How Skype works

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Alejandra Rangel
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Skype requirements

Skype is a popular cross-platform VoiP software and needs specific technical requirements on Windows e MacOS. I indicate them to you below:


  • Operating System: Windows 7 / 8.1 and Windows 10
  • Processor: at least 1 GHZ
  • RAM: at least 512 MB
  • Other: DirectX v9.0 o successive version


  • Operating System: macOS 10.9 or later 
  • Processor: Intel processor with at least 1 GHz (Core 2 Duo)
  • RAM: at least 1 GB
  • Other: latest version of QuickTime

Windows 10 the application downloadable from the Microsoft Store is also available. On the mobile side, Skype is available for Android and iOS / iPadOS.

Skype pricing

Through Skype it is possible to make free calls to users who use the desktop or mobile platform, while international and national calls to traditional users are subject to a fee. You can take out a monthly subscription or purchase rechargeable Skype Credit. The subscription prices currently available are as follows.

  • City pass: € 7,93 per month with 400 minutes to be used on landlines and mobile numbers.
  • City pass: € 3,66 per month with unlimited minutes to be used on landlines.
  • World subscription: € 15,86 per month with unlimited minutes to be used on landlines and mobile numbers.

As for the purchase of credit Skype, valid for calls all over the world, you can purchase a virtual rechargeable card at a cost of € 5,00, € 10,00 or € 25,00. For more information on rates, see the official Skype website.

How to use Skype without an account

Before explaining in detail how the classic version of Skype, I want to point out the possibility of using the service without registration e without installing programs on your PC, acting directly from the browser (provided you are using one of the supported navigation software, i.e. Chrome ed Edge).

By connecting to this web page and clicking on the button Create a free meeting, you can create a chat room to share with anyone who wants to join your video conference. The link to the room will be shown to you within a few seconds: you can then copy (by clicking on the icon with the two sheets), share it (by clicking on the appropriate button) or initiate the call (by pressing the appropriate button). It should be noted that the link does not expire and can therefore be used at any time.

Once you have visited the address of the conference, anyone can participate by simply clicking on the button Join as a guest and setting a username or logging in with a Skype account (optional). It should be noted that guest accounts (those created by putting only the name and without logging on to Skype) expire after 24 hours.

For the rest, there is not much to add, as the interface of this web version of Skype is very intuitive: at the bottom there is the field of chat, with the buttons next to it to send attachments, invite contacts, create polls, etc. while at the top right there are buttons for start / join the call (you can choose whether to activate the camera and / or microphone and you will have to allow the site to access these components) e leave the group.

Once the video call has started, you will find at the bottom center the buttons to adjust the microphone / camera and hang up, on the left the button to start recording of the conversation and on the right the buttons to open the chat, share the screen, send a reaction etc.

Download Skype to your computer

On Windows, Skype can be downloaded in the form of an application for Windows 10 or as a desktop client.

In the first case, start the Microsoft Store by clicking on its icon that you find by performing a search in the Cortana bar (the one you can see at the bottom left, in correspondence with the wording Write here to search) and then, in the text field located at the top, (next to the button with the magnifying glass symbol) digita Skype then clicking on the corresponding result you see on the screen. Install the app by pressing the button Get and then start it by tapping on starts.

If you want to download the desktop client of Skype (always for computer Windows), connected to its official website and, on the main page, presses the button Download Skype for Windows. Once the download is complete, start the executable file just got it, by double clicking on it, and then hit on Yes, Install and wait for the automatic installation to finish. The Skype client will then start automatically.

You have a Mac? No problem. To install Skype su MacOS, connected to the official website of the program, click on the button Download Skype for Mac and wait for the download of the dmg file.

At the end of the download, start it by double clicking on it and then, in the window you see on the screen, drag the Skype in the folder Applications of macOS to finish installing the program. To start the program, click on its icon that you find in the Launchpad.

Download Skype on smartphones and tablets

Skype can also be used on Android devices and on iPhone / iPad, by downloading the application respectively from the Play Store and by 'App Store. In the first case, start the Play Store by tapping on its icon that you find on the main screen of your device (it is the one with the colorful play symbol), then using the search bar at the top, type Skype and press the button Search from the keyboard of the device, in order to locate the card of this application.

Now, to install it, tap on its icon and press the buttons Install e Accept; wait for the download and automatic installation to be completed and finally start the app, pressing on the item apri from Play Store. Alternatively, tap on the app icon, which will have been added to the main screen of the device.

To install the Skype su iOS / iPadOSinstead, start theApp Store from the main screen (it is a light blue icon with the symbol of a stylized "A" in the center); then tap the button Search located at the bottom and then on the text field at the top, in correspondence with the wording App Store, so you type Skype in the search engine and tap on the corresponding result.

Now, press the button Get and then Install and, if prompted, confirm the installation, using the touch IDFace ID or by typing the Password of your iCloud account. To start the application of Skype, award-winning apri byApp Store or tap on the icon that will have been added on the main screen of your device.

