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Troubleshoot Skype Screen Sharing Not Working

Authored by:
Support.com Tech Pro Team
This Guided Path® was written and reviewed by Support.com’s Tech Pro team. With decades of experience, our Tech Pros are passionate about making technology work for you. We love feedback! Let us know what you think about this Guided Path by rating it at the end.

Introduction

When it's time for your online web conference, you just want it all to work. The last thing you need are issues, especially if you are presenting.
You may be wondering why the screen sharing button is grayed out. What do you do if you can't share your screen?
Perhaps when you share your screen the video is choppy, distorted, or jumps around for everybody else. Is Skype down or having issues, or is it just me?
Figuring out the cause and even fixing it can be done relatively quickly.
This guide will walk you through all the steps necessary to get screen sharing working again. Learn how to check the Skype Service Status page. Find out how to share your screen if the button is grayed out. Be taught how to speed up your device by closing additional software that could be using your resources. Finally, improve screen sharing quality by checking your Internet connection.
Skype

1 Check the Skype Service Status Page

The first thing you should do is check the Skype Service Status page. On the status page you can check to see if there are any outages or service interruptions occurring. If there is an issue, simply wait for service to return or contact Skype's customer service.

Look for Media Sharing. If it's down you won't be able to share your screen.

Skype status page.

2 I Can't Share My Screen

If the Screen Sharing Button is Grayed Out

If you're seeing the share screen button but clicking it does nothing, or you don't see it at all, then you're not on an active call. You need to be in a voice or video call with the person you want to share your screen with. If you're not in a call, you won't have the option to share screens.

Shared screen button

If You're Still Unable to Share Your Screen

Older versions do not support screen sharing. Being unable to share your screen while on a call means either you or the person you're calling does not have the latest version of Skype. Determine which version of Skype you have and then update if necessary.

 

  1. Click the Menu button and then Help and Feedback.
    Help and feedback
  2. Your Skype version and Application version are here. Screen sharing is only available on Application version 14 and above.
    Skype versions
  3. Get the latest version of Skype.

3 If Your Skype Screen Sharing is Distorted, Choppy, or Slow

Close Other Running Apps if Your Screen Share is Distorted or Choppy

The computer, tablet, or smart phone may be running slow because its processor (CPU) is being overused or its memory (RAM) is running low. A quick possible fix for this is to close any unused or unnecessary apps. Closing additional apps can also free up your bandwidth.

WindowsClose Apps on a Windows PC Closing Unused programs will give your computer more resources to use elsewhere.
  1. Press the CTRL + ALT + DEL keys on your keyboard at the same time.
    keyboard with control, alternate, and delete keys highlighted
  2. Choose Task Manager from the screen that comes up.
    Lock screen showing task manager highlighted
  3. You will see a list of programs that are open. Choose a program you are not using, and click on End Task. Repeat as needed.
    Task manager with a program and end task highlighted. Screenshot
AppleClose Apps on a Mac

When you hit the red circle to close a window, the program may still run in the background. If you run too many applications at the same time you can have issues where you run out of memory, or an open program is using a good chunk of your CPU, and decrease battery life.

There are 2 ways to close a program on your Mac. The first way is preferred.

Quit A Program Normally

  1. Look at the Dock, the bar with the icons, usually at the bottom of your screen.
    Mac Dock with running items highlighted.
    • Items that are running have a small black dot below them. Select that item to bring that App to the forefront.

Finder, the first icon on the bar, will always be running, and can be ignored.

  1. Select the name of the program from the menu bar at the top, then choose Quit.
    App menu with Quit highlighted.

Force Quit a Program

  1. Select the Apple menu, then select Force Quit.
    Apple menu with Force Quit highlighted.
  2. Select the program you are having problems closing, then select Force Quit.
    Force Quit window with app and Force Quit button highlighted.
  3. You will be prompted to confirm, select Force Quit.
    Force Quit dialog with Force Quit button highlighted.
  • Any unsaved work will be lost from a program that you Force Quit.
  • You can not close the Finder application.
AndroidClose Running Apps on an Android Device
  1. Tap Recent Apps at the bottom of the screen.
    Home screen with the Recent Apps button highlighted.

    The Recent Apps button may be located on either the bottom left or bottom right as either an onscreen button or a physical button. If you're unsure which button it is, please refer to the user manual of your android device.

  2. Either tap the X or swipe to the side to close an app.
    Recent Apps screen with arrows indicating to swipe to the right on an app to close it.
AppleClose Running Apps on an iPad or iPhone

The way to show all running apps on an iOS device varies with the model you have:

  • Older iOS devices, up to the iPhone X, still come equipped with a circular home button beneath the screen.
  • Newer iOS devices, beginning with the iPhone X, no longer come equipped with the circular home button beneath the screen.

