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Skype iconBack in April, I gave an overview of the popular instant message program, Skype. I covered how to sign up for and install Skype, as well as explained some of its functionality as a convenient IM tool.

Skype is a fantastic (and free) way to audio or video chat from computer to computer. Now is a great time to learn how both audio and video chatting work on Skype so you can keep in touch with friends and family, no matter where in the world they happen to be.

Setup tips for either video or audio chat

The great thing about Skype is that there's no need for advanced knowledge required to get it up and running. The same goes for ensuring you're ready to start audio or video chatting.

Many laptops and PCs have built-in microphones and webcams. If that applies to you, you should be set. If you need to use an external device for audio or video, the best thing you can do is plug it in before launching Skype. Make sure any required drivers are installed before before launching Skype as well.

Upon launch, Skype should automatically detect any built-in devices or those connected via USB. If it does, and this is the first time you're using Skype to audio or video chat, you should receive messages based on your personal setup.

Click on either link provided in the pop-up to proceed to set up, or follow the manual instructions below, in the alternative.

Audio

Setup and test calling

To set up audio manually, click on Tools at the top of Skype’s main interface and choose Options from the drop-down menu.

On the left column under the General tab, choose Audio settings. From here, you can see what microphones Skype recognizes as usable options for making calls, as well as adjust the volume of your speakers. Then click Make a free test call near the bottom of the screen.

The test call gives you the opportunity to record a message and make sure your microphone's working. End the call by clicking the little red phone icon. After recording, Skype will play your message back to you. If you can hear your own message, you should be set to make a real call!

Audio chat with another Skype user

Audio chatting is free to do, and just requires an internet connection. Choose a friend who's online on your buddy list, and double click on their user name.

Click the green Call button and Skype will try to connect you. The other user has the option to accept or decline the call.

If you decide you want to add video as well, just click the video camera icon that has the red strike-through line to activate your webcam.

Video

Setup and test calling

To set up video manually, click on Tools at the top of Skype’s main interface and choose Options from the drop-down menu.

On the left column under the General tab, choose Video settings. From here, you'll be taken a to screen that should activate your video camera so you can see whether it works and is placed in a location where it captures a good frame with you in it.

If you want to tweak brightness, contrast, and other features, click the Webcam settings button on the right. You can also check out our blog post on how to optimize your next video call.

If you want to change or add a profile picture to your account, click the Change your profile picture button on the left.

Video chat with another Skype user

Video chatting is free to do, and requires an internet connection (and a webcam, of course!). Choose a friend who's online on your buddy list, and double click on their user name.

Click the green Video call button and Skype will try to connect you. The other user has the option to accept or decline the call.

If you have audio already set up on your computer, that feature will start up automatically once the call is accepted.

Now that you've got all the basics down, you should be able to use Skype without any issues. If you do encounter a problem, please let us know in the comments section and we'll try to help you out!

Commented

  • virgiliorenojo |
    12/10/12
    virgiliorenojo

    register @skpe

  • Bineet |
    13/10/12
    Bineet

    i have installed skype and can see and hear others voice but my friend cannot listen to my voice, so what is wrong with the skype? please reply me

  • ansass |
    15/10/12
    ansass

    Hey Bineet,

    Have you tried running an audio test on your end to see if Skype is picking up your voice on your microphone? The first section of my blog post above shows how to do that via the Options section.

    Cheers, Amber

  • sami |
    16/10/12
    sami

    Ha ha

  • Zelalem |
    24/10/12
    Zelalem

    my skype can't connect. to avoid the problem i installed again but still doesn't work what shall I do. however in another person's computer I can communicate with the persons. so what shall do to connect skype with my own computer

  • keith |
    27/10/12
    keith

    i can get my vidoe working but no sound from me or the other person also on facebook same problem what can i do , tried test and it does not work ????

  • venkatramanan |
    28/10/12
    venkatramanan

    thank u

  • ibrahim.kakarash1 |
    14/11/12
    ibrahim.kakarash1

    skype accoun+for dad

  • jerru |
    16/11/12
    jerru

    hey keith install again skype sw

  • mustafaseroon |
    21/11/12
    mustafaseroon

    Hi

  • GUNASH KUMAR |
    30/11/12
    GUNASH KUMAR

    i will try

  • musthafa_vlr |
    08/12/12
    musthafa_vlr

    helloo

  • mamadouba16001 |
    08/12/12
    mamadouba16001

    mamadouba

  • lisa |
    29/12/12
    lisa

    ok find i will

  • wilbur.beamer2 |
    29/12/12
    wilbur.beamer2

    Can get signed on skype. I have an account. What should I do to gain access my account?

