How to use Skype

Learn how to use Skype and your home Wi-Fi to make voice and video calls, for no extra cost.

What is Skype?

Skype is a popular program for making voice and video calls using the internet. You can download Skype from the internet, and it works on desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones.

To install Skype on a mobile device, go to the app store for your device and search for the Skype app. Skype also comes pre-installed on many Windows computers. If it isn’t on your computer, visit and click on Downloads. Once you’ve installed Skype you will need to provide:

  • a Skype name
  • an email address or phone number
  • a secure password.
A screenshot of a game of Solitaire

Who can I call on Skype?

You can call any other Skype user, regardless of which type of device they are using for Skype. They can be either in your existing contacts list, or you can add them in Skype. You cannot call emergency or 1300 numbers on Skype.

How much does it cost?

When you have a home or mobile data plan, calling other people who are also using Skype is free of extra charges. You can talk for as long as you want without paying more than your normal monthly data fee.

Be mindful about making video calls using your phone’s mobile data connection, as exceeding your monthly allowance can cost extra. Where possible, make video calls using a home Wi-Fi connection.

You can also call regular telephones with Skype, but Skype charges a fee for this.

Making a contacts list

Before you can call anyone in Skype, you need to add them to your Skype contacts list. The contacts list is like your personal phone directory, and it’s the same on any device on which you use Skype. There are two ways people can be added to the contacts list.

  1. Skype can use your existing contacts list. When you start Skype for the first time, you may be asked if you want to give it permission to access your contacts list. If you give it permission, it will scan your contacts and add them. Skype will then also keep its contacts list up to date.
  2. Search for people using Skype on a computer. Using Skype on a computer, select Contacts then New Contact and enter the person’s name or phone number in the Search bar. A list of possible matches will appear. Find your person by checking their location and profile image. Once you’ve found the person you want, click on Add.

If you want to use Skype with someone who doesn’t have a Skype account, use Skype on a computer to select Contacts, then New Contact, then Invite to Skype. Choose whether you want your invitation sent by a link, email or SMS, then enter the person’s email address or phone number and click the paper plane icon.

Making a video call with Skype

To make a video call, click on the person’s name in the Contacts list, then click on the video camera icon at the top right of the screen. Next, click on the video camera icon at the top right of the screen.

If the person you want to call isn’t in your contact list, type their name into the Search box of People, groups & messages. A list of people with that name will appear. When you’ve found your person, click on their name then click on the video camera icon.

Answering a video call on Skype

If someone calls you using Skype, your device will ring as though it’s receiving a phone call. On a computer or Android phone, click or tap the green Camera button to answer the call. On an iPhone swipe right to answer the call.

When you’re using Skype, you’ll see the face of the person you’re talking to in full screen. You’ll see a smaller screen of your own face. This is so you can know what you look like to the other person. Some control buttons are at the bottom of the screen.

Adding more people to a Skype call

When you’re in a call you can add more people to the call. On a computer, click on the person icon with a plus (+) symbol on the top right of your call. Then, choose the extra person from your contacts list.

Ending a Skype call

After you’ve said your goodbyes, just click on the red hang up button to end the call.