Disable Skype integration in Outlook.com and SkyDrive

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A little over nine months ago, Microsoft rolled out Skype for Outlook.com. This new integration allows users to instant message, make phone calls and even send and receive video -- right from the web browser. It sounds great, but as my colleague Paul Thurrott pointed out then, it comes with a crippling incoming call notification that won't stop ringing after you answer the call with one of the many other applications or devices ringing.

I thought abandoning Outlook.com would be the cure, but Microsoft rolled this integration into SkyDrive too.

Determined to fix this, I ran Outlook.com through Fiddler and noticed Skype code was pulled down and initialized asynchronously from scripts hosted on skypewebexperience.live.com. I thought of various solutions involving DOM manipulation and code injection to unhook Skype, but opted for a simpler brute-force approach: I just pointed the sub-domain to 127.0.0.1 via the HOSTS file (effectively blocking it).

And aside from some minor scripting errors that appear in the browser console, it worked. It even worked in SkyDrive.

Good riddance.

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. Open Notepad as an administrator
  2. Open the file \Windows\System32\Drivers\Etc\Hosts
  3. At the end of the file, add 127.0.0.1 skypewebexperience.live.com and save.
  4. Close Notepad and restart SkyDrive/Outlook.com browser instances.