Skype Down Worldwide

If you’re like me and use IM pretty much constantly throughout the day then you can imagine what it’s like to have it suddenly turned off… pretty frustrating. As of the time of writing Skype seems to be down (confirmed here) and has been for the last few hours. Considering the millions of people who rely on it every day I’m sure there must be a lot of angry users punching their keyboards about now! Having to send emails seems positively stone age compared with the instant gratification of the answer being a click away.

The Taiwan earthquake earlier in the year which damaged undersea cables showed just how much disruption can be caused by the failure of communication lines so if one service going silent is a mild annoyance I dread to think what would happen if there was a major outage.

How is this affecting your day?

Skype Logo

— Updating below as more news comes in (RSS Feed) —

Update: Some interesting theories as to what’s causing the problems here and here. The outage appears to be worldwide.

Update 2: Skype has said they “expect this to be resolved within 12 to 24 hours“. I wonder if there is any liability for all the businesses who rely on Skype and will have lost out as a result…?

Update 3: People are not having any luck getting any further information from Skype. Regarding liability, their terms of service seem to indicate that compensation is “limited to the amount actually paid by you for the Skype services during the year in which such damages occur” up to 5000 Euros. Won’t be much consolation to small businesses I guess!

Update 4: Conspiracy theories already beginning – Could the Russians have DOSed Skype, are the Neocons taking action because they can’t wiretap it, or is this just a simple “software glitch”? Hmmm… I think a liberal pinch of salt is needed here 😉 Any way you look at the situation, it sucks!!

Update 5: So far had reports from Hong Kong, Denmark, Belgium, Malaysia, San Diego, Germany, Brazil, Orlando, Texas, Lithuania, Canada, Argentina, Australia, Montreal, Quebec, Thailand, China, Switzerland, Italy, London, Finland, Turkey, South Africa, Memphis, Florida, Malaga, Poland, France, India, Cyprus, Barbados, Netherlands, Italy, Singapore, Macedonia, Tokyo, Seoul, Bulgaria, Norway, Ireland, Jordan, Philippines… is there anywhere where Skype is actually working now? Apparently, some users have been without service for over 14 hours already.

Update 6: Some interesting commentary on the situation from GigaOM (P2P limitations), Mashable (eBay stock down), Disruptive Telephony (end of the world?) & Epicenter (Skype won’t comment).

Update 7: Skype have posted a new message on their Hearbeat blog –

“We’d like to thank everyone who has taken the time to send us their thoughts, concerns and good wishes. It means the world to those working so hard to resolve this thing.”

…touching, but doesn’t really tell us any more about what the problem is! I guess there must be some pretty stressed-out engineers at Skype today, so good luck to them! According to one user who was able to log on for a short time there are only 6000 users online – on a normal day there would be around 6 million.

Update 8: Last update before I head for bed – check out these pretty interesting graphs from Skype Journal, they show that there were over 6 million users online just before the service flatlined. Also another update from the Skype team:

“The Skype system has not crashed or been victim of a cyber attack. We love our customers too much to let that happen. This problem occurred because of a deficiency in an algorithm within Skype networking software. This controls the interaction between the user’s own Skype client and the rest of the Skype network.

Rest assured that everyone at Skype is working around the clock — from Tallinn to Luxembourg to San Jose — to resume normal service as quickly as possible.”

At least this is a little more informative, here’s hoping that it’s back up tomorrow!

Update 9 (17/08 – 9 am BST): Some users are able to connect intermittently as the service begins to come back online. No definite confirmation from Skype yet but the signs are certainly positive. Should be interesting to see how this goes as Europe wakes up today. Is Skype working for you yet?

Update 10: Apart from having to deal with millions of disgruntled users, eBay (who own Skype) has also seen a slump in its share prices which, according to TechCrunch, knocked $1 billion off eBay’s market cap. It’s now been over 24 hours since the outage began.

Update 11 (7.30 pm BST): Not a great deal of change since this morning although anecdotally more people are reporting being able to connect for short periods. Skype say they’re on the road to recovery but there seems to be little evidence for that yet. The O’Reilly Radar has raised some interesting points about Skype and the General Public Licence – would it help Skype to be less secretive about their network technology?

Update 12 (18/09 – 12.30 pm BST): Welcome Back, World! So it finally looks like after 48 hours of downtime that Skype is back online. As of now, I can see close to 6 million people online which is the normal average. Skype has said that they’ll provide a more detailed explanation on Monday – should be interesting to hear what actually happened! Happy skyping all 🙂

Update 13 (20/09): Skype has posted a slightly more detailed explanation of what happened last week. Turns out the effect of people’s computers restarting on mass after a windows update caused the network meltdown when they all tried to log in again and in turn, the inbuilt self-healing mechanisms failed.

