How to Remove or Hide a Last Name from a Windows Live Profile

Summary:

  • Method to remove and/or hide the user’s (Live ID or Microsoft Account) last name from being visible to the public, contacts, and/or connected social network services.

Background:

  • A Windows Live ID (or Microsoft Account) requests the entry of a last name, initial or other acceptable character during the Live ID (Microsoft Account) account creation process.
  • For privacy reasons (personal reasons, use of multiple Live ID/Microsoft Accounts, displayed when using the Live web services – Hotmail, SkyDrive, etc.) some may prefer to not share or broadcast their last name to the public, network contacts and/or other connected social network services
  • The last name field  can be edited and an optional ‘blank’ character entered by using a common available Windows provided ‘Accessories’ application called  ‘Character Map’
  • Character Map can be found on the Start Menu (All Programs/Accessories/System Tools)

How To:

1. Logon to the respective Live ID’s Profile (at http://profile.live.com)

2. On the Profile home page click on Details (or Edit Details)

LiveID_Profile_01

3. Click on the Edit field adjacent to the user name

LiveID_EditName_00

4. Select and clear the last name field

LiveID_EditName_01

LiveID_EditName_02

5. Open Character Map (in a separate window) and select the ‘Arial’ character mode

WLID_CharMap_01

6. Scroll down to and click on the character named ‘U+202A: Left to Right Embedding’ to cue (place the focus) on the ‘U+202A’ character in ‘Character Map’, then click the ‘Select’ button

WLID_CharMap_03

7. Click ‘Copy’ to place the character on the Windows Clipboard

WLID_CharMap_04

9. Paste the contents of the clipboard to the ‘Last Name’ field then click on Save to finalize the changes.

LiveID_EditName_04

10. Once ‘Saved’ you will return to your Profile home page allowing verification of the change.

(Two examples below)

LiveID_Profile_Done_01

 LiveID_Profile_Done_02 [after the facelift] 🙂

Comments:

  • Changing your name will impact all places your name appears when using Windows Live (Profile, Hotmail, Windows Live Messenger, SkyDrive) and/or transmitted to other social connected services.
  • Changing your name will also impact the name that appears on Windows 8 (Microsoft Account Windows logon name)

Revisions:

October 31, 2011: Publish as ‘Draft’ Date

March 15, 2012: Republish Draft after testing on Windows 8 (Consumer Preview)

April 23, 2012: Original Publish Date

About Winston
Microsoft MVP

2 Responses to How to Remove or Hide a Last Name from a Windows Live Profile

  1. Shyloh says:

    This no longer works.

    Like

  2. Winston says:

    Works fine.
    http://profile.live.com/cid-f92775fc46a390ca

    Also retested today on other Live IDs with same results – no last name
    e.g. http://profile.live.com/cid-b31982f30c82cb3f

    Ensure the steps are being followed exactly as shown
    and an acceptable/supported character is chosen.
    The character noted in the article will do fine.
    –> U+202A: Left-To-Right Embedding

    …w

    p.s. Abby is still last name-less too 🙂

    Like

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