Basic mIRC Information

What is IRC

Regardless of what client you choose to use, mIRC or another, they are simply the tools used to access IRC. IRC stands for Internet Relay Chat. IRC is an open protocol that uses TCP and optionally SSL to bring servers and users together. An IRC server connects multiple servers together to create an IRC network. Users access IRC networks by connecting a client to a server. Most IRC servers do not require users to log in, a user sets a nickname before being connected as well as following the particular servers rules. If your new to IRC and mIRC the next section will assist you in a basic understanding of IRC terms and status of users as well as how to some of mIRC's basic features.


Usernames are known as nicks on IRC. Most IRC clients allow you to choose a primary and alternate nickname. Nick length varies by Network.

IRC Chat Channels

Chat rooms on IRC Networks are known as channels. There are thousands of channels on every IRC network. Users also have the ability to open and maintain their own channels. Channels on IRC have no user limit. Owners decide what will and won't be allowed in their channel(s).

Private Messages

Private messages, also known as pm or query are much like any other chat clients. mIRC offers DCC chat as well as query. DCC chat is subject to firewall and router issues and must be set up properly to use. Many users use anti-messaging scripts to avoid spammers or would rather not chat privately. Its a good idea to ask a user if you may message him or her prior to doing so.


DCC is a Direct Client to Client connection. Though it is initiated with your IRC chat client, once the connection is established it is completely independent of the originating client. Since DCC is no longer using the server to pass information it is relatively private. DCC is often used to send and receive large files and is not subject to server lag or net-splits.


Each Network has Operators. Also known as IRCops or SysOps. These are Owners or employees of the server company which have control over the server itself.

Channel Operators

When you join an IRC channel you may notice some users have an @ prefixing their nick. These are channel operators, or otherwise known as ops. They are usually responsible for assisting the channel Owner in maintaining and protecting the channel. Operator status can often be earned in established channels, though it is bad netiquette to ask for op's.

Voiced Users

When you join an IRC channel you may notice some users have an + prefixing their nick. These users are Voiced. This flag is mainly used for a +m (moderated) channel, though some scripts use voice to reward top 10 trivia players or to set advanced permissions without having to give op status.

Finding and Joining Channels

While mIRC contains many channels in its default list, you may have an interest in joining a channel whose name someone has given you or a channel topic specific to your interests. If you know the channel name you wish to join simply type it in the text area and click join using the syntax /j #channelname.

Using Search to Find Channels

If your prefer to search for channels which match your interests click the icon on your mIRC toolbar, fill in your search terms, and or options and search. To connect to a channel in the list that's displayed simply right click the channel name in the list and choose join from the menu.

Using the Favorites Menu

Saving a channel to favorites couldn't be easier. When you join a channel you wish to add to favorites, select favorites from the main mIRC window and select add favorite. You will then get a details window. Choose your desired options and your all set.

Display Settings

mIRC is highly customizable. Choose Display from mIRC options to set your desired viewing options. Set your button position, color, toolbars and more.


Click the icon on your mIRC toolbar from the main mIRC window to select your desired theme(s). mIRC allows you to select preset color themes or create your own desired look. Change backgrounds, text color and more.

Address Book

mIRC allows you to create and maintain an address book. Click the icon on your main mIRC toolbar. The Address Book stores buddy information like nick, email address.
Notify acts as a buddy list letting you know when your buddies are on IRC.
Control is for channel and user controls, ignore, ban, and op users.
Color allows you to select a color to associate with a nick. Give your buddy a color of your choice.