How to Improve Skype Picture Quality

Written by amanda c. kooser
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Skype is a popular program for communicating by voice and video over the Internet. The widespread use of broadband Internet has meant that overall voice quality on Skype is strong, but attaining good video quality can be a more complicated task. Picture quality depends on factors such as the type of video camera, the computer's specs, room lighting and the speed of the Internet connection. It may take a little tweaking to insure that you are sending out the best quality video that you can through Skype.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Update to the latest version of Skype. Open Skype, go the Help menu and select "Check for Updates." If you do not already have the latest version, follow the prompts to download and install the most recent version.

  2. 2

    Open the Tools menu at the top of the Skype window and select "Options." Click on "Video settings" and you will see video from your webcam. Click on the "Webcam Settings" button beneath the video display.

  3. 3

    Move the "Video Device Properties" window so that you can see the current images from your webcam next to it. Adjust the settings by moving the sliders and seeing what effect it has on the video. Pay particular attention to the Brightness and Contrast settings at the top. Stop when the video looks clear and has accurate colours. Click "Apply."

  4. 4

    Adjust the room lighting if the picture is still too bright or too dark. You may need to close curtains or turn on the room light to compensate.

  5. 5

    Install a Skype-approved High Quality Video webcam if your current webcam is still not giving a good enough picture quality. These are available through Skype and come with special software that works with the latest version of Skype to provide higher quality video calls.

Tips and warnings

  • You can always return to the standard video settings by pressing the "Default" button in the Video Device Properties window.
  • A slow Internet connection or slow computer can compromise picture quality in Skype. Consider upgrading if necessary.

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