Learn the essentials
Our how-to videos will teach you everything you need to know to get started with Skype.
If you don't have a headset, microphone or speakers, you can still use Skype to send and receive instant messages. However, to make and receive calls with Skype, you need either a headset, or a microphone and speakers.
Skype requires a computer headset, not a telephone headset. A computer headset has two separate connectors - one for the microphone and one for the speaker. Some newer headsets connect via USB.
Ensure that the headset has a microphone. Alternatively, you can also buy a handset, as long as it has two connectors so that it can be plugged into your computer.
Speakers, microphones and headsets have one of two types of plug: mini jack plugs or a USB plug.
Mini-jack plugs look like typical headphone plugs. You'll have two plugs which have corresponding ports on your computer. Mini jacks come in different styles. Some are color-coded with one pink or black with a pink band and one green or black with a green band. Others have symbols with a microphone symbol on one jack and a headphone symbol on the other.
To connect your microphone, insert the pink plug (or the plug with the microphone symbol) into the port on your computer with the matching color or symbol.
To connect your speakers, insert the green plug (or the plug with the headphones symbol) into the port on your computer with the matching color or symbol.
To connect your headset, insert both plugs into the matching ports on your computer.
USB plugs are flat, rectangular plugs. USB headsets, speakers and microphones only have one plug. Most computers have at least two matching USB ports that are same shape as the plug.
To connect your USB headset, microphone or speakers, put the USB plug into any USB port on your computer.
Note: Some wireless sound equipment has a USB transmitter which should be plugged in using the same method.
Learn how to configure Skype to work with a new headset, microphone or speakers in Skype for Windows.
Learn how to configure Skype to work with a new headset, microphone or speakers in Skype for Mac OS X.