I can't hear my friend... (Windows desktop)

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So, you're on a call and you can't hear your friend. There are four main things that you need to check: your hardware, Windows settings, Skype settings and your connection.

Each of these steps below contains some things for you to check. Work through each area one by one to make sure that you check everything you need to. Let's get started:

OK, let's check your hardware:

  1. Check that your speakers or headset are plugged in
  2. Check that you haven't accidentally clicked the mute button on your device or headset
  3. If you're in a loud environment, it might be hard for you to hear your friend. Consider moving to a quieter space.

Now that we've checked the above, it's time to make a test call:

  1. In your Contact list, select Skype Test Call. It may also be called Echo / Sound Test Service or Skype Test Call (echo123).

    If you can't find Skype Test Call, search for it by typing "echo" in the search box.

  2. In the calling pane, click Call.

  3. Follow the instructions you hear.

If you can hear the instructions, it means that your speakers are working and the problem probably lies with your friend. Suggest that they take a look at this handy guide.

If you can't hear anything, it's time to take a look at your Windows settings.

OK, let's check your Windows settings:

  1. If you are using Windows 7 (or earlier versions of Windows), use our Fix it tool to automatically identify if you have the correct settings
  2. Make sure that your version of Windows is up-to-date
  3. Take a look at our dedicated sound guides for Windows 7/8 and Windows XP and make sure everything is where it should be.

Still no luck? Time to take a look at your Skype settings.

So your hardware and Windows settings look good. Let's take a look at Skype.

Firstly, make sure you and your friend are using the latest version of Skype.

Now, let's take a look at your speaker settings in Skype:

  1. In the menu bar, click Tools > Options > Audio Settings, then press The play button.. If you can hear sound being played, your speakers are working correctly.

    Audio settings options for microphone and speakers with the Play button highlighted.

    To adjust the volume of the speakers, drag the speaker slider left or right.

  2. If you can't hear anything, make sure that your speakers are selected in the drop-down list. If they aren't, click the down arrow and select them.

You can also adjust your audio settings during a call. Simply click the call quality icon in the call bar (you may have to move your mouse to make the call bar appear):

If you're still having problems, it's time to look at your internet connection.

If you've checked all of the above and you're still having problems, you might have a connection problem. Check out our handy guide on solving connection problems.

Remember, if everything looks OK here, your friend may have an issue with their microphone. Suggest that they take a look at this handy guide about microphone issues.

If you can't find an answer through any of the categories above, why not ask your question 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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