Topic outline

  • How to use Skype

    In this course, you will learn how to set up and use Skype. Skype is software you can use on your computer or device that lets you make video and audio calls.

    To get started, we also have a short animated video to watch below on How to make a video call with Skype.


    Welcome to 'How to make a video call with Skype'. Skype is a free app that lets people use their computer or mobile device to make video calls, voice calls, and message each other through typed messages. In this video, Hassan uses Skype on his Windows computer to make a video call with his daughter, Valerie. He can't wait to watch his grandson, Eli, open the birthday present he sent.

    Skype comes with Windows computers, so Hassan doesn't need to download and install it. If he had an Apple computer, he could download it from the Skype website. Hassan can only make Skype calls to other Skype users and that's okay because Valerie has Skype on her iPhone. If she didn't, she could download it from the App store, or Google Play if she had an Android phone. All video calls need the internet and father and daughter will each use their home Wi-Fi for the call. This means they can chat for as long as they like and Valerie won't have to worry about using her mobile data allowance.

    To get started, Hassan opens Skype on his Windows laptop. He clicks on the Windows Start Menu in the bottom left corner of his screen and scrolls through the list of programs until he sees the Skype app icon. It looks like a white S in a blue shape. He clicks on it and Skype opens. Because Hassan has already set up an account with Skype, he's logged in and ready to go. Hassan has used Skype previously, but never to chat with his daughter. So before they can catch up, he'll need to find her on Skype. He clicks on the Search bar near the top left, and types her name. A list of search results appears. These are people who use Skype and have the same name as his daughter. He scrolls through the list until he finds a match with her name, profile image and location. Here she is! He clicks on her name, and some options appear to the right. Hassan could click this button, which looks like a video camera, to video call his daughter. The second option, which looks like a phone, can be used to make an audio-only call. And the third, which looks like a person and a plus icon can be used to add his daughter to a group call. For now, he clicks on the video call button to start the call. Valerie's phone starts ringing, just like a normal call, but the screen shows the Skype logo and the words, Skype Video. When she accepts the call, her dad appears on the screen. Hassan can now see his daughter too, on his Windows laptop. Valerie points the phone's camera toward her son so Hassan can see him. Eli's simply busting to open his present.

    Let's look at some of the Skype controls on Hassan's screen. Here at the top right is the 'Add people to the call' button. Hassan can use this to add other family members who use Skype to the call and start a group chat, but he's not going to do that right now. Down here at the bottom is an option to mute his microphone. Hassan's budgie decides to sing along to happy birthday, and while it's cute, it's also very loud. So he clicks on Mute. Next to mute is an option that lets Hassan turn his video on and off. When he clicks on it to turn it off, Valerie can't see her dad anymore, just a black screen. Hassan clicks the Mute and Video buttons to switch both the sound and picture back on so his family can see and hear him once more. When he and Valerie have finished their call, Hassan will click on the red End Call button to hang up. It's great to see how much Eli likes his birthday present.