How to Use Skype for Chromebook

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

A large majority of newer model Chromebooks run apps found in the Google Play Store, opening up a wide array of functionality not previously available on Chrome OS. One of the more popular apps 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 particular model falls into this category, there is a workaround that will allow you to place audio and video calls using your webcam and a microphone through Skype’s browser-based interface. While it doesn’t feature all of the bells and whistles found within the Skype app, this web-only alternative still gets the job done by coming very close to mimicking the desktop experience.

Getting Skype

To find out whether your particular 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.

Using the Skype App on Your Chromebook

A screenshot showing the Open button for Skype

The first time you log in to Skype you'll be 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'll also be asked several other permission-related questions.

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

Using the Web-Based Version of Skype on Your Chromebook

Using the web-based version of Skype on your Chromebook

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

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

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