Why Do Skype Calls Get Dropped?

by Marie Cartwright

If you're a regular Skype user, then you know how frustrating dropped calls can be. There is no universal cause for dropped calls. Sometimes your computer is to blame, sometimes Skype itself and sometimes a combination of problems. If your Skype client is up to date, there are several other factors you can check to help improve your call quality.

Call Quality Information

When you're in a Skype call or have a contact selected within a separate window, you'll be able to see the Call Quality Information button. This button is marked with five colored bars. Green bars indicate that your connection is performing well. Yellow bars let you know that there's something that may be interfering with the quality of your call. Red bars appear when there's a serious problem which may prevent Skype from functioning properly at all. Clicking on this button, no matter what color it is, will display a pop-up dialog full of useful information.

Computer Speed

If your computer is running slowly, Skype is going to have a hard time connecting to calls. Skype requires processing power to make calls, so it's best to leave your system resources as open as possible. Shutting down other programs and applications while you're in a Skype call can greatly speed things up. If you're on an older computer, it may simply be that your processor is too slow to handle Skype.

Internet Connection

If you're having trouble connecting to websites as well as Skype, chances are that your Internet connection is to blame. If you're not having any trouble with other sites, it's still a good idea to test Skype's ability to connect to the Internet. Within the Call Quality Information dialog is a tab labeled "Connection." Within this tab is a connection testing tool. Clicking the "Test Now" button will perform a quick check of the connection between you and your contact.

Video Problems

Before making a video call, make sure that your computer's video drivers are up to date. Drivers are the software programs necessary for supporting your video card. Out-of-date drivers can make your webcam run slowly, which in turn can crash Skype. If they are up to date and you're still having call problems, try a voice call instead of a video call. While it's always nicer to chat face to face, turning off your video can sometimes solve connection issues.

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About the Author

Marie Cartwright began writing in 2010. Her work has appeared on various websites. Having held office jobs in copywriting and editing, Cartwright now works from her home in Northern California. She also maintains an events website geared toward the science and technology community.

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