Skype is a free program that lets you have text, audio, or video “chats” with other people around the world for free. It’s easy to use and works great even when calling from a Windows computer to a Mac or vice versa, unlike some of the alternatives.
I’ll be showing you how to download the program and set it up so you can have text chats (where you type back and forth in an ongoing conversation like texting on a phone), audio chats (like a phone call to another computer), or even face-to-face video chats (think “video phone”).
Downloading & Installing Skype
This lesson shows you how to download and install the free program Skype.
Click here to go to the download page for Skype once you have watched the lesson.
Running Skype for the first time
This lesson shows you what happens the first time you open Skype, including how to set up the free account that is needed to use the program.
Adding a contact or “buddy” to your list
Skype, like most chat programs, uses a list of contacts or “buddies” that lets you keep in touch with your friends, family, or whomever you want to be able to talk to with the program. This lesson shows you how to find and add a contact to your list.
Setting your “status”
Your “status” is a way to let people know if you are available for a conversation in Skype. Setting your status to Available, Away, Busy, etc. is easy to do, and being able to recognize when one of your contacts in Skype might not be able to chat is a simple but important skill.
Having a text chat
One of the ways you can talk with people using Skype is by having a “text chat”. This is basically the same thing as texting someone on your phone, but it’s done between any two devices (computers of any type, smartphones, tablets, etc.) with no charges or limits on how many messages you can send.
Calling someone with Skype
See how to call someone in your contact list so you can have an audio (voice) conversation, or even a video conversation with them for free, anywhere in the world.
Note: Please also note that during the lesson you see me on a video chat and you may notice my voice and my lips’ movement is not in sync — this is caused by the recording of the video lesson, and does not usually happen when you are in an actual video chat.
When someone calls you with Skype
This video lesson shows you what you see when someone tries calling you for a chat, and how to go from there.
Contacts Window and More
This lesson shows you how to use a more compact list of contacts and a few other helpful options
Setting Your “Mood Message”
Watch this lesson to see an optional but fun way to show a more personalized status (instead of just away/busy/etc.) such as what mood you’re in or even automatically show the song you’re listening to in iTunes at the moment
A Look at the Skype Settings
In this longer video I will go over most of the different settings for Skype, explaining each option and giving you recommended settings. Most of these aren’t necessary to change, but I do go over recommended security and privacy settings in the lesson
How to Share Your Screen
Skype has a very handy feature many people don’t know about – it lets you share what you see on your screen with the person you’re talking to.
If you ever need one-on-one computer help – lessons or help when you’re stuck – you can hire me for a consulting session. Sharing your screen with me lets me see exactly how your computer looks and makes it a lot easier for me to help. It’s almost like I’m right there with you, even if you’re thousands of miles away.
Let me know if you want to set up an appointment!