Looking for a good multi-protocol instant messenger that is light on system resources and very customizable?  With Miranda Instant Messenger you can enjoy instant messenger goodness in a small package.

Note: Their are three addons that are recommended for Miranda Instant Messenger (links provided at the bottom of the article).


During installation, there are a total of five windows. The fourth one is shown here in two screenshots to allow you to see all of the options that are available to you. Here you can see the Messenger Protocols that are available along with the Import Plugin.

Note: All options are selected by default.

Choose the types of shortcuts that you would like to have and if you would like to store your profile data in the home directory.

When Miranda Instant Messenger Starts for the First Time

For our example, we allowed Miranda Instant Messenger to start immediately after the installation was complete, so the Import Wizard (shown below) did not appear until after restarting…


In the first window you will be asked to choose a name for your User Profile…

One thing to note when choosing a name for your User Profile…you will not be allowed to use blank spaces. Once you have chosen a name, click “Create”.

Now you will be able to set up an IM account to use with Miranda Instant Messenger.  You may add multiple accounts at this time if you like.  Click on the “Plus Sign” in the lower left corner to add an account.

Once you have clicked on the “Plus Sign”, you will see the following window asking for an Account Name and an optional Internal Account Name.

A quick look at the drop down list for Messenger Protocol types available based on your installation choices. Once you have finished, click “OK”.

For our example, we chose to use a Yahoo account.


To finish setting up an account, click on it to select it. You will then see a login section on the right side of the window.

Once you have entered your login information, Miranda Instant Messenger is ready to go. The initial window will look a bit plain in appearance, but this is how it looks before you install the recommended addons.

You can easily customize how Miranda Instant Messenger looks with themes from the Miranda Instant Messenger website and in the Options Window.

Adding Contacts

When you get ready to add new contacts, go to the Miranda Instant Messenger symbol in the upper left corner and click on it. You will then see the following menu giving you access to Status Settings, Contact Management, the Import Wizard, Details Management, File Transfers, Options, Accounts, the Help Menu, and the Exit Command.

Click on “Find/Add Contacts…”.

Once you have clicked on “Find/Add Contacts…”, the following window will open. Notice that the messenger account that you are logged in with is displaying in the upper left corner. From here you can enter the name of the contact(s) that you wish to add.

Note: The choices available for our example in the Protocol Drop Down Menu were: Yahoo! Messenger, Lotus Sametime, LCS, and Windows Live (MSN).


Once you have entered the name, click “Search” to see the results. Contacts found matching the name entered will be shown in the right side of the window. If you want to add this person to your list, click on and select the contact, then click on “Add to list” in the lower right corner.

Once you have clicked on “Add to list” in the Contact Management Window, you will see the following window. Here you can choose a custom name for that person, select the group that you would like to have them in, and send either the default or a custom message with the request to be added. Click “Add” when you are finished.

Here is a quick look at a Message Window…


Here you can see the Options Window for Miranda Instant Messenger. There are many ways to customize the settings to best suit your needs.

Note: This is how the Options Window looks before the recommended addons are installed.


The Contact Import Wizard

After the post installation automatic first run, this window will open up with the main Miranda Instant Messenger Window. If you decide to import a set of contacts using the Import Wizard, here is the first window that you will see.

Note: This can be disabled (see below).

In the second window you will be given the option to choose which type of contact database that you would like to import (group or individual).


Once you have finished importing contacts, you will see this window which will allow you to import a new contact database or exit the Import Wizard. Notice that you can select “Do not load the import plugin at startup again”.

After the Recommended Addons are Installed

Here is a quick look at how Miranda Instant Messenger looks once the three recommended addons are installed…quite a difference already from the initial appearance. Imagine the possibilities once you start customizing your own installation of Miranda Instant Messenger!

And here is how the Options Window looks afterwards… Notice the tabs that are now available! Have fun with Miranda Instant Messenger!


  • Main Links

Download Miranda Instant Messenger (version 0.8.1)

Miranda Instant Messenger Homepage

Miranda Instant Messenger Addons Page

  • Recommended Addons

Modern Contact List (Unicode)

Scriver (Unicode)

TabSRMM Unicode (Messaging Interface)

Akemi Iwaya
Akemi Iwaya has been part of the How-To Geek/LifeSavvy Media team since 2009. She has previously written under the pen name "Asian Angel" and was a Lifehacker intern before joining How-To Geek/LifeSavvy Media. She has been quoted as an authoritative source by ZDNet Worldwide.
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