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


  • 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.


  • 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

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


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


4. Select and clear the last name field



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


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


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


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


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

(Two examples below)


 LiveID_Profile_Done_02 [after the facelift] 🙂


  • 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)


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.


  2. Winston says:

    Works fine.

    Also retested today on other Live IDs with same results – no last name

    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


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


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