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Work around invalid Messenger usernames Apps
MSN Messenger Service forbids certain words as a user name. If you enter any one word that Messenger doesn't want you to abuse, it says "The display name you chose was invalid. Please choose another display name and try again."

This is all very well for blocking "bad" words, but there are a few words that are invalid which are very questionable, like "help", "info", "www", etc. (complete list).

To get around this, just change the first letter of the word into the 'URL quoted' version of the letter(a '%' followed by the hex ASCII code). So to use 'help' you would type '%68elp', or for 'www' it would be '%77ww'.

[Editor's note: I actually ran into this when I tried to use "" as a display name at one point, and was wondering what caused the problem ... now I know!]
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Work around invalid Messenger usernames | 3 comments | Create New Account
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Mac only
Authored by: yadgor on May 29, '02 04:19:08AM

Strangely enough this hint only works on the mac version of MSN Messenger.
Another cool thing about having a mac

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Mac only
Authored by: swimp on Aug 26, '04 07:21:17AM

doesn't seem to work for me, latest msn 4.0.0

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Had same problem with AOL
Authored by: josephaw on May 29, '02 06:07:05PM

Several years ago I was trying to create a screen name of JoeCanHelp but aol always said that it was already created. I contacted aol and they said it was not, but found out later that you can't have the letters 'help' anywhere in your name. So I settled on JoeCanHLP.
I'll have to try the % thingy.

Keep up the good work, and the new formum is much faster.

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