Ben Squires


Top tips and tricks for using Skype

Top tips and tricks for using Skype

Since it was invented in 2003, Skype has changed the way we communicate. It lets you see your grandchildren growing up on the other side of the world, bring your best friend into your living room when you need them the most or do business “face to face” with just about anyone. Use these tips to get the most out of Skyping.

Backup and transfer your contacts

If you have two Skype accounts (for example, a personal one for family and a separate one for business) but still want to share contacts, there’s an easy way to backup and transfer between accounts. Sign into one account, click on ‘Contacts’ followed by ‘Advanced’ and then ‘Backup Contacts to File’. This will create a .vcf file to save on your computer. Sign in to your second account and follow the same steps, but click instead on ‘Restore Contacts from File’.

Send video messages

If you can’t coordinate a time to chat to your loved ones you can record them a short video message instead. Click on the paperclip icon on the left hand side of the chat box and select ‘Send video message’ from the pop up menu. You can even record the message multiple times if you don’t get it right on the first try.

Edit typed messages

Skype is also great for chatting over typed instant messages, either on their own or in the background of a video chat. If you make a mistake in a message you can go back and edit it – just press the up arrow key and the previous text box will open up for you to make changes.

Set up keyboard shortcuts

If you use Skype a lot then setting up keyboard shortcuts – or hotkeys – can make things much easier. In the main Skype window click on ‘Tools’, then ‘Options’, then ‘Advanced’ then ‘Hotkeys’. Check the ‘Enable keyboard shortcuts’ box and then you can easily customise the keys you want to use for actions like answering calls, hanging up or muting the microphone.

Use Skype Wi-Fi

If you don’t have access to the internet you can actually create your own Wi-Fi hotspot using your Skype credits. Skype has access to over two million hotspots that you can access on your phone or tablet by downloading an app.

Set up caller ID

If you are calling a mobile or landline from Skype then it will come up as an unidentified caller, and a lot of people make a habit of not answering numbers without a caller ID. To set yours up click on the Skype menu button, then ‘Account’, which will open up a separate webpage. Click on ‘Caller ID’ and you’ll be prompted to choose your country/region and then enter your phone number. Once it’s verified that will be the number that shows up when you place a call.

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