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How to Expand Your Outlook With Skype

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 plugged in, then get linked up

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

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

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 to make a call.

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 messaging pane.

A popup will open and you will be asked to install the Skype plugin. Click Get started and follow the instructions on screen to install it. If you have any trouble at this stage, learn more with this guide to installing the Skype plugin.

Plugin install

After you’re done, you’ll be asked to link your Microsoft and Skype accounts. There are two options available I have a Skype account and No, I’m new to Skype. Select the appropriate option for you and follow the instructions on the screen. If you link the wrong accounts by accident, don’t worry, you can always fix it later with this guide to unlinking your accounts.

Instant messaging in style, right in your inbox

All you need to get sending messages is to have your Microsoft and Skype accounts linked.

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

Video and audio calling without leaving your email

If you skipped the first step, learn more about installing the Skype plugin for Outlook.com.

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

3 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 4 days ago

    An excellent post yet again :)

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

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