6 Things You Should Check First When Skype Does Not Work

SkypeAndroid10   6 Things You Should Check First When Skype Does Not WorkMost of the time, Skype just works – but every now and then you’ll run into a snag and Skype does not work. These six troubleshooting steps will solve most common Skype problems, whether your microphone isn’t working or the other person sounds like a robot.

Problems with Skype may not even be on your end — the Skype infrastructure may be experiencing problems or your conversation partner may have their system configured incorrectly. If you’re still experiencing problems after following these steps, be sure to ask the person you’re speaking to to go over these steps — the problem could be on their end.

Heartbeat

First thing’s first: If you can’t connect or use a specific Skype feature, check the Skype heartbeat page. You can access this page by clicking the Help menu in Skype and selecting Heartbeat (Skype Status), or by visiting heartbeat.skype.com in your web browser.

The heartbeat page informs you of Skype’s system status – if there are any problems with Skype’s infrastructure, you’ll see them here. If there is a problem, wait for Skype to fix it and try connecting later.

image27   6 Things You Should Check First When Skype Does Not Work

Audio Settings

You can test your microphone and speakers from the Audio Settings panel in Skype’s Options window – open the Options window by clicking Tools and Options.

To test your microphone, speak into it – you should see the green volume bar under Microphone move.

image28   6 Things You Should Check First When Skype Does Not Work

If you don’t see the volume bar move, click the microphone drop-down box and select another microphone device. Keep trying different devices until you see the volume slider move when you talk.

image29   6 Things You Should Check First When Skype Does Not Work

Test your speakers in the same way by clicking the green play button to the right of the speakers device. You should hear the Skype call sound. If you don’t, select a different device from the Speakers drop-down box and try again.

image30   6 Things You Should Check First When Skype Does Not Work

Audio Hardware

If playing with the options on the Audio settings panel doesn’t help, examine the hardware itself. Some microphones and headsets have volume sliders or mute switches on their cords – you could have accidentally moved the slider or flipped the switch.

image31   6 Things You Should Check First When Skype Does Not Work

Also check to make sure that the microphone and speakers are plugged into the correct port. USB microphones can be plugged into any standard USB slot, while analog microphones must be connected to the correct sound jack. The microphone jack is usually the pink one, although different audio hardware may sometimes use different colors.

image32   6 Things You Should Check First When Skype Does Not Work

If you’re using a desktop computer and the microphone doesn’t work when it’s plugged into the sound jack at the front of the tower, try the sound jack at the back of the computer.

Video Settings

Assuming you have a webcam, you can configure it from the Video settings pane in Skype’s options window. If your webcam is connected and you don’t see it in this window, you may need to install drivers for it. Drivers can usually be downloaded from your webcam or computer manufacturer’s website.

image33   6 Things You Should Check First When Skype Does Not Work

Check out our guide to troubleshooting Skype video problems for more information.

Test Call

If everything seems to be configured properly, try a test call. One way you can perform a test call is by clicking the “Make a free test call” link at the bottom of the Audio settings window.

image34   6 Things You Should Check First When Skype Does Not Work

You can also add the Skype user named echo123 to your contacts list and place test calls from there.

image35   6 Things You Should Check First When Skype Does Not Work

The call testing service will ask you to speak into your microphone after a beep. It records your call and, after a few seconds, plays your message back to you. This ensures that everything is working properly – your microphone, speakers, and the network connection. If the call worked properly, you should be good to go – if you can’t hear another person on Skype, it’s probably a problem on their end.

image36   6 Things You Should Check First When Skype Does Not Work

Bandwidth Usage

If you – or anyone else on your network – is overloading your network bandwidth with bandwidth-intensive tasks like downloading files over BitTorrent or other peer-to-peer networks, you’ll experience poor call quality. One of the obvious signs of network congestion is robotic-sounding voices.

Close any file-downloading programs – both on your computer and on other computers on the network – and try placing the Skype call again.

image37   6 Things You Should Check First When Skype Does Not Work

Check out our guide to fixing low-quality audio in Skype for more information.

You can also get more troubleshooting tips from the call quality guide integrated into Skype. Click the Help menu and select Call Quality Guide to open it.

Image Credit: Headset with a full length wire via Shutterstock, Sound card panel via Shutterstock

The comments were closed because the article is more than 180 days old.

If you have any questions related to what's mentioned in the article or need help with any computer issue, ask it on MakeUseOf Answers—We and our community will be more than happy to help.

