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 Latest Version: 2000a Beta v.4.31 build #3143
It is recommended to:
  • Print this document before you download the installation file so you will be able to read the instructions while installing ICQ.
    To do so, use your browser's File Menu -> Print command.
  • Go quickly over the whole page to familiarize yourself with the download steps.
 Step 1: Download and Save the Installation File

Please read the entire paragraph before you click the Download button.
  1. Click on the Download link below.
  2. The File Download window appears.
    Select the Save this program to disk and click OK.
  3. The Save As window appears. Select where you would like to save the file on your computer and remember this location.
  4. Click Save to start downloading the ICQ program.
When the download process is complete, return to this page and read on.

Download ICQ 2000a Beta v.4.31 build #3143 for 95/98/2000/NT4

The ICQ Message Archive feature was separated from the download and installation of the ICQ program file (icq2000a.exe ).
To download the ICQ Message Archive plugin as well as other plugins, such as the new IrCQ-Net Invitation for ICQ 2000a beta go to the ICQ Plug-in Center.

 Step 2: Run The Installation Program

  1. Make sure you are connected to the Internet.
  2. Quit all other applications.
  3. Locate the file you downloaded on your hard disk (it is called icq2000a.exe ) and double click it.
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions.
If you can't find the file on the desktop and/or you were not prompted to save the file:
  1. Press the windows Start button.
  2. Select Find
  3. Select Files or Folders.
  4. In the dialog box type icq*.exe in the Named field
  5. Press the Find Now button.
  6. The search process should now begin.
If the file is found, it will be listed in the window below the find dialog box.
If you see the file icq2000a.exe, double-click it and read on.
If you don't see such a file, you will need to download it again, go back to step 1.

Note - Installation Problems:
If you failed to shut down some application before starting the installation process, you may encounter a Fatal Exception Error during or at the end of the installation process. No harm is done, In most cases you will be able to continue to the registration process - try to continue.
If you can't register after this error occurs, restart the installation process (Step 2).
If you still can't register - download the file again (Step 1).

If you encounter any problem during the installation, please read our Installation Troubleshooting page or get technical help.

 Step 3:   Follow The Registration Instructions

Make sure you are connected to the Internet.
Follow the registration instructions, which will start right after the installation process. This will register you as an ICQ user on the ICQ Network.
If you encounter any problems during this process, please refer to our Registration Troubleshooting page.

ICQ version 2000a beta comes with a new and exciting feature, the ICQ ActiveList. Now you can create or join ICQ communities based on a common interest and easily access them from your ICQ program. In addition to your original Contact List, you may open your chosen or personally created Lists and communicate with your friends or associates.
In order to create and manage your own Active List your need to download the Active List Server

After you finish installing ICQ, find people who share a common interest with you, to add to your Contact List, on the People Navigator and Whitepages.


Install and Register ICQ
ICQ 2000

Once you've downloaded ICQ, how do you get it up and running? Follow the easy steps below to install ICQ on your Windows 95 or 98 system.

Print out these instructions before you begin; you will need to close your browser in order to install ICQ.
To install ICQ 2000a
1. Making sure you keep your connection to the Internet open, shut down all your open applications.

2. Find the downloaded ICQ2000a.exe file on your hard drive and double-click it. (If you need help with downloading, visit our Beginner's guide to downloading.)

3. Follow the instructions that appear on your screen, clicking the Next button once you have entered the correct information on each screen. (Note: If you're unsure about a particular installation option, just use ICQ's default and go on to the next screen.)

4. If you have an existing version of ICQ on your computer, ICQ will ask you if you want to transfer your database to the new version. This means that if you're upgrading or reinstalling an existing version of ICQ, your ICQ buddy list and all of your other information and history will be preserved in the new version. Click Yes to accept.

5. When the installation process has finished, run ICQ from your Start/Programs Menu. An "ICQ registration" dialog should appear on your screen.

6. Select your connection type. Click the "Modem" radio button if you use a dial-up modem to connect to the Internet, or choose the "Permanent" button if you use either a LAN, a cable modem, or an "always-on" DSL connection.

