Mac Skype

Setting up Skype Voicemail on Mac client

[For the impatient, scroll down to see the solution]

I have used Skype for years. I work from home, and have a subscription and a Skype Online Number, to which my office phone number redirects, so that colleagues can still dial my extension and talk to me. As such, I rely on it.

I’m also a Mac user, and have witnessed so many changes to the Skype interface that I dread each time that an update alert appears. There is only so long one can ignore them. Somewhere in the current 5.x release cycle, it appears that my voicemail settings disappeared. A colleague alerted me to this today, that my number rang and rang (whilst I was making tea in the kitchen). I thought it would just be a case of re-ticking the “unanswered calls” button that I seem to remember being fairly obvious in the preferences panel of previous versions. But in their wisdom, the “Calls” panel of the current build of the Mac Skype client ( now looks like this:

Skype "Calls" options
"Calls" options in Skype

Now, forgive me for being picky, but where is the option to say “after 15 seconds go to voicemail”? Here, it seems as if I am offered four direct options. Do nothing and allow me to answer, the rather scary “answer automatically”, forward calls to another number, or just send them all to voicemail. It doesn’t seem that flexible, and I’m never going to remember to go into Skype and switch on voicemail manually.

In the “Set up Voicemail” panel, all you can do is record or play back your message; no further options are available. In “Set up Forwarding” you can set a time limit in seconds and enter numbers to which to redirect the call. No “send to voicemail” option.

The Solution

The rather unintuitive solution seems to be this. Open Skype Preferences (Skype > Preferences) then select the “Calls” tab. Next, select “Forward calls”. Then click “Set up Forwarding”. Enter the time in seconds after which you would like calls to be sent to voicemail. Don’t enter any phone numbers. Click “Done”. Back on the Calls panel switch to the fourth option, “Send to voicemail”. Your calls will now go to voicemail after the specified amount of time.

Come on Skype, that’s not obvious! Please make this process a lot more obvious in future builds, and bring back the “unanswered calls” settings.

7 replies on “Setting up Skype Voicemail on Mac client”

I agree. Skype is a great service but lousy Help. I am still trying to figure out how to get email alerts for voicemail.

It says simply, “To sign up for voicemail alerts, sign in to your account and go to the Voicemail tab. You can enable/disable alerts under Voicemail alert options. If you don’t already have voicemail set up, you will be asked to activate it first.”

But I can’t for the life of me find “voicemail tab” and see no “voicemail alert options.” I have the same version you referenced at the top of this article.


Thank you! Just spent half an hour fiddling with this silly new interface before finding your article. Much appreciated!

It is rather silly isn’t it. Skype was easier to use during version 2, in my opinion…

This is crazy. Thank goodness people record this sort of information on the web. Thank goodness!

Glad I could be of some use! I hope Skype resolve this in a future version. I’m actually reluctant to upgrade Skype any more, to be honest. The idea of Facebook interaction is one I want to avoid at all costs too.

Okay, now that is incredible. And awful. And stupid. After about half an hour monkeying with it, you gave me the answer. 🙂 (That also fixes the bug I was seeing that voicemail wasn’t picking up when I was logged out of Skype.) Thanks!

I was so disappointed not seeing the voicemail after n seconds, I first tried to do a Skype update which didn’t update the poor GUI options…. then I almost accepted the fact that this only looked possible on the Windows client, tried one last Google search and you just saved me 🙂 Thanks so much (I wonder how you figured it out; did you really try this option to found out it actually works? haha! Great one, you rock!

Comments are closed.