How to send a private message in IRC chat

Updated: 04/26/2017 by Computer Hope

How to send a private message in IRC depends on the IRC client you are using, and the configuration of the IRC server to which you're connecting. However, using one of the below methods should allow you to send a private message to someone with most IRC chat clients.


Before sending someone a private message, practice good etiquette by asking for permission. Also, if that user is ignoring all private messages it will be ignored.

Double-click on username

Double-click on the username. If supported, a private chat with that user should appear.

Query or msg user

Using the /query or /msg commands also open a private chat with that user. Below are examples of how these commands are used. In both of these examples, we are sending a private message to the user with the name hope and the message hello. If you want to open a blank chat, the message can also be left out.

/query hope hello

/msg hope hello


Some clients also allow users to shortcut /m instead of the /msg command to privately send messages.

Additional information