7. If you already have an ICQ number, click the Existing User button in the registration window to log in. If you're new to ICQ, select the button labeled "New ICQ #". This will take you to a series of screens that prompt you for information about yourself and your Internet connection. ICQ needs this information in order to register your new ICQ number

Registering ICQ 2000a

Once you've installed ICQ and selected the "New ICQ#" option in your registration window, a sequence of registration windows will prompt you for more information:

1. On the first screen, you'll be asked to enter what ICQ calls your "Details," the mandatory personal information you need to provide in order to register ICQ: Email address, a nickname of your choosing that will be used as your ICQ "handle," your name, and a password (don't forget to write it down). If you're certain that your computer is secure and won't be used by anyone else, check the "Auto Save Password" box.

2. Next, ICQ prompts you for personal information. Providing this information is optional. If you want other ICQ members to know your interests and habits, go ahead and fill in the information. If you don't want other ICQ users to see your personal information, you can leave some or all of this screen blank.

3. Once you've completed the personal info screen, you'll finally receive your ICQ number. Be sure to write it down; this number is one way you can identify yourself to other ICQ users.

4. The next step is to select your privacy settings. Click the "All users may add me to their contact list" radio button to let any ICQ user add you to their contact list. (Note: Users who add you to their contact list can track your online status.) If you'd rather pick and choose which users can add you to their contact lists, click the "My authorization is required before users add me to their contact list" button. Finally, check the "Publish my online/offline status on the Web" button to let users browsing your ICQ Whitepages entry see whether you're online or offline. (You can always change these options later by selecting Security & Privacy from the ICQ menu.)

5. On the final screen, you can choose from a variety of ICQ services. Click the first checkbox if you want ICQ to search the address books on your PC for friends and contacts with ICQ accounts. Click the second box to set the ICQ Web site as your start page. If you want to make yourself available for random chat (see "Chat with ICQ"), click the third checkbox. Finally, click the fourth checkbox to sign up for the ICQ newsletter (produced by the makers of ICQ, as opposed to CNET's ICQ Tips Newsletter).

HOW TO Chat With ICQ
ICQ 2000

You can do more than just send messages with ICQ. You can also chat in real time with multiple people, or even set up your own permanent chat room. Whether you want to meet new people or get a bunch of your contacts in a room together, chatting can be an effective way to communicate in real time.

A number of chat functions are only available through ICQ's Advanced Mode. If you're in Simple Mode now, click the To Advanced Mode button on your main ICQ window. This gives you a number of new menus and options.
1. To start chatting with someone on your contact list, click that person's name and select ICQ Chat from the menu that appears. In the Send Online Chat Request window, type in your chat subject and click the Chat button. This sends the chat request to the recipient. (If the recipient is offline, your chat request will remain in your out-box until he or she goes online.) When the recipient accepts your chat request, a chat window pops up.

See the big picture!
2. Once you're in the chat window, you can alter your chat interface in a couple of ways. By default, your chat appears in the IRC style, which is what you see in most traditional chat interfaces. You can change your layout to horizontal, vertical, or split-screen style using the Layout menu. You can also change your font, as well as the color of your text and background, in the Display menu or by using the style buttons at the top of the window.

3. ICQ gives you a number of ways to express yourself while you are chatting. You can use gestures (called Emotes) and actions to add character to your messages. To send an Emote, click the heart button or select Send Emote from the Action menu. Pick the gesture you want, add a message, and click Send. That gesture is sent, along with the accompanying message and a sound, to all the chatters in your group. To send an action, click the stick figure button on the top of the window, or choose Send Action from the Action menu. Once you select an action, a message describing that action (for example, "John laughs hysterically, pounding fists and feet on the ground.") will be sent to all chatters in your group.

4. If you want to add more people from your contact list to your chat, you don't have to go through the whole process of requesting a chat again; just drag your friend's nickname to your chat window. Note: Once your chat grows to seven or more people, it reverts automatically to IRC layout.

