The previous tutorial explained how to sign in to Windows Live Messenger, with the basic options at your disposal (which will be briefly covered in this tutorial, since they affect how you sign out). In this tutorial, we will show you how to logout of Messenger, including security precautions you can take, depending on the situation (using Messenger on your own computer, a shared PC, or at a public location), and your intent - you can sign out temporarily, or completely erase traces of your login credentials.
First, here's an option to consider before actually signing out of Messenger: this may be a lot more convenient if you only want to avoid being disturbed. From the main Windows Live Messenger window, click on your user name in the top right corner, and you'll see the four familiar sign in status:
Click on "Appear offline" in the dropdown menu to switch your sign in status to offline (aka "invisible"). You'll still be able to send instant messages, but will appear as offline (not signed in) to everyone.
Tip: in Windows 7, move your cursor above the Messenger button in the taskbar, and you can change current status by clicking on the preview thumbnail squares:
If you do want to completely sign out of Messenger, use that same dropdown menu by clicking on your username in the top right corner of the main window: then, choose one of three options.
Tip: in Windows 7, right-click on the Windows Live Messenger icon in the taskbar, and you can "Sign out from here" in the jump list (logs out of current PC only).
To completely erase your credentials, you will need to go an extra step: once you have manually logged out, re-open Messenger if needed. Either way, you should now be looking at the sign in screen.
Depending on the settings you picked when you last logged in, your email address and password may already be filled into the corresponding text fields. If this is the case, click on the "Forget me" link next to the "Sign me in automatically" checkbox. This removes your credentials and deletes your remembered information from the dropdown arrow button in the email address text field (no longer visible unless other accounts have logged into Messenger). Otherwise, a simple click allows someone to login as yourself:
Remember: if you choose "Sign in with a different Windows Live ID" from the dropdown, it will not erase your credentials from Messenger. Simply selecting your Hotmail email address will auto-populate these two text fields.