On iOS Devices with a Home Button

  1. Double-press the Home button quickly.
    Home button highlighted on iOS device.

On iOS Devices Without a Home Button

  1. Swipe up from the bottom of the screen and pause slightly in the middle of the screen.
    Arrow showing slide direction on iOS screen.
  1. You will now see a list of apps that are currently open. Swipe up on any of the apps to close them.
    Recent programs screen with arrows indicating to swipe up on an app

You Can Also Reboot the Device You're Using

Slow performance may also be caused by underlying issues such as memory being used by other programs and processes. This can be quickly resolved by simply rebooting the device.

After rebooting the computer you may still need to close some apps that initialize on startup.

WindowsReboot a Windows PC
  1. Select the Start menu, then select Power.
    Windows 10 Start Menu
    Windows 10 Power Button
  2. Select Restart.
    Windows 10 Power menu with Restart highlighted.
AppleReboot a Mac
  1. From the menu bar across the top of the screen, select the Apple menu, then Restart...
    macOS Mojave Apple Menu with Restart highlighted.
AndroidReboot an Android Device
  1. Hold down the power button on your Android device.
    Android Phone with power button highlighted.
    Depending on the manufacturer and model of Android device you have, the location of the power button will vary.
  2. Select Power Off.
    Power menu with Power off highlighted.
    If the menu does not pop up, continue to hold the power button, and your Android device will shut off.
  3. Wait 30 seconds.
    Wait 30 Seconds
  4. Push and hold the Power button for a few moments, and your Android device will start back up.
    Android Phone with power button highlighted.
AppleReboot an Apple iOS Device
  1. Push and hold the Power button for a few moments.
    iPhone with power button highlighted.
    Depending on the model of iPhone you have, the location of the power button may be on the top or on the right-hand side.
  2. Slide the Power symbol on your screen to the right to shut down your iPhone.
    Slide to Power off Prompt with power switch highlighted and arrow indicating to slide to the right.
  3. Wait 30 seconds.
    Wait 30 Seconds
  4. Push and hold the Power button for a few moments to turn your iPhone back on.
    iPhone with power button highlighted.

Troubleshoot the Internet Connection

If your computer is running fine or you've fixed your computer's performance issues, then your poor screen share quality may be caused by your Internet connection. Troubleshooting an Internet connection can become complicated and take a longer time. We have a few other guides that may help you fix it.

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When it's time for your online web conference, you just want it all to work. The last thing you need are issues, especially if you are presenting.
You may be wondering why the screen sharing button is grayed out. What do you do if you can't share your screen?
Perhaps when you share your screen the video is choppy, distorted, or jumps around for everybody else. Is Skype down or having issues, or is it just me?
Figuring out the cause and even fixing it can be done relatively quickly.
This guide will walk you through all the steps necessary to get screen sharing working again. Learn how to check the Skype Service Status page. Find out how to share your screen if the button is grayed out. Be taught how to speed up your device by closing additional software that could be using your resources. Finally, improve screen sharing quality by checking your Internet connection.
Skype

The first thing you should do is check the Skype Service Status page. On the status page you can check to see if there are any outages or service interruptions occurring. If there is an issue, simply wait for service to return or contact Skype's customer service.

Look for Media Sharing. If it's down you won't be able to share your screen.

Skype status page.

If the Screen Sharing Button is Grayed Out

If you're seeing the share screen button but clicking it does nothing, or you don't see it at all, then you're not on an active call. You need to be in a voice or video call with the person you want to share your screen with. If you're not in a call, you won't have the option to share screens.

Shared screen button

If You're Still Unable to Share Your Screen

Older versions do not support screen sharing. Being unable to share your screen while on a call means either you or the person you're calling does not have the latest version of Skype. Determine which version of Skype you have and then update if necessary.

 

  1. Click the Menu button and then Help and Feedback.
    Help and feedback
  2. Your Skype version and Application version are here. Screen sharing is only available on Application version 14 and above.
    Skype versions
  3. Get the latest version of Skype.

Close Other Running Apps if Your Screen Share is Distorted or Choppy

The computer, tablet, or smart phone may be running slow because its processor (CPU) is being overused or its memory (RAM) is running low. A quick possible fix for this is to close any unused or unnecessary apps. Closing additional apps can also free up your bandwidth.