David avatar

125 responses

  1. mark avatar

    Down in sw florida, just hooked up skype at work, needless to say it dosent look good for skype or myself. It better be up quick 🙁

  2. No skype in Australia either.. avatar
    No skype in Australia either..

    Nothing since 6pm today…. its now 1:30am…

  3. Vijit avatar

    I have gizmo running on my PC just fo rthese kinds of moments.

    I put in 20 dollars and I am just fine to call landlines or mobiles phones at least. Since most people don't have gizmo loaded on their PCs, you can't really do a PC to PC call. Either way I stil making really calls overseas.

  4. If anyone's looking for a really reliable alternative, why not try the public telephone network?! It's telephony grade, 99.9999999% uptime!

  5. You're not with the right company then dude!

  6. Rick avatar

    Wow – sounds a bit global. Here in Malaga, SpainI thought it was my PC having had the phone cut off for a few days. Saves me spending any more time trying to fix it!


  7. Joe Seidl avatar
    Joe Seidl

    Skype just came up! Back online for now in the Memphis area…

  8. jeff avatar


  9. Joe Seidl avatar
    Joe Seidl

    out again. that didn't last long.

  10. Monkiman avatar

    256K users last time I got in… YIKES …. the heartbeat page says

    SkypeOut All working normally.
    SkypeIn All working normally.
    Skype Voicemail All working normally.
    Skype SMS All working normally.

    That's a joke… if you cant login.. NOTHING works …


  11. Mike avatar

    David, you CAN call China for FAR less than £0.03/min from your landline in the UK.

    Possible with various companies and no accounts needed using “dial around” info here:

    I have used some of the 1p/min ones to call China and countries in South America in the past

  12. loopticon avatar

    Skype is down!!!!!!……shazam!

  13. Oh hell, it screwed me double, same time as skaype went down my telefon line did the dump too…
    I am without connection to the outside world….
    Only the Inet is working and my mobile

    (Annecy, France)

  14. Tommy D avatar
    Tommy D

    Skype is down is Austin Texas, USA also. Tomorrow is the day when I am to pay for the new bill. For the voice mail etc. I will have to consider this as a non-option considering the current situation.

  15. miranda avatar

    what a coincidence ! wordl financial markets are suffering one of there metdown days and skype is down. 22 million users disconnected from skyping there brokers/bankers etc.

    an some new silent privacy rules at skype: look at the FAQ on “backup of skype contcats” and You will find the reassuring news that skype is now storing Your contacts at their central server !

  16. MadAsHellNotTakingItAnyMore avatar


    No it's not a local phenomena its GLOBAL! Skype does have contingency plans for a SIMPLE outage. They have backup servers in Luxembourg, Tallin, and San Jose CA. They alos use your PC's as P2P routers. They are scrambling right now trying to figure out how this happened and if its artificial WHO's doing it and from where.

    If it's the later “they” want Skype to look bad and drive away customers. Since most of them write in “squiggling” lines on SkypeCast you do the math… This is IMHO a “campaign” of the cyber-attack kind. I think its a tad more sophisticated than a DoS attack. Certian agency of the American government have already changed their mission statements to read that they will help American industry compete with foreign industry. Just GOOGLE in-q-tel “san jose” ca and find out what “is right up their alley.”

    Don't blame Skype. They were blind sided by some really smart hackers with heavy duty CD degrees form ivy league colleges. I know their screaming right now to the EU asking for terrorist charges to be filed against the perpetrators. If you read my links above in my other post you see they already did that a couple of months ago the 1st time it happened.

    I think VONAGE is going to get a lot of new business. And I hate VONAGE as it sucks even more. I'd rather go back to DialPad or that other creepy VOIP vendor that I forget. This sucks as I have a bunch of business calls to make and receive!!! Complain to your congressman in intelligence oversight to make 'em stop! This is NOT what they meant by The Patriot Act!

  17. MadAsHellNotTakingItAnyMore avatar

    Oops: I meant CS degrees not CD Degrees. (CS = Computer Science)

  18. Joe Blin avatar
    Joe Blin

    This sucks. I use Skype for all my IM. Just gald I have been using Jangl for my voice calls.

  19. Russell avatar

    Alas even in norfolk (where skype is still seen as the cutting edge of new technology), we are having problems haha!