5. If you're sick of all your existing friends and fancy the idea of meeting some new ones, ICQ gives you several ways to chat with perfect strangers over the Internet. To make yourself available for a random chat, click the Online Status menu (the one that contains the ICQ flower), select Chat With a Friend, and then select Available to Chat With a Friend. This lets other ICQ users know that they can contact you for a chat, even if they're not on your list. (Note: You can create or tweak your online profile by selecting Chat With a Friend/Chat With a Friend Settings.)

6. To find a random user on ICQ, select Chat With A Friend/Find a Chat Partner from the Online Status menu; the Chat With a Friend window appears. The Finding tab in the Random window enables you to search for random chat partners by user group--just choose the group that interests you from the drop-down menu and click the Find A Random Online Chat Partner button. This tab also displays the personal information and interests of your prospective chat partner before you send a chat request. Once you've found the person with whom you'd like to chat, you can request a chat, or send a message or URL. The Details tab shows you the information about you that's going out to your prospective chat partner.

7. If you're looking for chat rooms--established chat areas containing multiple users--that are focused on a particular topic, check out the chat room directory on the ICQ Web site. You can also get to this page by clicking the Add Users button and clicking the Chat tab in the Find/Add Users To Your List window. This tab displays a number of chat resources and features on the ICQ Web site.

Get Started Using ICQ 2000
ICQ 2000

Even if you've never used a "buddy list" program before, you'll find ICQ 2000a to be easy to set up and use. Once you've downloaded, installed, and registered ICQ, start exchanging messages with your online friends by following the steps below.

1. First, if your ICQ window is not open, open it by clicking the ICQ flower in your system tray.

See the big picture!
2. To start adding people to your contact list, click the ICQ menu and select Find/Add Users. The Contact List wizard lets you search for other ICQ users and then add them to your list; to do this, enter a person's ICQ number, email address, first and last name, or ICQ nickname, then click the Next button. If ICQ can't find the person you're looking for, it can send an email message inviting her to join. (Note: ICQ is not compatible with other buddy list programs, so your friends must all have ICQ installed in order for you to add them to your list.)

3. Once you've added someone to your list, his nickname will show up in the ICQ window. When that person goes online, his name will appear in the Online section. When the user goes offline, his name will move to the Offline section.

See the big picture!
4. Once you've amassed enough names on your contact list to make you feel popular, it's time to send your first ICQ message. To do this, click the recipient's name. In the pop-up list that appears, select the Message option. Type your message in the window, and click the Send button.

5. When you receive a message in ICQ, a yellow icon will flash next to the sender's name. To read the message, double-click the icon.

6. If you want to go offline without quitting ICQ, click the Online Status button in the lower-right corner of your ICQ window (it's the one with the flower). Choose Offline/Disconnect. Now you'll appear to be offline to contacts who have put you on their lists.

7. If you've mastered the easy stuff in ICQ and want to move on to some more advanced functions, switch to Advanced Mode. To do this, click the ICQ button in the main ICQ interface and select To Advanced Mode, then click the Switch To Advanced Mode button in the window that appears. This gives you new menus, buttons, and options to work with. Read our other how-tos to find out how you can take advantage of some of these features.

HOW TO Check and Send Email
ICQ 99

By using ICQ's basic email client or your own email program, you can accomplish many of your email tasks with ICQ. Here's how to do it.

1. In the ICQ menu, choose Preferences. From the Services menu, select Email/"Send Email" Setup.

2. Click the Email tab in the Owner Prefs box.

3. Choose one of three configuration options: Use ICQ Email Client, Use Current Registered Windows Client, or Use Specified Client. If you choose the last option, you must provide the path to the email client you'd like to use.

4. Next, you must specify your Outgoing Email Server (SMTP) Details in order to receive mail via ICQ. If you don't know your SMTP server address, ask your ISP or your system administrator, or check your email client's account properties.

5. Click the Check Email tab.

6. Check the box labeled "Check email every x minutes," and adjust the time according to how often you want ICQ to check your mail.

7. Enter your POP3 mail server and email account in the boxes provided. (Your email account is the part of your email address before the "@", and the mail server name is the part of your email address after the "@".) Then, fill in the password you use for your email account.

8. If you want to read the full text of the message when it arrives with your email client, check the box labeled Automatically launch email client when new messages arrive.

