A lot of people have different email accounts for family and work and often want to keep their instant messaging accounts separate as well. That is easy to achieve if you are using a browser based chat client like Google Talk; you can simply open a new browser window, or a different browser and login from two different accounts. However, this trick does not work if you are accustomed to using a desktop client like Windows Messenger.
There is a way however, using which you can open multiple Windows messangers on the same computer and login with different accounts.We can accomplish this by tweaking the Windows Registery settings of the software.
To refresh your memory, here’s what Windows Registery is all about:
The Windows Registry is a database that stores settings and options for Microsoft Windows oerating systems. It contains information and settings for hardware, operating system software, most non-operating system software, and per-user settings.
Here is a very useful link if you want to know more about Windows Registery.
Coming back to topic, following are the steps you need to follow in order to tweak the Windows registery for Windows Live Messanger and run multiple instances of it:
1. In the Vista search bar, type RegEdit and press enter. This will open the Registery Editor. From here, select HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
2. Select Software and then Microsoft from the menu.
3. Within the Microsoft folder, select Windows Live and then Messanger. On the right you will see different registery settings for the Windows Messenger.
4. We will now add a Windows registery in here. To do this, right click anywhere in the window and click New >> DWORD (32 – bit) Value.
5. Type MultipleInstances as the new registery. Press Enter.
6. Now right click the MultipleInstances registery you just created and choose Modify. In the pop-up, the value is currently set to 0, change that to 1.
Thats it! This will allow you to run as many instances of Windows Messenger as you want. You can login to each with a different account. If you ever decide that you want to undo this whole process, all you need to do is go to the Windows registery you created and delete it.
This technique can also be used with other software, however, one should be very careful while editing Windows Registry settings. Moreover, It is always a good idea to make a backup of your registry settings in case you mess something up. The simplest way to do that is by using the System Restore function in Windows. When you create a restore point, all your settings and customizations including changes to Windows Registry are backed up.