How to Record a Skype Call in Windows

Record your Skype calls so you can take notes later

Man recording skype call on computer
Image Source/Getty Images

Skype on Windows is a fantastic way to communicate with others.

While there are occasionally problems now and then that need solving, but overall it's a great solution that keeps costs down; however, the one thing the program doesn't have is a built-in way to record phone calls. This is a necessary feature for all sorts of users. Reporters and scholars often need to record audio calls in order to transcribe an interview; a business team may want to record a call of any meetings they have; or a parent might want to record a call with their small child while away on business.

The Practical Aspects of Recording Skype Calls

Before we get started, let's just make sure we have everything you need to record your calls. First, the program we're using requires a Windows PC. If you're on a laptop, this shouldn't impact your battery life too much. Nevertheless, for a mission critical operation like recording a call make sure the laptop is either plugged in or the battery has a healthy amount of charge.

A good quality microphone will also make it easier to hear your side of the conversation, though this isn't a requirement if you're more focused on what the person on the other end is saying. There's not a whole lot you can do to improve the call quality on the other end. That depends on a number of variables beyond your control. If they're also on Skype then the quality of their microphone and Internet connection will be an issue. If you're calling someone on a cell phone via Skype then you're at the mercy of their call reception and your Internet connection.

 

Finally, storage space for recorded calls shouldn't be a major issue. In general, a 10 minute recorded call takes about 5 megabytes of storage. If we guess that a full hour takes up 25-30MB then you can get anywhere from thirty to forty one hour recordings in a gigabyte. 

How To Get Started with MP3 Skype Recorder

First, download MP3 Skype Recorder from the program's site.

At this writing, the version number was 4.29. When you download the program you may notice that it doesn't come as an EXE file as most programs do. Instead, it's an MSI file. There are differences between those two file types, and if you want to learn more check out this explanation by security company Symantec.

For our purposes, however, the MSI file takes the same role as an EXE file: it installs a program on your computer. 

Here are the steps to get up and running with MP3 Skype Recorder as quickly as possible.

  1. Start Skype in order to authorize the call recorder's upcoming request to integrate and monitor Skype.
  2. Now double-click the MP3 Skype Recorder MSI file and follow the installation process like you would with any other program.
  3. Once the program is installed it should start-up right away, and you'll notice that Skype will start flashing or throwing up an alert (depending on your version of Windows).
  4. Now you have to authorize MP3 Skype Recorder to work with Skype. A message from Skype will appear that should read,"MP3 Skype Recorder is requesting access to Skype..." (or something similar).
  5. Click Allow access in Skype, and MP3 Skype Recorder is ready to go.
  6. Test that everything is working by making a Skype audio call.
  1. Once the recipient answers, a pop-up window will appear confirming that your current call is being recorded.
  2. When you're finished your call, hang up, and MP3 Skype Recorder will stop recording.
  3. Everything should now be working properly. We'll discuss how to access your recordings in the next section. 

Exploring the Interface

The interface is very simple (pictured at the top of this article). At the top left of the window you have an ON button, an OFF button, and a button with a folder icon. Clicking this last option takes you directly to the folder where your call recordings are stored.

To determine whether MP3 Skype Recorder is running, look at the ON and OFF buttons to see which one is colored solid green.

The one that's colored is the current on/off status of the program.

When it's set to ON, the program will start recording your voice calls as soon as you start using Skype as detailed in step number 7 above. 

When the program is set to OFF Skype Recorder won't record a thing, and will require a manual switch to ON to start recording.

When Skype Recorder is running it's accessible in the Windows 10 notifications area on the taskbar—also known as the system tray in earlier versions of Windows. Click the upward facing arrow on the far right of the taskbar and you'll see the MP3 Skype Recorder icon—it looks like an old reel-to-reel audio tape. Right- or left-click the icon and the program's window will open.

How to Change the Default Save Location for Recordings

By default, MP3 Skype Recorder saves your audio files in a hidden folder at C:\Users[your Windows username]\AppData\Roaming\MP3SkypeRecorder\MP3. That's buried pretty deep in your system. If you'd like to get at the recording more easily here's what you do:

  1. Underneath where it says Recordings destination folder you'll see a text entry box. Click that. 
  2. Now a window will open labeled Browse For Folder listing the various folders on your PC.
  3. I'd suggest saving your calls in a newly created folder such as Documents\SkypeCalls or a folder in OneDrive. If you're using MP3 Skype Recorder for business, however, be sure to check if there any legal requirements about how you're allowed to store recordings before putting them in a cloud service like OneDrive.
  4. Once you've chosen a folder click OK, and you're all set.

If you ever want your recordings to be stored according to the program's default settings just click Restore default folder settings on the right side of the recorder interface.

Wherever you decide to save your recordings they are always accessible by clicking the folder button at the top of the program window. Each recording is listed in a predetermined format with the date and time of the call, whether the call was incoming or outgoing, and the phone number or Skype user name of the other party.

By default, MP3 Skype Recorder automatically starts up when you boot your PC. If you don't want that to happen click the text item Recorder launch options on the left-hand side of the window. Now, you'll see two check boxes. Un-check the one labeled Start automatically when I start Windows.

There's a second box that is not checked by default called Start minimized.  If you plan on having MP3 Skype Recorder start every time your boot PC, I'd recommend checking this box. That way, the program will start in the background, and won't bother you by opening a full window every time you turn on your PC. 

One final tip, if you ever want to shut down MP3 Skype recorder, open the program window, and then click Exit at the top right-hand side of the window. To dismiss the window, but keep the program running, click the minimize button (the dash in the top right corner) instead.

MP3 Skype Recorder is really simple to use and completely free; however, the program does require a paid license for anyone who wants to use it for business. At this writing, a single license was a little less than $10, which is a pretty good price for a helpful and easy-to-use program.

Pro users also get a few feature perks including the ability to turn off notifications at the start and end of a recording, and a way to easily manage recordings inside the program instead of the file system.

Other Options

MP3 Skype Recorder is a popular option and very reliable, but it's not the only choice.  We've already looked at another way to record Skype calls, or any Internet-based voice calling program, using the free audio editing app, Audacity. But for some people—especially if you have an under-powered PC or are intimidated by an abundance of options and controls—Audacity can be overkill.

Another popular choice is Pamela, which is available as a free or paid version. The paid version, which at this writing cost about $28 records both audio and video calls. There's also the free DVDVideoSoft's Free Video Call Recorder for Skype, which can record video and audio.