Skype is one of the most popular ways to make calls, instant message and keep in touch with those around you. If you are new to Windows 8 and want to use Skype, you have two ways to do so: Skype for desktop and the Windows 8 Skype app. For those using a Microsoft Account, the only option at the moment is to login to Skype through the app with that account. If you do not want to merge your existing Skype account with your Microsoft one, you will need to rely on the old-fashioned desktop version.

Our guide will show you how to use both versions of Skype so you can


How to use the Skype app in Windows 8

Open the Windows Store and click the “Windows Key + Q” and search for “Skype.”


When you find it, click “Install” to start the process.

Now, click the Skype live tile to open it in Windows 8.


The first thing Skype will ask you is if you want to use your onboard microphone and webcam by default. Click “Allow” if you are okay with it, click “Block” if you want to use another mic or webcam.

Skype will then ask if you want to run it in the background. This allows you to run Skype in the background so you can receive messages, notifications, and calls while doing other things in Windows.


Click “Allow” to continue.


Skype will open in all its full-screen glory for you.

Like other apps in Windows 8, Skype is meant for the tablet experience but it still very much usable on a desktop or laptop computer.

Click on your portrait in the top right corner of Skype.


This will open some of the basic things in Skype for you, such as setting your mood, changing your availability and accessing your settings. You can also sign out from here.

Click “Account.”


This will open your settings as well as the help files for Skype. You can buy credits, buy subscriptions and get support.


If you scroll down, you can change your profile, billing, features and more. You can also get usage statistics to see how much you are using the service.

Back on the main screen, you have several columns.

The recent column will show you your recent conversations with others.


The Favorites column will allow you to keep contacts you stay in touch with more often. You can set these individually with each contact.


The people column is your contacts in Skype. You can interact with them by clicking on each one.


Now, click on one of those contacts.


This will open up your communication window with that person. You can instant message them, call them, video chat and change your settings on how you interact with them from here.

If you click the “Plus Sign,” you can add the contact to your Favorites.


Back on the main screen, you can click “Call phones” to initiate a traditional call.


If you have Skype credits, you can call any number you wish.


If not, you will not be able to make a call and will be told so if you try to.



How to use the Skype desktop in Windows 8

If you don’t want to use your Microsoft account to login and use the Skype app from the Windows Store, you can use the old-fashioned Skype desktop version.

You will download and install Skype from its website, like you would in Windows 7.


Once installed, click its live tile to open it.


Now, the familiar Skype you are used to working with will open for you to use like you normally would.

Why do you have to choose which version of Skype to use in Windows 8?

Since Microsoft forces you to login to your account when using Skype through the Windows Store, you may not want to merge or use those account details to do so. If that’s the case, using the desktop version of Skype is the way to go. Microsoft may change the way you login down the line, but if you’re having issues with Skype from the Windows Store, then try the desktop version and use what you’re used to.

Download Skype for desktop.