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Skype Update and SkypeBrowserHost.exe Now Running


NoelC
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I recently got an update to Skype, version 7.28.80.101.

If you have had a recent update you may have noticed a Skype update has brought in a new DCOM process that didn't exist before: 

SkypeBrowserHost.exe

According to Microsoft, in this thread, this component is described by a Skype forum admin as:

Quote

We are conducting an experiment to improve reliability of Skype by hosting browser related implementations in a separate process. The ‘Skype Browser Host’ background process is used to render the sign in flow and other web based elements essential to the operation of Skype.

So basically both the Skype.exe and the Skype Browser Host process together now make up the Skype application functionality. Can you share why you want this seperate process to be stopped? Is it because you think performance is affected (which it shouldn't at all)? Also the combined memory footprint should be very similar.

Not everyone is getting this "experiment" apparently.  Some with 7.28.80.101 still have only Skype.exe running.  Lucky them.

What I have found prevents SkypeBrowserHost.exe from running is to simply rescind execute permissions for all users/groups from SkypeBrowserHost.exe.

Blocking SkypeBrowserHost.exe from running will flood your System Event Log with error 10000 messages.  Literally several per second!  My entire System event log has been filled, causing all the history of events on my machine (which had gone back all the way to 2013 when I installed it) to be lost.  Thanks Microsoft, for nothing.

However, there appears to be a workaround for the event 10000 flood as well.  Removal of this Wow6432Node class ID key gets rid of the repeating event 10000 messages.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Wow6432Node\CLSID\{3FCB7074-EC9E-4AAF-9BE3-C0E356942366}]

To reverse the above deletion, add this:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Wow6432Node\CLSID\{3FCB7074-EC9E-4AAF-9BE3-C0E356942366}]
@="BrowserControl Class"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Wow6432Node\CLSID\{3FCB7074-EC9E-4AAF-9BE3-C0E356942366}\LocalServer32]
@="\"C:\\Program Files (x86)\\Skype\\Browser\\SkypeBrowserHost.exe\""

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Wow6432Node\CLSID\{3FCB7074-EC9E-4AAF-9BE3-C0E356942366}\TypeLib]
@="{6F1F1B02-1FB0-428A-8525-9BD9E420A0D8}"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Wow6432Node\CLSID\{3FCB7074-EC9E-4AAF-9BE3-C0E356942366}\Version]
@="1.0"

Microsoft, I care deeply about what's running and why on my systems.  I don't appreciate your experimenting on me without my permission.  Perhaps you would like me to do the same to you one day?

It's possible that under some conditions it will be necessary for SkypeBrowserHost to run.  I don't find it necessary for it to automatically log in, and in fact it sounds like disabling it turns off parts I'd really rather not have running.  But bear in mind that you may have to undo these steps if you find Skype stops doing some things you want it to do. 

Do these things at your own risk, and only if you're confident you can undo them!

-Noel

Edited by NoelC
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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm not sure, but I don't think so.  I think it was just running when Skype was running.

But it's no longer running here at all, courtesy the procedure above.  And so far, there's been no downside to blocking it that I can see.  I have used Skype for audio and video calls, as well as chatting.

That being said, I'm looking for a good alternative that harkens back to pure peer to peer communications.  I'm not interested in joining Microsoft's (or anyone else's) cloud.

-Noel

Edited by NoelC
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I found a way to run Skype and use a lot less memory and no extra running processes. If you have Skype installed go to C:\Program Files (x86)\Skype\Phone and copy Skype.exe, SkypeResources.dll and SkypeSkylib.dll to a folder called SkypeLight or whatever somewhere safe then uninstall Skype and clean it out of your system as much as you can from your user profile and other locations. Move the folder to your Program Files (X86 if you use a 64 bit Windows) or anywhere you like and create a shortcut to your desktop. Now when you start Skype it will use half the memory it otherwise does and it doesn't create an update service either but does create a folder in C:\Users\User\AppData\Roaming. Up until the early v7 it was possible to just use Skype.exe and it still worked fine but now with the later versions it requires the other 2 files. To update it just download the latest from Portable Apps http://portableapps.com/apps/internet/skype_portable and once extracted simply copy the same 3 files from the extracted folder and replace the ones in your SkypeLight folder. You can delete the rest of the files from the downloaded portable. If you have another computer as in my case, just have it installed there and updated with no need for another account and copy the 3 files to the other computer. I've been using it that way for ages and it works great with no issues with video/audio/files transfer/emoticons etc. There's also a way to remove the advertising if you need to but running it this way seems to cut the ads out anyway. Also make sure you know your user name and password before uninstalling

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That's intriguing!  Thank you, zolotron.  Gems of knowledge like this are why I love this site.

