How to Make a Video Call With Skype

by Andrew Tennyson

If you have a computer with a webcam, take advantage of Skype’s video-calling capabilities to chat in real-time with Skype users all over the world. Versions of Skype are also available for smartphones and tablets, making it a snap to make video calls on these devices as well.

Video-Call Requirements

In order to make a video call with Skype, your computer needs to meet certain requirements. You need at least a 1-GHz processor, a graphics card with 32MB of memory and 256MB of RAM. You also need a high-speed Internet connection, a webcam, microphone and speakers or headphones. If you’re running Windows 8.1 on your computer, Skype is already installed. Click the “Skype” tile on the Start screen to launch the app or swipe your mouse to the top-right corner of your screen, enter “Skype” in the search charm and then click “Skype” on the search results. If you’ve uninstalled Skype by accident, click the “Store” tile on the the Start screen, enter “Skype” in the Search window, select “Skype” on the list of applications and then click “Install” to reinstall it.

Making a Video Call with Skype for Windows 8 and Up

To make a video call on computers running Windows 8 and 8.1, start by selecting the contact you want to call. You can select contacts in either the People or Favorites section. When you select a contact, the conversation window opens. Click the “Video Call” button in the conversation window to call the selected contact. The Video Call button is identified by a picture of a video camera. When the person accepts the call, the screen changes color and call-related buttons appear at the bottom of the conversation window.

Changing Settings and Sending Messages

To change video and audio settings on a Windows 8.1 computer while on a Skype call, swipe your mouse to the top-right corner of your screen, click “Settings" and choose "Options." Tap the “+” icon at the bottom of the conversation window to view additional options available to you while you’re in a video call. After clicking the “+” icon, you can send an instant message, dial extensions, send files and add other contacts to the current call.

Making a Video Call with Skype for Windows Desktop

The Windows Desktop version of Skype for older Windows operating systems works slightly differently than the version for Windows 8 and up. Once you’ve signed in to your Skype account, click the “Contacts” tab and select the person you want to call. If the person is online and available to chat, a green check mark appears next to the person’s name. Click the “Video Call” button to start the call.

Making a Video Call with Skype for Mobile Devices

If you’re using Skype on a mobile device, such as an iPhone, Windows or Android phone, tap “People” to view your Skype contacts. Those contacts who have video-calling capabilities have video camera icons next to their names. Select the person you want to call and then tap the “Video Call” button to initiate the conversation. Tap the “Camera” icon at any time during the call to toggle between front- and rear-facing cameras on your device, if applicable.

About the Author

Andrew Tennyson has been writing about culture, technology, health and a variety of other subjects since 2003. He has been published in The Gazette, DTR and ZCom. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in history and a Master of Fine Arts in writing.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Hill Street Studios/Blend Images/Getty Images