How to Share Your Screen With Skype

Show friends or co-workers what's on your screen

Sharing Your Screen on Skype for Windows

If you're a Skype user, you don't need an expensive conferencing service to show your friends or colleagues something on your screen. While webcam video chat was its calling card in the past, this feature has been with Skype for almost ten years. Now, you can share your entire screen. Here's how to screen share on Skype.

Instructions in the article apply to Skype on Windows 10, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS. Skype for Business is also addressed on the platforms where it's available. Additionally, While Skype is available for web browsers, the Screen Share feature is not.

What to Know About How to Share a Screen on Skype

There's one common requirement when you want to share your screen, and it's that you're engaged in a voice call with your contact. Not that you need the sound, but it will probably be useful to explain what's happening on-screen.

Once you're in a voice call, you can show someone what's on your screen, though you sharing capabilities vary by platform:

  • Windows, macOS, and Linux: One person can share his/her screen to everyone on the call.
  • Android and iOS: You can take still snapshots, but not share the screen including full motion.

How to Share Screen on Skype for Windows, macOS, and Linux

Recent versions of Skype have come a long way to make the application consistent across different desktop operating systems. To this point, once you're connected to a call, Skype provides a one-click process to share your screen that's pretty similar.

  1. Select the Share screen icon in the bottom-right of the screen.

    The Share Screen Button on Skype for Desktop OSs
  2. If you have more than one monitor or display, select which one you'd like to share.

    A Dialog to Select The Screen to Share in Skype
  3. You can confirm what's being shared, as Skype will place a yellow border around your screen.

    Skype Borders the Screen You're Currently Sharing
  4. That's it! If you want to stop sharing, you can either select the Share screen icon again at any time or simply hanging up the call.

How to Share Screen on Skype for Business for Windows and macOS

Skype for Business is Microsoft's corporate version of Skype, although it actually comes from their previous messenger called Lync. The process to start sharing your screen is similar to the consumer version of Skype, as you still need to be in a voice call, but the on-screen controls are slightly different.

  1. Once you're in a video call, select the Share Content icon at the bottom of the screen, second from the right.

    Skype for Business Gives You Options in a Pop-Up Menu
  2. The two top entries are what interest us. Select Share your Desktop to share your entire desktop or select Share a Window to share just a single window.

  3. You can use this menu to stop sharing or end the call.

How to Share Snapshots on Skype for Android and iOS

Mobile devices don't have the ability to share live screencasts in calls. You can, however, send a still screen capture.

Keep in mind that screen sharing is the equivalent of video, so if you're on a mobile network it will use your data rapidly. Unless you're just text chatting while using Skype, it's best to be on a Wi-Fi network to avoid possible overage charges.

  1. On iOS or Android, tap the Plus (+) when you're on a call. This will bring up some actions you can take during a call.

    Skype on Mobile Has an Option to Capture a Screenshot
  2. Tap Snapshot.

  3. Skype will take a snapshot of your screen, and automatically insert it into the call's text chat.

    Adding Your Mobile Snapshot to the Skype Text Chat.

    You may not notice it at first with the voice call taking up the full screen, but the chat indicator in the bottom-left of the screen will show there's a new message. Take a look, and you'll find your picture there.

  4. Others in the call can then view or download the screenshot, so be careful what else might be on screen when you capture it.

While you can't send your screen to other callers, you can still receive shared screens on your mobile device. It will appear in the center of the screen but might be too small to be of any use.

Troubleshooting Skype Screen Sharing

Like most high-throughput Internet features, screen sharing doesn't always work as planned. Here are some common problems and their solutions:

  • If you start screen sharing but your callers report nothing appears, turning the feature off then back on again can often fix the problem.
  • This is also commonly the fix to a frozen screen, i.e. you're still moving around your screen but callers report they're not seeing any changes.
  • If starting and stopping the screen share doesn't work, try exiting the call entirely and then reconnecting.
  • Screen sharing over the Internet makes it subject to traffic spikes and other network issues, meaning it's probably not the best option to share something that requires a high quality of service. There's not really a fix for this one, just a caveat not to use Skype to stream, say, a video game if you want to maintain high quality.