How Skype works on a computer

At the first start of Skype it is necessary to log in, as in order to use this VoIP application you need to have a Microsoft account.

If you start the application on Windows you may be prompted to sign in with the Microsoft account associated with your computer; alternatively, use the text field in the center to log in or create a Microsoft account. If you need a hand, to carry out the registration procedure, you can also read my tutorial dedicated to the subject.

Once logged in, you need to do the audio verification and video verification, to test webcam and microphone. After that you have to accept that the contacts of your account Microsoft are automatically synchronized with Skype and press the button OK, to access the main Skype screen.

The contacts in your account Microsoft they will be automatically synchronized and will be visible in the section Contacts present on the left. The contact icons are marked with colored dots: that of green color indicates that the user is online at Skype and available for conversation, the dot of yellow color indicates that the user is not at the computer, while the red dot determines that the user is busy and will not receive notifications about conversations.

To set your status of Skype click on yours photo from the bar at the top and then on the item relating to the status you want to set (eg. Available) from the menu that opens. In addition there is the option Invisible, which is used to use Skype without showing yourself online to contacts.

The other useful functions of Skype concern the addition of a contact, a procedure necessary for sending messages to a person, which can be done by pressing on the voice Contacts from the sidebar, then on the wording New contact and finally on Search the Skype directory. Then, using the text field located in the left sidebar, type the name of the person you want to add to Skype and, once identified, press the button Add you see on the screen.

Once you have added a person to your contact list, you can interact with them: click on their name and use the text field write a message to send a text message. You can also send multimedia content and documents, by pressing the button with the respectively photo symbol, in correspondence of the chat. Instead, press the button with the symbol of a microphone, to send an audio message to the selected user.

The other interaction tools are the button with the symbol of a business card and the symbol (...) which, respectively, allow you to send the contact of another user and to share positions, video messages, polls, money, OneDrive or Spotify link and more.

Optionally, you can also invite a third person to join the conversation you have active with a user. To do this, press the button with the symbol of a little man you see at the top of the chat and then, select, from the drop-down menu, the contact to add by clicking on his name and then pressing the button Done.

Skype it also gives the possibility to make calls and video calls via the Internet to users of the platform but not to landline or mobile numbers (for the latter options it is necessary to purchase credit Skype or a subscription, with prices starting at € 3,66 per month).

To start a call or video call on Skype, click on the user's name from the section Contacts (left), then presses the button with the symbol of a video camera (for the video call) or on the button with the handset symbol (for voice call).

Once the connection is started, there are buttons with the symbol of a video camera (used to activate and deactivate the camera and activate the background blur), the one with the symbol of a microphone (used to activate and deactivate the microphone), the symbol ... allows you to display a menu of shortcuts (Start recording, Turn on subtitles, Perform Background Blur, Disable incoming video, Put the call on hold e Audio and video settings), the button with the comic allows you to call up the text chat, while the one with the square (bottom left) allows you to create a snapshot.

In addition, on a computer, you can also use Skype for Web, an online version of the software whose use is very similar to the desktop version.

How Skype works on smartphones and tablets

How Skype works on mobile devices is different than the client on Windows e MacOS. When the application is downloaded, press the button Start and then on the button Sign in with your Microsoft account, then logging in with the account data you previously registered. If you need more explanation about it, read my dedicated tutorial.

Once logged in, customize Skype choosing the theme clear o dark, authorizing synchronization of contacts and giving the app permissions related to camera, microphone and sending notifications.

As for using Skype on Android e iOS / iPadOS, you can find its main features in the bar below: the button with the symbol of a speech bubble is the section of the Chat which shows the list of contacts present within the platform.

To add a person to the contacts of Skype presses the button Contacts located in the bar at the bottom, then tap the button with the little man symbol top right; in the text field Search type the name of the person to invite. Then complete the operation by pressing the button Add to send the request.

You can also tap on a contact to view the conversation screen and, via the text field below, send text messages, emojis and stickers (the smiley face symbol), send voice messages (the microphone symbol) and possibly also attach multimedia contents (the scamera symbol). Other sending options are visible by tapping the button with the symbol (+), such as the ability to send GIFs.

You can also call (the symbol of a handset) and video call a contact (the camera symbol). To perform this operation even faster, press the button with the handset symbol from the bar at the bottom; locate the contact of Skype and press on one of the two buttons just mentioned.

The options for interaction during a call / video call are visible in the bar at the bottom: there is a button with the microphone symbol, which is used to activate or deactivate the sound, the button with the video camera symbol, which is used to activate or deactivate the camera, the button with the square (bottom left) to take a snapshot and the (…) button to see the buttons for add people, start a recording, send a heart (or other emoji) e share the screen and levers to activate deactivate incoming video e subtitles.

To hang up the call, press the button with the handset symbol you see below. I remind you that the calls made on Skype they are free only if made to users of the platform via the Internet; calls to landlines and mobile numbers, on the other hand, are subject to charges.

How Skype works

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