A large number of Skype users have experienced problems logging in and making calls through the program since a few hours ago, prompting the company to issue a manual fix.
Users started complaining on Twitter that they cannot access Skype some six hours ago and the company's staff immediately began investigating the cause.
The problem was identified in around two hours and a solution was provided, however, users have to apply it on their own.
In a post
on its "heartbeat" (service status) website, users affected by this issue are asked to close the program, go into the application's data folder (%appdata%\skype) and delete the shared.xml file.
"The file may be displayed as shared if file extensions are not displayed by default on your computer,
" the company notes, pointing out that the "show hidden files and folders" option in Windows Explorer should also be enabled.
On Mac OS X systems, the shared.xml file is located under "~/Library/Application Support/Skype" and on Linux, under "/home/YourLinuxUserName/.Skype".
The company claims that only a small number of users have been affected by this problem and those were mostly using Windows. Developers are currently working on an automated fix and they expect to have it deployed in the next couple of hours.
The shared.xml file is the location where Skype keeps the host cache, the list of IP addresses and ports corresponding to supernodes.
The NAT and firewall information is also stored in this file. Deleting shared.xml will force the program to recreate it and connect to the default supernodes.
These problems come after Microsoft recently entered into an agreement to buy the VoIP service for a whopping $8.5 billion in cash. The deal is expected to be finalized later this year.