  • Cece Bento |
    31/12/12
    Cece Bento

    I want to download Skype but I am afraid it will put a virus on my new computer.... Will it? I am just now getting to use it because I hadn't had my own computer before. Should I download it or just not risk it?

  • marco vega castro |
    01/01/13
    marco vega castro

    very good, thanks you

  • lewis.leong |
    03/01/13
    lewis.leong

    @Cece Bento: The programs that we offer on our site have been scanned by many different virus scanners and are guaranteed to be virus free.

  • MuhammadKamran |
    12/01/13
    MuhammadKamran

    Whenever I try to "call" or Video call" it is terminated with a message "Problem with playback device" I have tried several options but cant fix. Please help. Regards, M. Kamran

  • lewis.leong |
    14/01/13
    lewis.leong

    @Muhammad: Try plugging in your mic and camera into different USB ports. Make sure they're both recognized in Windows' device manager. Go into Skype's options and the audio/video tab to make sure they're working before you initiate a call with someone.

  • barbara |
    19/01/13
    barbara

    they say skype is free.ive downloaded it but says my computer audio sounds good which ive tested my photo comes on but says then you need credit,were do i get it?why cant the credit be taken out of your prepaid account.apparently we pay a fee for connection to skype.couldnt work out where all my prepaid money went persumebly it was for skype connection i dont mind paying for something if it works.thank you.

  • PAUL |
    02/02/13
    PAUL

    SKYPE S*CKS ALWAYS DROPS CALLS PICTURE ALWAYS FREEZING

  • sanju.baba sanjeev |
    08/02/13
    sanju.baba sanjeev

    ok find i will

  • Teresa Spooner |
    12/02/13
    Teresa Spooner

    My webcam is wavy and very dark, I have altered the setting as you said but it is still bad. It is a new laptop with a built in webcam so should be good quality.

  • mishak |
    24/02/13
    mishak

    my Skype webcam is not working how to downlod and fix

  • pema |
    08/03/13
    pema

    Hello ...nokia.lumia i have a.this mobiel.skype.not downloding...can.u help.me pales...

  • ss |
    09/03/13
    ss

    thank u goooooooood

  • joy karmokar |
    14/03/13
    joy karmokar

    many many happy returns of the day

  • eliza bose |
    14/04/13
    eliza bose

    i enjoy skype...bt few a days my skype web cam is not works

  • Al.B |
    16/04/13
    Al.B

    where are my e-mails and how do i access them now my MSN icon has disappeared???

  • janatan |
    16/04/13
    janatan

    my ferand usa

  • worpo |
    25/04/13
    worpo

    skype took my msn away.... now i have nothing to talk to my family and friends skype doesnt work.. no msn....wtf are you people trying to do... i've spent aprox 6 hrs all over the net trying to find out what to do.... and there seems to be no solution that i can find it would seem i got scr*wed...with no help available.. is there a fix... where are all my msn contacts now.... why doesnt skype take my msn username and password. why do you fix when nothing was broken...well now it's broken good....now leave good alone geszzzz feel free to answer any of the ques from the last 20 yrs.... that have never been answered...!!

  • Almusafir |
    26/04/13
    Almusafir

    i installed skype, but how do i check my E-mail?

  • marianne |
    03/05/13
    marianne

    I have installed but can't get to my emails or see them pop up?

  • Claude |
    15/05/13
    Claude

    For a couple of days i had video problems. I could see my own picture for one second , this was replaced by the imagic set up . Thank you

  • Rosey |
    03/07/13
    Rosey

    I have a Samsung G3. I assume since an app upgrade the speaker no longer works. When I do a test it does work. Also When I open Skype I do not have the top tool bar. I can only look at my profile. To shut down Skype I have to do to my phone settings in App Management and force the shut down. Before I was able to shut down in Skype giving me the option to automatically sign in. Can anyone help me. Thanks.

  • lindaisymay |
    22/07/13
    lindaisymay

    I've downloaded Skype and have my MSN contacts, the problem is that I haven't been able to chat with anyone or I may get a message but they can't what I wrote. Furthermore, I can see them online, when I'm online they still see me as offline. This has been the biggest frustration since going to Skype as I haven't been able to chat with anyone since March. I have windows 7.

  • Cmellars |
    06/10/13
    Cmellars

    When I get call or make call video they see me but no sound have a computer did sound check on it and it works but when I do sound check on iPad no voice sound checked all settings everything on but still no voice thanks frustrated

  • donald.hall.330 |
    28/12/13
    donald.hall.330

    When I video call someone, their incoming video is fine for 5-10 seconds and then breaks up into unintelligible little squares... ???? any help out there?

  • hadi.rida.758 |
    29/01/14
    hadi.rida.758

    sooooooooooooooooo good

25/07/14
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