How to download and use Skype

Skype is a free communication service that allows us to keep in touch with people from a distance. To use this free service, the person you are contacting must also have Skype. You can make video or voice calls, and directly message someone on Skype. Skype can be used on a desktop computer or on a mobile device. Skype also allows us to call someone’s phone directly, however, this is not a free service and has a fee.

Step 1:

Download Skype to your device from the Skype website: if you are using a desktop computer. Then click “Download Skype”. Select which type of device you are using and download Skype to your device following the prompts on the screen. The download will begin at the bottom of your browser. If you are using a mobile device or a tablet you will have to access your device’s app store and then type in “Skype” in its search feature.

Step 2:

Click on the completed download to begin its installation on your device.

An installer window will appear. Allow Skype to make changes to your device, this is safe and part of the installation process. Then click “Install” in the window that appears.

Step 3:

Follow the prompts on your screen. Sign in to your account or create a new one. If you create a new one you will need to fill in all the necessary personal information indicated with an asterisks (*) either by typing or selecting from a drop-down menu. You will also need to type in your Skype Name and create a password for your account. If your Name has already been taken you will have to come up with a new one or new combination of your name. For example, if Jane Smith is taken, try Smith, Jane OR Jane S OR Smith.J OR janesmith123. Find a name that has not been taken yet. We suggest writing down your selected Name and Password combination in case you have to sign-in again in the future.

To complete your account, you will have to verify that you are a real person, and not a computer, by filling in the box that says, “Type the text above here”. Above this text box there will be an image that has some combination of letters and/or numbers. You will have to type out the exact combination of the image in the text box. Then click “I agree” to agree to the Terms and Conditions.

Step 4:

Once you are logged into Skype, you may see this image below. Following the image and moving from top to bottom, the first arrow shows your account profile. You can click your name to make changes to your profile, change your activity status, access your settings, and sign out of Skype. The green dot to the left of your name shows that you are currently active on Skype. You can change this status to Invisible – if you don’t want your contacts to see you, Do Not Disturb – if you don’t want to receive any notifications, and Away – if you will not be active nor on your device.

The second arrow shows the different tabs you have access to. The first button is for current and past Chats you have been taking part in with your contacts. You can create a new chat under this page and set up a video call with a current person you have been chatting with. The second button is for Calls. This page allows you to see all past calls you have made or received and begin a new one. The third button is Contacts. Here you can see all existing contacts in alphabetical order. When you click a contact name, you can start a text conversation with that individual, start a video call, and send them files or images. The fourth button is Notifications. This is where you can view a summary of any missed alerts like calls or messages from your contacts. These missed calls or messages will also be found under the Chats and Calls buttons.

The third arrow shows which button to select on the Contacts page when you want to add a new contact. You will need to know the individual’s Skype Name OR you can “Invite to Skype”. The latter involves you sending the individual your profile via text message or email so they can add you to their contacts. This can be seen in the second photo below this step.

Step 5:

When making a video call ensure your camera and microphone are on and working. When the icon has a line through the centre of its circle it means that it is turned off. For example, in this image, the microphone has been turned off, but the camera is working. To turn it back on just click the icon, in this case, you would click on the microphone icon to turn it back on. To turn the icon off, you do the same and click the respective icon you wish to turn off, you will then see the line crossed through the icon. To end the call, press the red phone button. To accept an incoming call, the screen will display the contact that is calling you (i.e. you will see their name and/or photo). Then at the bottom of the screen you will see one green circle with a phone in it and one red circle with a phone in it. Click the green circle to answer the call. Click the red circle to reject the call.

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