12/7/2020 | By Seniors Guide Staff

Many older adults are staying at home during the COVD-19 pandemic. Those with jobs are likely working from home, and those who have retired are sheltering in place. No matter the reason, feelings of isolation and missing loved ones are just two of the virus’s side effects.

One way to mitigate the loneliness and stay in touch with family and friends is through Skype, which enables you to chat with others using video. In 2003, Skype became one of the pioneers in Voice over IP (VoIP). And even though other services and apps have become available, Skype is still quite popular.

We’ve put together a guide to Skype, to help you best utilize it when connecting with loved ones!

A Guide to Skype: Getting Started

The first thing you must do is make sure that you have everything required to use Skype. If you plan to use your PC or Mac desktop or laptop, your computer must have the latest version of its operating system: Windows, Linux, or Mac OS.

Depending on the model, you can use Skype on your cell phone or TV. For instance, Apple’s iPhones and iPads can run Skype. Cell phones running Android and those offered by Verizon– Blackberry, Android smartphones, and other 3G phones–run a program called Skype mobile. Many smart TV manufacturers have Skype service preinstalled.

If you want to make voice calls only, you’re ready to go. But if you’re going to do video calls and your computer doesn’t have a built-in webcam, you will need to buy one. And don’t forget that a high-speed internet connection is required unless you’re using your phone.

Setting Up a Skype Account

Setting up a Skype account is a simple three-step process:

  1. Visit from your browser and download Skype
  2. Open Skype and click on Create New Account
  3. The program will guide you through the process of creating your Skype name, which serves as a phone number, and a password

Once you have set up the account, you can complete a profile with the necessary information about yourself. You will have the option of choosing whether your information will be visible to the public, private, or visible only to your friends. You also have the option of uploading a profile picture.

How to Add Contacts on Skype for Computers

To add someone new to your contact list, select the + New Contact button, then select Add New Contact. The blue bar asks for a Skype Name, phone number, email, or full name. Choose one of these options and type what you know about your desired contact. The suggestion list will narrow down to identify the person.

Select the Add button next to the appropriate suggestion, and that record becomes one of your Skype contacts.

Add Someone on a Mobile Device

The mobile version of Skype is comparable on both iOS and Android. The following steps will allow you to expand your contact list on either type of phone.

Open the Skype app and go to the bottom menu. Tap Contacts on the right side.

At the top of that screen, under the heading Add a New Contact, type your friend’s Skype name, email address, or real name. Look through the results, find the right person, and tap their name to access their profile. Then, scroll to the bottom of the profile page and, below their Skype name, tap the Add Contact link to add them to your contact list.

How Do I Make a Call on Skype?

It’s always free to call your Skype contacts. However, if you want to call a mobile phone or landline through Skype, it requires Skype Credit or a subscription

First, find the person you wish to call from your Contacts list. Select the contact you want to call and then select the audio or video button. To make a group call, add other participants. 

At the end of a call, select the end call button to hang up. 

A Guide to Skype and Its Other Services

Skype provides various services for both personal and business needs, including the following:

  • Meet Now: By clicking a button, you can create and share meetings. You will receive a link to share with the people in your session.
  • Skype Manager: Skype Manager helps you allocate credits that you use to make non-Skype calls for business or personal use. Through it, you can control which features are available for the members of your group.
  • Skype with Alexa: You can use Skype with Alexa, the digital assistant that comes with Amazon Echo devices.

Skype continues to be one of the most popular video-calling apps. It’s free, available on all major platforms, and it’s perfect for those who must shelter during the pandemic!

For a Step-by-Step Guide to Zoom, find it here!

Seniors Guide Staff

Seniors Guide has been addressing traditional topics and upcoming trends in the senior living industry since 1999. We strive to educate seniors and their loved ones in an approachable manner, and aim to provide them with the right information to make the best decisions possible.

Seniors Guide Staff