Jamie Thomson

Thoughts, about stuff

10 hidden secrets of Windows Live

with 29 comments

Some things you might not know about Windows Live



If you use multiple Windows Live IDs then you can link them together so that you can easily swap between them using the dropdown list in the top right-hand corner of every online Windows Live service. Go to https://account.live.com/managelinks.aspx to set them up.

Windows Live Tags: Windows Live ID





If you receive instant messages when you are offline then you can pick them up in Windows Live Mail and reply to them via email

Windows Live Tags: Mail, Messenger





If you choose to keep a history of your Live Messenger conversations then you can see a record of all your conversations with one of your buddies all in the same place. Go to Tools–>Options–>Messages and check the box next to ‘Automatically keep a history of my conversations’.

Windows Live Tags: Messenger






If the 5GB storage limit on SkyDrive isn’t enough for you simply sign-up for multiple Windows Live IDs and set your primary Windows Live ID up as an Editor to those other SkyDrives.
Voila. Effectively infinite storage, just make sure that all your accounts stay active.

Windows Live Tags: SkyDrive, Windows Live ID





Live Writer makes it easy to advertise your blog to the world by letting you add tags that automatically tell blog search engines what your posts are about.

Windows Live Tags: Writer





Even better, you can tell Windows Live Writer to tell all the blog search engines about your post as soon as you publish it using the "Ping Servers" feature. Go to Tools–>Options–>Ping Servers to configure.

Windows Live Tags: Writer






Using Windows Live Photo Gallery you can stitch multiple photos together to make a great multi-megapixal panoramic image like the one I’ve done here looking northwards from the top of the Empire State Building (click on the image for a larger version).

Windows Live Tags: Photo Gallery
Empire State 360 Panorama by day





You can see all of the comments on someone’s Live Spaces blog in one place by going to the blog summary and clicking on the comments link for each blog. For example see all comments on my blog by going here.

Windows Live Tags: Spaces





You can search the web using Live Search, preview the results, and share the search results with your friends all from within Windows Live Messenger. Just select ‘Search’ from the activities menu.

Windows Live Tags: Messenger





Writing a blog entry? Why not see what the blog entry will look like BEFORE you publish it. All from within Windows Live Writer. Just hit the F12 button for a web preview.

Windows Live Tags: Writer


How many of those did you know about? Let me know in the comments (but be honest now).

Do you have any tips to share of your own? Again, put ’em in the comments. Better still, do you have 10 of them? If so blog about them on your Space and tag it 10 secrets. And don’t forget to check my follow-up posts:



Written by Jamiet

August 6, 2008 at 4:08 pm

Posted in Windows Live

29 Responses

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  1. Outstanding! 


    August 6, 2008 at 4:22 pm

  2. The offline Messaging to Live Mail only works for the Live Mail desktop, and not for the web version. Sadly.  I brought this up years ago that I’d like to see Hotmail be *the* universal inbox for all communication.  Now that we do finally have offline messaging, I wonder….will Microsoft bring back Live Call and will Microsoft introduce the oft-rumoured voicemail ability?  I can only hope.  Yahoo! Messenger has had voicemail for years now and Live Messenger is still behind the curve on many things. 


    August 6, 2008 at 4:24 pm

  3. I never knew any of this.


    August 6, 2008 at 4:26 pm

  4. I didn’t know 2, 3, and 6. Thanks for sharing this stuff.


    August 6, 2008 at 6:47 pm

  5. Nice collection. I’ll add some more sometimes later on.9th one I haven’t tried. And I would give the post title :"10 things about Windows Live, you may not know"  :)


    August 6, 2008 at 7:03 pm

  6. As always,  GREAT JOB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    August 6, 2008 at 7:56 pm

  7. Wonderful post! I knew about using multiple user id’s for Sky Drive, but I didn’t think of it as a little secret. I did NOT know about Pinging and Meta tags for blogs… You just gave me a great piece of ino!
    Thanks :o)


    September 5, 2008 at 11:20 pm

  8. Jamie…Thank you, I only knew about one of them. That adds a whole new perspective to what I want to accomplish.
    The pinging for BLOGS is awesome. Thanks again. Keep up the good work!


    September 19, 2008 at 11:08 pm

  9. What is a Ping Server, and where do I find a list of urls? I use tags, but it doesn’t seem to do much.
    Also, do you know of a plug-in to Live Writer that allows people to subscribe to a live spaces (or other) site?
    thank you
    bob rogers


    September 19, 2008 at 11:11 pm

  10. I used to like and use msn and hotmail but when they got rid of headers and condoned spam I left….


    September 21, 2008 at 1:14 pm

  11. …a day late and a dollar short! Come on, give us some good secrets! Been using hotmail for awhile now. Use to be great til I started getting all this spam (and yes I am using the filters but spam is soooo sneaky!) How about some unknown keyboard shortcuts or something? Otherwise Google’s much more interesting, not to mention Yahoo with their fun avatars. Oh, but MSN definitely rocks with the game tickets and prizes on the Live Club! Yahoo’s points are just bragging rights. You guys definintely are my fav to play on!
    Aloha & Mahalo from ~*(*~Hawaii~*)*~ !!


