Privacy settings

This page aims to explain the different privacy settings in Adium.

What happens when you block someone varies by what messaging service you are using. In all cases, you will appear offline to them and they will be unable to send message to you. For all services except MSN they will appear offline to you, and you will be unable to see their status.

Blocked contacts appear in your ContactList with this status icon:

though some AdiumStatusIcons packs may have a different icon for blocked contacts.

Blocking single contacts/spammers

There are two ways:

  1. right-click on the chat tab containing the spam and click “Block” or
  2. select the user you wish to block from the Contact List and
    a) choose the "Block" option from either the "Contact" menu or
    b) choose the "Block" option from the contact's contextual menu (the menu that comes up when you control- or right-click on the contact).

Unblocking single contacts/spammers

In 1.0 and newer, navigate to your privacy settings page, select the user you wish to unblock, and use the "-" button to remove them from the list.

In versions prior to 1.0, first "Show Offline Contacts" from the "View" menu (blocked contacts appear as offline), find the blocked contact, select it, and choose the "Unblock" option from either the "Contact" menu or the blocked contact's contextual menu.

Setting up blocking rules

From version 1.0 onwards, you can edit various general and account-specific privacy details in a menu item called "Privacy Settings". To view it, browse under the Adium menu:

There you can:

  • utilize different privacy levels and
  • manipulate allow and block lists

for each account. Adjust your privacy level to an appropriate one, and add or remove contacts using the "+" and "-" buttons.

Allow lists

  • "Allow All Contacts"
  • "Allow certain contacts"
  • "Allow only users on my contact list" is the quickest way to block spammers:

Block lists

  • "Block certain contacts"

Note: Unfortunately, not all services support all privacy settings; Adium does not currently present this information as clearly as it should. This will hopefully be fixed at a later point on the libpurple level. (See for more information)

Services and the Privacy Settings they support


supports all privacy settings displayed by Adium.


supports "Allow certain contacts" and "Block certain contacts".
For MSN, the "Allow only users on my contact list" setting actually adds all contacts currently on your list to the allow list and sets "Allow certain contacts." This will be properly reflected after restarting Adium. It should also be noted that "Allow all contacts" is the same as "Block certain contacts", so selecting "Allow all contacts" won't remove the block list stored on the server.


supports "Allow All Contacts" and "Block certain contacts".
All settings except "Allow All Contacts" will enable your Block list and block only those contacts. This will be properly reflected after restarting Adium.


supports "Block certain contacts" except that they aren't really blocked and are still able to send you messages, they just can't see if you are online or not. So this privacy option resembles ICQ's "invisible lists".

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Page last modified by Robby, 7 years ago