 am

    re: portable - will not today fill this functionality? ... chat pc-pc, call/video pc-phone, no installation needed. or more exactly, only lightweight client. .. for a videocall though, you'd need a camera installed. ...

    • Joseph WalkingEagle
      December 6, 2009 at 8:06 am

      After researching that mess of a site. A proper portable Skype set-up not only does the same job, but with no headache after ward. Nice self-promo plug there though Petr

  15. PM
    January 20, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    A portable version of skype is already available for download from softpedia. It works with PortableApps.

    • Linda
      January 20, 2009 at 7:07 pm

      This URL links to an app that runs only on the U3 Smart Drive drive.

    • Joseph WalkingEagle
      December 6, 2009 at 7:52 am

      Yeah but it's not an "official" , so it doesn't make it any better than what's posted here. Besides, softpedia is notorious for not keeping software up to date like it should. Who wants old ass software?

    • Joseph WalkingEagle
      December 6, 2009 at 12:29 pm

      S'cusa, my bad, *slaps self* You are correct PM, it is "official"