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The email address use for your instant messenger account doesn't have to be the email address that belongs to the same service.

Can I use Yahoo or MSN messenger without Yahoo or MSN mail?

Yahoo, MSN, and AOL all supply both email and instant messaging programs. Yahoo's email is free, MSN provides both free email with Hotmail and paid services with MSN itself, and AOL requires a subscription for email. But they all have different and incompatible instant messaging programs.

Can you mix and match? Sure!

Yahoo requires that you create a Yahoo account to use their instant messaging service and with that account comes an email address. But there's nothing that says you have to use it. You can happily ignore your Yahoo email and use Yahoo instant messenger all you want. I do.

MSN requires that you create a Passport account to use MSN Instant Messenger, and a passport account requires an email address. The most common addresses used for happen to be Hotmail accounts. Year ago that was the only option but passports can now be created for any email address. So you can get a free Hotmail account like I did, or not. You can use an MSN email account or something else. It doesn't matter.

AOL Instant Messenger does not require an AOL account. If you have an AOL account, you're set. But if you don't then you can create an AOL sign-in name at any time. And keep using whatever email you use, AOL or not. I do.

And yes, I have instant messaging accounts on all three services and often run all three instant messaging clients at the same time. Again, no problem.

And my email? Not related to any of them. It's completely separate.

Article C1979 - June 2, 2004 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

June 6, 2004 12:03 AM

Hi, Can please help me? I want to sign in msn messenger using my yahoo account:
i.e., "???" using msn messenger 6.2

June 6, 2004 8:40 AM

They are two different systems using two different accounts, so you cannot use one account on the other. The closest you might be able to come is to use yoru yahoo email address when you create a Microsoft Passport, and use that passport to connect to MSN.

June 11, 2004 3:31 PM

There are programs around that let you log into all 3 (AOL, MSN, and Y!) with only 1 program. I use Trillian ( ) myself. However, you still have to have an account for each one. Trillian just lets you run one program to recieve them rather than 3 programs.

July 2, 2004 7:29 AM

hi i noticed your little forum about using yahoo emails and such on msn messenger and yes there is a way to use yahoo email or outside emails on msn messenger. this is how you do it if you're interested:
1.) when you sign in.. look near the bottom where it says "get a .Net passport"
2.) when the thing pops up, click "next"
3.) when they ask you if you have an email. choose "yes" and press next
4.) on the next screen choose "No. i want to register my email with Passport now."
5.) when the next screen pops up just press "next"
6.) then an internet window should pop up
7.) where it says "email address" put the email you want to use as a log in to msn messenger later
8.) where it says password, you type in your password to the email. its going to be the password you login with
9.) type in the registration number check thing
10.) scroll to the middle where it says "email address" type in your email again (the one you put above)
11.) click "i agree"
12.) it should then register you as a .Net passport
13.) then when complete, you can login to msn messenger using your email even though its not hotmail.

all emails (except endings) must go through this process before you can use it on messenger.

i really hope this works for you because it worked for me everytime i get a new email. i prefer yahoo now because of its 100 mb limit compared to hotmails 2 mb limit. i hope it works and post something here if it works or not.

Mark's method works
July 4, 2004 2:49 PM

I have followed his steps and it works.

July 6, 2004 4:02 PM

Gaim is another multi-protocol (ie. MSN, Yahoo, AOL) messenger

August 27, 2004 3:05 PM

how can i get account in msn .. i mean how can i get it like this (

August 27, 2004 3:24 PM

Sign up for MSN to be your ISP.

September 7, 2004 6:27 PM

I tried to get a .Net passport with my new account but I couldn't. Could you please specify a link that I could use to get one.

September 7, 2004 7:52 PM

Just go to and sign up with your address.

September 18, 2004 3:53 AM

I am a aol and msn , yahoo regular user
I don't know how to made e-mail address
in AOL mail , can anybody help me
I heard its just for Americans?
is it so?
please if any body know
so pleas mail me on [email address removed]

September 28, 2004 12:13 AM

hello everybody! i want to know how to configure gaim to use msn or yahoo? is there any configuration relating to use these accounts on the same (gaim)??? and please tell me that how would we enter our SN(screen Name/ID) in login field i mean if i am using msn them would i've to type and if i am using yahoo them or just screen name?? and tell me about configuration too becuase when i use my aol screen name it connects quickly but when i use my yahoo or msn name it doesn't please ...................

September 30, 2004 10:45 AM

Hi, i want an @msn account, and i don't know where is the registrer site.
Anyone can help me?
Sorry for my english :P

October 1, 2004 8:06 AM

To get an email address you need to sign up for MSN to be your internet provider. There are no free addresses (unless you work for MSN).

