Why Can't I Hear Any Sound on Skype?

By Robert Schrader

The Skype software client allows you to make calls to phones and other computers right from your desktop. Making calls using Skype requires proper function of not only your computer's microphone to pick up your speech but also of your computer's sound output device, be it speakers, a pair of headphones or your Skype headset. If you can't hear sound on Skype, several potential issues could be to blame.

How Skype Calls Work

You make phone calls on Skype in much the same way as you would when using a mobile or land-line telephone. To call phones, you enter the phone number into a keypad and click a green "Call" button, whereas you simply double-click a contact's name and then "Call" to call another Skype member. After you begin a call, you should hear ringing and, if the person is available, her voice as she answers your phone call.

Headset and Headphone Problems

Oftentimes, you make Skype calls while wearing a headset, which consists of both headphones and a microphone attachment, enabling hands-free Skype calls. Alternatively, you can use a pair of standard headphones along with your computer's built-in microphone. If you can't hear sound while using one of these devices, try another headset or headphones. If you can hear sound, you know your original accessory was to blame.

Computer Sound Muted

Of course, your sound problem could be much broader-reaching -- namely, that your computer's sound is muted. If this is the case, you'll notice a red circle with a line through it over the "Sound" icon on the right side of the Windows taskbar that runs along the bottom of your screen. Click the icon and uncheck the box next to "Mute" to hear sound again, sliding the bar up and down to adjust the volume to be louder or softer.

Call Issues

If both your computer's sound and any accessories you're using are working fine, the problem may lie with the person you're trying to call. A good way to make sure you're not calling someone whose own sound -- namely, her microphone -- isn't working is to make using of the Skype Test Call, which appears at the top of your "Contacts" list. Double-click "Skype Test Call," then click "Call" to begin the test. If you hear sound -- which should begin approximately five seconds into the call -- the sound problem lies with the person you were trying to call, not you.