42 Comments -

Scutterman

If none of these work, try restarting skype. I used to have a problem where my webcam would conflict with skype if it was plugged in after skype started. Sometimes a full computer restart after the webcam was plugged in would be required.

On the flip side, if you run a WAMP server that isn’t working, shut down WAMP, shut down skype, start up WAMP, then start up skype. For some reason skype listens on port 80 if it’s available, which means WAMP has to be started first so it can claim the port for the intended use.

Chris Hoffman

Thanks for the tips! I’ve never encountered those problems. I’m sure this information will help someone.

Mike DeGeorge

What about when people don’t receive your messages? I have that problem consistently. Even though it says it sent it, my friend never receives it.

Chris Hoffman

That’s off. I’ve never encountered that problem, myself.

I did some Googling and some other people appear to have the same problem. They recommend calling the user via Skype to force the messages to go through, or using a third-party Skype client like imo.im. Worth a try, I suppose!

carmel callus

I downloaded skype a few days ago but I was unable to open my account. Every time I click on “New account” i get the message after a while that “Internet Explorer cannot open the website”. What could the problem be? My explorer works fine as it opens all website. The only problem is when trying to open a new account or try to click on skype’s support. Thanks

John

Have you had any experience on Skype to landline calls?

Using the same PC, internet and webcam I got good sound quality, Skype to Skype
When I call landlines sound quality is always definitely worse. There is no break up of conversation, it just sounds worse and less lifelike
I get the same problem if I call my own landline and listen to the voicemall.

In both cases they are local calls about 1 mile away.

Chris Hoffman

I’ve rarely used that feature, but it sounds like it’s a problem on Skype’s end — either that or a problem with the local landlines. Since that’s a feature you pay for, you may want to contact Skype customer support and get them to look into it.

Pia

Hi Chris. Everything works well with my skype except that it sounds like a toilet is constantly being flushed!!! Get a bit irritating after a while and sometimes you cant hear anything but “flush” sounds!! Doesnt matter who I call skype,landline,mobiles its the same. I can hear other people fine but they often cant hear me:( Mic n all that is set well. Problem has gotten worse since downloading the latest version! Thanks

Chris Hoffman

Sounds weird — like a microphone or speaker problem?

Maybe you
re just having problems with your Internet connection. Your computer and its internet connection seem to be the only common thread between the problems.

I’ve never heard of anything like a “flush” sound. Huh.

Nathan

My problem is that, when another person and I speak simultaneously, my partner’s audio is drowned out. For example, when I’m laughing in his mid-sentence, I can’t hear the rest of what he has to say during my laugh. He said he could hear me fine regardless though.

Chris Hoffman

Hmm, drowned out — does that mean you can hear your own sound in your headphones? FOr example, when you speak into your microphone, can you hear everything you’re saying in your headphones?

Not sure what OS you’re using, but if you’re running into that problem, doing something like this may solve it: http://www.instantventrilo.com/support/ventrilo-server-sound-echo.php

SVNayak

I can here audio but i am not getting ringing sound at all please help me

Tina

If you are still looking for a solution, I recommend posting a question on MakeUseOf Answers.

Gabby

I’m having an issue where I can be heard, but I hear nothing. Sound checks show movement for both mic and speakers, though. Audio also works fine for everything else. If it helps, I’m on Windows 7.

Tina

Gabby,

If you are still looking for help, I recommend posting a question on MakeUseOf Answers.

Ed

I bought a Skype wireless telephone, a Skype number and an annual US/Canada unlimited calls subscription. In total, I paid Skype $70.

I can make calls from my computer, and I can make calls from my handset to Skype ID. I can receive calls from any number both on the computer and on the handset. However I cannot make calls to either mobile or land line numbers from the handset.

I spent 3 hours both on the phone and on chat with Skype but all they did was come up with illogical causes for the problem, which I disproved to them one by one, and finally they refused to help. They told me to call GE, although I bought the phone from Skype. They are passing the buck to GE, the company whose logo appears on the handset although GE does not make telephones, only sells them under their name.

Skype not only refuses to offer me a solution but also refuses to return my money and cancel the subscription.

Has anyone else had this problem and how have they solved it?

Chris Hoffman

That sounds terrible. Unfortunately, I don’t have experience with handsets.

I recommend you post your question on MakeUseOf Answers: http://www.makeuseof.com/answers/

You’ll get better responses there than if I try to troubleshoot it myself here.

