FAQ

Messaging > Instant messaging
  • Instant messaging is an alternative to talking with your friends on Skype – and like Skype-to-Skype calls, it’s completely free. Simply select a contact, type your message, send it and get an instant response. It’s great when you’re sharing information like a website address, too.
     
    You can also have group IMs, where you can type real-time messages to lots of friends at the same time.
     

  • Edit a sent message
     
    You can edit or delete an instant message within 60 minutes after you’ve sent it. To change or remove your IM, simply right-click the message and choose Edit Message or Remove Message.



    Send files
     
    Share documents, photos and video clips of any size. Help with sending files.

    Send a video message
    Record and send a video to your contact. Learn more.
     
    Send contacts
    Send a contact’s details to another contact. Help with sending contacts.
     
    Use emoticons
    Liven up your IMs with emoticons and let your friends know how you’re feeling.

    Send a video message
    Record and send a video to your contact. Learn more.
     
    Send contacts
    Send a contact’s details to another contact. Help with sending contacts.
     
    Use emoticons
    Liven up your IMs with emoticons and let your friends know how you’re feeling.





    Send a video message
    Record and send a video to your contact. Learn more.
     
    Send contacts
    Send a contact’s details to another contact. Help with sending contacts.
     
    Use emoticons
    Liven up your IMs with emoticons and let your friends know how you’re feeling.



    Use special text formatting
     
    You can use basic text markup in chats to use special formatting:

    • Surrounding text with asterisks (*) will change the text to bold. (Example: *sample text*)

    • Surrounding text with underscores (_) will change the text to italics. (Example: _sample text_)

    • Surrounding text with tildes (~) will change the text to strikethrough (Example: ~sample text~)

    • Surrounding the text with {code} will change the text to monospace font (Example: {code}sample text{code})

    • Placing two exclamation points and a space  (!! ) at the beginning of a message will send the entire message in monospace font (Example: !! sample text)

    • Placing two at symbols and a space (@@ ) at the beginning of a message will prevent or override special formatting (Example: @@ sample text)

    In the latest version of Skype, you can disable special text formatting, if you want. To do this:
    1. In Skype, click Tools, then Options.

    2. Click IM & SMS at the left side of the screen.

    3. Click IM appearance at the left side of the screen.

    4. Uncheck the box next to Show advanced text formatting to turn off special text formatting. To turn it back on, you can simply go back and check this box.

     
  • Have real time instant message (IM) conversations with anyone on Skype, for free.

     
    Sending instant messages
     
    It’s easy to send instant messages to your friends who are on Skype:
     
    1. Sign in to Skype.

    2. In the sidebar, click Contacts, and then to the right, click Skype or Messenger if you are signed in with a Microsoft account (or whatever group you have that contact saved to). You may need to click >> if you can’t see the correct group.



    3. In your contact list, find the contact you want to send an instant message to and double-click their picture.



    The conversation window opens.
     
    Recent conversations are stored in the sidebar, so you can easily pick up where you left off. Just click the conversation or contact in the sidebar to open the conversation window.



    4. In the main window, click inside the conversation box.

    5. Enter your message and press the Return key on your keyboard.



    If your contacts are offline your message might be delivered immediately if you're both on cloud-enabled devices. You can also send them SMS text messages or call them on their mobiles or landlines. All you need is a little Skype Credit or a subscription.
     


    If someone IMs you
     

    When someone IMs you, the Skype icon in the dock bounces, and the conversation appears in the sidebar with a badge next to it. To read the message, go to the sidebar and click to open it.





    Changing your IM settings and notifications
     

    You can change your IM privacy settings, hide typing indicators, change the way emoticons are displayed in your instant messages and set up notifications for individual conversations.
     
    To change your IM privacy settings, typing indicators and the way emoticons are displayed:
     
    1. Sign in to Skype.

    2. From the menu bar, click Skype > Preferences, then select Privacy at the top.

    3. In the Allow messages from drop-down list, select Anyone or Contacts.



    4. Click Messaging at the top.

    5. In the Emoticons drop-down list, select Standard, Animated or Don’t show.



    6. Uncheck Show when I am typing or Show when Contacts are typing to hide the typing indicator, which appears in the top right of your screen.
     


    To change notifications for individual conversations or contacts:
     
     
    1. Sign in to Skype.

    2. Open the instant message window for a contact or conversation. You can do this in the contact list or sidebar.

    3. In the main menu, select Conversations > Notification Settings.

    4. In the Notification Settings panel, select Notify me, Do not notify me, or Notify me only if these words are mentioned:. If you select the last option, enter keywords into the field.



