Blind Bargains

Quick Tip: Windows Messenger Always Asks for a Display Name

If you're like us, you've avoided updating to the latest and most bloaded version of Windows Live Messenger and stuck with the original and cleaner interface of the original Windows Messenger. But recently for many, an annoyance has popped up, asking for a display name every time you sign in. If this happens to you, read on for the simple steps to fix the problem.

Microsoft now requires you to place a name in your Windows Live profile on their website. This name is also used as the default sign in name for you on Windows Messenger. You could put in your real name or just about anything you want, but remember, it's what will be seen by others when you log in.

1. Go to and log in with your Windows Messenger Email address and password.

2. Select the "Profile Details" link to edit your profile.

3. Look for an option to edit your name. You will probably see something similar to "You haven't added your name to your profile yet" with a link to add your name." Select this link.

4. Fill in your desired display name. The text you put in in the first name field will become your display name. Apparently, if you check the box to share your last name, it will be a part of your display name. Otherwise, only the text you enter in the first name box will be shown. Microsoft's implementation of this seems to be a bit random, however.

5. Press save to register your changes. Then log in to Windows Messenger, and you should skip the Display Name prompt. If your display name didn't get set to what you want, try logging in to the Live webbsite again to correct any errors.

Got any tips to add? Post them in the comments.

Category: Articles
Displaying 4 comments.
mf723 Sunday, 06-Dec-2009 1:38 PM ET:

Good tip. However, all should switch to Miranda. It's even less bloated than WM, and supports multiple protocols.

wildwoman Sunday, 06-Dec-2009 5:33 PM ET:

I've never had that problem, but thanks for the tip smiles!

reevesman Wednesday, 09-Dec-2009 1:23 PM ET:

...and this is why I stick with Miranda on windows and Adium on the mac.

roosterloop Tuesday, 15-Dec-2009 4:28 PM ET:

I do use the windows live messenger, and wish Microsoft didn't make you update from an older version to the latest and greatest, so to speek.

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J.J. Meddaugh is an experienced technology writer and computer enthusiast. He is a graduate of Western Michigan University with a major in telecommunications management and a minor in business. When not writing for Blind Bargains, he enjoys travel, playing the keyboard, and meeting new people.

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