Skype secrets: hidden chat commands

12 Dec 2012

It turns out that Skype group chats have additional functionality that allows users to change settings or get information about the participants. This article will tell you how to do it.

Well, we continue our good tradition to inform you about the hidden features of Skype. This time it will be helping commands that can be used in private or general chat. Without any doubt, Skype was initially designed for calling and video conferencing but its IM function gained particular popularity on the Internet. Perhaps it was due to long-standing using of ICQ and some other reasons but chatting on Skype is a well-loved way of communication. It is often the case that many people use only basic features of the program being unaware of hidden program capabilities and extra options. We are going to highlight main commands that can help you to simplify and improve your communication. Please note that square brackets shouldn’t be used while entering command text.

/help — main command that reminds you about other available commands. Important: if you are in private chat, it will display limited list of commands. If you communicate in general chat (the number of the users is more than 3) and you are its administrator, more extended list will be available. Otherwise full functionality won’t be available to you.

/alertsoff — one of the most useful commands, especially for group chat. You know how distractive Skype can be while you work or do something important. Even if you turn off sounds, blinking numbers in the taskbar attract your attention.  You click there at least to make them disappear. If the chat is popular, it happens all the time. This command lets you disable displaying these notifications in the taskbar.

/alertson [text] — this command is opposite to the previous one. It turns on notifications. You can add your chat name after this command and a space character to be notified only if somebody addresses you personally. If the command is sent without this parameter you will be notified about all new messages.

/me [text] — this command displays your name in the message. The other users will see it as a system message with your name.

/add [skype login] — this command allows you to add a new participant to the chat. Please note that Skype login should be indicated (not a nickname).

/find [text] — this command searches for the specified text in the chat history. As a result, the first usage of matching text will be displayed.

/leave — this command allows you to leave the chat. Please keep in mind that you won’t be able to come back without chat link or if someone doesn’t add you again.

/topic — this command changes the name of the chat or "subject matter". All participants will get a notification about it.

/info — this command displays the number of participants and the maximum possible number of users that can participate in a chat conversation.

/get uri — this command displays the chat link in your chat window. This is useful if you want to attract new users, for instance, by placing a link on a site. The link is visible only to you.

/undoedit — this command undoes the last change.

/whois [name] command displays user information. Name means Skype login. Member — login,
  role — user's role in the chat,
  subscribed — if there is a subscription to the chat,
  banned — if the user is banned or not,
  online locations — network status (sometimes it isn't displayed).
  The message is visible only to you.

/get options command displays chat settings that are visible only to you.

/invite [name] generates a Skype call link. If a username is empty, this command generates your personal Skype call link. All users of the chat can see this link.

These are the main commands that may be useful to most users.

Below we will talk about additional commands that are available for group chat creators and moderators. A brief description will give you a better understanding of Skype group chat roles:

Creator is the person who created the chat. He has maximum authority and the right to assign the other roles. There can be only one creator.

Master is a chat moderator. This person can use practically all commands except assigning roles.

Helper differs from standard users only by the ability to chat with the parameter USERS_ARE_LISTENERS on.

User means ordinary user of a chat.

Listener can only read chat messages.

Applicants are the users who are invited to the Skype chat but haven’t been approved by creator or master yet.

Now let’s talk about commands.

/setrole [name] master|helper|user|listener — assigns a new role to a user. Name means Skype username.

/kick [name] — kicks the user out of Skype chat. The message about removing the user by administrator is sent to the chat.

/kickban [name] — kicks the user out of Skype chat and puts him on a banlist.

/set guidelines [text] command allows you to set the rules for Skype chat. If the text is empty the rules won’t be set.

/get guidelines or /get xguidelines command displays chat rules.

/set options (+|-)[flag] command enables you to set options for Skype chat.

+ option is on, - option is off. If + or - isn’t specified the flag will be on by default.

Here is the list of available flags:

USERS_ARE_LISTENERS — if the flag is on, users can't post messages.

USERS_ARE_WRITERS — this flag enables users to post messages.

JOINING_ENABLED — allows new users to freely join the chat (for example, by chat link).

JOINERS_BECOME_APPLICANTS — new users can take part in a chat conversation after authorization by a creator or master.

JOINERS_BECOME_LISTENERS — new users can only read chat messages.

HISTORY_DISCLOSED — if this flag is enabled, new users can see the chat history before their joining. The limit of available history is either 400 messages or 2 weeks of time.

TOPIC_AND_PIC_LOCKED_FOR_USERS — this flag doesn’t allow ordinary users to change the topic text or picture for the chat.

/setpassword [password] [password hint] — this command lets you create a password and password hint for the chat. The password must contain Latin symbols and numbers. If you don’t create the hint, you won’t be able to restore your password. No messages will be displayed after setting the password.

/clearpassword — after using this command chat password will be cancelled.

/get password_hint — this command allows you to get the password hint if the password and the password hint were set. The hint is visible only to you.

/get banlist — this command displays a list of users banned from the chat.

/get allowlist — this command displays a list of users who have access to the chat.

/set banlist (+|-)[login] – this command enables you to create a list of users banned from the chat. + will ban indicated user from the chat, - will allow indicated user to rejoin the chat. + is used by default.

/set allowlist (+|-)[login] — this command lets you set a list of users allowed to participate in the chat. + will allow indicated user to join the chat, - will exclude indicated user from the chat. + is used by default.

/golive [name] — this command starts a call with other participants of the chat. It’s your choice to indicate a call name or not.

We also recommend that you read the article about hidden Skype emoticons.

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