How to record a Skype call

You can finally record calls in Skype. Here's how to do it

Skype
perig76/123RF

Need to record a Skype call so you can watch or listen to it again later? Whether it’s for a family memento or a potential podcast, you might want a simple way to record your audio or video conversations.

We’ll be assuming you’ve already installed the latest version of Skype for our guide or at least the last version of the classic desktop client. If you haven’t, head to the Skype website, and download it before we get started. Please note that recording audio and video conversations without asking the other party for permission is legally questionable and differs based on where you live. Check the laws in your local area, or ask for permission before recording.

Skype’s built-in recording

Skype now features its own built-in recording function and though others may be more fully featured, it comes pre-bundled with the application, making it the easiest to get to grips with.

Note that Skype is available on smart displays and smart speakers like Amazon Echo/Alexa — and you can even get more free minutes for using Skype on these devices. However, these smart devices do not allow you to record your Skype conversations at this time. If you want to record the audio or video of a conversation, you will need to have it on a computer.

Here’s how to use it:

Step 1: Start a call with your friend or colleague. It can be voice or video. You can simply choose someone from your contact list with the right syncing options. This works whether you’re using personal Skype or Skype for business.

Skype Recording 2018

Step 2: Click the “+” icon in the bottom right-hand corner and select Start recording. A red dot and message will appear at the top of the window reminding you that the recording is taking place. This also creates a banner notification that everyone in the call will see, letting each person know that they are being recorded. All Skype screens/audio streams will be recorded, no matter how many people are on the call.

Skype Recording 2 2018

Step 3: When you’ve finished recording the call, either hang up, or press the “+” icon again and select Stop recording. The recording will then be finalized and processed.

Step 4: To listen back to the recording, go to your chat window using the icon in the bottom-right of the call window. The recording will be there. Press play on it to listen/watch it back.

Note that Skype’s in-app recording function records all participants’ video and audio in the same file. If you want separate recordings, you may be better off using the below methods.

Windows alternatives

Evaer

Although it does only record the audio portion of a call, MP3 Skype Recorder is the most lightweight and hands-off of the Skype recording solutions we recommend. It’s available entirely free, with only the most niche of features hidden behind the Pro version paywall.

Another option is Evaer, which is an extremely simple program that’ll get the job done in a pinch. With the free trial, you can record video conversations of up to five minutes in length. If you want to record longer videos than that, however, you’ll need to pay for the premium version ($20).

The recording should appear in the Evaer window, under the name of the Skype user with whom you were chatting. Right-click the conversation, and select Open from the drop-down menu to view the file in its destination folder. From there, you can play it, rename it, or upload it.

MacOS alternatives

ECamm Call Recorder ($40)

If you want to record Skype calls on a Mac without using Skype’s built-in methods, ECamm’s Skype Call Recorder is the obvious first choice. It’s not free, but there’s a seven-day trial if you want to try the software before shelling out $40.

Step 1: Head to the Skype Call Recorder homepage and download the trial version. You can buy the full version later if you want, but for now, let’s just get the software up and running.

Step 2: The trial comes in a ZIP file, which you merely need to click to open (or use one of these programs). You’ll find the installer inside. Run it and you’ll be prompted to install Call Recorder. Enter your password, if prompted.

Step 3: Launch Skype as you normally would. Everything will look the same, except there will now be a new window that opens alongside the main Skype window. Simply hit the red button in the new window to start recording your conversation.

skype-call-recorder-mac

You’ll see audio levels for both your microphone and the other people in the conversation, which lets you know if the recording is truly working. If you want to fine-tune how everything works — i.e., the resolution, format, and recording type — a preference pane in Skype’s settings will allow you to do so.

Step 4: If you weren’t already aware, you automatically installed a tool called ECamm Movie Tools alongside Call Recorder. Launch the program — you can also open it via the magnifying glass in the ECamm window — and you can edit your recordings.

ecamm-skype-edit

Step 5: From there you can adjust the volume for either side of the conversation, decide whether to show one or both videos, and export to the file format of your own choosing. There’s even a share button for uploading directly to YouTube, Vimeo, or exporting to iMovie. As you can see in the image above, however, the trial version includes a prominent watermark.

That’s it! Do with the resulting file what you will. Keep in mind, however, that if one of you is using a slower computer, the video might record at an extremely low frame rate or resolution (even if you’ve customized the settings).

If you want a completely free, long-term option, then consider downloading Callnote Regular. It only works with audio calls, but it’s entirely free and quite dependable–plus the recordings take up less space on your Mac.

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