mIRC attempts to provide a user-friendly interface for use with the Internet Relay Chat network. The IRC network is a virtual meeting place where people from all over the world can meet and talk.
To IRC all you need to do is Connect to a server, Join a channel, and Chat!
mIRC will guide you through these initial stages and hopefully you'll be chatting in no time. If you get stuck or want to find out more about a certain feature, just click on a Help button eg. in the Options dialog, and you should find some hints there to help you.
As you become more experienced you can also start configuring mIRC's features to suit your own needs and tastes, features such as colors, fonts, function keys, aliases, popup menus, scripts, sounds and many others.
The first few sections of this help file are highly recommended reading as they provide a quick introduction to all of the basic aspects of IRC, which will help you get started.
Please also remember to visit the mirc.com Website for the latest information on mIRC.
Once you enter a few basic pieces of information about yourself, you can select an IRC Server from the servers list and then click on the Connect button. You'll know you've connected when the IRC server shows you it's Message Of The Day, which contains information about that server. At that point you'll be able to Join a channel to start chatting.
The following information is required before you can connect to a server.
You can enter your real name here, however note that whatever you enter can be seen by other people on IRC. Most people usually enter a witty one-liner or comment.
You must enter a full email address eg. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nickname and Alternative
Your nickname is the name by which people will know you on IRC. Remember that there are many hundreds of thousands of people on IRC, so it's possible that someone might already be using the nickname you've chosen. If that's the case, you should try to pick a different, more unique, nickname. You can enter an alternative nickname as well in case someone is using your first nickname. If both nicknames are in use, mIRC inserts "/nick" into the edit box so that all you have to do is enter a new nickname and press enter.
If you turn on the invisible mode switch, people will not be able to find you on IRC unless they already know your nickname, or if you join a channel or talk to them privately.
The IRC server that you choose is the most important factor in determining how quickly and easily you connect, so if it's taking a long time to connect to one IRC Server, choose a different one and try connecting again.
Note: If you're having problems connecting to an IRC Server, see the Connection Problems section.
You can manage your list of IRC servers by using the add, edit, and delete buttons. Each IRC server consists of the following information:
This can be any text you want and serves only as a description.
This is the IRC server address eg. irc.dal.net
This is usually 6667. If the server allows connections on different ports, you can enter them all separated by commas eg. 6667,6668,6669 and mIRC will pick one randomly each time it connects to the server.
This allows you to group servers together when they are sorted with the Sort button.
This is rarely required, so you should not have to enter anything here unless you have been specifically told to do so.
Hint: If you click your right mouse button on the Options toolbar button, a popup menu appears that allows you to quickly connect to an IRC server.
New Server Window
The new server window option allows you to connect to more than one IRC server at the same time. Just check the new server window checkbox, and click the connect button. The checkbox setting isn't remembered, so it will be turned off the next time you open the connect dialog.
To open a new server window without connecting to a server, you can check the new server window checkbox and then press the OK button.
Hint: You can click your right mouse button on the connect toolbar button to display a popup menu listing your most recently accessed IRC servers. If you press the shift key while selecting a server in the popup menu it will open in a new server window.
Once you've connected to an IRC Server, you can join a channel to talk to other people. There are several ways to join a channel, each is explained below.
The Favorites Folder
The easiest way to join a channel is to use the favorites folder which holds a list of your favourite channels. mIRC automatically pops up this folder the moment you connect to an IRC Server. You can join one of the listed channels by selecting it and clicking the Join button.
You can also view the favorites folder by clicking on the favorites folder button in the toolbar.
The Channels List
Another way to join a channel is to retrieve the list of currently active channels by using the List Channels dialog. You can view the List Channels dialog by clicking on the List Channels button in the toolbar.
To retrieve the entire channels list, you can click on the Get List button. The list can be quite long, often thousands of channels, so it can take several minutes to retrieve it. mIRC will save this list once you have retrieved it, so if you wish to view it again later you can just click on the Apply button. However, if you want an updated list you will need to retrieve it again.
If you click your right mouse button in the channels list window, a popup menu with various options will appear.
Note: You can also specify a filename for the channels list which can be useful if you regularly visit different IRC networks.
The /join Command
The format of the /join command, which is an IRC Command, is /join #channel where #channel is the name of the channel you want to join. So if you wanted to join channel #mIRC, you would type /join #mIRC and press enter, and a moment later the #mIRC window will open indicating that you have joined it.
Creating a new channel
You can create a new channel if it doesn't already exist just by joining it. So, let's say you want to create a channel called #bubbles, you would just type /join #bubbles, and if it doesn't exist it will be created for you. If it does exist, you will just join it as usual.
Talking on a channel
You can talk to other people by typing in a message and pressing the enter key. Your message will be sent to the channel and everyone on the channel will see it. A good first message is just to say hello with a smiley face :)
The listbox on the side of the channel window lists all of the people who are currently on that channel. If you click your right mouse button in the listbox, a popup menu with various options will appear.
Popup menus are actually used everywhere in mIRC, you can even click your right mouse button in the status window, or in the channel window itself, and a different popup menu will appear. These popup menus are configurable, you can change them in the Popups dialog to perform whatever functions you require.
Leaving a channel
You can leave a channel by clicking it's window's close button, or you can use the /part command, which is another IRC command similar to /join. The format of the /part command is /part #channel where #channel is the name of the channel you want to leave. If you type /part without a channel name and press enter, you will part the current channel.
Hint: you can click the top left corner button/icon in any window in mIRC to view the System menu which contains useful features.