Skype notifications will no longer bug you on multiple devices

Notifications will only ring in on your active device thanks to a new feature.

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Skype users tired of getting new message notifications on multiple devices all at the same time will finally get some relief.

A tweak to the service rolling out over the next few weeks will ensure that only the device you're currently using to chat will receive notifications of new messages. That's a much-wanted fix over the current Skype scenario where a notification pops up simultaneously on all of your devices -- PC, phone, and tablet.

Since retiring Windows Live Messenger and pushing users to Skype, Microsoft has been trying to improve the popular service. But some of the improvements seem to be taking awhile to implement. Last November, Microsoft revealed that it was testing several updates to Skype, including the ability to send notifications only to your active device. Nearly 10 months later, it's finally here.

How will the new notification work? A Microsoft blog posted on Wednesday explains:

If you are signed in to Skype on multiple devices (a laptop, tablet and a smartphone) and you are sending chat messages to a group of friends from your tablet. Skype will only send new message notifications to your tablet and not to any of your other devices. All of your other devices will remain blissfully silent. You can continue to focus on the most important thing, your conversations, without being disturbed by the bleeping and buzzing from all of your other devices.

The moment you stop actively using Skype on any device, all devices will receive notifications again to make sure you never miss anything important. When you pick up any one of your devices to respond, we will stop send notifications to all other devices. Call notifications are still sent to all devices so you can answer on whichever gadget you prefer, not just the one you're closest to.

Meanwhile, your chat history syncs and remains available on all your devices, so you can pick up any conversation where you left off on any of them.

The new feature comes courtesy of an enhancement that Microsoft calls active endpoint, which sends notifications only to your active device. Keep in mind that you may not receive the update for a few weeks, but Microsoft advises Skype users to make sure they are running the latest version of the software. That will ensure the new notification feature is active once it reaches you.

About the author

Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.

 

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