Skype as a webcam (and other Skype settings)

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).

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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..

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Under privacy, only allow people in your contacts list to call you.

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Under notifications – do you REALLY need to know every time someone goes online? TURN IT OFF..

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One would presume you DON’T want to be pestered by adverts?

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Under CALL SETTINGS click advanced.. Turn on auto answer with video

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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

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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.

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