Although Microsoft Skype works best with a standalone app, the online version is reliable and worth using when you can’t run the app.

Supported web browsers: Microsoft Edge Internet Explorer 10 or later for Windows, Safari 6 or later for Mac, and the latest versions of Chrome and Firefox . To use Skype online with Windows, run Windows XP SP3 or later, and on a Mac — OS X Mavericks 10.9 or later .

Launch Skype online

Using Skype in a web browser is easy. Visit skype website and sign in with your Microsoft account.

Man wearing headphones using Skype on laptop
Lifewire / Lisa Fasol

Microsoft is constantly updating the Skype for Web experience with new technologies. Your online experience may vary due to these ongoing improvements.

Skype Web Plugin or Free Plugin

In 2016, Microsoft introduced an online version of Skype for supported browsers that does not require the download of a plug-in for voice and video calls.

When Skype online was first launched, you could use Skype for instant messaging and sharing multimedia files, but not as a VoIP tool. To make voice and video calls in most supported browsers, you need to install a plugin. With the Skype web module, you can make calls to landlines and mobile devices with Skype contacts on the web,, Office 365, and any Skype apps in a web browser.

However, the plugin remains available and can be installed if your browser is not supported or you are using an older version of a supported browser. You’ll also need the plugin if you plan to use screen sharing or call landlines.

The Skype Web Plugin installs as a standalone program, so it only needs to be installed once and works with all supported browsers.

The number of use cases for the plugin is currently negligible. You won’t need this unless you’re using older operating systems and web browsers.

Skype Online Features

Skype is known for its rich list of features and Skype online supports many of these features. After logging in with a web browser, you can manage your contacts, use instant messaging features, and configure other settings.

Skype appearance settings screen

You can chat, create and manage group chats. You can also share resources such as photos and multimedia documents. Installing the plugin (or using Skype with a compatible browser) gives you the ability to voice and video calls and video conferencing with up to 10 participants. Voice calls include up to 25 participants. Group text chat supports up to 300 participants. Like the Skype app, these features are free.

You can also make paid calls to numbers outside of Skype numbers. Use the keypad to dial the number and select the destination country from the list. The link to refill your credit redirects you to the Microsoft page to purchase additional credits.

Call quality with the web version is comparable, if not equal, to that of the standalone app. Many factors affect call quality so there may be no difference in quality between the two versions since one is browser-based. Call quality should theoretically be the same since the work is done more on the server side and the codecs used on the servers are the same throughout the network.

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