mIRC stands for Microsoft Internet Relay Chat, a program that gives Windows users the ability to connect to IRC channels and chat with other users in real time. IRC works a little different from other instant messaging apps, but you can learn the basics in minutes and quickly find yourself chatting with your friends and new acquaintances.
Part 1 of 4: Install mIRC
Step 1. Download mIRC
Visit the mIRC home page and click Download mIRC. From version 7, 36, mIRC is available for Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 and for Windows 8.
If you have an older version of Windows, try downloading version 6, 35 instead
Step 2. Install mIRC
Once the file has been downloaded, open it and install mIRC by following the simple instructions of the installation wizard. The installation usually does not take more than a few minutes.
Choose the “Complete” installation type if you have never downloaded mIRC before
Step 3. Open mIRC and using mIRC
When the installation is complete, check the boxes next to “Start mIRC” and “mIRC Help”. It will be very useful to have the help file on hand when you first use mIRC, in case you get stuck trying to do something that is not explained in this guide.
Step 4. Click Continue
One of the windows that will open is called “About mIRC” and you will be asked to register or continue. The use of mIRC is free for 30 days, after this period you will have to pay a one-time subscription of around 20 euros to register. For now click Continue to try it out. Follow the instructions in the next section to start chatting with other users.
Part 2 of 4: Getting started with mIRC instant messaging
Step 1. Enter your data
Each time you go to open mIRC and continue past the screen that asks you to subscribe, a screen that asks for your data will appear. Write the name you want displayed in the "Nickname" box to introduce yourself to other users, as well as an "Alternate" name that will be used if someone is already using your nickname when you join a channel. In older versions, the fields "Full name" and "Email address" are also requested, even if no one provides their actual data. In version 7, 36, it seems that these fields are no longer mandatory.
Step 2. Join an instant chat channel
Click Connect and a list of instant chat channels will be displayed. Choose one of them and click Join to enter that channel. You can also type the name of a channel in the text field and click Join to the right of that field.
- If an error message appears when you try to join a channel, see the "Troubleshooting" section below.
- If you closed this window by accident, you can join a channel using the Commands menu at the top of the screen.
Step 3. Join a specific channel
First, make sure you're connected to the same network as the users you want to chat with. Open the options menu by pressing the alt = "Image" + O keys on your keyboard, then choose a server located on the same network as your friends. Each network appears as a folder with a name like “Usenet” or “DALnet” and a list of servers is displayed below. Choose the server located on the network your friends are using, then click OK. You can now join the chat channel as shown above.
Step 4. Start talking
Type in the text field at the bottom of the chat window, press Enter or Return on your keyboard to send the instant message.
Step 5. Send a private message
The list on the right side of the conversation window will show you the names of everyone currently on the channel. Double-click on one of the names to open a private chat window, just between the two of you.
You can also right-click on a user's name to display a list of options, for example start a private conversation (“Query”) or view the user's profile (“Info”)
Step 6. Join a different channel
To join another channel, click on Orders at the top of the mIRC window, then click on the Join Channel button. Type the name of the channel you want to join and click OK to open a new chat window.
Alternatively, you can go back to the mIRC home page and type "/ join" followed by the name of your channel. Add the symbol "#" at the beginning of your channel name
Part 3 of 4: Use the Other Features of mIRC
Step 1. Look for new channels
mIRC comes with a list of popular channels, which you can view by clicking on Tools then the Channel List option or by pressing alt = "Image" + L. Select a network from the drop-down menu below File, then click on the View list button. Once this list has been loaded, you can return to the same screen and search for different conversation topics on this network using the "Text" field.
Step 2. Discover even more channels
Many communities on the Internet have their own IRC channel and they will post the network and channel name on their forum or website. You can also search large channel name databases on sites such as Netsplit and SearchIRC.
Step 3. Create your own channel
On the main mIRC screen, simply type “/ join #” followed by the name of the channel you want to create, such as “/ join wikihow”. If the channel does not yet exist on your network, it will be created.
You can also configure your channel to be private using the controls and personally invite certain users to join you
Step 4. Use the commands as shortcuts
If you type something that begins with a "/" in an mIRC conversation, the program will interpret it as a command instead of normal text. You already know / join, but also try other options or remember only the most useful commands:
- / invite Paul # wikiHow will send a message to user Paul asking him to visit the # wikiHow channel.
- / me dance all alone will display the message "(your name) is dancing by itself", without the usual colons that separate your name and message.
- / ignore paul will block all messages from user "paul".
- / help followed by the name of an order (such as / help ignore) will give you more information on how to use the command.
Part 4 of 4: troubleshooting
Step 1. Open the options menu
If you are unable to connect to a channel, click the Tools menu at the top of the screen, then click Options. Otherwise, press the alt = "Image" + O keys on your keyboard. Once the window opens, follow the instructions below to resolve your issue.
Step 2. Change the server
According to mIRC help, the most common technique to resolve a connection problem is to connect to a different server. Click on Servers on the left of the options menu, below Connect. Select any server from the list, preferably one that is geographically close to you. Click on OK to switch to this server.
The servers are sorted into different folders, such as "EFnet" and "DALnet". Each folder has its own collection of channels. If you are trying to join a particular channel, you will need to know what network it is on
Step 3. Change the server port
If you cannot connect to any server, you may be using the wrong "port" or "server entry". Click on the server you want to connect to and select To modify to modify it. Most servers use port 6667, while servers in the DALnet network typically use port 7000. Enter this number in the "ports" field and click on OK.
Step 4. Change your “Identd” option
Click on Identd on the left of the options menu, below Connect. Make sure the Enable Identd server box is checked, so that you can identify yourself to the IRC server network.
Step 5. Configure mIRC to connect automatically
Select Options in the list of categories and check the box Automatically connect at startup. This will help you stay connected the next time you go to try mIRC. You can also check the box that indicates Reconnect after disconnection, so you don't have to manually reconnect every time you lose connection with mIRC.
Step 6. Search the FAQ or Help
If you still cannot log in or have a more specific problem, browse the mIRC help file that was downloaded with the program. You can also go to the mIRC FAQ web page, otherwise you can download it to view it without being logged in.
- mIRC should automatically identify a firewall blocking its access to the Internet. If a message about a firewall appears, click To allowOr a similar option to allow mIRC to use your Internet connection.
- Always follow the server and channel rules, otherwise you will be kicked or banned from the chat room. If you don't know the rules of the channel, ask a moderator.
- Even with a fake name and a fake email address, it is possible to identify your computer from your conversation. Illegal activities and insulting interactions are not recommended.