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Getting Started with Skype for Windows 8.1

The time has come, Windows 8.1 is here. The much anticipated update to Windows 8 has arrived and with it comes a new version of Skype built especially for Windows 8.1.

In order to get everyone orientated with this new version of Skype, I thought I’d put together a guide on the four main actions in Skype: signing in, adding a contact, sending an instant message and making a call.

Skype for Windows 8 has been around for a while though so different people will have different amounts of experience with it. To make sure you get the information most relevant to you, pick one of these four options:

I’m experienced with both Skype and Windows 8

Well if you’ve been there, done that and got the t-shirt then there’s no point in telling you how to do the basics. However, you might be interested to know some of the new features of Skype in Windows 8.1.

First off, try using Skype in Windows 8.1 in snap mode. You’ll find that you now have more flexibility with the amount of screen space you devote to Skype. You can drag and resize the snap window to suit your needs.

You should also try out the in-app search feature. On the Skype home screen just start typing to search your contacts or add a new contact from the Skype directory. It’s a quick and easy way to find the contact or conversation you’re looking for.

I’m experienced with Skype, but I’m new to Windows 8

Understood! You know what you can do with Skype, you just need to know how to find it all in Windows 8.1. We can certainly help with that.

You can start Skype by tapping the tile on the Start screen. Here you’ll be asked to link your Microsoft account with your existing Skype account. If you linked the wrong two accounts at this stage you can fix that later with this unlinking guide.

You can add a contact using the in-app search feature. On the Skype home screen just type in your friend’s name. You can get back to Skype home from anywhere in the app by right clicking with your mouse or swiping up from the bottom of your touch screen. Then simply click or tap home in the top left corner. If you have already added them as a contact they will show up in the search results, otherwise you can search for them in the Skype Directory.

Making a call or sending a message is as simple as selecting the contact you want to connect with from the Recent, Favorite or People lists on Skype home.

Also, why not try Skype side-by-side with other apps? Learn more about running two apps at the same time. With Skype in snap view it’s easy to return to the home screen and use in-app search to switch quickly between conversations.

I’m new to Skype, but I’m experienced with Windows 8

Welcome to the party! Skype is great for connecting you to the people that matter most to you. You can use it for video calls, instant messaging, file sharing and more.

When you start Skype for the first time you’ll be asked whether you’re a new or returning user. As a new user, all you need to do is read and accept the Skype Terms and Conditions and then you’ll be signed in to Skype using your Microsoft account.

Next you’ll need some contacts to talk to. Your Microsoft account contact will already be there when you sign in, but you can search for more in the Skype Directory. On the home screen, which can be reached at any point from the app commands, simply start typing your friend’s name to bring up search.

Now you’re ready to get chatting and calling. All you need to do is select a contact from the Skype home screen or using the search charm and start typing. If you’re ready to make a call just tap either the video or audio call buttons below.

If you run into any difficulty getting started with Skype we have a lot more guides on Skype Support for Windows 8 and above, or you can always ask a question on the Skype Community.

I’m new to both Skype and Windows 8

If you’re reading this post then you must be keen to get started and that’s great. It may all seem a bit daunting, but don’t worry we’ve got lots of step by step guides to get you going.

First off, you’ll need to know how to find your way around Windows 8.1. For that, there’s a really helpful guide to get you started with touch screen or mouse controls.

Once you feel comfortable in Windows, tap the Skype tile on your Start screen. Your first step will be to sign in to Skype with the Microsoft account you use to log in to your Windows 8 computer. Here’s a guide to signing in to Skype to help you through that process.

Next up you’re going to want to add some contacts to talk to on Skype. We’ve got a helpful video in this guide to adding contacts to help you out with that.

Now all that’s left to do is get chatting and calling with your Skype contacts. You won’t be surprised to hear that we have guides on sending an instant message and making a call to help you do just that.

If you’re still having any difficulty at all with Skype after all that, please come let us know in the Skype Community. You’ll find experienced users there who are keen to help.

26 thoughts on “Getting Started with Skype for Windows 8.1

  1. very interesting now to try it

    • What you have shown is elementary usage. How ever the settings available on Skype for Win 7 , like changing font size, are impossible to find. Could you elaborate on this aspect? My vision at 70 is not as good as used to be!.

  2. people when i call can here me but I can’t hear them and i can listen to the computer sounds through my turtle beach so I know it’s not my turtle beach, I think it’s a new setting in 8.1 and I don’t know how to use it PLEASE HELP ME!!!! thanks.

    • Matthew de Beer said 1 year ago

      Hi Ben, does this happen with all your contacts? It could be a problem with the microphone on the other side of the call. If you’re sure the problem is on your side, check the Skype options to make sure your Turtle Beach headset is selected as the speaker device. To get to the options, swipe from the right and select Settings > Options. If you’re still having trouble, you could try asking your question in the Skype Community.

