I don't hear my skype ring

Written by marie cartwright
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I don't hear my skype ring
Both hardware and software issues can be to blame for a silent Skype call. (Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images)

Many people have begun to switch to Skype from their traditional phone lines, but using this service isn't much help if you can't hear an incoming call. Skype sound issues can have multiple causes, so to fix your particular issue, you will likely need to employ a bit of detective work.

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Switched On and Plugged In

It may sound silly, but the first thing you need to check is whether your speakers or microphone is turned on. With microphone headsets, sometimes it's easy to switch the mute button on by mistake. Check your cables to make sure that everything is plugged in securely. You also want to make sure that your computer isn't muted. If everything is plugged in and turned on, then you need to look elsewhere for the source of the problem.

Hardware Issues

Determining whether the problem lies with your hardware or with the Skype software is key to solving the sound issue. Try playing sounds in other programs, such as your media player or through your Web browser. If you can hear everything but the Skype ring, then the trouble is with your Skype set-up. If you can't hear other sounds, try plugging in a different headset or pair of speakers. If that solves the problem, then all you needed was a different piece of hardware. If you're still just getting silence, then there is probably an error with your computer's sound card.

Audio Output Device

For Skype to work with your hardware, it needs to know which sound device to use. It's common for people to have multiple sound devices, such as speakers for music and a headset for video chat. If you want to hear Skype through your headset and you have your speakers plugged in at the same time, you need to set your headset as your preferred output device within Skype's sound settings.

Clean Reinstall

If your hardware is functioning and Skype is configured correctly, something may have simply gone wrong with the software. Sign out, exit the program, wait 30 seconds, and then try again. If you're still having sound issues, a clean reinstall may be necessary. It's possible that you may also need to upgrade to a more recent version of Skype. Software updates often correct common bugs and compatibility issues.

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