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How Windows Live Messenger Works

Windows Live Messenger on Other Platforms

Windows Live Messenger lets users chat with friends from Xbox 360.
Windows Live Messenger lets users chat with friends from Xbox 360.
Microsoft product screen shot reprinted with permission from Microsoft Corporation.

You don't have to be sitting at a PC to use Windows Live Messenger. As part of Windows Live, Microsoft offers chat via Windows Messenger using smartphones and other mobile devices as well as Xbox 360 gaming consoles. Here's more about those options.

Windows Live Messenger Mobile

Windows Live services, including Windows Live Messenger, are offered in two ways on mobile phones: via browser from almost Web-enabled phone or as software installed on the phone.


  • Option 1. If you have a mobile phone with a built-in browser that supports WAP 2.0, iMode or HTML, you can use Windows Live Messenger to check in with friends.
  • Option 2. Perhaps your cell phone came with Windows Live already installed. If not, you may be able to install software designed for your specific phone. Using this, you can download contact lists to your phone's address book, carry on IM conversations and let contacts know your online availability and status. You also can take a photo or record a sound clip during a Windows Messenger conversation and then send that file almost anywhere.

The available features vary depending on your cell phone service provider. Also, note that while Windows Live Messenger itself is free, you'll need to pay for a service plan providing Internet, Wi-Fi and phone access. Sending large files may be an added expense.

Xbox 360

Using an Xbox 360 console, Xbox Live and your television, you can IM with your Windows Live Messenger contacts, as well as with your Xbox Live friends. In fact, you can combine the two contact lists into one. You also can:

  • Broadcast what you're doing on the Xbox console to your contacts
  • Have up to six conversations at a time with various friends
  • Plug in a PC keyboard and use the Xbox to carry on a conversation while watching video or playing a game

Here's how to set up Windows Live Messenger on your Xbox 360:

  • Set up your Xbox Live account, registering for a Windows Live ID.
  • Go to the Xbox Live area of the Xbox dashboard, and select "Chat and IM."
  • Select the Messenger tab, select "Continue" and then select "Sign Up for Messenger."
  • Select "Continue," type your password and select "Done."
  • Select "Save Password" and then "Continue."
  • A list will appear of your Windows Live Messenger contacts who also have signed up for Messenger on Xbox Live. Choose which contacts you want to invite to your Xbox Live friends list, and select "Done."

To sign onto Windows Live Messenger, go to the Xbox Live area of the dashboard. Select "Chat and IM," then the Messenger tab and then "Sign In to Messenger."

To have an IM conversation, select the Messenger tab and then "New Conversation." Choose a contact from the list, and enter your message into the chat box.

For more on how to use Windows Live Messenger on the Xbox 360, visit Xbox. Children under age 13 are not allowed to use Windows Live Messenger on Xbox Live. Additional information about managing access to Xbox Live is available on the Web site.

Contribute to a favorite cause while you IM with Microsoft's i'm Initiative. Keep reading to learn how.