  3. Fighting with it at the moment. Whenever I call someone it disconnects as soon as they answer (this includes the Test Call), and same when they call me. Frustrating start.

    • Matthew de Beer said 1 year ago

      Hi Alan, have you checked that Skype has permission to use your microphone? Some users on the Skype Community have reported calls ending if Skype can’t use the microphone. To check, swipe in from the right, open Settings > Permissions and check that the Microphone and Webcam sliders are set to on.

  4. Hi I am having a few problems with Skype on my laptop that is running Windows 8. Basically I don’t receive any messages and I do not know when I am receiving them, until I go on the actual app, I have tried everything can someone tell me what I can do so it would automatically pop up on my desktop when i am browsing and not on the actual app????

    • Matthew de Beer said 10 months ago

      Hi Claudia,

      Have you check to make sure Skype is permitted to send you notifications? Open Skype, press the Windows key and C or swipe from the right, select Settings and then Permissions and check to see of Notifications are turned on.

  5. i’m using Skype on my desktop PC with Windows 8.1. is there any chances to use Skype not in full screen mode? getting my second screen covered with it and its a big waste of space for me.

  6. Matthew de Beer said 10 months ago

    Hi Aaron, there could be a number of reasons for this such as a conflict with any anti-virus software you might have running. I suggest taking a look in the Skype Community as other users have reported similar issues and had them resolved there. Hope that helps.

    • hi just upgraded from 8.0 to 8.1 . I seem to have problems with skype. I am asked to fill in my email which is the same microsoft email I used in 8.0 but when I enter it it just comes up with a yellow message telling me that the account already exists. Have tried this several times but doesn’t go through with my original microsoft address. Hope this makes sense. I just want to get back into my skype account. Any advise anyone?

      • Matthew de Beer said 9 months ago

        Hi MrT, if you’re signed into your Windows 8.1 device with the Microsoft account you originally used to sign in to Skype, it should sign you straight in. I recommend you check which account you signed in to your device with and try signing in with your Microsoft account if you haven’t already done so. If this doesn’t work, try asking your question in the Skype Community.

  7. I constantly get calls from people who aren’t on my list, I don’t need these nor have the time for these how do I get them to stop?

  8. Hi Matthew,

    I have been using Skype on every day basis and since a week I completely can’t open it. After clicking on Skype icon in the Windows 8.1 menu, it takes around 2 minutes to load and then the notification popps up: ‘Oops… There was a problem’
    ‘Please restart Skype or Try again’, and below there is a ‘Try again’ button.
    I have tried clicking on this button and I have also tried to uninstall Skype and install it again- yet since a week same issue.
    Could you advise what is wrong?
    Cheers!

  9. Hi Matthew:

    I have Skype on windows 8.1 and a Skype on windows 7 (two laptops). On windows 8.1, it is impossible for me to find new people (nothing works in that it said no results in search directory even though there clearly is a result). I had to go back to my laptop with windows 7 to receive the contact notification. Only now, I can’t find this person in my contact list in windows 8.1. Please help!

    • Matthew de Beer said 8 months ago

      Hi Josh,

      That is an interesting issue. Are you sure Skype is connecting properly on your Windows 8.1 laptop? A lack of search results and contacts not syncing suggests that there is an issue with your connection to Skype services. Are you able to send and receive instant messages and make calls on that laptop?

  10. Two questions (I’m relatively experienced with skype, to a minor degree with 8.1)

    1) How do I shut off skype (as opposed to making myself invisible) – partly some other people don’t always see me as invisible (unsure why) so continue to send messages, and due to my touchpad I manage to accidently flick myself into skype, and I want to only have my active program up

    2) Before Win 8.1 version, I had two accounts I used relatively equally, how do I make it so I can access both – apparently I’m linked to my microsoft account, but inventing a new one to purely access a new skype account makes me think skype has taken a step backwards.

    I’ve had a look at https://support.skype.com/en/faq/FA829/how-can-i-run-multiple-skype-accounts-on-windows-desktop – which said how to do it, but neither method works for me – I’ve not fiddled with skype’s placement, but I can’t find it to use the manual method

    many thanks

    • Matthew de Beer said 8 months ago

      Hi Richard,

      For your first question, this week we released an update to Skype for modern Windows that you can get from the Store which will allow you to do just that.

      For your second question, Skype for modern Windows is designed to work with the Microsoft account you use to sign in to Windows. This is a one-to-one link so we recommend you use a single Skype account for the best experience. If that’s not an option for you, you can install Skype for Windows desktop on your Windows 8.1 device using this guide.

      Thanks for the questions and let me know if there’s anything more I can do to help.

  11. Last year m loged in my skype account with a microsoft account on a friend window 8.1
    Now m using my own Window 8.1 n forget the last Microsoft Account
    What i do to solve this problem

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