WindowsClose Apps on a Windows PC Closing Unused programs will give your computer more resources to use elsewhere.
  1. Press the CTRL + ALT + DEL keys on your keyboard at the same time.
    keyboard with control, alternate, and delete keys highlighted
  2. Choose Task Manager from the screen that comes up.
    Lock screen showing task manager highlighted
  3. You will see a list of programs that are open. Choose a program you are not using, and click on End Task. Repeat as needed.
    Task manager with a program and end task highlighted. Screenshot
AppleClose Apps on a Mac

When you hit the red circle to close a window, the program may still run in the background. If you run too many applications at the same time you can have issues where you run out of memory, or an open program is using a good chunk of your CPU, and decrease battery life.

There are 2 ways to close a program on your Mac. The first way is preferred.

Quit A Program Normally

  1. Look at the Dock, the bar with the icons, usually at the bottom of your screen.
    Mac Dock with running items highlighted.
    • Items that are running have a small black dot below them. Select that item to bring that App to the forefront.

Finder, the first icon on the bar, will always be running, and can be ignored.

  1. Select the name of the program from the menu bar at the top, then choose Quit.
    App menu with Quit highlighted.

Force Quit a Program

  1. Select the Apple menu, then select Force Quit.
    Apple menu with Force Quit highlighted.
  2. Select the program you are having problems closing, then select Force Quit.
    Force Quit window with app and Force Quit button highlighted.
  3. You will be prompted to confirm, select Force Quit.
    Force Quit dialog with Force Quit button highlighted.
  • Any unsaved work will be lost from a program that you Force Quit.
  • You can not close the Finder application.
AndroidClose Running Apps on an Android Device
  1. Tap Recent Apps at the bottom of the screen.
    Home screen with the Recent Apps button highlighted.

    The Recent Apps button may be located on either the bottom left or bottom right as either an onscreen button or a physical button. If you're unsure which button it is, please refer to the user manual of your android device.

  2. Either tap the X or swipe to the side to close an app.
    Recent Apps screen with arrows indicating to swipe to the right on an app to close it.
AppleClose Running Apps on an iPad or iPhone

The way to show all running apps on an iOS device varies with the model you have:

  • Older iOS devices, up to the iPhone X, still come equipped with a circular home button beneath the screen.
  • Newer iOS devices, beginning with the iPhone X, no longer come equipped with the circular home button beneath the screen.

On iOS Devices with a Home Button

  1. Double-press the Home button quickly.
    Home button highlighted on iOS device.

On iOS Devices Without a Home Button

  1. Swipe up from the bottom of the screen and pause slightly in the middle of the screen.
    Arrow showing slide direction on iOS screen.
  1. You will now see a list of apps that are currently open. Swipe up on any of the apps to close them.
    Recent programs screen with arrows indicating to swipe up on an app

You Can Also Reboot the Device You're Using

Slow performance may also be caused by underlying issues such as memory being used by other programs and processes. This can be quickly resolved by simply rebooting the device.

After rebooting the computer you may still need to close some apps that initialize on startup.

WindowsReboot a Windows PC
  1. Select the Start menu, then select Power.
    Windows 10 Start Menu
    Windows 10 Power Button
  2. Select Restart.
    Windows 10 Power menu with Restart highlighted.
AppleReboot a Mac
  1. From the menu bar across the top of the screen, select the Apple menu, then Restart...
    macOS Mojave Apple Menu with Restart highlighted.
AndroidReboot an Android Device
  1. Hold down the power button on your Android device.
    Android Phone with power button highlighted.
    Depending on the manufacturer and model of Android device you have, the location of the power button will vary.
  2. Select Power Off.
    Power menu with Power off highlighted.
    If the menu does not pop up, continue to hold the power button, and your Android device will shut off.
  3. Wait 30 seconds.
    Wait 30 Seconds
  4. Push and hold the Power button for a few moments, and your Android device will start back up.
    Android Phone with power button highlighted.
AppleReboot an Apple iOS Device
  1. Push and hold the Power button for a few moments.
    iPhone with power button highlighted.
    Depending on the model of iPhone you have, the location of the power button may be on the top or on the right-hand side.
  2. Slide the Power symbol on your screen to the right to shut down your iPhone.
    Slide to Power off Prompt with power switch highlighted and arrow indicating to slide to the right.
  3. Wait 30 seconds.
    Wait 30 Seconds
  4. Push and hold the Power button for a few moments to turn your iPhone back on.
    iPhone with power button highlighted.

Troubleshoot the Internet Connection

If your computer is running fine or you've fixed your computer's performance issues, then your poor screen share quality may be caused by your Internet connection. Troubleshooting an Internet connection can become complicated and take a longer time. We have a few other guides that may help you fix it.