October 25, 2004 10:35 PM

Thank you

October 26, 2004 5:48 AM

You mentioned it is possible to have a msn messenger without having an email account with them, BUT you forgot the most important part: HOW? if i already have another (private) email account, how do i configure my msn messenger to work with it????!?!?!

October 27, 2004 4:48 AM

As the article states: just create a .NET passport using your private email account.

November 3, 2004 4:23 PM

nice article. but can i login two username in yahoo messenger on a single machine? because i need those two usernames to be online.... thanxs... pls email me @

November 3, 2004 4:26 PM

I don't believe so.

November 13, 2004 4:49 AM

i cant log into my msn messenger and everytime i try they said use troubleshooter bla bla...then i re-booted my comp. and still i cant use it

i cant use
1. hot mail
2. yahoo mail
4. msn mesengger

even when i clicked on messenger on the msn home page it will take me 5 mins then they said page cannot be displayed pls help me its been like this for 3 months

February 19, 2005 12:22 PM

How can i find a friend listed in the msn directory, I know their id but cannot see it listed in the msn directory?

April 19, 2005 9:38 PM

Why would anybody use three different instant messengers including Leo?

Just use Trillian and you can use most instant messengers in one app -


June 13, 2005 9:08 AM

i have a hotmail id and i want to chat with my friends on yahoo using it. i tried adding thier email add. but i can't.can i use my msn messenger to chat with my friends on yahoo.

June 13, 2005 9:51 AM

Only if they are running MSN messenger. Yahoo messenger and MSN messenger do NOT talk to each other.

July 27, 2005 4:17 PM

i have yahoo messenger can i do messenger with aol intstant messenger even though i dont have aol?

July 30, 2005 4:36 PM

Jocelyn: yes - just download and install aol instanet messenger.

August 24, 2005 5:36 AM

I'm using a yahoo account as my net passport, but I actually don't often read it. What would happen to my msn if the yahoo account was deleted?

Thank you very much,

September 5, 2005 7:45 PM

Can I use my Yahoo instant message account to talk with people on their AOL instant message account or do we need to have the same service?

September 6, 2005 7:42 PM

You need to use the same service.

October 7, 2005 10:24 PM

Yes u can login to msn, yahoo, aim/icq, jabber without installing any messenger program.



November 29, 2005 10:19 AM

I can't get to meebo or anything else all of the messenging sites sre blocked. Is there anything else that can be done? I can only get on if hte firewall goes down. :(

December 14, 2005 7:59 AM

Hi Leo
I wonder if you can help.
I recently installed msn messenger 7.0 which works fine for everything except when it comes to setting up a video conversation. If i try and invite someone to view the my webcam or indeed a vidoe conversation it does not connect and throws me off my internet browser. My homepage is bt yahoo, after a few seconds my home webpage returns and i then have to log back into msn messenger. Interstingly I can view a webcam of anyone else, so I assume it must be my settings on my computer, any help you can give which be much appreciated.


December 19, 2005 6:23 AM

i know there's aim express which you can use from any computer without downloading aim, which is great. but is there a feature on yahoo instant messanger like that?

January 19, 2006 3:11 AM

web messenging --->

jose carlos
January 24, 2006 3:45 PM

try too:,, or You're welcome

February 19, 2006 6:38 AM

What can i use in order to chat and use the web cam in the same time,yet without installing any programme.Is it possible to do that?It s urget.Thanks

February 21, 2006 1:52 AM

I have earthlink on my computer and i have been trying for the past week to gey yahoo messenger but I cant get it cause earthlink keep tellin me that I made an error. I just want to know is it earthlink.or is it my modem cause I talk to a earthlink represenative and he talk me through the whole process and it done the same thing and he told me that is not earthlink but its something on my computer that forbids me for going on yahoo messenger but I think that it can be my hard drive too what do you think?

March 7, 2006 3:14 AM

I go to a boarding school and we need to use msn to keep in contact with our loves ones and friends all over the world. We have tryed using,, and a few other sites but eventualy our school works it out and blocks our sites its getting so frustrating and we desperatly need a program to chat to our friends do you have any ideas?

Walter Wego
March 7, 2006 10:20 AM

I do. The school's doing it for a reason. You're supposed to be studying, not chatting with friends.

Focus on your studies.

Use email.

April 18, 2006 2:51 PM

How can i logg on to yahoo messenger from my msn messenger? i mean i have seen some people being online on MSN messenger by using their yahoo id or vice versa.How can that be done?i hope i was able to explain well.