    September 28, 2008 at 4:56 am

  12. i didnt know about most of them but who cares am i the only one who uses hotmail for an email address? They were pretty lame secrets, where the holy grail is or who owns the internet is a secret they were just tips and does anyone else think that some of the more possitive comments on this are fake?

    Sweet Tooth

    September 29, 2008 at 6:56 am

  13. I thought the tips were very good for information(how to) I’ll file it for later use.
    Good Blog


    October 5, 2008 at 6:52 am

  14. Thanks Jamie,I knew about the linking and thats all, so I will store the others till needed.Thanks and Namaste, B


    October 7, 2008 at 1:05 am

  15. I didn’t know any of the 10 things.  I read through them all and I’m afraid I didn’t get enough info out of what I read that was helpful to me to understand those 10 things.  So, I am still among the uninformed.


    October 7, 2008 at 11:40 am

  16. I don’t like windows live.  They did away with my contact list on the forward page and I would like it back.


    October 9, 2008 at 3:43 am

  17. Whad a waste.


    October 11, 2008 at 1:55 am

  18. I would love to set up one of my Live accounts to be an editor for the others, but how? I love it when geeks instruct the newbies, but leave out all the intermediate steps. Kinda makes one feel dumb for not knowing, and I’m sure you did not intend that, so could you please tell me HOW to set up the editor thing? Really appreciate you doing this series, I knew about half of them, just by clicking around the site. But I want to know about the editor thing, alright? ^_^


    October 12, 2008 at 9:55 am

  19. Boshness,
    Hopefully you come back to read this.
    When you create a folder on Skydrive you have the option to share that folder with others. When you share it with someone you can specify that they are a reader (i.e. they can see stuff in that folder and download it) or an editor (they can see everything and also upload their own stuff).
    Does that help?


    October 12, 2008 at 2:02 pm

  20. Thanks, Jamie!OK, I hope I get it. You set up 5 (or whatever) Live IDs, then make a new "My Shared Stuff" folder, and opt to have one of your IDs be "Editor." So is the idea that now the master Editor can add to, delete from, and rearrange the content of the other 4 Reader accounts, thereby making one account the captain, as it were, of the others? Or can you make them all Editors?One more question, if you would be so kind. It is somewhat related. I have 5 Live IDs, but 2 of them I made for inter company mail, one for my personal business mail, and 2 just personal. I have them all linked, so that I can open any one of them easily from the same page. The problem is, I don’t want the 2 company boxes to be able to open my 3 personal boxes, or to view my Spaces. Is there a way I can make the accessibility to all the boxes a one-way street, from me to them, but not from them to me? Do I have to unlink them for that to happen? What a royal pain that would be to have to sign in to each one separately. I don’t think they have figured out that they can look at my personal stuff, but I’m not sure…Thanks a bunch,boshness


    October 14, 2008 at 4:25 pm

  21. Boshness,
    Errr,,,the latter actually. Theycan all be editors of one folder. Now still each one of them only has 5GB each but if they can store stuff in another LiveIDs skydrive then that’s5GB multiplied by as many LiveIDs as you have.
    Unfortunately there is  no way to set them up as a "one-way street" as you put it. I’ve often thought this woud be useful – I have my relatives’ LiveIDs as mylinked IDs so that I can "get in" and help them with stuff but I’d rather they didn’t have access to my stuff (thankfully they don’t actually KNOW theyhave access to my stuff and probably never will).


    October 15, 2008 at 6:10 am

  22. Live and hotmail are cool, but they just aren’t functional enough for me. Go Gmail!


    October 23, 2008 at 5:41 am

  23. hey thanks for head up i didn’t know


    October 25, 2008 at 8:50 pm

  24. I knew about the panoramic pictures but not about the multiple accounts, a cool way to put everything you ever want to access from any internet connected computer.


    November 23, 2008 at 5:09 am

  25. Honestly, I knew ALL OF THEM!


    November 28, 2008 at 2:14 pm

  26. Thanks Jamie, like many people I sometimes try before I read! It’s great I can come back to helpers like this on these and forgetfuloccasions. Your Awesome!!


    December 27, 2008 at 6:16 am

  27. hi. I’m only 11, and I didn’t understand anything. But I’m pretty sure it’s some "grown-up" stuff. Maybe you can explain it a little easier…..:) well, cya!


    February 18, 2009 at 7:05 am

  28. Jamie,Thank God there are people like you that can help people like me. Thank you.


    February 20, 2009 at 1:30 pm

  29. Thank God there are people like you that can help people like me. Thank you


    February 21, 2009 at 6:15 pm

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