Apps Desktop How To Windows 10

Improve Skype Screen Sharing Quality With This Trick

Skype is a fan-favorite video and voice calling app, and recently transitioned into screen sharing. While it isn’t the best for the former, there is still room for improvement! Find out how you can dramatically improve screen sharing in Skype with this hack.

Skype

Skype continues is undoubtedly popular when it comes to carrying out video/audio calls, and screen sharing on a number of OSes. Extending its reach to Mac, Linux, and Windows, the program continues to grow on smartphones and tablets too.

While Skype’s screen sharing is hit or miss compared to other solutions, you can make your screen sharing experience better by removing the FPS limit set by the program using a little trick. This guide covers how to do so for Windows, but the process should be the similar for the other desktop OS’s, as long as you follow the later steps. On Windows, this guide works on any Windows after Windows 7 and on x86 / x64 OS too.

As a pre-requisite, you only need to make sure that Skype is NOT running on your system. Right-clicking the icon in the system tray and clicking on “Quit” should suffice.

Also read: How To Record Skype Calls

Step 1: To start this guide, you need to press Windows Key + R to bring up the Run box. In this box, you need to type in “%Appdata%” as shown below:

how to open the app data folder.

Step 2: When you do so, a new folder by the name of “Roaming” will open, in this folder, look for the “Skype” folder.

Opening the Skype folder.

Step 3: Now look for the folder with your username as the folder name and open it:

Finding the folder with your username.

Step 4: When you have opened the folder, look for the file, “config.xml” double-clicking on it will open up WordPad by default, but you can also right-click on it and use “Open with” to open it with the word processor of your choice.

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Step 5: When you have config.xml open, press CTRL + F and type in “Video“. Right under the device, which is your webcam, you will see <FPS> </FPS> tags. The default value can vary, but is mostly 30/60 FPS depending on the quality of your webcam.

Make the new value “999” as shown below:

Editing config.xml

Step 6: Once you have done so, simply Press CTRL + S, which is the hotkey for saving and you will have removed the FPS cap that was prior being imposed on Skype.

While this will give you better video quality, do keep in mind that there could be some minor bugs along the way such as screen tearing or lack of vertical sync. Even though I didn’t encounter either in my testing, you should see for yourself if the   guide benefited you or not. If you feel otherwise, you can reverse the order of the steps, and revert the pertinent value back to 60.

If you want to carry this out on other OSes, you only need to find the config.xml file. While I do not have any knowledge on how to do it for those OS nor the location of the config.xml file for each, Google will be a great help to you!

  • Matt West

    What?! 999 FPS!!!! WOW!

    Ok, I know this is an old article, but I need to comment this as it is still up.

    First: FPS is not image quality! Bitrate is.

    FPS = Frames Per Second (that is the number of images shown per second)

    Bitrate (bps) = Bits per second (that is the amount of information per second)

    Most webcams record at 30 fps, and those that do higher often does that at the expense of video quality. Reason is bitrate and that most webcams don’t support high bitrates.

    Simplified: About 3 Mbps is needed to show a 30 fps 1080p video in good quality. That means that 0,3 Mbits (less than 40kByte) is used to detail each frame. Less bits of course means less detail. So doubling the fps without doubling the bitrate will cut the details in half. Again, this is simplified. There are many techniques that improves detail even though using less bitrate.

    Now, Microsoft don’t care what fps you are using, but they care what bitrate you want to send through their servers and network. So you can be sure they cap your bitrate. If you increase fps but are forced at the same bitrate by MS, then you have reduced the video quality.

    If you instead experience jittery playback in skype: IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE 60 FPS CAP!

    Seriously, the bluray movies you watch at home is less than half that (23.98 fps).

    Most probably the stutter has to do with network bottlenecking somewhere or low spec computer. This “hack” will not help video quality at all. Best hope for he/she who tries this is the placebo effect.