How-To: Merge Skype and Windows Live (MSN) Messenger

How-To Instant Messenger

With Microsoft® announcing they are shutting down the Windows Live Messenger network (f. MSN Messenger) on March 2013 (except in China), loyal users, especially businesses that rely on it as their communication tool, will now have to migrate to a new network. Personally, I highly recommend moving to XMPP (a.k.a. Jabber) as a long-term solution. But for this post, and since Microsoft offers their own solution, I will guide you on how you can merge your account with Skype.

Yes, Skype, the new messenger network Microsoft is banking on. (And where they have more options on monetizing than WLM/MSNMessenger.) This is short, with screenshots to help.

Before we begin, I strongly suggest that you login to your Windows Live Messenger first and delete all contacts that you know or have added to your Skype. You do not want to have duplicates of the same person showing on your Skype client after the merge process.

Let’s begin:

  1. Launch your Skype client and choose Microsoft Account as shown on the image below
    Merge WLM/MSN Messenger with Skype: Step 1
    Step 1
  2. Login with your Microsoft Account: WLM; MSN Messenger; Hotmail; Live Mail; Outlook.com
    Merge WLM/MSN Messenger with Skype: Step 2
    Step 2
  3. Next, choose I have a Skype account if you have a Skype account; or I'm new to Skype if you don’t have one.
    Merge WLM/MSN Messenger with Skype: Step 3
    Step 3
  4. Since this guide is about merging your existing WLM and Skype accounts together, choose “I have a Skype account” and you’ll be shown a list of Skype accounts that were recently logged-in on the machine you are using. If your account is not listed, just click Provide a different account
    Merge WLM/MSN Messenger with Skype: Step 4
    Step 4
  5. After choosing your Skype account, you will be prompted to enter your Skype password, again, your Skype password, not your Microsoft account password
    Merge WLM/MSN Messenger with Skype: Step 5
    Step 5
  6. The last step is confirming that you have logged-in the correct Microsoft and Skype accounts to be merged. Triple-check that you got the two accounts correctly, otherwise, they’ll be merged together. I did not look for a way to unmerge, so don’t make a mistake here.
    Merge WLM/MSN Messenger with Skype: Step 6
    Step 6

You’re done! From now on, you should login using your Microsoft account not your Skype account.

Q: But wait! They merged, right? So why can’t I use my Skype account to login? It’s easier to remember/type

Well, Microsoft said so. But “Microsoft said so” aside, I tested it myself and the results are not satisfactory. See the next two screenshots:

Login with Microsoft/WLM/Hotmail/Xbox account
Login with Microsoft/WLM/Hotmail/Xbox account

Login with Skype username
Login with Skype username

As you can see, if you login using your Skype username, the WLM/MSN Messenger account does not login and as such inaccessible. However, by logging-in using your WLM username, it works as it should be.

I agree with you that logically, we should be able to use either username since it was merged but it appears that the system in place currently were not made for that. Maybe in the future it will be improved. For now, we just have to live with it and file a request for it.

Goodbye Windows Live Messenger / MSN Messenger, hello Skype.

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