How to Use Skype for Chromebook

Use the Skype for Chromebook app or the browser version of the tool

Most new Chromebooks run apps found in the Google Play Store, opening an array of functionality not previously available on Chrome OS. One popular app is Skype, which lets you communicate online through voice, video, and text-based chat.

However, for many older Chromebooks, Google Play Store support isn't always available. If your model falls in this category, there is a workaround that allows you to place audio and video calls using a webcam and a microphone through the Skype browser-based interface. While it doesn't feature all of the bells and whistles found in the Skype app, this web-only alternative gets the job done by coming close to mimicking the desktop experience.

Get Skype

To find out whether your Chromebook model supports Google Play apps, open the Settings app. If you scroll down the interface but cannot find a section for Google Play Store, your device cannot install the Skype app. If you find this section, however, verify that the service is enabled.

To install Skype using the app, open the link in Google Play Store, and install it as normal.

A screenshot showing the Open button for Skype

Use the Skype App on Your Chromebook

The first time you log in to Skype, you're asked whether you wish to let the app access your contacts. This step is optional, and you can continue by either allowing or denying the procedure. You're also asked several permission-related questions.

Your answers to these questions determine what capabilities the app will have, such as making video calls using the Chromebook's webcam. If you chose to deny certain access and try to use functionality that requires it, you're asked once again for permission when making an attempt.

Use the Web-Based Version of Skype on Your Chromebook

If your Chromebook model can't take advantage of Google Play apps, the Skype web-based version is an alternative. From here, you can access all the communication methods that the app offers.

Open the Chrome browser and visit web.skype.com. Log in to the service or register for a free account. After you log in, you'll see the web interface. From here, you can initiate phone calls, video and text chats, as well as access stored contacts. You can also send and receive contact requests to and from family members, friends, or colleagues.

A screenshot of Skype's web version on Chrome

As is the case with the Skype app, certain permissions must be granted before you can use the webcam, microphone, and file system. The key difference is that, in this case, it is the Chrome browser asking for permission, as opposed to the application.