Skype 8 for Windows desktop with NVDA


 Where do I get Skype 8 for the desktop from?

To grab the latest copy of Skype 8, head over to the downloads section at

You will need to save the file to your computer then set it up. For Skype you can use any of the following: Web cam with a built in microphone, a plug in microphone for audio chats, computer speakers so you can hear what they are saying, or a headset with both a microphone and ear phones. You could always go old school and just type on a keyboard and speakers if you prefer to text chat.

Setting up an account or just logging into Skype

Logging into Skype

After Skype has been installed to your computer, press the Windows start button, then all apps, then Skype. You will hear NVDA say Skype folder, then press the Enter key. It will open up. Press the Enter key on the Skype menu and it will go to log you into Skype as long as you enter your details correctly. You just need to locate the Skype shortcut.  You can also log in from the Desktop.

If you do not have a Skype account, you will need to create one. Follow the on screen instructions to set up a new Skype account. If you do have one already, it is just a matter of entering in your Skype name and password to log into Skype.

Skype 8 shortcuts

You can get a list of Skype 8 shortcuts from the following page


Alt + F will bring up a drop down menu which includes the following: (for example new group, new chat, new call, view profile, sign out and quit).

While on a contact in Skype you can use this shortcut to make a call etcetera as mentioned above.


Ctrl + I Open Notification panel

Ctrl + , Open app settings

Ctrl + H Open help in default browser

Ctrl + D Launch main dial pad

Ctrl + N Start new conversation

Ctrl + G New group

Ctrl + F Search for all contacts, messages and bots

Ctrl + Shift + S Search within selected message

Alt + 1 Navigate to recent chats

Alt + 2 Open contacts

Alt + 3 Open contact screen to bots

Ctrl + O Send feedback

Ctrl + R Refresh the app

Ctrl + T Open themes

Ctrl + Shift + T Toggle between light and dark mode

Use Alt + V to bring up the View menu to zoom in, out, or return to actual size

Ctrl + Shift + = Zoom in

Ctrl + - Zoom out

Ctrl + 0 for actual size

Use the View button to zoom in, out, or return to actual size

Up arrow after sending a message. Edit the last message sent

Ctrl + P Show conversation profile

Ctrl + Shift + A Add people to conversation

Ctrl + Shift + U Mark as unread

Ctrl + Shift + K Start a video call

Ctrl + Shift + P Start an audio call

Ctrl + Shift + F Send a file

Enter  Start a PSTN call

Ctrl + Shift + G Open gallery

Ctrl + S Take a snapshot

Ctrl + E Hang up

Ctrl + M Toggle mute

Down Arrow Select the next message in the chat list

Up Arrow Select the previous message in the chat

The Skype interface

The Skype 8 interface is like a web page and can be jumped around with NVDA’s quick navigation keys. Some examples are H for headings, B for buttons, E for edit areas, F for form fields, K for links, and U for unvisited links.

Putting the Shift key + that letter will take you in reverse.

The down and up arrow keys can also be used.

The Ctrl key + Home key will take you to the top of the page while the Ctrl key + End key will take you to the bottom of the page.

The Enter key will take you into a section; while in most cases the Escape key will get you out unless there is a close button (depending on where NVDA is focused).

Pressing the Enter key (or the spacebar) on a button will bring up a new section.

The Shift key or Tab key might be used as well.

You will need to change between focus mode (where you can type in edit areas) and browse mode (where you can use single letter navigation keys in some areas to see the extra options).

Different parts of Skype

A. Profile - Access and personalize your settings.

B. Notifications - Catch up on reactions, and @mentions, or jump right back into a conversation. 

C. Contacts - See your contacts, view who's active or invite people to Skype.

D. Call - Make one-to-one or group calls or use the dial pad to call a mobile or landline. 

E. More - Access your application, audio, and video settings. 

My info button (also known as the your user name button)

Press the Spacebar on this button and you will be given the following sections. They are as follows: select a profile picture; your name (which is your Skype name); tell your friends what you are up to; your present status; share profile button; Skype credit and subscriptions; applications settings button; audio and video settings button; calling button; account and profile button; money button; and language button. You also have sections called Skype number get; add birthday button; colour button;   theme button; help and feedback button; get Skype for mobile button; about button; and a  sign out button. These appear all in one large drop down menu.

Just below your profile is a menu submenu section called “more options”. You can press the Spacebar on this to see the previous settings (as mentioned before) such as applications settings, audio and video settings, help and feedback, report a problem, rate us and sign out.


Search Skype button

This is where you would search for a Skype user. If there is more than one user with the same name, you will have to go down the list to find them.

How do I find and add contacts in Skype?

