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How to Add a Contact to Skype in Windows 8.1

By Woody Leonhard

The methods for adding Contacts vary depending on which version of Skype you’re using — Windows 8.1 Metro, Windows, iPad, Android, and so on. Before you can call someone, you have to make her an “official” Contact —which means you have to ask for, and receive, permission to call.

Here’s how to add a Contact in the old-fashioned desktop version of Skype:

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1On the main screen, click the Add a Contact icon.

The icon looks like a disembodied head with a plus sign next to it.

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2Type something into the search box.

In this case, type the name of your good buddy mxyzptlk2. Skype searches its billion-name-or-so database and comes up with a few hits.

3Click on the most likely hit (sometimes it’s hard figuring out whom to pick; try narrowing the search argument).

Skype responds on the right by saying the person you chose is not in your Contacts.

4Click I knew that, silly Skype, that’s why I’m adding him to my Contacts list, and then Add to Contacts.

Skype responds by creating a reasonable message and offers it to you for sending to the new Contact.

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5Click Send.

If your Contact-to-be is online, he’ll see a message like the one shown.

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6Wait.

If your Contact-to-be clicks or taps on the invitation, and then clicks Accept, you will suddenly find yourself with an acceptance notification, and you’ll immediately be flung into a conversation.

7Type to your heart’s content, and when you’re done with this and any other conversations, click or tap Skype→Sign Out.

Skype continues to run — it can notify you of any incoming calls — but it shows you as Offline.

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8To add a Contact in the tiled Metro version of Skype, go to the main Metro Skype page and right-click the main part of the screen, or swipe up from the bottom.

You see the App bar shown.

The basic sequence of steps are the same as if you were working in the (much more information-dense, and easier to navigate) old-fashioned desktop version of Skype.

In Metro Skype, some of the settings (your account picture, for example, or privacy settings) are hidden in the Settings charm on the right, and others (adding new Contacts, for example) are hidden in the App bar.