Skype sign-in focus problem finally identified, workaround available

Doug Lee

Now and then over the last few months, I received reports from people who suddenly got signed out of Skype and could not sign back in. Invariably, the ultimate complaint was that Tab, Shift+Tab, and pretty much every key on
the keyboard appeared to do nothing. Here I present some details and sort of a workaround to the problem.

First, why are people being signed out?

I believe when you switch between two different clients on a single machine, specifically between the Microsoft Store client and the Desktop client, you are automatically signed out and must sign in again. There may also be
cases where changing between Skype versions will cause this, though that's a guess.

Why does the keyboard stop working?

When the sign-in screen first appears, it works fine. However, if you mistype a password and sign-in fails, the next screen does not work. Though I have not determined fully the reason for this, JAWS becomes confused as to
what is in focus. There appear to be several subcases of this issue; namely, first screen appearance, after Tab has been used in this screen one or more times, after Alt+Tab has been used, and possibly a fourth case after Tab
has been used subsequent to Alt+Tab. It looks possible (though tricky) to script for this problem, but the problem absolutely should be fixed in Skype itself and will be far more reliable when fixed there.

Unfortunately, the only workaround I currently know is to shut down Skype, such as with Ctrl+Q, bring it up again, and type very carefully. :-) This works because the first sign-in screen to appear works properly.

I just submitted via Feedback in Skype itself the following entry:

URGENT: Screen readers can't use the sign-in screen after the first failed login attempt because they become confused on location of focus. Steps to reproduce: Sign out, try sign-in with wrong password, try to sign in again.
Workaround: Unload Skype with Ctrl+Q, relaunch, and make no mistakes on first attempt.

Doug Lee dgl@...
Level Access doug.lee@...
"The most exhausting thing in life is being insincere."
- Anne Morrow Lindbergh {American Author}

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