Skype Instructions

Skype is a program that allows audio and video calls to computers and other electronic devices. It can also be used for file transfer, screen sharing, chat, and calling phones (landline or mobile). Users can make video calls from a computer (or other Skype-compatible device) that has a camera (built-in or external); however, a camera is not required to receive a video from others. Skype is a free program. To call regular phones from Skype or to make a group video call, you will need to purchase additional features from Skype. Please keep in mind that since Skype is not compatible with other standards-based videoconference solutions, Skype cannot be used in conjunction with the videoconferencing equipment in HH1107.

Note that Skype Ltd updates their Skype software frequently. If the links or instructions in this document are no longer relevant or usable, please visit

Obtaining the software and creating a Skype Account

Skype is compatible with Windows PCs, Macs, Linux computers, iPhones and other smartphones, iPads and other tablets, TVs and other devices.

  1. To get Skype you need to create an account.
  2. Once you have a Skype account, you need to visit the Skype download page, sign in with your account and the Skype download will start.
  3. Follow the instructions on the download page (available after you sign-in as instructed above) to install Skype.
    NOTE: On Windows, on the initial installation screen, you may want to click the Options button and remove the checkmark from features that you don’t want to use (such as Skype plug-ins and toolbars – these are not essential for Skype).
  4. Once Skype is installed, on Windows PCs it will open automatically. On Macs you should drag it to your Applications folder, put the Skype icon on the Dock and launch it from there.
  5. The first time Skype launches it will let you create an account. Since you’ve already created an account, skip this step by clicking Sign-In.
  6. Sign-in with the Skype name and password you created earlier.

Using Skype

You can open Skype in a number of ways (e.g. on Windows it can be started from the Desktop or the Start Menu). If you need help opening Skype, visit How to Start Skype.

Adding Contacts

To use Skype to collaborate with others you need to know (or find) their Skype Name. Some people publish their Skype Name on their website or as part of email commununication. If you don’t know a person’s Skype Name it is best to ask the person for this information. Note that you can use Skype’s directory to look-up a partial or complete first or last name, however it may be difficult to find a specific individual as there are many people with same or similar names (remember that Skype connects hundreds of millions across the world).

Once you have found the correct Skype Name, add it to your Skype Address Book (Mac instructions).

Making Audio and Video Calls with Skype

  1. To call one of your contacts with Skype, open Skype, highlight their Skype Name and press the green Call button.
    NOTE: By default this starts an audio call which is very similar to a phone call.
  2. If the other person has a camera they may choose to use it, though Skype doesn’t start a video call by default.
  3. If your computer (or other Skype-compatible device) has a built-in or external camera the green Video Call button will be available in addition to the regular Call button and you can use this to initiate a video call.
  4. To turn video on and off during a call click the camera button in the Skype call window.

Group/Conference calls with Skype

  • See instructions here for conference calling with Skype (computer to computer group audio call) – free
  • See instructions here for making group video call Using Skype – requires payment
  • If you add funds to your Skype account, you can also call phones from Skype (and if you pay for the phone number feature, you can receive calls in Skype from regular phones)
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