They should really refund you your money if it doesn’t work (have you tried escalating to a manager?) If they won’t, well, this may be one of the situations credit card chargebacks are designed for.

karen

Have had Toshiba pc since Dec 2009. Skype worked fine until about a year ago. The video freezes and then disconnects saying it’s a bad connection. We can go to a coffee shop and not have a problem. Very annoying to have to do this. We are skyping with our daughter in Washington state. Have 2 small grandkids to communicate with and patience only goes so far.

Please HELP!

Chris Hoffman

It’s hard for me to troubleshoot problems in the comments here — you’ll get a better (and faster) answer by asking on MakeUseOf Answers:

http://www.makeuseof.com/answers/

Jen Richardson

I can’t block a user once I have started a conversation. How do I change this so I can?

Chris Hoffman

Is there any reason you can’t close the conversation and then block the user? That’s what blocking them would do anyway, right?

JAM

My problem with skype is that I can’t make a video call and when they someone calls me audio is okay but they can’t see me. What could be the problem? Whenever I checked video settings it’s all fine. Thanks for the help guys.

Chris Hoffman

It’s a bit hard for me to troubleshoot problems in the comments here — you’ll get a better (and faster) answer by asking on MakeUseOf Answers:

http://www.makeuseof.com/answers/

abida

iam on skype for a long time . problem is on a particuler id out going calto every one does not send the voice .but at the same time on another id it works correctly and send the voice normall pls guide

Patricia

Skype is NOT working definitely. Well it works now and then. We have skype in all house iphones, and is rare the moment it works. So If nobody gives me a solution we will remove it.
bye

Nicholas Mah

Well after my iphone 4s received the latest update, video calls stopped working on skype on my iphone. Please help !

james robertson

when I try to write something, it doesnt show. The messages keep scrolling to the wrong place, The person I am writing to can read.
The scrolling always goes to the same place, about 10 messages back. each time I click to send a message it does that. and no sign of the message

Peter O Brien

Hi Chris,

On my phone 4so has the skype app is loaded, however I cannot call either numbers or other skype addresses, can you help me ?

Pete

Chris Hoffman

I can’t really answer this without more information — even if I knew your exact phone model I’m not sure I could. I recommend you ask on MakeUseOf Answers, you’ll get better, faster answers: http://www.makeuseof.com/answers/

Sabrina

I don’t receive chats or phone calls when they occur – usually a day or two later the notification will come through that I missed a call or chats are waiting. Sometimes I’ll get a text from someone that they are trying to chat so I’ll immediately check and there is nothing to be found until a day or two have passed and the time stamp will be from when they told me they sent the message. Even if I quit and re-start the chats don’t appear. Not sure what the problem is?

Trevor_Large

I’ve just downloaded on my laptop and I get ‘Skype Home unavailable please try later’ but it works fine on my iphone can anyone help

Chris Hoffman

Well, you might want to try again later — one part of Skype could not be working properly. If that doesn’t help, try asking on MakeUseOf Answers, where you’ll get a faster response from more people: http://www.makeuseof.com/answers/

James

Why would outgoing call sound not be working?

Chris Hoffman

Lots of reasons, usually a problem with the microphone configuration.

Try asking on MakeUseOf Answers, where you’ll get a faster response from more people: http://www.makeuseof.com/answers/

gastibea

I click on video call, I hear the typical tick-tock sound, but no ringing. Whe the other party tries to video call me, there is also no ringing. I run the test call and it seems to work well. What else should I try?

Chris Hoffman

That’s odd, sounds like some sort of network issue on either end.

Try asking on MakeUseOf Answers, where you’ll get a faster response from more people: http://www.makeuseof.com/answers/

Dany

I have installed skype, but i cant sign in, whenever I try, there is only a blue window appearing,I first thought it was my connection but my cousin can use skype very well with his computer, and we using the same connection.what should I do?

Chris Hoffman

That’s very odd. You might try reinstalling Skype.

You should try asking on MakeUseOf Answers, where you’ll get a faster response from more people: http://www.makeuseof.com/answers/

shashika

dear sir .
i have problem in my lap top skype vidio not open when we are on my cam come like a command ex = close any other application that might be useing your web cab you could also plug you a web cam in to a differant usb port on your computer then restart more help

what can i do

Chris Hoffman

Skype can’t seem to access your webcam — restarting your computer might help if following the instructions in the message didn’t work.

If you still need more help, try asking on MakeUseOf Answers, where you’ll get faster replies from more people: http://www.makeuseof.com/answers/