Skype Settings

There are lots of settings that you can change in Skype so that it works just the way you want it to.  You can adjust your microphone volume and webcam settings, choose which sounds play when something happens in Skype (if they play at all), control who can contact you or do other functions involving you in Skype, and more!

How to change Skype settings

  1. Open your Skype desktop program and log in.

  2. Click on Tools in the menu across the top, and then click Options.  (As a shortcut, you can hold down the "Ctrl" key and then press the comma [,] key.)

Classes and sub-classes of Skype settings

Skype does a very thorough job of organizing the settings that you can change, so we'll go through them by category and sub-category.

General

General Settings

This lets you change:

  • Whether or not Skype automatically places a call to a contact when you double-click them

  • Whether or not Skype will automatically change your status to "Away" after not doing anything with it for a certain number of minutes (an amount chosen by you)

  • Whether or not Skype automatically launches after your computer boots up

  • The language that Skype displays in

  • Whether or not Skype shows people's profile pictures in the "Contacts" menu and during any kind of conversation (they will still show up in status updates, though)

  • Whether or not Skype shows you partial messages beside the contacts who sent them to you in the "Contacts" menu

Skype Audio Settings

This lets you select the microphone and speakers that Skype uses, and adjust the volume of each of these.  This is a good place to start fiddling with your settings if you're having trouble hearing another person during a phone call on Skype, or they're having trouble hearing you.

Sounds

This lets you choose when Skype plays a sound to notify you of something, and lets you pick what sound that is.  You can enable or disable all sounds at once, and if you feel like being creative, you can even use your own custom sounds!

Skype Video Settings

This lets you change which webcam you're using for video chat (if you have one).  You can also adjust the camera's settings while seeing what your webcam sees.  Both of these settings are useful if you can't see yourself in your webcam, or a person you call says they're having trouble seeing you.  From here, you can also use your webcam to take a picture of yourself, and use that as your profile picture on Skype!

Finally, you can choose who you want to be able to send video to you, or share their screen with you (without you having to approve it): Anyone, People in My Contact List Only, or No One.  This is an important privacy setting that you can use to control how people interact with you on Skype.

Skype Wi-Fi

This allows you to enable or disable your ability to connect to Skype-specific wireless Internet connections.  You probably won't use this setting much, unless you travel frequently.

Privacy

Privacy Settings

There are lots of really important settings here.  You can choose:

  • whether you want to accept calls from Anyone or People in My Contact List Only

  • who you want to be able to send video to you, or share their screen with you (without you having to approve it): Anyone, People in My Contact List Only, or No One

  • whether you want to accept instant messages from Anyone or People in My Contact List Only, as well as how long a record is kept of your messages; you can also delete all previous messages here

  • whether you want Skype to display your online status on websites (this is usually just if you've set up Skype to display your contact information on your website so that people can instantly call you for personal or business reasons, but it wouldn't hurt to disable anyway)

  • whether you want Skype to store information on your computer ("cookies") related to how you use Skype (though this may help Skype give you a faster and more personalized experience, you may just want to turn them off for privacy's sake); you can also clear all Skype "cookies" here

  • whether you want Skype to show you targeted advertisements based on your age and gender (again, while this may help personalize your Skype experience, you may want to turn this off for privacy reasons)

Blocked Contacts

This lets you see a list of people whom you have prevented from contacting you on Skype.  You can add more people to this list, or take someone off the list so that they can contact you again.  This is useful if someone sends you an unsolicited call or message, or you think a friend's account was hacked (i.e. you can block the account until they fix it or get a new one).

Notifications

Notification Settings

This lets you choose when Skype sends you a notification about someone doing something on Skype, like one of your contacts logging in or out, or someone sending you a file or instant message.  You can also choose whether or not Skype sends you a notification if the Skype program itself has something to tell you, or you're recording a video message or sharing screens with someone.

Calls

Call Settings

This lets you choose:

  • whether you want to accept calls from Anyone or People in My Contact List Only

  • whether or not you want options for the "Call" window to be displayed if you are focused on another program besides Skype

  • whether or not you want to automatically accept incoming calls, and automatically turn them into video chats if possible (turn both of these settings off for more privacy)

  • your default location if somebody needs to make an emergency call to you

Call Forwarding

This allows you to automatically send calls made to you on Skype to your home or mobile phone if you are away.  However, this feature costs money.  Click the Internet links highlighted in blue for more information.

Voice Messages

This deals with allowing people to leave voice messages for you on Skype if they call you while you are away.  For more information, click Set up Voice Messaging.

I.M. and S.M.S. (Instant Messaging and Simple Messaging Service)

I.M. Settings

The basic settings here just allow you to choose who you want to be able to send you instant messages: Anyone or People in My Contact List Only.

Advanced settings allow you to, among other things:

  • choose how long a record is kept of previous messages, or delete all previous messages at once

  • choose how Skype handles pasting a copied message

  • choose whether pressing the "Enter" key sends a message, or just skips a space

  • choose whether or not the other person sees a notification when you're typing

  • choose whether to show actual images in conversations, or just file names to click on

  • choose where to save files that other people send to you, and whether to automatically accept them or not

I.M. Appearance

This allows you to choose if emoticons appear as images in messages or not, and if they do, how large they are, and whether they're animated or not.  You can also choose whether or not to show the time that a message was sent next to the message, and what type of font messages are displayed in.

S.M.S. Settings

This allows you to set up Skype to send text messages directly to people's mobile phones.  However, this costs money.  Click the links in blue for more information.

Advanced

There isn't really much in this section that you'll want to change.  The possible exception is the Hotkeys menu, which allows you to set up Skype to use its functions quickly by pressing keys on your keyboard, rather than having to find and click a bunch of stuff.

 

When you are done making changes, click Save at the bottom, or click Cancel to discard your changes.

Well, that's an overview of the settings that you can change on Skype!

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