How to Search for Yahoo Messenger IDs of People in Your Town

by Irene A. Blake
David Paul Morris/Getty Images News/Getty Images

If you prefer Yahoo Messenger to communicate locally with people in your town, you use Messenger IDs instead of phone numbers to connect. By default, Messenger IDs are Yahoo account IDs (Yahoo email usernames or email addresses). Users can also opt to have alias IDs for privacy protection. Yahoo doesn’t offer a directory of Messenger IDs searchable by names, addresses or phone numbers. Instead, you search by providing the service with email addresses imported from an address book or manually entered as contacts.

Address Book Contacts

Step 1

Select “Contacts” at the top of the Yahoo Messenger window. Select “Import Contacts” to open the Import Contacts window.

Step 2

Scroll through the list of email service accounts that Yahoo Messenger can check, such as Yahoo Mail, Microsoft Outlook, AOL, Windows Live, Gmail, Comcast and Earthlink, and then select your service.

Click the “Continue” button to see if any of your contacts have Yahoo Messenger IDs. Yahoo Messenger displays the number of contacts with IDs, the contact names, the IDs and a chat invitation option.

Other Email Addresses

Step 1

Select “Contacts” and then “Add a Contact” to open the Add to Messenger List window.

Step 2

Enter the email address of a local person not listed in your email address book in the “Enter a Messenger ID or Email Address” field.

Click the “Next” button. If the person has a Yahoo Messenger ID, Yahoo Messenger displays it and prompts you to send a chat invitation.


  • These search methods only work if a person is using the service and the specific email address you have on file.
  • If someone in your town isn’t using the service or is using a different email address, Yahoo prompts you to send an invitation to that person to join Messenger.
  • Information in this article applies to Yahoo Messenger It may vary slightly or significantly with other versions or products.


  • You can access the Add to Messenger List window via two additional methods. Click the “Add a Contact” button to the left of the search bar, which is marked with a person outline and a plus sign, or press “Ctrl-Shift-A” on your computer keyboard.


Photo Credits

  • David Paul Morris/Getty Images News/Getty Images

About the Author

Based in Southern Pennsylvania, Irene A. Blake has been writing on a wide range of topics for over a decade. Her work has appeared in projects by The National Network for Artist Placement, the-phone-book Limited and GateHouse Media. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Shippensburg University.

More Articles