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How to Expand Your Outlook With Skype

Acer English

In a recent post I answered the question “What is Skype?”, in answer to comments we hear quite often. In that post I explained that you don’t use Skype in your browser, but that’s not quite the whole story.

You see, if you use Outlook.com email you can send instant messages and make Skype video and audio calls without leaving your browser. In this post I’ll give you a full guide to Skype for Outlook.com. We’ll cover three subjects:

  1. Two things to get you started
  2. Instant messaging in your browser
  3. Making Skype audio and video calls

First get linked up, then get plugged in

You’ll need to do two things to use all of the features of Skype for Outlook.com:

  1. Link the Microsoft Account you use to sign in to Outlook.com with a Skype account.
  2. Download a plugin for your browser.

Tip: If you have already linked your Microsoft and Skype accounts, skip ahead to the instant message section below. You’ll be asked to download and install the plugin when you need it.

Messaging icon

After you’ve signed in to Outlook.com it’s easy to get started. Simply click or tap the messaging icon above and select Skype contacts in the pane that appears.

A popup will open and you will be asked to link your Microsoft Account with your Skype account. Click I have a Skype account and follow the instructions on screen to link the two. If you link the wrong accounts by accident, don’t worry, you can always fix it later with this guide to unlinking your accounts.

New Popup screen

Instant messaging in style, right in your inbox

Once you have linked your Microsoft Account and Skype account, you’re ready to start sending messages to your friends.

Tip: If you’ve only just linked your accounts, it may take a moment to connect to your Skype contacts in the messaging pane. Check your People list to make sure they’re all there.

To send an instant message:

  1. Open Outlook.com and click or tap the messaging icon, as shown above, to open the messaging pane.
  2. Type your friend’s name in the Start new conversation box and select them from the drop down.
  3. Type your message in the bottom right box and press Enter to send.

Chat box

Tip: You can also access your recent and favorite conversations in the bottom left of the Outlook.com window.

Video and audio calling without leaving your email

Making a call in your browser to your Skype contacts is no harder than sending an instant message and follows many of the same steps. You can message your Facebook and Google contacts from Outlook.com but calling is only supported with Windows Live Messenger and Skype contacts.

To start a call:

  1. Open Outlook.com and click or tap the messaging icon, as shown above, to open the messaging pane.
  2. Type your friend’s name in the Start new conversation box and select them from the drop down.
  3. Click or tap either the video or audio call buttons as shown below.

call buttons

The first time you start a call in Outlook.com, you’ll be asked to install the Skype plugin in your browser. If you have any difficulty, take a look at this guide to installing the Skype browser plugin.

10 thoughts on “How to Expand Your Outlook With Skype

  1. Great, I love Skype to make phone calls to my friends.

  2. Inversion Tables said 6 months ago

    An excellent post yet again :)

  3. We’ve just setup and installed Skype to start interviewing candidates :)

  4. Skype is great for deaf people. l do not have a cell phone and most people are uncomfortable talking on a VCO phone with someone listening. Emails take a long time to get answers and this is the closest we get to a or l get to a conversation….. if l can find someone to talk to…..

  5. e-mail reaches those who are not on line also. For Skype both should be on line to chat /send message or to get reply.

    • Matthew de Beer said 2 months ago

      Hi Satyam,

      We’ve recently been doing a lot of work to improve how your messages are delivered when you can’t be online at the same time as your friends. To get the benefit of these changes, make sure you’re always using the latest version of Skype.

  6. Do not seem able to link Hotmail with Skype. Is there a problem?

    • Matthew de Beer said 4 weeks ago

      Hi Frank,

      Is it the linking you’re having difficulty with or using Skype features in Outlook.com once linked?

      In order to link your Hotmail account with a Skype account you can sign into any Skype version with your Hotmail account details and you will be asked to link them to a Skype account.

      If your accounts are already linked and you can’t use the Skype features in Outlook.com, I recommend asking your question on the Skype Community where you can attach screenshots and get answers from over two million Skype users.

  7. i just installed Logitech web cam. How to switch off built in camara of Lap top

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