Windows 7 All-in-One For Dummies
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Before you download Windows Live Essentials, you need a Windows Live ID — Windows Live Messenger doesn’t work without it (among others). If you don’t already have a Windows Live ID, you’ll need to sign up for one. Fortunately, it’s an easy process.

If you already have a Hotmail account, an MSN Messenger or Windows Messenger account, a .NET Passport, a Microsoft Passport, or an Xbox Live account, you already have a Windows Live ID.

Although Microsoft requires you to sign up for a Windows Live ID, there’s no reason to give away all your privacy to get a Windows Live ID, you can provide any information you want and you can sign up for as many Ids as you want. Here are a couple of tricks to protect your privacy.

  • Choose a user ID for fun time. Share this ID with the rest of the world. Use it for chat rooms, social networking, downloading, signing up for newsletters, and other things that require interaction with a mass of unknown people.

  • Choose a user ID for travel time. Don’t broadcast this ID. Give this to just the people who you really want to be able to contact you when you’re on the road. This will minimize the amount of e-mail traffic coming in.

  • Choose a user ID for first-tier friends. Use this user ID to give out only to immediate family, close friends, and any essential work colleagues.

Once you figure out how many Ids you need, you’re ready to begin. The easiest way is to sign up for free Hotmail accounts.

  1. Start your favorite Web browser and go to Hotmail.


    You see a Windows Live ID sign-in page.

  2. Click the Sign Up button to sign up for an account.


    Hotmail shows you the sign-up sheet.

  3. Fill out the sign-up sheet. Enter the confirmation characters and click I Accept.

    You know that you’re all signed up when you can read the Hotmail ads.
    You know that you’re all signed up when you can read the Hotmail ads.

    Accuracy is not a requirement. You can enter just about anything you want here.

    If all goes well, Windows Live Hotmail appears. You’re now logged in with your new e-mail address (Windows Live ID).

  4. Repeat steps 2, 3, and 4 for each of the new Windows Live IDs you require.

    You have to log on to Hotmail or Windows Live Messenger at least once shortly after you create the IDs, and then once a month thereafter, to keep the IDs alive.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book author:

Woody Leonhard describes himself as a "Windows victim." Since 1992, he's been sharing the solutions to his own tech problems with millions of readers. In addition to writing several books in the For Dummies series, Woody is a Contributing Editor for Windows Secrets newsletter. He also runs his own blog at

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