Methods to Use Skype | Digital Traits

Skype is great. Anyone can download it and use it to chat face to face (so to speak) or make regular phone calls. It's easy to use and the best part is that it's free. And who doesn't love free stuff?

Getting started with the popular calling app may take some getting used to if you've never used it before. If you are a Microsoft Windows 10 user, this Skype guide is for you.

Set up

The first step in using Skype is to download it and set up your account. These are two steps that are much easier today than ever and will help you well on your way to your first Skype chat or call.

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Step 1: Open the browser of your choice and navigate to the Skype homepage. Click the big blue "Get Skype" button to open its Microsoft Store page. Alternatively, you can open the Microsoft Store yourself by clicking the system tray icon or searching for “Microsoft Store” in the search field. Search for “Skype” there and click on the corresponding app page.

Step 2: Click the blue Get button to download and install Skype for Windows 10. The Microsoft Store may ask if you want to use it on multiple devices. In this case, you will need to sign in with your Microsoft account. If you'd rather only have a dedicated Skype account, select "No thanks".

Step 3: Skype should be installed on your system. To get started, use the search box on your Windows system tray and search for Skype. When it appears in the search box, click its icon.

Step 4: If you already have a Skype account, you can sign in with your Skype name, email address, or phone number and continue to the next section. To create a new account, click Create New Account.

Step 5: You can sign up for a Skype account with an email address or phone number. It's entirely up to you which one you prefer to link to your new account. When you have made up your mind, fill in the relevant information and click Next. Note: By doing this automatically, you are agreeing to Microsoft's service agreement and privacy policy.

Step 6: On the next few screens you will be asked to enter personal information such as age, name and location. Enter all of that and proceed with the installation process. If asked for a verification code, check your email or phone number and enter the code.

Step 7: If asked for a CAPTCHA code, enter it and click Create Account. You now have a working Skype account.

Find friends and family

Where you used to need to know all the details of your friends in order to add them as Skype contacts, today you only need to know one piece of information. You can then quickly find them and start chatting right away.

Step 1: The first time you're signing into your account, Skype will ask if you want to import your existing contacts. If you have already made some settings in your Microsoft account, your contact list will be filled out immediately.

Step 2: To find other people to talk to, check the Find Skype box in the top left corner and search for their real name, Skype name, or email address.

Step 3: If your friend has a common name – and sometimes they don't – you may find that there are several people to choose from in the list that appears. Use profile pictures to find the person you're looking for, or click the contact and select their name at the top of the window to view their profile information.

That's it! You can chat now. Everyone you talk to is automatically added to your contact list.

Text chats

Not in the mood for a voice call? Having a sneaky conversation at work while the boss is not paying attention? Text chats are as useful today as they have ever been. It is not for nothing that Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp remain two of the most popular apps in the world. Here's how to text chat on Skype.

Step 1: Select the person you want to speak to, either from the list of recent conversations on the left or your contact list at the top of the window, or by selecting the chat bubble. This will open a chat on the right side of the app window.

Image of Skype Chat Bubble

Step 2: At the bottom of the conversation window, click Enter Message. Type what you want to say and press Enter or click the send arrow on the right.

Step 3: Wait for an answer. Rinse and repeat!

Voice calls

When Skype was first launched, its big selling point was its Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) capability. While it would ultimately make voice calls to landline and mobile devices easier, its Skype-to-Skype voice calling functionality remains a crucial part of its service. Setting up a call is easier than ever.

Step 1: Make sure you have a compatible microphone and headphones / speakers set up. Plug them in and make sure Skype recorded them by clicking the three dot menu at the top of the window and then going to Settings. You can leave your speakers and microphone as the default device, but you can use the drop-down menus to customize the input and output options you choose.

If you want to test that your hardware is working properly, use the Test Audio link in the Settings menu. Alternatively, you can access Skype's Echo services using the steps below.

Step 2: Select the contact or person you want to speak to, as well as the text chats.

Step 3: In the top right, click the blue phone icon. If that person is online and Skype is open, call them directly. When you answer the call, you automatically start a voice call.

If you receive a call in the same way, simply click the appropriate button to answer the call. Alternatively, if you don't want to speak to them, click the red button instead.

Video calls

Use Skype's video calling feature to add an extra dimension to your conversations. All you need is a webcam and a willingness to show your face on it.

Step 1: To ensure that your camera is working properly with Skype, click the three dot menu icon and select Settings. Under the video heading at the top of the page, click Default Device and select your webcam from the drop-down menu.

If you want to check that it's working properly, toggle the Test Video button in the Settings menu. If it works properly, a live video of you will be shown in the menu.

Step 2: When you're done, select the contact you want to call and click the blue camera icon in the top right corner. Alternatively, you can start a voice call and then click the same camera button in the call window.

When the call is in progress, you will see a thumbnail version of the video your friend is seeing in the lower right corner. When you start your webcam in return, they will be displayed in the main window.

Step 3: If for any reason you want to have a text chat during the call, click the Text Chat button in the upper right corner of the video call window. This will shrink the main video area of ​​the window and give you the usual text chat options below.

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