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Five common Skype problems and how to fix them

Skype logo

 (Image via https://twitter.com/SkypeInsider)

You might have set yourself up on Skype using your Mac, ready to talk to a close friend or relative, and then all of a sudden you encounter issues which mean your call can’t go ahead or that it simply won’t be the same. It can be incredibly infuriating.

 Skype, like so many tools in this technologically advanced world of ours, can have an off day every now and then. Likewise, our mobile phones can too. One minute we might be playing the legendary Frankie Dettori slots, then the next minute our phone decides to malfunction and ruin what was meant to be a fun, relaxing bit of entertainment. We encounter issues with our televisions, cars, printers - the lot. Technology isn’t completely reliable. In fact, it is hugely frustrating sometimes. We’ve all been there, right?

 So, with Skype in mind, we thought we’d cover a few of the most common errors and how you can fix them. Don’t worry; it’s fairly straightforward.

Skype cant seem to find my webcam, speakers, or microphone

 We’ve all had this one at least once, right? When the ‘Skype cant seem to find my webcam, speakers, or microphone’ error message appears, it tends to be fixed by a simple reboot of the computer but not always. If that fails, then try a bit of troubleshooting by accessing Tools then Options. From there, click Audio Settings, then Show advanced options. A list of audio devices should appear, so make sure your device of choice isn’t greyed out and simply turn it on. It really is as simple as that.

 Bad call quality

 We touched on it above, but Skype isn’t perfect, especially when it comes to call quality. It isn’t always Skype’s fault though, with bad internet connection or congestion on the router being a common issue. Sitting too far away from the router can cause problems also, so try moving closer to it. Another tip is to make sure too many computers aren’t hogging the bandwidth. So, for example, if someone is online gaming on their PlayStation 4 in one room, it might slow down the Skype connection in another room, thus leading to bad call quality.


(Image via https://twitter.com/Sortiwa)

 When Skype replaces phone numbers in your web browser with Click to Callbuttons

 Yet another annoying problem, seeing the ‘Click to Call’ buttons in your web browser infuriates some users. It is installed by default, but fear not, it can be easily removed. First, you need to uninstall Skype Click to Call. Then, check your browser for any Add-Ons. If Skype Click to Call is on there, disable it. Once you’ve done that, fire up Skype again and click Tools, Options, Advanced and then make sure the top two boxes are unchecked.

 What has happened to those unused Skype credits?

 Skype, somewhat inexplicably, deactivates” your credits if you don’t use them at least once every 180 days, which can be incredibly annoying if you’ve saved them up for a special call or were simply planning on using them in the near future. Skype doesn’t actually delete the credits, though. It hides them in a virtual back room, which is pretty damn sneaky really. You can get them back quite easily, thankfully. All you need to do is click the Reactivate credit” button where your balance used to be, and then they should reappear.


Skype’s noisy notifications for everything

 Skype loves a noisy notification, but not all of its users do. To shut them up, simply click Tools, then Options, then Notifications, and finally Notification settings. From there, uncheck the noises you can’t stand.

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About This Blog...

I've been writing about computers, software, Internet and the rest of technology since 1992, including a 17 year (1995-2012) stint as 'High Tech Office' columnist for Business in Vancouver. This blog includes thoughts on technology, society, and anything else that might interest me. Comments, emailed to alan@zisman.ca are welcome - and may be published in whole or part. You can follow me on Facebook for notice of new blog postings.
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