How to Add a Friend to Skype on Your Surface

If you’re opening Skype on your Surface for the first time, you see only one contact: the testing robot. And, unfortunately, adding friends to Skype is one of its weak links: The Skype program currently can’t import your Facebook or Messenger contacts.

So, if you have a lot of messaging contacts and a Surface Pro or Surface Pro 2, try this workaround: Install Skype’s desktop program from Skype.com. More powerful than the Skype app, the Skype desktop program can import those contacts. And when it does, the Skype desktop program stuffs those contacts into the Skype app, as well.

Because adding contacts to the Skype app is awkward work, you have to jump through these hoops to add your friends.

Note: Before trying to add a friend to Skype, make sure she has a Skype account, and ask for the name she uses on Skype. That makes it easier to find her in Skype’s directory and add her to the program.

  1. Open the Start screen and tap the Skype tile or icon.

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    Don’t see the Skype tile on your Start screen? Then slide your finger upward from the screen’s middle to reveal the All Apps area. There, the Skype icon appears listed alphabetically, ready to launch with a tap of your finger.

  2. In Skype, open the App bar and summon Skype’s directory by tapping the Add Contact icon.

    Slide your finger down from the screen’s top edge to fetch the App bar, and tap the Add Contact icon.

  3. Search for your contact by her Skype name, real name, or e-mail address and then tap the Search icon.

    If you don’t find any matches, tap the Directory button to search Skype’s global directory of Skype accounts.

  4. When the list of matching people appears, tap the name of the person you want to add.

    The person’s messaging window opens.

  5. Tap the Add to Contacts button, write a brief message, and tap the Send button.

    Your brief introductory message lets your friend know that you’re not a random creep indulging in random creepiness.

Then, you wait patiently until your friends approve your requests to be added to your Skype contacts. When they approve, they appear in your Skype’s opening page with an icon letting you know whether they’re online and available to accept voice or video chats.

Managing your contacts takes a little work, helped through these tips:

  • If you open Skype to find a cherished friend sending you a contact request, tap the Accept button. If they’re no longer a friend — or they’re a random creep (yes, it happens) — tap the Decline button.

  • If Skype’s directory doesn’t find your friends, e-mail them to ask for their “Skype Name.” That makes them easier to find in the directory. Or, have them send you a contact request; accepting it places you both on each other’s Skype lists.

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  • Each friend you add to Skype appears on the opening screen, ready to be called with a tap of his name. If your list of contacts grows unwieldy, add your favorite friends as, um, Favorites: Tap a favorite friend’s name, open the App bar by sliding your finger up from the screen’s bottom, and tap the Favorite icon. (Repeat the process to remove them.)

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  • If somebody falls to even lower-than-favored status, remove her completely: Open the Skype App bar and tap the Remove icon. When removed, the newly humbled person must repeat the same Request and Accept steps that originally placed her on your Skype list.

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