Skype remains a wonderful tool – but now that it’s owned by Microsoft they are DETERMINED to confuse everyone with a host of additional tick boxes….
Have you noticed when you upgrade, it wants you to use BING – probably the worst search engine on the planet? Just like drugs “just say no” – stick with Google – untick those boxes when you upgrade!!!
Anyway, the purpose of this blog is to tell you how to set up Skype as a webcam – and along the way ensure you un-tick some of those pesky boxes in Skype (this is of general use to anyone).
What I needed was a reliable webcam while I’m on holiday to keep an eye on the place – and in my case, to communicate with our cats who get very worried when we’re away. No, seriously – they do and if they get REALLY worried they clear off for weeks!
I set up a laptop with camera. What I needed was for it to auto-answer with camera…. and for as few things to be able to screw things up as possible. Here are my settings under TOOLS – OPTIONS in Skype.
Firstly – ensure that Skype starts when you start Windows (most likely the laptop will reboot at some point due to pesky Windows updates so you want things to keep running).
Next, under audio settings, pick a mic setting that sounds fine and TURN OFF those pesky auto settings which make background sounds creep up when no-one is talking..
Under privacy, only allow people in your contacts list to call you.
Under notifications – do you REALLY need to know every time someone goes online? TURN IT OFF..
One would presume you DON’T want to be pestered by adverts?
Under CALL SETTINGS click advanced.. Turn on auto answer with video
Under ADVANCED near the end – untick “Use Skype to call callto: links on the web” – a particularly nasty trick that puts all sorts of stuff in web pages and can be harmful to web editing software
That’s it – make sure you SAVE (then go in again and check).. and you’re all set – create a new account – make sure YOU are a friend of that account… and you have yourself a webcam you can call from anywhere, it will auto answer with video and sound…. one cheap webcam.