When someone mentions to me that they wish they could change the way Skype operates for them, one of the first things I suggest is adjusting their settings. More than once, I’ve been met with, “Oh, I didn’t know I could do that!”
I figured it would be helpful to give a short overview of some of the settings on Skype, and how adjusting them can customize your Skype experience.
First things first: to access Skype settings on a PC, go to Tools > Options, in the Skype client. On a Mac, it’s Skype > Preferences.
I recommend you review all the settings there and make changes as you see fit. Some of the common ones people like to customize are:
- Privacy: You control how visible and accessible you are to others on Skype. Privacy settings can restrict calls and IMs to those in your contact list only and can limit who is able to video call with you. You can also adjust how long you keep IM histories. Some users whose IM chats include confidential business matters, for example, opt to have chats automatically erased immediately. Others like to keep chats indefinitely.
- Audio settings: You can change the sensitivity of your microphone (to make your voice louder or quieter on a call) and you can also adjust your speaker level. If Skype seems unnaturally quiet — perhaps you don’t hear rings for inbound calls or people’s voices are very low on calls — you should check speaker settings to ensure they are appropriate for you.
- Notifications: Many Skype users are familiar with the little notification box that pops up on your screen from time to time. You may see it when a contact logs into Skype or someone requests contact details, for example. You can increase, reduce or eliminate those notifications by making a few quick adjustments.
- Calls: You’ve got a couple options to change the way your calls function, including:
- Call forwarding: Call forwarding, which requires credit to work, ensures a business contact can reach you easily by calling you on Skype, even if you’re not able to pick up there. You can send inbound calls to another phone number or Skype account, and you choose how long a call goes unanswered before it forwards.
- Call settings: You also can opt to have your incoming calls answered automatically (with or without video). Some users set this up on a Skype account on a home computer so they can check in on their pets from the office.
- Advanced settings: Here you can adjust the proxy settings on your Skype account, which affects how Skype connects to the Internet. Changing proxy settings is something you usually only have to do if you are connecting to the Internet through a corporate network, however, so you should check with your IT manager before you change these settings.
Have you improved your Skype experience by making a few tweaks to your settings? Tell us about it in the comments below.