Can I use Yahoo or MSN messenger without Yahoo or MSN mail?
Yahoo, MSN, and AOL all supply both email and instant
messaging programs. Yahoo’s email is free, MSN provides both free email with
Hotmail and paid services with MSN itself, and AOL requires a subscription for
email. But they all have different and incompatible instant messaging
Can you mix and match? Sure!
Become a Patron of Ask Leo! and go ad-free!
Yahoo requires that you create a Yahoo account to use their instant
messaging service and with that account comes an email address. But there’s
nothing that says you have to use it. You can happily ignore your Yahoo email
and use Yahoo instant messenger all you want. I do.
MSN requires that you create a Passport account to use MSN Instant
Messenger, and a passport account requires an email address. The most common
addresses used for happen to be Hotmail accounts. Year ago that was the only
option but passports can now be created for any email address. So you can get
a free Hotmail account like I did, or not. You can use an MSN email account
or something else. It doesn’t matter.
AOL Instant Messenger does not require an AOL account. If you have an AOL
account, you’re set. But if you don’t then you can create an AOL sign-in name at
any time. And keep using whatever email you use, AOL or not. I do.
And yes, I have instant messaging accounts on all three services and often
run all three instant messaging clients at the same time. Again, no
And my email? Not related to any of them. It’s completely separate.