2006-08-17

You aren't invisible!


I already posted this earlier in Skype Journal with the title How to make an invisible person visible with a Webcam, but the bug persists. Today i noticed that a new friend appeared offline with a webcam. When you really are offline, Skype does not send the "webcam symbol". Here, it was shown, so i knew he was online! This is clearly not how it should be. TO BE CORRECTED!

To avoid this, you should tick the radio button "Show that i have video to no one" in the Video Options of your Skype client.

Another trick without a webcam:
when you see that a person is offline: send him/her a chat message, and if it doesn't provide a message back that it hasn't been delivered yet, you know the person is online. You can even see if the person reads your message: there is a faint glowing up of the avatar (picture) of your contact in your chat window if he opens his chat window!

72 comments:

Ike Roelfsema said...

QUOTE"You can even see if the person reads your message: there is a faint glowing up of the avatar (picture) of your contact if the chat window is opened!"UNQUOTE
I learned that a while ago :-) and hardly dare to click a pop-up when I need to be "invisible" for a while..

Jean Mercier said...

To be honest: i learned that trick from a dutch woman ;-)

Nafcom said...

I am famous ;)

Anonymous said...

I have talked a bit about this before and was amazed that it was not "fixed" in the new version 2.5 - but I have it on good authority that it is being worked on... pretty neat trick though, not many people know about it.

Nice to see the comments are on.

Cheers

Dave Gray
Rooster's Rail

Anonymous said...

If I don't want to be disturbed, I just don't use Skype. Why do you login to Skype if you don't really wanna use it in any way...??? This whole conversation here is really, really, silly....

Anonymous said...

I don't think it's silly at all, there are times when I prefer not to receive calls from people on my contacts list but still need to be available for SkypeIn (0161 number). The 'invisible' option is a very useful tool if it worked right!

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know what other users see next to my name when I use the invisible option? Is it an X (offline) or something else? Thanks

Jean Mercier said...

There is indeed a grey "offline" cross when in invisible status!

Sean Rice said...

There's a couple of issues with invisibility that bother me besides the one listed. One, you should be able to choose 'who' on your contact list you're invisible to. I have both friends and business contacts on my list. After work hours, I don't want my business contacts to think I am available. Vice versa, I don't want to socialize when I'm working.

Secondly, one should be able to group contacts and set status for that group... allow individual settings to override group and global settings.

The programming for it is not that difficult: "if status!=invisible{...}" for the 'not quite invisible' issues, 'userStatus='';' and 'groupStatus='';' for the settings and additional fields needed.

Jean Mercier said...

Hey Sean,

This would indeed be nice features.

:-)

Anonymous said...

well, i DONT use webcam and whenever i sit down at skype, even though I'm invisible, it's obvious that i've been "seen" because i get a phone call within a minute or a message from someone i don't want to speak to. And i don't even click the window. It has happened too often for it to be coincidence. I pay for skype, have skypeout, etc, and quite frankly this feature/bug/whatever is really annoying.

Jean Mercier said...

Well mister anonymous,

I think this has nothing to do with webcam or not.

You should change your privacy settings in the Skype client (see menus on top of your screen): TOOLS -> OPTIONS -> Allow calls from ... only people in my Contact List.

This should solve your problem! You can do the same for your chats.

vsviridov said...

There's another way to determine if a user is invisible or not, but it requires the "Display my status on Web" set in the Privacy settings. Example of the implementation is here
http://www.exceede.com/skype/
if it sais "not showing" it means that the person has the privacy setting disabled.

Jean Mercier said...

Thanks vsviridov,

I did know the trick (but i tought Skype had already solved this), but i didn't know the "test" webpage! Very good!

Anonymous said...

"This whole conversation here is really, really, silly...."

If "this whole conversation...is really...silly" then the concept of Invisible Mode is "really...silly."

The fact is quite a few of us use this feature, and we expect it to operate in a certain way based on other IM applications. Skype is very VERY wanting in this area, and I find it a disgrace it lags behind.

Jean Mercier said...

Thanks for your comment "Anonymous".

Funny however that i still get comments here, and my post is almost 2 years old.

EQUINEXUS said...

You still get comments because Skype has yet to address the shortcomings of this feature :-)

I wholeheartedly agree with the poster that requested grouping of contacts for visibility. It is badly needed...

Jean Mercier said...

Well indeed not solved yet, but anyway funny that i still get comments.

Thanks Equinexus :-)

Anonymous said...

I am using version 3.1.0.152.

I tried this with my friend, when he set himself to be invisible, I could not see his camera sign anymore as of today's date, 3 Dec. 08

Jean Mercier said...

Thanks Anonymous,

perhaps the problem has been solved. I will check it out when i have more time. (a lot of work the last months, therefore less blogging also).

Regards,

Jean

Anonymous said...

Dear Jean Mercier, have you perhaps found out-is there a camera sign, when someone is invisible?
thx!

Jean Mercier said...

hey Anonymous,

The new version 4 of the Skype client for windows doesn't show anymore if somebody has or hasn't a camera, therefore it is useless to try to find it.

