How to Create a Skype Account on Windows

Download and set up Skype in minutes

Skype is a free app from Microsoft that allows you to place calls within the app, call regular phones, send text messages, engage in videoconferencing, and a whole lot more. The app itself is free to download and use, although some of the included services, like calling regular phones from the Skype app, require payment.

Subscriptions are available that provide unlimited calls for an ongoing monthly fee. But to get started using any of Skype's features, you need a Skype account. Here's how to create one.

In addition to Windows, you can also use Skype on macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, and a variety of other devices.

Check Your System Requirements

Skype for Windows has very lenient system requirements, but it's still important to make sure that your system meets or exceeds them before you take the time to download and install the app. These are the bare minimum system specifications, although Skype will run better with more RAM and a faster processor.

  • Windows 7 or higher
  • At least 1GHz processor
  • At least 512 MB RAM
  • DirectX v9.0 or higher

Download and Install Skype for Windows

Skype is a free app provided by Microsoft, so you have to download it directly from the official Skype website. There is no charge to download or install the app, although some functions, like placing phone calls, do come with associated costs.

Here's how to download Skype for Windows and start the installation process:

  1. Using the web browser of your choice, navigate to the official Skype download site.

  2. Click Get Skype for Windows.

    A screenshot of the Skype download page.
  3. Select a download location for the Skype installer, and click Save.

  4. When the download completes, double-click the file to launch the Skype installer.

    We are using the Chrome browser in this example, so we can just click Skype-x.x.x.x.exe in the bottom left corner. Some browsers require you to open a download menu, or you may need to navigate to your Download folder in Windows Explorer to locate the Skype installer.

  5. The Skype installer will open. Follow the on-screen prompts, or proceed to the next section for in-depth instructions.

Installing Skype and Creating a Skype Account on Windows

Once you've downloaded the Skype installer, you're ready to install the app, create your account, and start calling. If you took a break between the previous section and this one, you'll need to start by opening your downloads folder and double clicking on the Skype installer to launch it. After that, you can continue with the installation process.

  1. Click Install.

    A screenshot of the Skype installer.
  2. Next, click Let's go and then click Sign in or create.

    A screenshot of the Skype installer.
  3. Click Create one!

    A screenshot of the Skype installer sign in screen.

    Do you already have a Microsoft account? If you do, you can use it to log into Skype during this step. There is no need to create a brand new account just for Skype unless you want to.

  4. Enter your phone number, or click use your email instead to enter an email address, then click Next.

  5. Enter a password for your account, and click Next.

    Create a password for your Skypw account.
  6. Enter your first and last name, and click Next.

  7. Select your country or region, enter your birth date, and click Next.

  8. Check your email for a confirmation code, enter it, and then click Next.

    Verify your email address as you're setting up your Skype account.

    Click the check mark to remove it if you don't want to receive promotional emails from Microsoft.

  9. Enter the CAPTCHA characters and click Next.

  10. Click Upload Photo and choose a profile picture from your computer, or just click Continue if you don't want a profile picture.

    A screenshot of Skype profile picture selection.
  11. Your Skype account is now set up and ready to use. Continue following the on-screen prompts to verify that your equipment is in working order, or proceed to the next section for in-depth instructions.

Set up Your Microphone, Speakers and Webcam During Skype Installation

Before you can use Skype to place and receive calls, you need to make sure that your microphone, speakers, and webcam are operational. Initial configuration is available during the setup process, but you can skip through it if you just want to get your account set up fast.

If you've taken a break between the previous section and this one, you can access these settings by clicking the three dot menu and then choosing Settings > Audio & Video.

  1. Verify that your speakers and microphone are working, and click Continue.

    A screenshot of the Skype audio test.

    Speak normally to check your microphone. If it's working, the blue dots will light up. Click Test audio to check your speakers or headphones. To test calling, click Make a free test call. You can check all of these from within the Skype app later on at any time.

  2. Check to see whether your video is working, and click Continue.

    If you don't have a webcam hooked up, you can just click Continue.

  3. Click OK.

    A screenshot of the Skype installation process.
  4. Your Skype account is set up and ready to use. To open Skype in the future, type Skype into the Windows search bar and click on the Skype app.

How to Find and Add Contacts in Skype on Windows

Before you can send and receive calls and chats in Skype, you need to add contacts. If you used your real name and phone number when you set up your account, your contacts will also be able to find you by searching.

Here's how to add a contact in Skype on Windows:

  1. Launch the Skype app if it isn't already running.

  2. Click Contacts in the upper left corner of the window.

    A screenshot of Skype.
  3. Click New Contact.

    A screenshot of the Contacts section of Skype.
  4. Type your contact's Skype username, phone number, email address, or their real name into the Find people field.

  5. If you see the person you're looking for, click Add.

    A screenshot of contact search results in Skype.
  6. The person will appear in your contacts list.

Other Ways to Add People in Skype on Windows

The search function is the best way to add new contacts in Skype, but it doesn't work if your contact doesn't already have an account on Skype. If that's the case, you can click Invite to Skype to send your contact an email or SMS to request they create a Skype account. If they do, then you can add them as a contact.

You can also save a phone number directly to your Skype contacts. This allows you to call that number using Skype, but you can't send them messages, video chat, or use other Skype functions as it's just a phone number.

The add a new contact menu in Skype.

Other Important Skype Settings

You're ready to start calling and chatting at this point, but there are some other important Skype functionality and options that you should be aware of. You can also delete your Skype account at any time if you feel that you no longer need it.

Here are Skype's most important features that you can access now that your account is set up:

  • Calling: You can place free Skype-to-Skype calls using the Skype app anywhere in the world. For this type of free calling, you and the person you call both need to have Skype accounts and the Skype app. It doesn't matter if they have the app on Windows, Mac, or a mobile device. They are all compatible.
  • SkypeOut: You can place calls, for a charge, to any phone number, anywhere in the world, using the Skype app. There are fees associated with this, but the person you call doesn't need to have Skype, just a phone.
  • Video chat: You can participate in video calls using your web cam for free. The people you call all need to have Skype accounts and the Skype app. Both one-on-one and group video calls are available.
  • Messaging: You can use Skype to send text messages, instant messages within the Skype app, and create chat rooms for multiple Skype users for fun or business purposes.
  • Sharing: You can use Skype to send and receive photos, videos, and all sorts of other files.