May 16, 2006 6:59 PM

Can a AOL internet user access a MSN messenger account? I'm having trouble accessing MSN messenger on a computer with AOL internet, but can access it fine on another computer with SBC, WHY????

May 25, 2006 12:51 AM

hello sir,
Can u help me in providng some sites where i can log into yahoo messenger...other than meebo or e-messenger ....something where i can get into after the web blockers. its really very important and urgent pls do help me and reply me to my email id.

August 20, 2006 8:03 AM

can i sign into msn messenger using a gmail account? (: its not specified in the article.

February 11, 2007 4:38 PM

The instructions for creating a messenger account say you can either create the messenger account with a hotmail account or select use your own email address. I have tried and looked and tried but I dont' see this option to use your own email address. Can you send me a url?

conrad koffler
February 11, 2007 5:42 PM

you have been very helpful thanks a lot
conrad d koffler

February 14, 2007 11:43 PM

who is leo

Leo Notenboom
February 15, 2007 9:39 AM

May 12, 2007 8:00 AM


I had a yahoo id that i was using with msn messenger i deleted my yahoo account but the id is still active for msn. Do you know how i can close that id.

Nadim Razzouk
May 14, 2007 4:01 AM

"Yahoo requires that you create a Yahoo account to use their instant messaging service and with that account comes an email address. But there's nothing that says you have to use it. You can happily ignore your Yahoo email and use Yahoo instant messenger all you want. I do."

can you shed a light on this issue?
the thing is i am a mac user - i use MSN messenger with my .biz account because i registered with .net passport - but i found out that yahoo messenger is much cooler - can i do something similar and use my .biz a/c with yahoo messenger?

September 21, 2007 2:24 AM

Hi,i have both MSN and Yahoo messangers. I would like to ask,can i use Yahoo messanger but sign in to my MSN list by using my hotmail address?

October 7, 2007 8:35 AM

can i use my gmal account on windows live messenger?

October 12, 2007 6:01 AM

i dont have a messenger both yahoo and msn and i heard that we can chat through or my question is how can i chat from a web page

norma arellano
January 14, 2008 10:33 AM

everytime i try to log in my yahoo email, it tells me page cannot be displayed.

chris lloyd
February 4, 2008 6:35 AM

Hi, I use MSN messenger and my cousinin Australia uses Yahoo! messenger. We can text chat but cannot seem to video link. Further more her icon does not turn green when we are online! If as your statement says, we can mix and match, then how can we chat using video link? We both have webcams set up.

February 25, 2008 8:15 PM

I have yahoo ID and want to use in MSN messanger, but when ever i try it does not allow. Its says, Windows Live ID you put is incorrect.

So how do i fiz this problem?

September 26, 2008 12:23 PM

You can use all of the messenger protocole all in once with pidgin, an open source programme that support msn, yahoo messenger, google talk, icq, jaber, facebook chat, etc

January 11, 2009 8:51 AM

Is it possible that i can use my two different yahoo id on one single messenger if yes then plz tell the process

January 14, 2009 11:08 PM

Can i include my Yahoo,rediff or gmail account with AIM? is it possible for me to chat when i am in AIM account using yahoo id chatting with other friends...

February 7, 2009 12:46 AM

i have a AOL email but i want to use it on windows live messenger 8.5 betta because i dont like the newst version out but would it be possible to use a aol email on it?
i tryed but it says you must have forgotten your password..Please hel[[!

February 10, 2009 10:36 AM

hello i have not new msn version so how can i use msn new version by web messeger??

May 3, 2009 11:36 AM

I want to add my friend and she has an account on aol. would i add her under Lotus Sametime, LCS, Yahoo!, or Windows Messenger???? PLEASEE HELP ME THIS IS SO IMPORTANT AND URGENT!!!!!

None of the above. I don't believe AOL instant messenger interfaces with any of the other services. You'll need to create your own AOL/AIM account. ( It's free.
- Leo

Lois Burgess
June 21, 2009 9:45 PM

I had to uninstall the new version of msn messenger as it was causing problems to my PC & was unable to open hotmail. Now I cannot sign into hotmail I think because I don't have messenger but I still need a hotmail, are you able to help. Thanks Lois

September 4, 2009 10:26 AM

Could I use hotmail or any other email address(apart from yahoo id) in
yahoo messenger?

September 17, 2009 11:29 PM

i want to open yahoo mail in gmail. IT is possible ???????????????????

November 11, 2009 1:39 PM

I want to use my msn account on yahoo, can it be done?

January 29, 2011 12:39 PM

I would like to automatically transfer all my yahoo IM's to MSN...but the list of emails that can be transferred doesnt include Yahoo.....How can I get yahoo on msn instant messenger without having to do it one at a time


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