Skype Voicemail answers phone calls or PC-to-PC calls for you when you are away from your PC, when you are offline, or when you simply don’t want to take a call.
The caller can leave you a message, and you can listen to the message on your PC within the Skype application. You can also have the message sent to your Outlook inbox, in which case you can listen to it from within Outlook.
An additional use of Skype Voicemail is that you are able to send someone a voice message without actually calling them. You right-click your contact in Skype, choose the “Send Voicemail” option, then Skype records your message and sends it to the contact. This is useful if you don’t want to disturb the other person or if you don’t wish to start a conversation with the person at this time.
Skype Voicemail Prerequisites
To use Skype Voicemail:
- You need a PC with broadband internet access.
- You need Skype installed on the PC (this is a free download and you can see how to install it on our Skype page).
- Either you or the other person need a Skype Voicemail subscription or a SkypeIn number. If you want to take messages from normal phones, get a SkypeIn number – Voicemail comes free with that. To see pricing for a SkypeIn number, and to buy if you wish, click here. To see pricing for a Skype Voicemail subscription, and to buy if you wish (not needed if you buy a SkypeIn number) click here.
Setting up Skype Voicemail
Once you have everything as described in the list above, follow these steps to start sending and receiving voicemail messages on your PC:
- In Skype, go to Tools > Voicemail… on the main Skype menu.
- Make sure the box Send unanswered calls to Skype Voicemail is checked.
- Click the Advanced settings link to the right of the “Send unanswered calls to Skype Voicemail” checkbox to tell Skype when you want Voicemail answering to take calls for you.
- Click OK in the Advanced Settings window and in the main Options window.
- If you wish to have Skype Voicemail sent to your Outlook inbox, click here for further instructions.
Skype Voicemail features
After you have followed the steps above, this is what Skype will now allow you to do:
- If you don’t answer a call within the number of seconds specified in the Advanced Settings dialog above, the caller will hear a recorded message and will be able to leave a message for you.
- If a call comes in and you click the Hang Up button, the caller will hear a recorded message (same message as above) and will be able to leave a message for you
- If your PC is switched off, or if you are not logged into Skype when a caller tries to call you, the caller will hear a recorded message (same message as above) and will be able to leave a message for you
- If you make a call to someone else and they are unavailable, you will be able to leave a message for them (even if they haven’t purchased a Skype Voicemail subscription themselves).
- If you want to leave someone a message, even if they are available (i.e. you don’t want to talk to them right now but you do want to send them a voice message), you can right-click their contact details in Skype and choose the Send Voicemail option.
- If you want to record your own message (rather than use the standard Skype recorded message), you can do so via Tools > Voicemail…. (Click the Record button near the bottom of the window).
Recording Skype video calls
Integration with Outlook
Skylook offers you these additional features if you use Outlook 2000/2002/XP/2003/2007. To find out more, click on the links:
- Voicemail messages in your Outlook inbox.
- Automatically forward Voicemails to any email address.
- Convert Voicemails to MP3 for manual forwarding and permanent storage.
- Manage follow-up for Voicemails.
Skylook offers an alternative that has some advantages and disadvantages in comparison to Skype Voicemail.
This alternative is an answering machine built into Outlook. Depending on what you want to achieve, you may find that the Skylook Answering Machine is a better fit for you, or you may find that you can make use of both Skype Voicemail and the Skylook Answering Machine. To help you decide, here are the advantages and disadvantages of the Skylook Answering Machine as compared to Skype Voicemail:
Advantages of Skylook Answering Machine compared to Skype Voicemail
- You are able to listen to the incoming caller leaving their message.
- You are able to pick up the call while the incoming caller is leaving their message.
- You are able to take notes about the call while the incoming caller is leaving their message.
- Once you have purchased Skylook, there are no ongoing fees associated with the Skylook Answering Machine.
Disadvantages of Skylook Answering Machine compared to Skype Voicemail
- You need to leave Outlook running in order to receive messages.
- Skylook Answering Machine will not take messages for you while you are on another call.
SkypeIn is Skype terminology for being able to take calls from normal phones using Skype.
Obviously for people to be able to call you on Skype using a plain old traditional phone or mobile/cell phone, they need a number to call. So when you sign up for SkypeIn, the people at Skype give you your very own number. When people dial that number from any phone, your Skype application (or Skype phone if you have one) will ring.
(One of the interesting things about this number is that you can ask the people at Skype to give you a number in your own country, or in a number of overseas countries. So, you could be living in London but answering calls made to a Los Angeles number for instance).
The following steps show you how to get a SkypeIn number (or multiple SkypeIn numbers if you want). The steps assume that you already have Skype installed and set up. (If you don’t, click here to see how to do that).
1. A SkypeIn number needs to be purchased. Unfortunately at present this is a separate process to purchasing SkypeOut credit – hopefully the people at Skype will streamline this in the future. In the meantime, it’s basically a separate deal. You can purchase your unique SkypeIn number here.
2. After completing the purchase process, wait to receive a confirmation email from Skype. Once it’s all confirmed, your number will be active and ready to take calls.
3. If you would like to have your calls recorded, download a free 30 day trial of CallBurner.
In a nutshell, SkypeIn is basically the opposite of SkypeOut. If you want to call normal phones and have them be able to call you, you need both SkypeIn and SkypeOut.