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SUMMARY

This article describes some common solutions to issues that may occur when you try to log on to Windows Messenger.

MORE INFORMATION

Troubleshooting Typical Sign-In Issues

If you are having problems signing in, consider the following issues:
  • You may receive a "Server Not Responding" error message when you try to sign in to Windows Messenger. For additional information about how to resolve this issue, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    307293 Server Not Responding Error When You Sign In to Messenger
  • Although most sign-in names are not case-sensitive, some names are case-sensitive. If you are having problem signing in, make sure that you are typing your sign-in name correctly.
  • If you used a Hotmail account to sign in to an earlier version of Windows Messenger but you did not use the Hotmail account for any other purpose, your Hotmail account may no longer exist. A Hotmail account is deleted if it is not used during the first 10 days after you register or for any consecutive 60 days.

    To verify that your account still exists, sign in to your Hotmail account at the following MSN Web site:
    http://www.hotmail.com/
    If you cannot sign in to Hotmail, you cannot sign in to Windows Messenger by using that sign-in name. Because Hotmail cannot reactivate a deleted account, you must register for a new Hotmail account. After you create a new account, sign in to Windows Messenger by using the new sign-in name (this name contains "@hotmail.com"). To register for a new Hotmail account, visit the following MSN Web site:
    http://hotmail.com/cgi-bin/register
  • You can create a .NET Passport account using any e-mail address, and then sign in to Windows Messenger with your new .NET Passport sign-in name and password.

    To register a new .NET Passport, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
    http://register.passport.net
    For more information about the .NET Passport service, go to the Signing in to Windows Messenger by Using .NET Passport topic in this article.

Signing In to Windows Messenger by Using .NET Passport

Microsoft .NET Passport is a single service that allows you to use one e-mail name and one password across microsoft.com-affiliated sites and a growing number of participating Web sites across the Internet. If you have a .NET Passport, you only have to remember one sign-in name and one password. After you sign in to one participating site, you can sign in to other participating sites. Additionally, you can store information about yourself in your .NET Passport sign-in profile so you do not have to retype it when you visit participating sites.

A .NET Passport helps provide security. A .NET Passport helps protect your information by using powerful encryption technology and comprehensive privacy policies, and you are in control over which sites have access to the information that is stored in your passport, including your e-mail and mailing addresses, except as described in the .NET Passport Privacy Statement. .NET Passport also takes steps to help protect your privacy on public or shared computers. For example, when you sign out, all your .NET Passport-related personal information is deleted from the computer.

To get a .NET Passport, verify your existing .NET Passport, or learn more about the advantages of having a .NET Passport, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://www.passport.net

Troubleshooting Issues with .NET Passport

If Windows Messenger displays "yourusername@yourdomain (E-mail Address Not Verified)" for your display name and you cannot change it, you have not verified your e-mail address with .NET Passport. When you sign up for a .NET Passport, a verification e-mail is sent to the e-mail address you registered with .NET Passport. You must click the link in this verification message to verify your e-mail address. If you did not receive this message or if you deleted the verification message, follow these steps to have another verification message sent to you:
  1. Visit to the following .NET Passport Member Services Web site:
    http://memberservices.passport.net
  2. Click the Help link.
  3. Click the Reset your .NET Passport password link, and then click the Contact Us link at the bottom of the Help window.
  4. Fill out the Contact Us form and request that another verification message be sent to you.
  5. Follow the instructions in the verification message to verify your e-mail address.
If you still do not receive the verification message, disable any spam filters that may have intercepted the message or check with your ISP to verify that the message is not stuck at the server.

If Windows Messenger does not recognize your .NET Passport, visit one of the following Microsoft .NET Passport sites to verify that your passport is recognized:
http://www.passport.net/
-or-
http://www.hotmail.com/
If the .NET Passport site recognizes your passport but Windows Messenger does not recognize your passport, the messaging servers may be temporarily unavailable. To resolve this issue, wait a short time, and then try again.

If the .NET Passport site does not recognize your passport, create a .NET Passport account by using any e-mail address, and then sign in to Windows Messenger by using your new .NET Passport sign-in name and password. To register for a new .NET Passport, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://register.passport.net/

Signing In for the First Time

When you sign in to Windows Messenger for the first time, type your full sign-in name (for example yourusername@yourdomain) and your .NET Passport password. Remember that these passwords are case-sensitive; you must use the same spelling and capitalization each time you sign in to your account.

