Finding your way around Skype (Windows desktop)

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This guide will help you navigate the latest version of Skype for Windows desktop so that, when you're ready, you can add contacts, make video calls, and instant message your friends. If you've updated from Messenger, we've also got a handy guide to help you adjust to Skype.   

To open Skype, double-click the Skype icon on your desktop (or choose it from the Windows Start menu), then sign in with your Skype ID, Facebook, or your Microsoft account. You'll see the window below:

The Skype Name, menu bar, status bar and Skype toolbar in the Skype main window.

A. Skype Name - The name you use to sign in to Skype.

If you're signed in with your Microsoft account, your Microsoft Account email address will be shown, as seen below.

If you first signed in to Skype with your Facebook account, your account name will be merged -- for example: fb:erika.berg.

Learn more about unlinking your Skype and Microsoft or Facebook accounts.

B. Menu bar - Includes all the options that will help you get the most out of Skype.

C. Status bar - You can change your Skype status and display name from here.

  • Click the drop-down to change your status.
  • Click your display name to access your profile, where you can change your profile picture, mood message, and more.

D. Skype toolbar - Enables you to reach the most used Skype features even more easily. From here you can quickly open Skype Home The Skype Home icon., call phones The Call phones icon., start a group conversation The Group conversation icon. or add contacts The Add contacts icon..

Contacts and Recent selected in the Skype main window

E. Contact list - Lists your contacts and lets you see their status.

FRecent list - Lists the recent conversations you’ve had in Skype.

Contact summary, conversation window and  conversation box selected in the Skype main windowetails and the conversation box bellow it.

G. Contact summary - Displayed when you select a contact or set up a group chat. Tells you all about the friend you're speaking to. Clicking the left and right arrows at the top of the window gives you more information about who you're talking to.

H. Conversation window - Displayed when you select a contact or set up a group chat. Shows the instant message conversation you’re having. The buttons at the top of the conversation window let you call someone on Skype, send files, send contacts, share your screen or add more people to the conversation. You can also check your call quality information.

IConversation box - Displayed when you select a contact or set up a group chat. Use this box to type and send your instant messages and SMS text messages.

Learn more about adding contactsvideo calling and instant messaging in our handy guides. 

Learn more about managing your conversation history. 

If you're new to Skype and have a question, why not ask it in our community?

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Did you know you can make video calls with three or more people anywhere in the world with Skype Premium? Find out more.

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You can always ask your question in our community, or if you have some feedback that could help us improve this FAQ, you can leave it below. Learn more about getting support for Skype.

Important: Do not enter any personal information (such as your Skype Name, email address, Microsoft account, password, or real name or phone number) in the field below.

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