Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.

Questions and answers relating to various IM programs and services.

Are my Instant Messaging conversations private?

Are there alternatives to instant messaging programs for voice conversations over the internet?

BigBlueBall - Help for Instant Messaging and more

BigBlueBall.com is a valuable source of information and support for users of instant messaging and other social media tools.

Can I be certain that my message history isn't being saved somewhere?

Can I find out who instant messaged me?

Can I retrieve old AOL instant messenger conversations?

Can I retrieve old MSN Messenger conversations?

MSN Messenger allows you to save your conversations. But what if you don't have that turned on? Is there a way to recover the conversation anyway? No.

Can I save my MSN Messenger Archives to another computer?

Can I send text messages between a computer and a cell phone?

Well, let's clear one thing up right away: cell phone text messaging, or "SMS" text messaging, is not the same as instant messaging on your computer. They're two very different systems.

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

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 more than one instant messaging service using only one client?

There are a couple of programs that allow you to use more than one instant messaging service using only one client.

Can my company monitor my IM conversations at home?

Can someone I'm IM'ing with see my machine or hard disk?

Instant messaging programs connect two machines, but typically not directly, and even then normal precautions prevent additional technical risk.

Do I need all these instant messaging programs?

There are lots of instant messaging services. It'd be wonderful if we could talk to anyone on any service from any other service. Sadly, that's not to be.

Does installing a chat program pose any additional risks?

Chat and IM programs allow communication to people all over the internet. They often also include file transfer ability, and that can pose a risk.

How can I get the IP address of someone I'm instant messaging, and does it actually identify them?

Instant messaging programs often do not actually connect directly to the other person. Even when they do the IP address doesn't tell you much.

How can I keep Windows Instant Messenger from signing on automatically?

It's easy to keep Windows Instant Messenger from signing in automatically.

How do I Uninstall Windows Live Messenger?

The location of the uninstaller has changed for Windows Live Messenger. I'll walk you through the steps to find it and uninstall messenger.

How do I backup Yahoo's message history?

How do I block MSN Messenger?

How do I bypass my school or employer's block on instant messaging?

How do I disable the "remember me" feature of Instant Messaging clients?

How do I sign into multiple MSN accounts in Messenger?

MSN Messenger doesn't allow you to log into multiple accounts, but there are ways to get around this.

How do I stop MSN Messenger from starting automatically and logging me in?

How do I uninstall Hotmail?

How do I uninstall Windows Messenger?

The term "Windows Messenger" can actually mean several different programs, each of which is uninstalled differently.

I can only get sound on my system if I'm on Yahoo chat, otherwise it is mute.

If the only time you're able to get sound on your PC is when you're on Yahoo chat, a spyware check and volume control check may be in order.

I have two machines running Windows Messenger 4.7, one can connect, the other cannot. Why?

Two machines configured the same way should both be able to use Windows Messenger 4.7. If one cannot, I'd start comparing configuration settings.

What's the difference between MSN Messenger, Windows Messenger, and Windows Messenger?

Messenger, Messenger or Messenger? Three different programs all with similar names. We'll sort out which messenger is which.

What's the difference between Windows Live Messenger, Windows Messenger, MSN Messenger, and Windows Messenger Service?

Windows Live Messenger, Windows Messenger, MSN Messenger and Windows Messenger Service are four names for three applications that do two different things, only one of which you really want. Confusing? Yes. But easy to clear up.

Where can I download Windows Messenger for Windows 98?

While Windows Messenger is really only available for Windows XP, there are other messaging clients by Microsoft that will support Windows 98.

Where can I search for someone`s Yahoo Instant Messenger username?

Why am I getting instant messages from people I don't know?

IM users often deal with IM spam similar to email. At least one solution that's cumbersome in email works well in IM, and should be your default.

Why can I not access my Instant Message archives remotely?

Since your instant message archives are stored only on your machine, there's no way within the instant message program to access them remotely.

Why does my PC restart after 10 minutes of voice chat?

Device drivers may be to blame if your PC restarts after 10 minutes of voice chat, and there may be other things to investigate as well.

Why does my computer make the sound of a door slamming from time to time?

Unexpected sounds coming from your computer can be startling and disturbing. In many cases, however, there's a simple explanation.