What Does It Mean if a Green Dot Appears by a Person's Name on Skype?

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The colored bubbles on your Skype contact list indicate online status.
Image Credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Using Skype for your office's communications needs is an effective way to minimize not just company telephone costs but also the expense of business travel. Colleagues can utilize the free and low-cost text messaging, voice calls and video conferencing to communicate with one another from any computer or mobile device with the Skype app installed. Contacts can be entered manually or imported directly from an email account, social networking site or mobile phone, and their online status is indicated with the colored bubbles that pop up next to their names.


Contact List Status

Your Skype contact list populates as soon as you're signed into the service. Contacts can be sorted either by online status or by name. By default, Skype populates the list by online status, with bubbles of different colors indicating five possible categories: online, away, do not disturb, offline/invisible, and calls forwarded. You can set your own online status by clicking the downward arrow next to the colored bubble by your own name.

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Color Categories

The green bubble, "Available," indicates that the contact is online and visible to everyone. The yellow bubble, "Away," means the person is away from their keyboard or has been idle for a period of time. The red bubble, "Do Not Disturb," indicates that the user is online but does not wish to get notifications. A white bubble means the contact is either offline or has set his status to "Invisible" and wishes to remain hidden. A white bubble with a green outline indicates the person has set up call fowarding that sends your call to either a mobile phone or voicemail.


Sorting Contacts

Skype lists available contacts at the top of the list. You can also sort your contacts by name by clicking "Contacts" at the top of the window and choosing "Name" next to "Sort Contacts By." If you wish to hide contacts who are offline, offline with call forwarding or who have not shared their Skype details with you, click "Contacts" and change the "Hide Contacts Who" setting to your preferred indication.



Lists and Favorites

Setting up lists help you group your contacts into categories. You can later filter these by choosing which to keep open and which not to display in your contact list window. When you add contacts to your Favorites, you'll see their names populated at the top of the list, where they're easier to locate for frequent calling. In either case, the online status still determines the order in which contacts are displayed within the list.



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