Away Messages

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This very short guide and almost rant relates to away messages set on IRC. There is a correct way to mark yourself as away and a variety of other disruptive ways to show you are away which will most likely result in your existence on an IRC network being short lived, so lets begin.

Away messages in public channels are a terrible idea, please DON'T use them

Messaging every conceivable channel you're in on an IRC network to tell them that you're is NEVER ok. Maybe some people do care that you're going away for whatever but the chances are a majority don't! Messages such as

* ILike2Away is back: Answering the door to an irrelevant delivery man!

are forcing the other users or ops in one or more of these many channels to at least look at the window and read something that they potentially don't care about.

Do any of your actual *friends* need to know? No

Were you actually having a conversation with anyone in the channel? No but even if you were, the other channels you're on don't need to know!

IRC is fantastic in the way that you can leave you're client open and all the messages you received while you were away will still be there! This isn't like snapchat where you see something and its gone before you can even say "wtf". These days you can even disconnect your client and still receive most of the messages you missed while away using this fantastic software called an IRC Bouncer. Many are available for free here

Changing your nickname is also terrible, DON'T even go there

The same sort of argument applies here, there is no need to change your nickname so that every conceivable channel your in on an IRC network knows your away.

*** MyBrainHurts is now known as MyBrainHurts|brb
*** MyBrainHurts|brb is now known as MyBrainHurts
*** MyBrainHurts is now known as MyBrainHurts|afk
*** MyBrainHurts|afk is now known as MyBrainHurts

Once again, a majority of people do not care that you away and don't need or want to know. You should leave your nick the way it is.. not only does this prevent a flood of nick changes in every channel your in, but means you can stay identified to services and don't need to group your away nicks!

Please for the love of anything use /away to change your away status

IRC in all its glory has this fantastic command known as /away. This fantastic command lets you set an away message which can be seen when a user decides to /whois, even better most modern day IRC clients will highlight the nickname a different color in the user list to show you're away! All you need to do is the following:

/away The reason that i am away

and as if by magic, this line appears in your whois

* [MyBrainStillHurts] is away (The reason i am away)

You're probably asking "but how do i set myself back again so people know I've returned". Use either one of the following commands


It's that simple! (and if you're using an IRC Bouncer, there are modules to automate this!)


Away messages and away nicknames that spam channels with useless information, please use /away and reap the benefits of surviving longer on your chosen IRC Network

Sources: This page is loosely based on (Updated 24th June 2000)