Setting Up the Skype App

One of the built-in apps in Windows 8.1 which has a tile pinned on the Start Screen is called Skype. This app and even its desktop version allows you to communicate in real time with the friends and other people that  you add to it. You can either communicate using SMS, Chat, Video, Voice or a combination  of these using the Skype app. To get started with this very useful app, and learn some stuff that you can do with it, simply follow the steps below.

Accessing the Skype App

The very first thing that you need to learn before you can even use the Skype app is how to access it. Since its tile is pinned on the Start Screen, you will need to access this section on your Windows 8.1 machine by clicking o the Start Button or pressing on the Windows Key. After doing so, simply look for the Skype tile on the Start Screen and once you find it, just click or tap it and the Skype app will open right away.


After doing so, you might encounter a prompt that will ask you if Skype can use your computer’s webcam and microphone. From this prompt, simply click the “Allow” button.


Next, another prompt will appear which will ask you if you would allow Skype to run in the background. If you’d like to do so, just click on the “Allow” found at the bottom-right hand portion of the prompt.


Signing in to Skype

After getting through with the prompts. You will reach the sign in screen which would give you two options. First at the left, you will see an option that says “Already using Skype?” and below it is a button that says “I have a Skype account” and at the right is another option that says “New to Skype?” and at the bottom is a button that is labeled “I’m new to Skype”. If you already have a Skype account, you will need to click on the bottom that says “I have a Skype account” and you will be taken right away to the screen where you can enter your account credentials with a “Sign in” button which you will need to click after all credentials (Skype name and password) gets entered.


If you don’t have a Skype account yet, you will need to click on the “I’m new to Skype” button at the right and you will be able to access the terms of service screen and as well as some other additional tasks which you need to go through in creating your new account.

Exploring Skype App’s Home Screen

Now that you have learned how to sign in to Skype in two different scenarios, it is time to explore all available buttons and options on the app’s home screen. We will start on top of the left hand portion first. From this section, you will find the Skype logo and to its right is the “call phones” button.


If you click on it, you will be able to access some dial keys and a drop-down option for choosing the area code of the phone number that you want to call located at the top. After choosing the area code, simply input the phone number using the dial keys and choose between the “Call” or the “Send SMS” button at the bottom



To make a phone call or send SMS using Skype, you will need to buy a Skype credit and you will need to spend a certain amount of course. Skype calls are only free via the Internet or when you are calling (voice or video call)or chatting someone who is also logged in to his Skype account. If you want to call a phone number or send an SMS to a friend, a Skype credit is needed and to get it, you click on the buy Skype credit” or “get a subscription” link located to the right of the dial keys as you can see on the screenshot above. After clicking on any of the links, your default browser will open the Skype website where you can buy Skype credit or get a subscription.


The Search Button

To the right of the “call phones” button is another one which is called “search”. You can use this button if you want to do a quick search in the list of your Skype contacts.


If you click on it, you will taken to a screen that looks like the screenshot below. From here, all you need to is input the Skype name of the contact that you are looking for or if you forgot that detail, you can enter his/her email instead and click on the “Search” button at the left.


Once the search result appears, simply click on the account name or picture of the contact that you looked for and you will be taken to his/her profile where you can click on the “Call” or enter a chat message and send it to the contact you selected.

Adding Your Favorite Contacts

Moving towards the right on Skype’s main screen, you will see a link that says “favorites” with a “+” icon beside it. You can click on this link to add your favorite contacts so you can access them from this section whenever you need to contact any one of them. To do this, first click on the link.


After doing so, the app will take you to the screen where you can select the contacts that you want to add as favorite, simply select these contacts one by one and once everyone gets selected, simply click on the “Add” button at the bottom.


After doing so, you will see all the contacts you selected as favorites on the favorites section of Skype’s main screen.

Viewing All Your Contacts

Another section on the Skype app’s main screen is labeled “people” with a “>” icon on the right. If you click on this link, you will be able to access all your Skype contacts and call or send them a chat message in a few clicks. Once all your contacts appear on the screen, you can either send them a chat message or call them using Skype’s voice or video call options.


You will also know who among them is online simply by looking for a green orb at the right of a contact’s picture just at the bottom of their name. Offline contacts will not have this orb but you can still send them a chat message whenever you like. The contact can read in when he/she gets online.


That’s all there is about Skype’s basic buttons which are found on its main screen. However, that’s not everything yet. There are still even more options, buttons and tweaks that can be found on this app’s other section and we’ll be discussing each one of them on our next tutorial so stay tuned with us here on windowstechies.loc to learn more about Microsoft’s latest operating system- Windows 8.1.