If you are one of many Skype users who enjoy connecting with friends and family anywhere in the world, you probably feel frustrated whenever your calls unexpectedly cut off. Chance are that one of a few common problems is occurring. You may be able to fix the problem yourself or it may prove necessary to acquire a better computer or find a stronger Internet connection.
Poor Internet Connection
A Skype video call requires a high-speed Internet connection on both ends to function properly. Skype will usually indicate to at least one of the callers whether this is the problem. The connection might be slow if there is high Internet traffic or if one person on the call simply has slow service or poor wireless reception. You may need to wait for a different time to make the call, when traffic is slower or when you can achieve a better connection. Even if a video call does not work, you may still be able to make an audio-only call.
Like many programs that communicate on the Web, your Skype software needs periodic updates to provide optimal call quality. It should update automatically, but if you do not use Skype very often you may need to manually check for updates. Click the "Help" tab and select "Check for Updates" to accomplish this task.
If you have an older computer, it may have difficulty supporting a video call. Try updating your operating system if you suspect the problem may be with your computer. If the processor is not powerful enough, you may need to upgrade your hardware or purchase a new machine.
It is possible that your webcam is malfunctioning. If it's an external device, make sure it's connected and plugged in and that you have the most up-to-date driver. In Skype, click "Tools > Options > Calls > Video Settings. If your webcam is working properly, you should be able to see a video of yourself.
Diagnosing the Problem
If you are still uncertain why Skype is not functioning properly and cannot fix the issue yourself, check your computer's settings before you call. Select the person you would like to call, then click "Check Settings" in your profile. Skype performs a diagnostic test and helps you assess the problem.