On the other hand, the last months i saw nobody speaking about that problem anyway.

Anonymous said...

I am using the latest version of Skype, I have no camera, and I have set "allow my status to be seen on the Web" to NO, and also my "allow phone calls - messages from people who are not on my list" to NO.
I have been online and in invisible mode for most of the day today and suddenly received a message from someone who is not on my contact list! How can that be? How did they find me? Could they (and everyone else) see that I was online? This really bothers me because for many reasons I didn't want to be seen as online today. Why does Skype have so many bugs?

Jean Mercier said...

Hello Mister Anonymous,

First: like all softwares, Skype has bugs.

Two: Skype seems to have some "privacy" bugs in the new 4.0 version, but people cann't see that you are online. Apparently, they can in some cases send messages. Annoying, i agree.

This blog isn't a help desk or user forum however. If you need to know more, please visit the forum where you will find a lot of helpfull people: forum.skype.com

Anonymous said...

Thank you and sorry if I sounded demanding for explanations, I was just worried :)

Jean Mercier said...

No problem Anonymous,

You weren't demanding, but i prefer to make some advertisement for the Skype Forum, because it is a much better place to get help than my blog or teven the Skype Customer Support!

And most people are volunteers there!

Anonymous said...

So many people now use skype to conduct all sorts of business...add to that list family...and different levels of friends (from work to casual)..selective invisibility is a must now in 2009. A lots changed in commerce in the past 2 short years.

Anonymous said...

It's early October 2009 and I'm just wondering if Skype ever did make it so we can show different statuses depending on the contact?

Jean Mercier said...

No, not yet, and i don't know about any plans concerning this feature.

Anonymous said...

if you send someone a msg while they are still online, then without getting a reply they go offline. how do you know if they're offline or just invisible?

Jean Mercier said...

The update of the "Online Status" of Skype is not always very performant. There is quite a delay on it.
Therefore, it happens sometimes that you think that somebody is online (green status) while he isn't anymore. You send a message, and at that moment Skype checks and changes the online status to the right status (being offline).

This could indeed be misinterpreted as being: "my contact doesn't want to speak/chat with me" although it often really means that the contact is offline!

Anonymous said...

do you smoke the g±nja?

Jean Mercier said...

like some people say ...

"What the heck?"

rouma1 said...

First of all i'm from Egypt and English is not my first language. so sorry for any english mistakes
today(1st March) i was on skype and i was invisible and then one of my friends sent to me and told me why u r invisible. how he know that i'm online
I'm using Skype 4.1

Anonymous said...

When i log out and relogin some contacts of skype (who were initially visible) become invisible/logged out and then after sometime become visible.Is this a defect

Jean Mercier said...

to rouma1:
read my post above, and you will perhaps find why your friend knew you were online!
But it could also be he saw you online in FaceBook or another tool, and therefore supposed you were online on Skype too!

to anonymous:
yes, this is quite normal, because the update of the status of your contacts in Skype is not very fast (there are some delays).

Anonymous said...

Apologies in advance if this issue has been raised before, would someone please kindly direct me to the relevant topic and remove this one in that case. Thanks.

So here we go.

I've been told recently by a couple of PC using friends that they can tell when I am online even if my status is set to be 'invisible'. According to them, contacts who are actually 'online' gets a regular icon (the green one with a check mark), and my invisible icon is different from those AND the regular offline icon (gray with a cross mark). Apparently there's something off with the little check mark, so I do appear to have a check mark even when I'm invisible, just a different one.

I'm a mac user, and I haven't bothered another mac friend with the situation, so I don't know if this is just a PC thing.

I have disabled the visibility of my web-cam a long time ago so that's shouldn't be the reason.

I have however, logged on to skype with my blackberry IM a couple of times, and I don't know if that changes anything.

Anyway, I would really appreciate a solution to this. If anyone needs more info to deal with the problem, I can post some screen shots to assist. Although I prefer not bugging my PC friends as if I'm making SUCH a big deal out of it. :( Kinda am already....

THANKS!

Jean Mercier said...

Dear Mister Anonymous, this is a blog, not a forum.
If you realy want answers go to the Skype Forums.
And, no i won't remove this post.

Anonymous said...

my apologies, i don't mind if you delete both this and the previous post.

cheers.

Jean Mercier said...

Mister anonymous,
don't worry, probably you thought I am Skype Staff, but I am not!

And I only delete insulting or innapropriate content, and yours doesn't belong to this category.

Welcome anyway on my blog! :-)

Anonymous said...

what if the person is not on your friends list and u search his id and didnt appear if he is online or not. what if he changed the settings to only my friends can send me messages and call me, how can i find out if he is online or hiding.

LA said...

I know everyone has discussed how to know if someone is invisible and not off-line using a web-cam and so on, but what about when you send a message.
When someone is off-line and you send a message you see an icon next to the message , its a little triangle with a !.
But I believe that if they are invisible the message goes through and you don't see the icon.
Am I right?

