Using Skype in your browser

While Microsoft Skype works best with its dedicated app, the web browser version is certainly reliable and worth using if you can’t launch the app.

Content
  1. Using Skype for the web
  2. Skype web plugin or free plugin
  3. Skype for web features

Using Skype for the web

Using Skype in a web browser is easy – just go to the Skype website and sign in with your Microsoft account.

Microsoft is updating the Skype web interface for new technologies. Several preview versions were released in late 2018 and early 2019 for users of the Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome browsers, some of which look significantly different.

Your experience on the Skype website may vary as a result of these continuous improvements.

Supported web browsers: Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer 10 or higher for Windows, Safari 6 or higher for Mac, and the latest versions of Chrome and Firefox. To use Skype for Web with Windows, you must be running Windows XP SP3 or later and Mac OS X Mavericks 10.9 or later.

Skype web plugin or free plugin

When you first launched Skype for Web, you could use Skype for instant messaging and multimedia file sharing, but not as a VoIP tool. To make voice and video calls in most supported browsers, you need to install a plug-in. The first time you tried to make a call, you were prompted to download and install the Skype web plugin. The Skype Web Plugin allows you to call landlines and mobile devices with your Skype contacts in Skype for Web, Outlook.com, Office 365 and any Skype app in a web browser.

In 2016, Microsoft introduced plug-in-free Skype for the web for the supported browsers, which does not require a download of the voice and video calling plug-in. However, the plug-in remains available and can be installed if your browser is not supported or if you are using an older version of a supported browser. You will also need the plugin if you plan to use screen sharing or if you are going to call landlines.

The Skype Web Plugin is installed as a standalone program, so you only need to install it once and it will work with all browsers you support.

Skype for web features

Skype is known for its extensive list of features and Skype for Web supports many of them. After logging in using a web browser, you can manage your contacts and use instant messaging features, as well as configure various settings.

You can chat, create and manage group chats. You can also share resources, such as photos and multimedia documents. By installing the plug-in (or using Skype without the plug-in in a compatible browser) you can make voice, video calls and video conferences with up to 10 participants. Voice calls can be up to 25 participants. A group text chat can have up to 300 members. Like the Skype app, all of these features are free.

You can also make paid calls to numbers outside of Skype Numbers. Use the keypad to dial the number and select the destination country from the list. The link to top up your credit will take you to the “buy credit” page.

The call quality on the web is comparable, if not equal, to that of the standalone app. Many factors affect call quality, so there may not be a quality difference between the two versions because one is browser-based. The call quality should theoretically be the same as the work is done more on the server side and the codecs used on the servers are the same across the network.

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