Help Windows Desktop

Troubleshooting problems with Skype calls

Having problems with poor quality, freezing, delay, or dropped calls? You, and the person you're calling should follow these steps:

  1. Use the latest version of Skype.
    We're always improving call quality, so for best performance, make sure that you and the person you're calling are using the latest version of Skype. Download the latest version

  2. Check your connection.
    If your audio or video calls freeze, your video looks block-like or has motion blur, it might be your internet connection (or your friend's) causing the problem. If Skype detects a weak connection, it will reduce the quality to try and stop the call from dropping altogether. 

    • Using a computer? Plug your Ethernet cable directly into your modem or router. If you're using Wi-Fi, try moving closer to the router. If you're not connected, the Windows 10 guide Why can't I get online? will give you tips to fix any connection issues.

    • Using a mobile device? Use a speed test app to check the performance of your mobile connection, and check the result against the download and upload speeds required for Skype. 

  3. Is another application interfering with your call?
    Close any applications that could be interfering with your call. File sharing applications, streaming audio or video, or even just having a web browser open are all things that can eat up bandwidth. 

First, make sure you and the person you're calling  install the latest version of Skype, check that you have a good connection, and close any applications that might be interfering with your call - then follow these steps:

  1. Make sure your microphone and speakers aren't blocked or muted, and are plugged in if you're using a computer. 
    Try moving closer to the microphone, reducing background noise, or cupping your hand in front of the loudspeaker if you're on a mobile device. If you're using a headset, try using a different cable or plugging it into a different port. 

    • Using a computer? If you're using the integrated microphone and loudspeakers of a PC, laptop, or tablet, try using a USB headset or webcam instead. Check out our list of the best USB headsets and webcams to use with Skype

    • Using a mobile device? Try switching between handset and speaker mode or using a headset. 

  2. Make a test call. 
    Skype's free test call is the easiest way to test your sound - it prompts you to record a message, and then plays it back for you to hear. How to make a test call. If you can't hear the voice on the test call, continue to the next step. 

  3. Check your audio.
    Try playing a song or using another application with sound. If you can hear it, the problem may be with the other person on the call - ask them to follow these steps too. 

    • on Windows desktop: Select Tools > Options > Audio settings, then in the Speakers drop-down choose the playback device you want to use. If you're still having problems, Microsoft has a tool to automatically diagnose and fix audio problems

    • on Mac: Select Skype > Preferences > Audio/video, then in the Speakers drop-down choose the playback device you want to use. If you're still having problems, use the built-in volume controls, the Apple support website can help you adjust your computers sound

First, make sure you and the person you’re calling install the latest version of Skype, check that you have a good connection, and close any applications that might be interfering with your call – then follow these steps:

  1. Make sure your camera is on, pointing towards you and there’s nothing obstructing it.
    Sometimes Skype turns off video to save bandwidth. If video is switched off if the video button it has a line through it, tap or click the button to switch it on.

  2. On Windows desktop or Mac? Check your privacy settings.

    • on Windows desktop: In the menu bar, select Tools > Options > Privacy settings. Under Automatically receive video and share screen with, make sure that either anyone or people in my contact list only is selected.

    • on Mac: In the menu bar, select Skype > Preferences > Privacy. Under Allow video and screen sharing from, make sure that either Anyone or Contacts is selected. If you select Nobody, you won’t be able to see any video.

Still having video issues?

  • Check the manufacturer’s website.
    With so many brands and devices, there may be several reasons why something may not work. Each brand is different, so it’s always a good idea to check the manufacturer’s website for user guides or troubleshooting help.

  • You may want to invest in a newer device.
    Built-in cameras is older devices may not produce the best results. Looking for a device that’s been tested to work perfectly with Skype? We’ve compiled a list of the  best mobile devices and  best-rated USB webcams to use with Skype.

The computer or device that’s hosting the group call needs to have enough processing power and network bandwidth for the call. Having many people on a call can sometimes puts too much strain on the host device and causes call quality problems. To improve group call quality, make sure the host has a strong network and powerful processor, or reduce the number of people on the call.

 


Ready to learn more?
How do I make a call on Skype?
How do I use a webcam with Skype? 
 

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