How to Make Free Skype Calls on a Mobile Phone

Skype mobile apps deliver the same free service as the desktop app

Woman video calling with a guy

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Skype mobile apps are available for Android phones, iPhones, iPod Touch mobile devices, Windows 10 phones, Blackberry phones, and Android and iPad tablets. The mobile app is a free download from Google Play, Apple's App Store, and Blackberry World. The app provides the same free Skype-to-Skype calls and other features popular on the desktop and browser Skype versions.

Download and Install the Skype App

The Android, iOS, and Blackberry versions of the app are similar.

  1. Go to the app store for your particular device.
  2. Enter Skype in the search field.
  3. Tap the download button to download the Skype app to your phone.
  4. Open the Skype app and sign in with your Skype or Microsoft account. If you don't have an account, tap the Sign in or create button and enter your information to create an account.
  5. You may be asked to select a theme, depending on your device, and you are asked to give the app permission to sync with the contacts on your phone. If you don't want to give Skype access to all your contacts, you can add people individually.
  6. The app requests access to your phone's microphone and camera to facilitate voice and video calls and permission to send notifications to you.

You can change later in your account permissions any of the options selected during the installation.

Making a Free Skype-to-Skype Call

Skype-to-Skype calls are free. When you call a mobile or landline number for someone without Skype service, you need Skype Credit or a subscription to cover the cost. To place a free Skype-to-Skype call:

  1. Click the + sign in the app and select New Call. You can also place a call by tapping the phone handset icon at the top of the app to pull up your most recent call list, which includes Skype-to-Skype calls and Skype-to-landline or mobile phone calls.
  2. From your Contacts list, tap the contact you want to call. The person must have a Skype account for the call to be free. You can also select anyone in your contacts list who is active and online, as indicated by a colored dot on the person's profile picture. This option is more important when you are using Skype to chat rather than to place a call.
  3. When you are finished with the call, select the end call downward-facing receiver to hang up.

Skype App Features

Use the Skype app on your cell phone to send and receive free messages and voice or video calls and Skype Credit calls. Features vary depending on the phone model, but most devices support the following:

  • Free voice calls to anyone who has Skype on any device.
  • Low-cost calls to landlines, mobile phones, and international locations.
  • Call forwarding.
  • Instant messaging.
  • Face-to-face video calls.
  • Group audio calls with up to 25 people. The number of video streams allowable in a video call varies depending on the device.
  • Voice messages.
  • Free messaging for one-to-one chats or group chats.
  • SMS messaging.
  • Emoticons.
  • Share photos, video, and documents up to 300MB per file.

The Skype app connects over Wi-Fi or a cellular data plan. An unlimited data plan is recommended for users without Wi-Fi. The iPod Touch and tablets without a cellular account connect only over Wi-Fi.

Skype-Compatible Devices

With the Skype app, you can connect with another Skype user on any platform, including Windows, Mac, and Linux computers, and Xbox One users.

Skype offers limited features for Apple and Wear OS (formerly Android Wear) smartwatches. You can receive and respond to chats, send emoticons, and manage incoming calls on your watch.

You can place free Skype calls to toll-free numbers in the U.S. However, you cannot dial 911 or another emergency number.

Skype Paid-Call Options

If you want to make calls to people who don't have Skype accounts, you'll need a Skype Subscription, Skype Credit, or another pay-as-you-go method:

  • A Skype Subscription is a monthly calling plan that lets you make unlimited or fixed-minute calls to landlines. If you make a lot of calls, choose this option. The subscription renews automatically and offers savings off the standard Skype rates.
  • Skype Credit is a pay-as-you-go option. Just purchase some Skype Credit and call anyone you want at low rates. If you only make a few calls, this is a better option than a subscription.
  • A Skype Number is a local number you get from Skype and give to people who can call you wherever they are, including from some other countries.
  • Skype to Go is designed to make international calling affordable. You contact Skype and tell the service the international number you want to call, and Skype gives you a new, different number to dial. The rates are low, and no internet or data plan is needed.