Out of curiosity, what resources do you see it using when run in the way you describe?  For me, after having been running on my workstation for a day or so...

SkypeResources.png

Can't say I recall seeing any ads, but I have them blocked a number of different ways not having to do with Skype.

-Noel

Edited by NoelC
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On 10/31/2016 at 0:25 AM, NoelC said:

That's intriguing!  Thank you, zolotron.  Gems of knowledge like this are why I love this site.

Out of curiosity, what resources do you see it using when run in the way you describe?  For me, after having been running on my workstation for a day or so...

SkypeResources.png

Can't say I recall seeing any ads, but I have them blocked a number of different ways not having to do with Skype.

-Noel

This is for the desktop Skype which has run for about 10 hours today and compared to how it used to run when installing it straight it uses about half the resources. If you do install it straight with no mods you get an ad at the top of the chat window as well as sometimes at the bottom from Msoft targeted ads which can be turned off in the settings but the top ad has to be tweaked away elsewhere but using it the way I do I don't get any without the tweaks and you probably don't get any due to your host file entries and maybe other tweaks you did. I'm sure Msoft will find other ways to push ads and one wonders if when publishing such tweaks to help others it also helps MS finding ways to disable it so can push more crap down that pipeline

Skype Details.jpg

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7 hours ago, zolotron said:

This is for the desktop Skype which has run for about 10 hours today and compared to how it used to run when installing it straight it uses about half the resources. If you do install it straight with no mods you get an ad at the top of the chat window as well as sometimes at the bottom from Msoft targeted ads which can be turned off in the settings but the top ad has to be tweaked away elsewhere but using it the way I do I don't get any without the tweaks and you probably don't get any due to your host file entries and maybe other tweaks you did. I'm sure Msoft will find other ways to push ads and one wonders if when publishing such tweaks to help others it also helps MS finding ways to disable it so can push more crap down that pipeline

Skype Details.jpg

Looks like we've accomplished the same things in different ways.  Your Working set and Commit size are actually showing as larger than mine.

Thanks for letting me know that my ad (and SkypeBrowserHost) blocking strategy is effective with Skype.  I didn't realize that others see ads in the places you described.

-Noel

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2 hours ago, xpclient said:

Hey is there any alternative *native desktop app* to Skype for video calling? I hate Skype.

I'm looking (albeit not aggressively yet) for the same thing for collaboration sessions.  And I would like the communications, once established, to be only between the peers.  I was most recently reading about TeamSpeak 3.  That requires a server to be set up (or to use an already online server).  Obviously the former would be more private, and it would be okay for me as I have a machine online that runs 24/7.

I'd welcome more info on TeamSpeak, as I have not yet actually tested it.

-Noel

Edited by NoelC
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7 hours ago, NoelC said:

Looks like we've accomplished the same things in different ways.  Your Working set and Commit size are actually showing as larger than mine.

Thanks for letting me know that my ad (and SkypeBrowserHost) blocking strategy is effective with Skype.  I didn't realize that others see ads in the places you described.

-Noel

Yes I was wondering about the difference in the Working set and Commit size difference and I'm using version 7.29.64.102. See below what it looks like without mods and it must become very annoying for those who use Skype as is

Skype 2.jpg

Edited by zolotron
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By gosh, I think we may have inadvertently found the first truly good use for that "Modern UI" business where screen elements move around to fill up empty space.  When the ad is not shown it uses the whole window for real info - unlike web pages that leave blank spaces.

SkypeNoAds.png

-Noel

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