    5. To save your notification settings, click OK.
     


    Useful things you can do in an IM
     
    Editing, removing, copying, and quoting a sent instant message
     

    When you send an instant message, you have the option to edit or remove it – but only for 60 minutes after it is sent. You can also copy or quote any instant message or its part in a conversation.
     
    To use these options:
     
    1. In the conversation window, find the recent instant message you’d like to change and ctrl+click it or click the little down arrow on the right.

    If you want to quote the text, you can select either the whole instant message or just a part of it.

    2. Select the appropriate action from the menu that opens.



    The easiest way to edit the last IM you’ve sent is to press the up arrow key on your keyboard to bring up the edit message window. This is only available for a few minutes after sending the instant message. When you edit a message, the Edit message window will appear, as below.



    Make your corrections in the box and click Save.
     


    Sharing messages
     
     
    1. In the conversation window, find the recent instant message you’d like to share, and ctrl+click it or click the little down arrow on the right.

    2. Select Share, then click the option for where you want to share the message


     

    Add people
     
    Add people to the instant message to create a group IM.



    Send files, share documents, photos and video clips of any size. Learn more about sending files.
     

    Use emoticons
     
    Liven up your IMs with high definition emoticons and let your friends know how you’re feeling





    Use special formatting
     
    You can use basic text markup in chats to use special formatting:
     
    • Surrounding text with asterisks (*) will change the text to bold. (Example: *sample text*)

    • Surrounding text with underscores (_) will change the text to italics. (Example: _sample text_)

    • Surrounding text with tildes (~) will change the text to strikethrough (Example: ~sample text~)

    • Surrounding the text with {code} will change the text to monospace font (Example: {code}sample text{code})

    • Placing two exclamation points and a space  (!! ) at the beginning of a message will send the entire message in monospace font (Example: !! sample text)

    • Placing two at symbols and a space (@@ ) at the beginning of a message will prevent or override special formatting (Example: @@ sample text)
     

    Enable the spell checker
     
     You can use the spell checker when writing an IM. To turn this feature on, right-click in the conversation box, select Spelling and Grammar and click Check Spelling While Typing.



    To change the spell checker’s settings, select Spelling and Grammar > Show Spelling and Grammar.





     
  • Watch the video to see how you can send instant messages in just over a minute. A step-by-step guide is also available below.




    Sending an instant message

     
    To send an instant message:

    1. Start Skype.

    2. In the Contacts tab, find the person or group you want to IM. Or in the Recent tab, find the conversation you want to pick up again.

    3. Select the group, contact, or conversation.



    4. Click inside the conversation window at the bottom of the screen.

    5. Type your message and click the blue Send icon, or simply press Enter on your keyboard.


     
    When someone sends you an instant message
     
    When someone IMs you, the Skype icon on the taskbar will turn orange and let you know that you have a new instant message.




    To reply to an IM:
     
    1. Click the Recent tab. You'll see a list of conversations, with unread messages displayed in bold.



    2. Find the IM you want to read and select it.

    3. To reply, in the main window, click inside the conversation box.

    4. Type your message and click the blue Send icon, or simply press Enter on your keyboard.

  • You can change your IM privacy settings, alter certain IM functions and customize the appearance of your instant messages.
     

    1. In Skype, from the menu bar click Tools > Options.

    2. Choose IM & SMS from the left and click the Show advanced options button to see all options.



    3. In the IM Settings panel, change your IM settings as required. You can choose:
     
    • Who you allow IMs from. Choose anyone or people in my Contact list only.

    • How long to keep your conversation history for: no history, 2 weeks, 1 month, 3 months or forever.
    You can also delete all of the instant messages in all of the conversations you’ve ever had with your contacts by clicking the Clear history button. Deleting the conversation history removes video messages. Once your conversation history is deleted, it cannot be recovered.

    • Whether IMs will open in a new window when you receive a new message in Compact View.

    • Whether pressing Enter inserts a line break, or sends an IM.

    • Whether or not to display the typing indicator.

    • Where to save received files.
     
    4. To change the appearance of your instant messages, select IM appearance on the left.



    5. You can customize:
     
    • Whether the chats are displayed in Compact Chat View

    • How copied messages and links should appear when you paste them into an IM

    • Whether to show static or animated emoticons.

    • Whether to show a timestamp next to messages you send and receive.

    • The font your IMs are displayed in.
     
     

1

Email Support

Still having problems? 
Send your questions by email and get an answer from our support team within next 48 hours.

Notice

If you are in Korea, you can purchase Skype payable services through Daesung Skype according to the Telecommunications Business Act of Korea.