1. Go to Contacts.

2. Select the add contact icon or click directly in the search text box and type the name, Skype name or email of the person you want to add. Click Search Skype.

3. Select your friend from the search results and click Add to Contacts.

4. Type a quick note to introduce yourself and then click Send.

The person is added to your contact list, but will appear offline until they accept your request. After they’ve accepted your request, you can see when they’re online and make free voice and video calls with them.

Use Dial pad button

Under this section (when you press the Enter key or Spacebar on it), it will give you the following options: Countries and Regions calling code, New Zealand, settings number calling, phone number (which will have your area code already in there); then it is a matter of just putting in your number, contacts button, Skype to phone, add funds button, and just under this will be the dial pad.

You can use your down or up arrow keys to go through the numbers. Press the Enter key or Spacebar on the ones you want.

If you then tab to the call button, and press the Enter key, it will call that number. There is also a clear phone number button (to remove the whole number) but it is most probably quicker to do it in the edit area (where you can put in a phone number) where the area code is.

View menu, All

Press Alt + 2, then arrow down. Just under the add a new contact button, you will be given the following options. Tab here and you will see all of your Skype contacts; Tab Skype all of your Skype contacts, and tab Active now people who are online.


Under the notifications section there are 4 tabs. One is the chat tab; 2 is the calls tab; 3 is the contacts tab and the fourth tab is the notifications tab. You can use the arrow keys down or up to go between these tabs.

Press the Enter key on any of the tabs to go into that section. Then, it is a matter of arrowing down to see what is in each section.

Deleting out a conversation in Skype

Press Alt + 1. Locate the chat tab, then press the Enter key. Locate the chat you want to delete, then press the applications key. A context menu will come up, then you will be given some options (such as add to favourites or block that person). Press the Enter key on delete conversation. You will be asked to confirm that you want to delete it; press the Enter key and now it will be gone.

Exporting your chat history

To export your chat history, locate your profile then go to application settings. Under this section, locate a heading called other, then locate the Export chat history. Export it to where you will be able to find it easily.

Telling if your contact is active

Under the contacts tab will be a list of contacts on your list. If they are on, they will have the word active next to their username; otherwise they are not online.

Deleting a contact from your list

Locate the person you want to delete (under the contacts tab). The easiest way is to jump down by buttons. Next, push the applications key (or if you do not have one the Shift + F10 keys). A context menu will come up. Arrow down to view profile, then press the Enter key. It will give you a list of options. Tab down to delete contact, then press the Enter key. It will come up with a message and just say yes to it. Now your contact is deleted from your contacts list.

Making an audio/video call to one of your contacts

Press the letter B (for button) to jump down quickly to the use dial pad button, then use the down arrow keys. There are the 4 tabs that were mentioned before. Locate the contacts tab, then press the Enter key. It will come up with a list of your contacts that you have in Skype (below these tabs). Locate the person you want. You can either arrow down or jump down quicker by buttons and the names of your contacts will be spoken out.

Before you get to your contacts, you will hear NVDA say View menu, All and under this section it will give you the option to add new contact, or invite people to Skype.  This is after you have pressed the Enter key on the all button.

Locate the contact you want to speak to, then either press the Spacebar or Enter key on the button, and you will be given some options. You might have to arrow down the page to see the extra options such as the persons profile, gallery button, video calling, audio call button, create new group button, say hi to the person with a wave, Open Emoticon picker, then an edit area to type a message, Open Moji picker, add media or files button, transfer money button, share your location button, and addins button.

If it is a matter of just doing an audio call, locate the audio call button, then press the Enter key on it and it will start calling that person.

Accepting a call in Skype

The easiest way to accept a call in Skype at present is to accept calls automatically. Locate your profile button then press the Spacebar. Go down the list until you get to the calling button, then press the Spacebar. You will be given different options under the “calling settings”.

These are the Calling Settings:

Call forwarding and voicemail, Disabled

Caller ID, Disabled

Answer incoming calls automatically

Start my video automatically

Show call window when Skype is in the background

Emergency Call


Set your default country/region to check if Skype supports emergency calls in your country/region.

Set your country and region.

Make sure you check the boxes for incoming calls with the Spacebar.


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Settings under your Profile button


Setting up your speakers, web cam or microphone/headset


To set up any of these devices you will need to go to the following area in Skype. Go to your profile button, then press the Spacebar. When the next section opens up, either tab or arrow down until you hear NVDA say audio and video settings, then press the Enter key. There will be: a Make a free test call button, Microphone button, Automatically adjust microphone settings button, Speakers, Default communications device, Selected, Change speaker volume slider, and Start audio test button.

Make sure your items are plugged in correctly so that Skype can see them.