Skype’s latest update broke the Skype Status Flick gadget today, so I’ve released an update which fixes the problem, as well as a few bugs that cropped up since the initial SkypeStatusFlick release.

If you don’t know what Skype Status Flick is, here’s a quick overview: if you use Skype behind a firewall/router, your status often ‘times out’, making you appear offline to all your contacts, when in fact you are still logged in to Skype. SkypeStatusFlick addresses this problem by sending an update to the Skype servers every 5 minutes, reminding them that you are still online.

You can read more, add a comment or download the latest SkypeStatusFlick from the original article.

Skype is a great communication tool for online chat, voice and video. One of the features I like most about Skype is the simple Skype Web status button that you can put on your webpage or Facebook page, and let everyone know whether you’re available for chat. Look in the footer of this page for an example.

However, lately I’ve noticed that my Skype connection appears to drop “offline” after a while. The Skype program on my desktop was happily set to ‘Online’, yet the Skype button on my website would change to ‘Offline’ after a while, and my contacts would tell me I was not online on their screens. Changing my status to ‘Away’, then back to ‘Online’ again fixes the problem for a while, until it disconnects / times out again.

I’m asuming this problem has something to do with firewalls, or my router, closing old connections that haven’t been updated in a while. So to combat this, I wrote the SkypeStatusFlick program, which uses the Skype API to update your status every 5 mins, and keep you online.

  • If you’re on ‘Away’, every 5 minutes it will switch you to ‘Do Not Disturb’, then back to ‘Away’ instantly.
  • If you’re on ‘Appear Offline / Invisible / Logged Out’, the program will not change your status at all.
  • Otherwise, every 5 minutes you’ll get switched to ‘Away’, then instantly back to whatever your status is on.

Installation

Download SkypeStatusFlick

You’ll need the Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 installed to run SkypeStatusFlick.

Extract the ZIP file, then double click on register_skype4com.bat to make sure the Skype API is installed (you should receive a DLL Register successful message).

When you run the program for the first time by double clicking on SkypeStatusFlick.exe, you’ll need to set Skype to allow access to SkypeStatusFlick.exe. Run SkypeStatusFlick, then open up your Skype window, and you should see a yellow box popup at the top right requesting access. Click Accept to allow SkypeStatusFlick to run. You should only need to do this once, unless you reinstall or move SkypeStatusFlick.exe.
If you don’t allow access, SkypeStatusFlick will popup to tell you that it cannot access Skype, and you need to follow the directions above.

Now you’re ready to go! Create a shortcut to SkypeStatusFlick and put it in your StartUp folder to have it running in the background just like Skype. It doesn’t matter if Skype’s not running – the program will just wait until it is to start working.

Changelog

v1.2

  • Added a second function to switch to ‘Offline’ and back every hour (in addition to the 5 minute ‘Away’ checks)
  • Added a secondary check for those who are using ‘Allow my status to be shown on the web’. SkypeStatusFlick will check your Web status, and if it says Offline, you’ll be notified via a message box popup. To enable this check, right-click on the SkypeStatusFlick icon next to your clock, and click ‘Check Web Status’ to enable it.
    * If you turn off ‘Allow my status to be shown on the web’ in Skype, then this check will always think you are offline. Disable the check via the SkypeStatusFlick icon’s menu to stop the popup.
  • Built with Skype API v1.0.38

v1.1

  • Included latest Skype API DLL and a register DLL shortcut, as Skype removed the Skype4COM.dll from the 5.3.0.120 update
  • Fixed: ‘Unhandled Error: Not Attached’ on startup, when Skype was still loading
  • Fixed: ‘Please accept request…’ message coming up again every 5 mins when it was already on the screen
  • Changed build target to x86
  • Built with Skype API v1.0.36

v1.0

  • Initial release
  • Built with Skype API v1.0.31