Tips & Tricks

Learn new new tips, tricks, and shortcuts for making your Skype experience even better



It All Started With a Contact Request

A couple of question have come up in the Skype Community recently about video call issues and I’m hear to help you tackle them. It’s part of a wider topic on who can contact you on Skype, which I haven’t talked about since last year.

So today, I’ll get started with explaining the following:

  1. How unaccepted contact requests could be affecting your video calls
  2. What settings you can change to control who contacts you
  3. How groups work with people who aren’t in your contacts

As the saying goes, ain’t nothin’ to it but to do it!

You can’t always call your friends ’til your contact request’s been accepted

The questions which have come up in community are usually from people having difficulty trying to video call a specific friend. The Community team and I believe this is because one of the two has sent a contact request and the other hasn’t accepted it yet.

Accept / Decline

It’s not always clear, especially when using Skype on a mobile device or tablet, whether someone has accepted your contact request or not. If they haven’t done so and they only allow calls from friends in their contact list, that could be preventing you from calling them.

If you’re having issues calling a specific person in your contact list, take a moment to make sure they’ve accepted your request before trying again.

How do I change who can contact me?

You’ll need to sign into Skype on Windows desktop or Skype for Mac to access all of your privacy settings. However, once you’ve set them they will persist on any other device.

In this article I’m going to dive into what the settings do. In order to find out how to change them, take a look at these guides for Skype for Windows desktop and Skype for Mac.

Privacy Settings

For instant messages you can switch between allowing anyone to contact you or only people in your contact list. Note that this doesn’t affect the introduction message that people can enter when they send you a contact request.

For voice calls you have the same option of allowing them from anyone or restricting them to your contacts.

For video calls and screen sharing you have the same options of allowing ‘anyone’ and ‘contacts only’, but you can also choose not to allow anyone to share their screen or video.

Lastly, if you have an online Skype number there are three options to choose from for inbound calls to it:

  • Allow calls from anyone
  • Allow calls from anyone except hidden numbers
  • Allow calls only from numbers which you have saved to your contact list

How do the privacy settings work with group calls and chats?

Well, that can be a bit more tricky! But to summarize how it works, I’d say the following:

  • Someone can’t add you to a group chat until you’ve accepted their contact request and vice versa
  • Once you are in a group chat you will receive messages from everyone in the group, including members you haven’t added as contacts
  • You won’t be able to receive files in a group from anyone outside your contact list
  • If a group call is started by someone who is not a contact of yours, you have the option to join but won’t see the pop-up inbound call notification
  • If anyone on the call is sharing their screen, but isn’t a contact of yours, you’ll receive a question asking whether or not you want to show their video

Accept Video?

If you still have unanswered questions, drop by the Skype Community and ask us there!

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