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How to reduce Skype memory usage

Saturday August 28, 2010

An hour of Googling turned up the answer.

Skype

Skype has been my main form of communication for the last couple of years. A year of outbound telephone service is $30, a Skype-In number so any phone can call into me is another $30, add in a VOIP USB phone for around $30, and it’s a very cheap solution with excellent call quality.

My only gripe has been their application, it’s always felt heavy and consumed way too much memory for my tastes. An application that sits in my Windows tray all day, shouldn’t be using 60,000K of my precious ram. And when called upon, it shouldn’t paint the screen like it’s struggling with my display adapter, each tile coming in piecemeal.

Today, I went looking for answers, there had to be a solution. In the dark crevices of Skype’s support forum, which is hidden behind FAQ after FAQ, there was this post. A long time user of Skype laid out the cruel facts, that all the 4.x versions of the software were slow and used up way too much memory. He recommended v3.8.0.188, the best Skype ever written he claimed.

Armed with this information, I headed over to FileHippo, and grabbed Skype 3.8.0.188. Removed my installed v4.2.0.158, and rebooted the computer to clear out any loaded DLLs. When installing this older version of Skype, I clicked the options button, and unchecked the Extras Manager, that’s the additional SkypePM.exe process you see in Task Manager.

Upon startup, Skype’s screen popped up instantly, since 3.x version’s default interface was more like an instant messenger client. Made a call to their sound test service, the girl with the British accent came through clearly on the USB phone. Grabbed my cell phone and called into my Skype-In number, a small popup alerted me that a call was coming in, no lag in site.

Task Manager reports Skype.exe using 8,492K, now that’s more like it.

Operator, oh could you help me place this call?
You see the number on the matchbook is old and faded