Microsoft Brings Single Sign-On Capabilities to Skype

Posted on October 18, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Skype with 12

Microsoft Brings Single Sign-On Capabilities to Skype

Starting next week, Skype users will be able to sign-in to other Microsoft services—like, OneDrive and Xbox Live—using their Skype IDs. It’s all part of an effort to consolidate customers’ online personas through a single online identity, the Microsoft Account.

“We’ve been working to bring Skype and Microsoft closer together and are excited to announce that soon you will be able to use your Skype Name to sign into other Microsoft services like Xbox, Office and OneDrive,” a Skype announcement reads. “With a single sign-in (and an email address for certain services) you will soon be able to have fun on Xbox Live, access your photos and documents through OneDrive, check your email on, and connect with your friends and family on Skype.”

Microsoft has offered the ability to tie your Skype account to your Microsoft account for years, but this is the final piece of the puzzle. Going forward, you will be able to use both accounts interchangeably when using Microsoft’s consumer services. And if you have two-step authentication set up on your Microsoft account—as you should—that will pass through automatically to your Skype sign-ins as well. Which is excellent.

When I spoke with Skype back in July, I was told this integration was coming, and that one of the benefits is that Skype users who forget their Skype ID passwords will now have full reset and recovery functionality through the normal Microsoft account web experience.

“The Skype sign-in screen, password change and account recovery flow are now managed by Microsoft,” the Skype team explains. “None of these changes will affect your ability to use Skype: As usual, you can still sign in using your Skype Name.”


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  1. 2 | Reply
    MattHewitt Alpha Member #110 - 1 week ago

    The bitter man in me says that Skype IDs should be replaced by Microsoft Account. Why do the two co-exist? I understand the need for a "screen name" but to give the two accounts the interchangability is strange. It would be like me being able to sign into my account with my Xbox ID.

  2. 2 | Reply
    Waethorn Alpha Member #2235 - 1 week ago

    Are they going to get rid of that stupid multi-stage login screen when you use Microsoft accounts?  I hate those!  They come up everywhere.  They even make distinctions between Office 365 and "Microsoft" accounts.  Office 365 accounts SHOULD BE Microsoft accounts too.  Google seems to be doing just fine with G Suite accounts also doubling as Google Accounts.  When you use Gmail or Drive, or any other Google service from a G Suite account, you're provided with the same server address, just with added functionality over free Google accounts.  Microsoft gets that utterly wrong.  You can have an Office 365 account and a Microsoft account with the same email address, and run into all kinds of headaches with services like OneDrive and Office 365 not knowing which account to go to.  What's worse is that Office 365 doesn't even have the same server login for home or business accounts, and when you buy a retail package license that's for Office Home & Business or Professional, which is good for business licensing (for for-profit business use), you're still taken to the consumer login page.  Google account management is simpler, and just plain better.  Microsoft needs to unify their services better.  It's no doubt they'll keep them separate so that if they want, they can split off the consumer side of the company so that they can fail on their own.

    1. 1 | Reply
      Thayios - 1 week ago
      In reply to Waethorn:

      This has been and continues to be dumb. I hate having two seperate logins!

  3. 0 | Reply
    gregsedwards - 1 week ago

    I noticed in yesterday's podcast, Brad was experimenting with unifying his Microsoft Account in Skype IDs. His comment/theory was the combination basically caused his Skype ID to be absorbed by his Microsoft Account. He seemed to indicate he could no longer use his Skype ID to sign into things.

    However, I've not found this to be the case. For instance, I was able to log into using my Skype ID or my email address. It would seem that my Skype ID is now more or less an alias that's interchangeable with any of my other login aliases for my Microsoft Account.

    I'm pretty fortunate that my Skype ID and username are the same, so really it just simplifies things for me. Now, I can type "gregsedwards" on any Microsoft property and click login. Simple.

    In general, I'd say this is one of the least painful convergences that I've been through in my many years of Microsoft fandom.

  4. 0 | Reply
    Bart Alpha Member #117 - 1 week ago

    Only just noticed that signing up for a new Skype ID can only be done via to options:

    1) phone number

    2) email (

    So I can't help but thinking the original Skype ID's are on their way out, once the Single Sign In proces is completed

  5. 0 | Reply
    markbyrn - 1 week ago

    In order for this to work properly, I had to login to Outlook mail with my Skype login and than it took me through this merging process.  I initially tried it from Skype (used my Outlook email) and while it allowed me to login, it was my Outlook Skype account with no info and no option to merge.  All good now though and I can login to Microsoft services with either my email or skype.

  6. 0 | Reply
    Bart Alpha Member #117 - 1 week ago

    I hope we will be able to block the option to sign in with a Skype ID, much like you do with an alias. Obviously in the name of account security

    1. 0 | Reply
      Bart Alpha Member #117 - 1 week ago
      In reply to Bart:

      Password for MSA and Skype is now the same. Plus there is 2 Factor Authentication, provided you have it set up on your MSA.