Ben Ward

MSN Messenger Username Change Problems

. Updated: .

A few weeks ago as I changed my Gmail/Google Talk address over to my preferred ‘’ Jabber account (which is hosted on Dreamhost). Someone told me at the time that I could change my MSN Messenger address too and that it would magically transfer across all my contacts…

Well, I updated my Passport and that too should now identify me as ‘’ (it was formerly ‘’). It did claim that all my contacts would be transferred over to the new address but seeing as every single MSN messenger contact went offline after I made the change, I’m a little unconvinced.

I will attempt to fix it at this end, but if you’re wanting to get hold of me you may just want to save waiting and add to your contact list.

Update: Having completely rebuilt my contact list it seems to be working again. I heartily recommend against renaming your MSN Passport.

Update: Since writing this post I get a lot of people adding me to their MSN list asking for help with changing their username, password, email address the works. I’m not really an expert on such matters and as of March 17th 2007 I discovered that Microsoft have changed their Account Settings page such that it only displays fully in Internet Explorer 6 on Windows. I run a Mac and so have no instant access to IE6. I’m afraid this means I’m no-longer able to provide any advice on working with Live Accounts, Passports, MSNs or whatever Microsoft rebrand them to next week. Thanks.

Update: If you’ve arrived here from or a search engine looking for help changing your MSN username or password, you need to know that this isn’t a support forum, nor was this entry really written as a ‘how to’ piece. Since I get so many comments asking for help though, you should check the following links:

Log in to and you’ll be presented with an Account Summary dashboard. From there, you can click ‘change’ next to your account username (email address) or click ‘change’ next to the asterisks representing your password.

Note that you cannot change your Live ID username (email address) if you use a Hotmail account. If you want a different sign-in name and use Hotmail to log in now, you need to register a new account.


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  1. According to michelle, who still uses the MSN client, your profice changes seamlessly. She just asked “why has Ben changed his email address?”

    So it looks like its something that only works on the default client.

  2. Gaim wasn’t so happy when I just started it up. I’ve got your new address in my contacts list, but it also errored and told me that wasn’t a valid MSN passport.

    Just goes to show – don’t trust Microsoft, especially when it comes to successfully migrating data!

  3. Benny bear, long time no speak my fuzzy friend!

    It should work fine, i changed mine to my gmail account and as you say, everyone did go offline. It took a day or so for it to fix itself as people slowly came back online. I think it requires people to accept the re-request to add the new address before they will be visible online.

  4. Interesting. I migrated my mom a while ago and never had any problems. She was on my contact list and I never got bugged for anything. Seems to have gone seamless.

    We were both using the “official” MSN Messenger client from Microsoft on Windows at that time. This was somewhere towards the end of last year.

  5. Ben

    Hey Charl, it does seem that the official client is able to handle the changeover gracefully. I guess it happens so rarely that the 3rd party developments haven’t ever tested it.

  6. my msns trobleshooter keeps saying key ports with an exclamtion mark in front of it. It is hard 2 sign in now !

  7. allright

    my msn is not signing me in lately it says the service is temporairily unavalaible or something like that and i was wondering how to get rid of it because my brothers account an everything works it just seems to be mine help me please

  8. Ben

    Katja & Danny: I’m not much of a definitive source on debugging and fixing MSN messenger problems. In retrospect I should probably have given this entry a less ambiguous title!

    That said, I can advise that if you’re having connection problems and can’t work out whether it’s your computer configuration or Microsoft that’s in the wrong, you could try logging into MSN using Meebo. It’s an MSN client that runs inside your web browser. If that works, then you’ve got something wrong at your end.

    Unfortunately if there is a problem at your end then I don’t know what to recommend to fix it, sorry!


  9. i want to change my email name
    cause when i send emails it’s comes up with lozzy……
    but i want to to say lauren plz help

  10. I need to change my e-mail adress cos I live in France and don’t like having “” would prefer “.com”. Please help. Thanks a lot, Jess.

  11. my msn messenger keeps cutting out – it reconnects for a few minutes or sometimes ten or so minutes then it disconnects. I have uninstalled it and reinstalled but it is still the same anybody offer any help? Thanks

  12. hiya i want to change my msn password as loada people no it and keep going on it but i don’t want them to. so how do i change it???? x

  13. Ben

    Hi Kayliegh, I’m afraid — as the update in my post says — that I’m really not an expert on setting up MSN or Passport or Live! accounts. This was just one little feature of the old MSN Passport service to change the email address I use to log in to MSN messenger. I really do know nothing more.

    Since then, Microsoft have completely revamped their page so I don’t even know where any of the relevant edit profile pages are any more.


  14. Ben

    Amy — I don’t know what the current process is for changing your Hotmail password, but I’m certain that you won’t be able change a to a .com automatically. and two completely different addresses. Just as and are also completely different addresses, .com and is just the same. The only way to get a .com address rather than is to register a new Hotmail account.

  15. Hi im Zelda, on msn i Have a Very Easy Secret Question and have had hackers hacking into my account and have got into my bebo account
    ive never seen how easy it is to hack into msn untill now.
    i Need too change my secret question so i can stop these hackers please help me
    all the best
    zelda x
    im counting on you
    too help me thanks x

  16. hi i need your help somone has changed my msn i dident iven no plz help me am counting on you u thanx

  17. Hii x
    Can Youu please Tell Mee How To Change My Msn Password As People Are Hacking onto My account. Thanks. Please Reply asap. x Beau

  18. hi i need to hcnage my password coz sumone keeps signing into it on a diffrent account how do i do this? x

  19. Ben

    I think I need to update this post with some definitive links to Live Messenger functions… Perhaps tomorrow.

    @tahlia: Unfortunately you can’t change the username of a Passport/Live ID which is also a Hotmail account. That’s a long running limitation of Hotmail Live IDs. Only bet is to create a new one, sadly.

  20. hello uuuuuuuummmmmmmmm how do i change my msn email password only and leave msn the same

    plz tell me


  21. how do i change my password for msn email

    plz help people are going on my email for messenger


    plz help

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