How to use Skype IM (Skype Chat)

Once you’ve set yourself up to make Skype calls, you won’t actually have to use this method of communication to reach your friends. Instead you can use Skype IM – the Skype instant message service – and send text messages straight to their computers.

You’ll need:

  • a Skype account and the Skype program installed on your computer
  • at least one Skype contact logged in – after all, you’ll need someone to send your message to!

This guide is specifically for Windows computers, but Skype is also available for Apple Macs.

Follow these step-by-step instructions to use Skype IM

Step 1: Make sure you’re logged into Skype and that the main window is open.

Step 2: In the list of contacts, double click the name of the friend you want to send a message to. 

Click a contact to open a conversation

Step 3: Your friend’s profile now appears in a new window. At the bottom of this window, there’s a text box. Type your message in this box and press enter to send it – for free. The default method of sending the instant message is via Skype. 


However, your friend doesn’t have to be online for you to send them a message – any they’ve been sent will be waiting for them when they next log in to Skype.


In Skype, you can send a picture, document, video message and send contacts. 

Step 4: If your friend picks up your message while you’re still online, they can immediately respond to you, so you can carry out a written conversation.

Step 5: To send a text message click on the dial pad icon and enter a mobile number you want to send a text message to. 

send a text message by clicking the dialpad

Once you enter a mobile number and country code you will now be able to send a text message to that number. 

You will also have the option to add this mobile number to your contacts.


you can add a number to your contacts click on add to contacts


We recommend having a look at our other Skype guides in the Next Steps links below. 

Alex Duin is a freelance writer specialising in technology.

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