I always run my systems under an Admin \ Standard user dichotomy. In other words, I always use my system as a Standard user and never login to the Admin user (except when doing the initial clean install and configuration).

This seems to mostly work on macOS (except for this previously noted annoyance).

However, I specifically have an irritating problem with Skype, where it will pop up a authentication Window stating:

An update is ready to install. Skype is trying to add a new helper tool.

...and asking for my Administrator account credentials.

Now, I've had other programs ask for similar authentications for updates and installs from time to time, and I simply put in my credentials and it installs some update quickly and I continue about my business. No problem.

However, with Skype, it seems something is simply not working - like perhaps it wasn't designed with Standard users in mind.

After entering my Administrator credentials - nothing installs. The authentication window simply disappears and nothing happens.

But even worse... the window will inevitably appear again after an hour or two. So I'm constantly being harassed with this notification, and no matter how many times I authenticate the request (dozens of times so far), it just keeps coming back.

Note that I had this same problem back in Yosemite running whatever version of Skype was the latest back then. I recently did a clean install of High Sierra, and I had hoped this problem would disappear.

Nope. Any ideas?

  • Have you run Skype in this Admin account? Perhaps it will install this helper tool for all users to run.
    – IconDaemon
    Sep 7, 2018 at 23:05
  • Yes, I originally installed Skype as the Admin. I don't want to have to switch to the Admin account every time Skype needs to update itself. That's the point of giving it elevated permission from within the standard user account.
    – Daniel
    Sep 7, 2018 at 23:25
  • The update may need to run in the admin account to be available to all users, even if you get the prompt to install with the admin authentication while logged into the standard account. Does Skype support offer any help?
    – IconDaemon
    Sep 8, 2018 at 0:23
  • the update should be running in the admin account if I elevate its permissions. thats the way modern-day OSs work
    – Daniel
    Sep 8, 2018 at 14:52
  • 1
    Ugh, this type of thing is infuriating. How much you want to bet no one at Microsoft ever tested this use case? Jan 2, 2020 at 21:26

1 Answer 1


So, I was right that Skype has a problem, because it is prompting me to perform the auto-update, but supplying the credentials is not enough. I have to kind of "hand-hold" Skype through the update process, and open the correct window even though there is no indication from Skype that I need to do this. I was still having this problem after upgrading to Mojave (10.14) and I'm glad I finally figured out this work-around.

In order to successfully update Skype in macOS as a limited user, you must do it "manually".

When the pop up notification appears saying An update is ready to install. Skype is trying to add a new helper tool. and asking for authentication, do not enter your admin credentials yet.

First, click on the Skype menu then About Skype.

With the About Skype window open, now you can enter your admin credentials.

After you've entered your admin credentials, you should notice a green Update button is now active in the About Skype window. Click the button.

Sometimes I have to enter my admin credentials again when the update process starts. This is normal.

Skype should automatically reload with the updated version. Check the About Skype window to confirm you are on the latest version.

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