  20. Still down in London but connects occasionally before dropping off again…

  21. Ivan avatar

    Just thought I'd add that we're still offline in Copenhagen, Denmark at 7:06 GMT.

  22. Hi. I am from Sofia city – the capital of Bulgaria and Skype is down all day. 1-2 times I were logged in, but after I sent and received few messages, it dropped me and now stays on “Connecting”. I have posted the news on my blog too. Hope Skype to be soon online, because it is very thrustrating situation.

  23. Skype is up …oops no wait .. it is down again 😉
    I finally get some housework done this way …
    And reminds me to cope all my contacts on msn, icq and yahoo IM too.

  24. logicwonder avatar

    I am from Kerala, India. Skype has been down for abt 8 hours. It shows signing in status but stays just like that. I now a days use only skype and am now really in a black out. Lets hope it will be back even better by tomrw.

    SKYPE come back we are waiting for your service…

  25. Anonymous avatar

    At CST 11:00am in Texas, US I could log into skype. I also made a 'toll free' phone call. While my laptop kept putting up struggle, it connected again for a few seconds. Something seems to work… occasionally. Yet, like y'all, I'm keeping my fingers crossed too.

  26. Koulla avatar

    Skype is down in Cyprus tooooooooooooo…!!!!:(((

  27. Andrew avatar

    I was just browsing the forums, and saw this funny pic on the Skype forums, I got a giggle out of it

  28. Mikko – I'm seeing exactly the same behaviour. On one occasion when I was momentarily online I was able to send an SMS message but not sure if it got through!

  29. Down in Greece and all over the world …

    It was dos attack ?
    software algorithm ?
    negative advertise for more skype clients ?

    who knows ? who has the ability to know ?

  30. I am in Jordan and I have actually had intermittent connection over the day today. It is little use though since it does not last for more than 5 minute and no more than a couple of my contacts are connected at the same time.

  31. Andrew avatar

    skype down in Barbados too

  32. Here in Philippines, yep I had a greeting from a friend when I logged in Meebo to use my YM there, “I can't login skype!”, well nice greeting and didn't even asked how I was because I just had an asthma attack.

    I decided to use another IM service since it was amazing to see that on a Friday night my Skype contacts are gray and offline. I am expecting SMS services countrywide to experience a sharp peak today due to Skype down. Probably more sales in McDonald's, people eat out because of Skype down. We know Skype is a part of our lives already…will it stay or go?

  33. Kees avatar

    I am in the Netherlands and second day that skype is down. It did connect briefly this morning (there si hope?) but after a minute went down again.

  34. I'm online now, and its showing a little less than 3 million users connected. I was able to chat to some friends earlier but obviously not everyone can connect still.

  35. Anonymous avatar

    Finally… I see 3 million folks online. Relief, at last… with a realization that we're so ardent slaves of technology!

  36. Sam Sequi avatar
    Sam Sequi

    Hello Ladies and Gents.

    Skype seems to be up and running now. To make it work you should download the new version posted on their website a few minutes ago.

    For the techies, here is a link explaining what — supposingly — has been happening:

  37. Giedre avatar

    It seems that skype step by step is slowly coming up. I live in Italy. Today I can communicate with several friends from Lithuania.

  38. Darius avatar

    My brother in Lithuania says that skype slowly comming up but still very unstable connection

  39. Anita avatar

    Still down in Belgium (at least for me). Connects for a minute then drops off again.

  40. Jules avatar

    It's still down here in Singapore. Managed to connect once or twice in the morning (after non-stop trying), before getting booted off after making one call per login.

  41. Misko avatar

    Still down in the Republic of Macedonia.

  42. Belgium. I've been able to log on for 1 hour now, this is the longest since yesterday morning! There are approx 2 250 000 people online, so hopefully thing are getting back to normal.

  43. martin avatar

    South Africa also down – this link will show your the number of skype users currently online …not pretty at all

  44. Rob Lowe avatar
    Rob Lowe

    Still down in China

  45. dapa1 avatar


  46. Anita avatar

    Skype seems to be up in Belgium! 🙂 and seems like in Malaysia as well.

  47. Brillo avatar

    12.30pmBST Still down in Ireland

  48. Mikko avatar

    Here in London:
    I connect to Skype for about 1 minute per half hour. Contacts' icons go green and number of users online appears but I don't actually get to be able to talk to anyone. Right now Skype says “connecting”.

  49. The updates on the Skype's main web page are ridiculous!

    F*** Skype really! I am sooooooooooooo pissssssssssed offffffffff!!!

    (Belfast, UK).

  50. Still down in Dublin Ireland, won't allow any connection!


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