Anonymous said...

When I login (as invisible), do I appear in a fraction of seconds, on the contacts' screen as "xxx is logging in" or "xxx is logged in" and AFTER it goes to invisible?

Or is it just my imagination?

Jean Mercier said...

I think it is just your imagination ;-)

SVK said...

with older version when i sent a nsg to a person invisible i wuld get the msg back as not delievered so knew the preson is really offline
but with newer version ie 4.2 i dont get any such not delievered message nor can i see the faint glow on the avatar (may be i am nt able to detect)
how do i knw if the person is offline or invisible in ver 4.2

Anonymous said...

I noticed something interesting I'd like to share. I'm using Skype 3.8.0.188. Once I wanted to check if a person from my contact list was invisible. What I discovered was, that if he/she had a photo set in the profile (any photo which is not skype default), when I did the following sequence: remove from contacts/add again, log off, log on, the photo soon disappeared from the profile. When that person got online (invisible), the photo appeared again, and I had "last seen" information. I dont know which skype version that person was running though. Cheers!

Jean Mercier said...

Funny trick! Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I've heard that you can look online for a list of people who blocked you on Skype. Is there some truth in it?

Btw, the blog is great. Thank you Jean :)

Jean Mercier said...

I never heard about such a list, to be honest i don't believe this is possible, but of course, i don't pretend that i know everything about Skype.

And thanks for the compliment. :-)

Anonymous said...

The best and fastest I've found on "has someone blocked you"

http://virtualtelephoneservices.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=10

Cheers

Thetalkmark said...

Cool Stuff.. Nice Posts

Anonymous said...

i am lost with that brand new skype 5,0one of my friends appears offline and i dont see camera! when he is connected i see camera icon,i added him also on second account and there in the same time when i log in he was offline but i saw camera so he was invisible mode,i dont know how its possible that in my other account he was offline and here invisible...

Anonymous said...

Sometimes when one of my contacts gets on Skype (as invisible or offline) I have noticed his profile seems to refresh like for example his old "mood status" will change to the newest one. Is this a way to know when they get online in the hidding? or could it be a coincidence?

Jean Mercier said...

Indeed mister anonymous, you are right, this is not a coincidence: if somebody changes his mood, it changes in your Skype contacts list, even if he did put his status on invisible! I tested it to be sure!

Thanks, I didn't know this!

Bash said...

Wow! this post is a bit old, but I still think the "bug" is there.

Can you still use the 'message pending' trick to find out if someone is invisible or indeed offline?

Jean Mercier said...

Hello Bash,

Yes I think so, but didn't test recently.

Regards,

Jean

Anonymous said...

hi Jean..

im using a new acc0unt in skype nd my friends Iist is in the 0Id acc0unt i had..which i d0nt use 0r remember passw0rd..

any chance 0f getting the friends Iist back..
Thank u

Jean Mercier said...

Hey anonymous,
You can try to login in your old account, and then you get the possibility to ask a new password "if you made your old account with providing your e-mail adress". And then you can export and reimport your contact list. Other wise, no possibility that I know!

Jean Mercier said...

Hey anonymous,
You can try to login in your old account, and then you get the possibility to ask a new password "if you made your old account with providing your e-mail adress". And then you can export and reimport your contact list. Other wise, no possibility that I know!

Anonymous said...

I know this is an old page but as it turns out, Skype for the iPod and iPhone still shows the camera button when someone is invisible.

Jean Mercier said...

Thanks for the feedback, still funny!

Anonymous said...

I just read this and found that it still holds true a bit. The circling thing indeed appears if they are offline and does not if they are invisible (the circling "message not sent" thing when you send an IM).

Jean Mercier said...

Thanks for the comment and confirmation of the "circle thing"

kileytoo said...

Hello and thank you for this useful post. Yesterday I was playing around with a friend and found out that when I was invisible he could actually see me with an empty but green icon. So he clearly saw that I was invisible, because offline contacts appear as empty and gray. Just wondering if you had the same issue...?

Jean Mercier said...

Hello kileytoo,

I am surprised. Which version of Skype do you use?
In my client all are "emty-green" except those that did not accept my invitation: they are "grey+question mark".

Anonymous said...

question, one of my contact has now showing as "Pending with gray empty w/? mark but her profile picture is still showing as well i can still send chat. why "pending"contact now?
Did she blocked me?

Raul said...

You can check the Skype Invisible Status here http://www.statusdetector.com

Jean Mercier said...

Thanks Raul, most useful! :-)

Anonymous said...

Sir, is there a way to find someone's status even if they're not in your contact list?

Jean Mercier said...

Sometimes this site can help:
http://www.statusdetector.com/skype/

Anonymous said...

how do i know the password of other account?

Jean Mercier said...

Wel Mister/Miss Anonymous,
There are several tricks to know the Skype password of any Skype user:
1. ask them (safest way)
2. just stay behind them (anonymously or invisible) while they enter their password and follow the keystrokes

I hope this help ;-)