9. If you want to check your mail right away, click the Check for New Mail button.

HOW TO Make Your ICQ Home Page
ICQ 99

If you really want to be part of the ICQ community, create an ICQ home page--a place on the Web where your friends can visit to find out a little more about you. Your home page actually lives on your computer's hard drive, and it is only accessible when you're online.

To create your very own Personal Communication Center--that is, your collection of home pages--click the Services button, then select My ICQ Page/Make My ICQ Homepage. The ICQ Homepage Factory wizard appears. This wizard contains three tabs: Main, Design, and Advanced.
  • The Main tab contains the modules that represent different areas of your home page: Home, Chat, Messages, Personal Details, Favorite Links, File Server, and Guestbook. ICQ provides some default text and graphics for these pages, but you can replace that with your own HTML text. You can also remove any of these modules from your ICQ home page.
  • The Design tab enables you to customize your ICQ home page. You can use ICQ's default collection of graphics, backgrounds, and headers, or you can import your own.
  • The Advanced tab gives you more control over your ICQ page, as well as how other users interact with you through it. You can determine your IP address, set up passwords for your page, and get statistics on who visited your page.
There are a lot of things you can do to customize your ICQ Web pages, but it's probably best to start with the simple stuff first. Here's how to create a simple ICQ page:

1. Click the Main tab of the Homepage Factory window. The Homepage Modules list appears on the left side of the window.

2. The home page modules allow you to change the information on your pages. Each module represents a different page of your Personal Communication Center, which is your collection of ICQ pages. You can choose to alter these modules, delete them, or add new custom modules of your own. You can alter each of these modules, and personalize the accompanying text in the box at right, as you see fit. To do so, click the module (page) you want to customize. The right side of the window shows the elements of that page that you can customize.

    See the big picture!
  • To customize the font and header for a particular page, select that module in the Main screen, and click the Edit Properties button.
  • To remove an existing page, select the module for that page and click the Remove button.
  • To add a new page to your existing set, click the Add button, then select Custom Module when it pops up. Fill out the information requested in the dialog box. Your new page will be added to the existing modules in the Main window.
  • If you want to change the default background of your page, click the Design tab, then choose a scheme from the drop-down Scheme list. ICQ offers additional schemes on its Web site. You can also add your own schemes by clicking the Import button.
  • To add an icon to your page that lets visitors to your Web page know if you're online, check the "Add Online Status Indicator" box on the Design screen. To choose your own status icons from the collection ICQ provides, click Customize Online Status Icons and browse the icons (or provide your own with the Select From Disk option).
3. Once you've made changes to a page, you can preview the page in your browser at any time by clicking the Preview Homepage button.

4. Ready to publish those pages? Hit the OK button, and you're good to go. If you want to visit your home page, go to the Services menu and select My ICQ Page/My ICQ Homepage.

HOW TO Send a Voice Message or WAV File
ICQ 99

What better way to personalize your ICQ correspondence than to send a message in your own voice? ICQ lets you send voice messages and WAV sound files to your contacts; all you need is a microphone and a few handy tips.

Before you record a voice message, make sure your microphone is properly connected.
See the big picture!
To record and send a brief voice message or send a WAV sound file through ICQ 99, start by clicking the name of the person to whom you want to send the message. Then, from the menu that pops up, select Voice Message. The Send Online Voice Message dialog box appears. Now follow the easy steps below to complete your message.

To send a voice message
1. Click the Record button and start talking into your microphone. Keep it brief, though: your message can't be more than 8 seconds long.

2. To listen to your message, click the play button. You can adjust the volume by clicking the volume slider, and you can move back and forward within the message by clicking the rewind and fast-forward buttons on the right. To set the message to play continuously, click the "loop play" button--that's the one with the circular arrows.

3. Add a text message to your voice clip by typing it in the Additional Text box.

4. If you want to send your message to multiple users, click the More button and select the other recipients.

5. Click the Send button to send your message.

To send a WAV file
Once you've installed ICQ and selected the "New ICQ#" option in your registration window, a sequence of registration windows will prompt you for more information:

1. Click the radio button next to the "Send: Wave File" text.

2. Click the Import button and locate on your hard drive the WAV file (with extension ".wav") you want to attach to your message.

