Modern people are always on the move and, increasingly, that means relocating far away from home. In 2011, 40% of Americans lived in a state other than where they were born and, in 2013, 3 million people in the UK moved house.
I am one of these statistics; I live in California but my parents live on the other side of the US in Virginia.
One of the first things I did when I moved away from home was set up Skype for my parents. I can call my mom on video and talk to her for as long (or as little) as I like without worrying about the cost. I can even drop her quick messages if I want to. It’s brought us both a lot of joy and helped us to feel close even though we are far apart.
It’s easy to get your mother set up with Skype if she’s never used it before. I’m going to show you how to set up Skype for modern Windows, but we also have guides to get started with Skype for Windows desktop or Skype for Mac or any kind of mobile phone if she’d rather use those devices. In this post I’ll go through the steps to get your mom up and running on Skype.
How to install Skype
The first thing she’ll need to do is download and install Skype for modern Windows from the Windows Store and sign in with her Microsoft account (if she happens to have a new Windows 8.1 PC, Skype will already be installed). If your mother doesn’t have a Microsoft account, here’s an easy guide to get her set up with one.
How to add a contact
Next she’ll want to add some contacts.
1. Select the people tab.
2. Select the add contact icon at the top of the screen.3. Enter the name, Skype Name or email address of the person you’re looking for (yourself, your brother or sister, or maybe your mother’s best friend) and press Enter or tap the Search icon.
4. From the list of matches, select the person you’d like to add and then select add to contacts in the conversation window that opens.
NOTE: The person is added to your contacts, but will appear offline until they accept your request. After they’ve accepted your request, you can see when they are online and make free voice and video calls with them.
How to make a call
Once you’ve got your mom’s contacts added, she’s ready to get calling. To start a Skype call:
1. Under people or favorites, select the contact you want to call.
NOTE: Your contact needs to be available (a green icon is displayed next to their name) for you to select the contact you want to call.
2. In the window that opens, tap or click the green call icon.
If your mom’s having trouble hearing or being heard on a call, get more help with checking your audio and video settings.
Lastly, why not set your mom up on the Skype Community. Who knows, it might save you having to answer a tech support call from her on a Sunday afternoon!