If you do not want to type your password every time you sign in, click to select the Remember my name and password on this computer check box.

NOTE: Be aware that anyone who is using your computer can sign in if you check this box.

For additional information, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/hcl/default.mspx

Signing In Manually

  1. Start Windows Messenger, and then click the Click here to sign in link on the home page.

    Alternatively, start Windows Messenger, and then click Sign in on the File menu.
  2. Type your full sign-in name (for example yourusername@yourdomain) and your password. Remember that passwords are case-sensitive; use the same spelling and capitalization that you used when you signed up for your account.
  3. If you do not want to type your password every time you sign in, click to select the Remember my name and password on this computer check box.

Signing In Automatically

  1. Start Windows Messenger.
  2. On the Tools menu, click Options.
  3. Click the Preferences tab, and then click Run this program when Windows starts.
  4. The next time you sign in to Windows Messenger, click Remember my name and password on this computer.
After you complete this procedure, Windows Messenger signs you in automatically each time you start your computer.

For information, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/hcl/default.mspx

Signing In Through a LAN

If you are having problems connecting to the service through a corporate local area network (LAN), you man be using a false proxy setting. To resolve this problem, check for a false proxy setting.

NOTE: Do not use the setting that is described in this procedure without authorization from your network administrator or your Internet Service Provider (ISP).
  1. On the Tools menu, click Options.
  2. Click the Connection tab, and the make sure that the I use a proxy server check box is not selected.
If you require the use of a proxy server in your environment, your network administrator or your ISP can give you the configuration information. Additionally, if the server is functioning and you still cannot connect, please contact your network administrator for the settings that you require to use the Windows Messenger service through your LAN.

If you still cannot connect to the Windows Messenger service even though you are connected to the Internet, check the status of your Windows Messenger server at the following Microsoft Web site:
http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/hcl/default.mspx

Signing In Through a Firewall or a NAT

Windows Messenger is configured to run whenever you turn on your computer. When you connect to the Internet, Windows Messenger automatically connects to its server, even from behind a firewall or a network address translation (NAT). Windows Messenger first tries to connect directly so that you can use its full functionality. If Windows Messenger cannot connect directly, it uses the same HTTP connection that your default browser uses to connect to the Internet.

IMPORTANT: If Windows Messenger uses your browser connection, you can send instant messages, but some features of Windows Messenger such as placing calls, sending files, or connecting to other messaging services may not be available.

To check your connection type:
  1. Start Windows Messenger.
  2. On the Tools menu, click Options.
  3. Click the Connection tab.

    Your connection type is listed on the bottom of the tab. For example, the following message may appear:
    You are currently connected to Windows Messenger using your default browser's settings.
To get full functionality and to avoid using your default browser connection, ask your system administrator to configure your network using information from the online help for Windows Messenger. Direct your administrator to the "Configure Your Network for Voice Communications and File Transfer" in the Guide for Network Administrators. For more information, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/hcl/default.mspx

Password Issues

Hotmail recently changed how it handles case sensitivity for passwords. As a result, some members with mixed-case passwords cannot sign in to Windows Messenger. If you have a mixed-case password, please try typing it exactly as you created it, even if Hotmail allows you to sign in differently.

To change your .NET Passport password:
  1. Start Windows Messenger.
  2. On the Tools menu, click Options, and then click Accounts.
  3. Under .NET Passport Account, click Member Services.
  4. On the Member Services page, click Change my password, and then follow the instructions to change your password.
Passwords are case-sensitive. You must use the same spelling and capitalization each time you sign in. You can change your password whenever you want. For security purposes, you may want to change it periodically.

If you have forgotten your .NET Passport password, follow these steps to reset it:
  1. Open the Windows Messenger Sign-in dialog box or visit the following .NET Passport Member Services Web site:
    http://memberservices.passport.net
  2. Click I forgot my password to initiate a password reset process at the .NET Passport Member Services Web site.
Remember the following .NET Passport password guidelines:
  • The password cannot contain any spaces.
  • The password must be at least six characters long.
  • The password is case-sensitive.
For more information, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/hcl/default.mspx

Properties

Article ID: 307294 - Last Review: August 7, 2007 - Revision: 5.4
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows Messenger 4.0
  • Microsoft Windows Messenger 4.5
  • Microsoft Windows Messenger 4.6
Keywords: 
kbenv kbinfo kbnetwork KB307294
Retired KB Content Disclaimer
This article was written about products for which Microsoft no longer offers support. Therefore, this article is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.

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