3. Type your text message in the Additional Text box.

4. If you want to send your message to multiple users, click the More button and select the other recipients.

5. Click the Send button to send your message.

HOW TO Check Your Mail
ICQ 2000

You can check your ICQmail directly from the ICQ 2000 interface; just click the ICQmail button in the top-left corner of the ICQ window.

Customize the Shortcut Bar
ICQ 2000

Want to change the new Shortcut Bar on the ICQ 2000a interface? Just click the ICQuick button and choose Edit. From the dialog that appears, you can add or remove buttons from the Shortcut Bar or put the buttons in any order you prefer. You can also hide the Shortcut Bar by clicking the ICQuick button and selecting Auto Hide; now the bar will only appear when you hold your mouse over the right side of the ICQ interface. To turn off the Shortcut Bar completely, click the ICQuick link and uncheck Show.

Correspond in a Split Window
ICQ 2000

ICQ 2000 lets you choose whether to view your instant messages in single-message mode (one window for each incoming and outgoing message--the standard in previous versions) or split-window mode (which lets you view both sides of the correspondence at the same time). To change modes, click the Msg Mode button in the instant message window.

Change Users in ICQ 2000
ICQ 2000

If you're having a hard time changing users on ICQ 2000, first open your ICQ menu, click Preferences, and make sure you have Contact List selected from the navigation bar on the right. Click the Design tab and check the box in front of Show bottom ICQ buttons. This allows you to view and click a button labeled "My ICQ." Then Choose Change User On This Computer, and you'll have the option to change the active user, add a new user, or remove an ICQ number from your computer.

What's My ICQ Number?

Your ICQ number, or Universal Internet Number (UIN), is the eight-digit number that appears at the top of your ICQ window once you've installed and registered the program. If you can't open the program to check your number, go to C:\Program Files\ICQ\UIN. The filename is your UIN (with a .uin extension added to it).

Use ICQ to Surf the Net

The ICQ Networks Today window gives you a launchpad to ICQ-related resources on the Web, from user lists to ICQ chats focused on specific topics. To launch this window, switch to Advanced Mode, and click the Networks button. Each tab in the window represents a different topic area.

Use ICQ on a Second Machine or Restore After a Crash

Yes, you can use your ICQ number on a second machine, and you can use the same ICQ number if you crash. There are three things you'll need: your ICQ number, your password, and a backup of your contact list. You should always have a backup of your contact list somewhere. Read this tip for instructions on backing up ICQ.

If you lose your ICQ application, or want to install it on a second machine, download as you would normally. When you first start up ICQ, choose to register with an existing ICQ number. Enter your ICQ number and password. (If you can't remember your ICQ password, try retrieving it at ICQ's Password Problems page.)

After the installation is complete, restore your contact list with the instructions in this tip. Restart ICQ, and you're in business.

If you're using ICQ on two computers, remember that when you make a change to a contact list on one machine you need to copy your database over to the second machine to keep the lists consistent.

Get the Mail

It's long been said that you can never be too rich or too thin--or have too many free Web-based email accounts. Now ICQ has jumped into the email fray with its new Web-based service, ICQmail. ICQmail gives you most of the basic features of other Web-based email accounts such as Yahoo and Hotmail--a spelling checker, mailing lists, an address book, and so on. And it also integrates nicely with the ICQ client; for example, you can set ICQ to notify you with a flashing icon when you have mail. Sign up for your ICQmail account and get more details here

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Related links for ICQ 2000a

flower power
Visit CNET's ICQ Topic Center
From the developer:
   Official ICQ Web site
   Installation Guide
   Registration Troubleshooting
   White Pages
   Games Resources
More from CNET:
   ICQ (32-bit, Without MFC DLLs)
   ICQ (16-bit)
   All ICQ Downloads
   ICQ 2000a Review
   ICQ Toolkit
   ICQ Help
   ICQ Tips Dispatch
   ICQ News
   ICQ Discussions
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