How to use Skype
- Download the Program
Skype is a downloadable program, not a website. You need to install it on your computer.
- Go to www.skype.com
- Point to “Get Skype” (near the top of the window) and click on your system (Windows? Macintosh?)
- Find the Free version and click “Download Skype”
- You may need to give your computer permission to download it. If you are asked, click “Allow” or “OK”
- Click “Save” to save the Skype Setup Application
- Click the SkypeSetup file to open setup and follow the “Setup Wizard” (read the questions and answer them). Uncheck any additional toolbars or defaults that it wants to add. Allow it to put a shortcut on your desktop.
- Register and Add Contacts
- Register an account with Skype. This is free. You don’t need to give them a credit card or any personal information. Create a skype nickname and a password (do NOT use your email password for anything but your email! Create a new password for Skype and WRITE IT DOWN).
- Choose sign in options:
a) “Sign me in when Skype starts” means that when you double click on the Skype icon, it signs you in to your account so you can see your friends list. The only reason not to do this is if you share a computer with people you don’t trust and want to have password security at all times.
b) “Start Skype when computer starts” means that Skype will always be running if your computer is on. Do this if you want to always be available to your friends/family. Do not do this if you only want to be available once in a while when you choose to be. You can always turn Skype on anytime you want to.
- Add Contacts. Only people who you approve and who also approve you in return can see when you’re online.
a) To add contacts to your list, click “Contacts” at the top of your Skype window.
b) Click “New Contact”
c) Type someone’s full name, Skype name or email address to see if Skype knows them. Click “find”
d) You may see that person’s name or a list of people to choose from. Double click on your friend’s name and write them a note. They will need to accept you on their list.
- On the little Skype window, there are two tabs: “Contacts” and “Conversations.” Click the “contacts” tab to see the list of your friends. A checkmark in a solid green cloud means that person is online right now. A yellow mark means that their computer is on, but they haven’t touched it for a little while. They may still be in the room or not. A green outline means it’s a phone as opposed to a computer. You may need to pay to call a phone with voice, but you may be able to send a text chat to a phone for free. A gray “x” means they’re on your list, but not online right now.
- Audio/Video settings
- Click on the “Tools” menu, go to “Options”
- On the left, click “Audio Settings”
- There should be check marks on “Automatically Adjust” for the microphone and speakers.
- Click “Video Settings” on the left
- Click on the little circle by “People in my contact list only” on both sides at the bottom.
- Click “Save”
- Making a Free Call
Your friend needs to have a computer with audio and/or video and needs to have a Skype account. You will see by the green check mark that they are online right now, or you can call or email to ask them to be online at a particular time.
- See that your friend is online (has a green oval check mark by their name)
- Double click on their name
- Choose “Call” or “video Call” (or just type a message in the bottom section of the little window)
- You need to turn your sound on to hear the other person.
- You may need to turn your video on for the other person to see you. Sometimes there is a “Turn Video On” button and sometimes it’s a little picture of a movie camera.
- To hang up, click the red “End Call” icon.
- Making a Call to a Landline (fee for service)
In order to call a telephone or cell phone, you need to pay. You set up an account with Skype with $10. Each time you get down to $2, they will automatically re-charge your credit card to get back up to $10. The name on the list will still have the green oval, but it will be an outline, not a filled in oval or a little phone instead of a checkmark.
- Click “Skype” menu and “Buy Skype Credit”
- Enter the friend’s phone number as a “contact.” (Be sure to write Mom’s Home Phone as the name so you know it’s a fee call)
- This “contact” will always be green. That doesn’t mean they are necessarily at home!