Set your status
You can set your Messages status so that others who send you messages or have you in their buddy lists can see whether you’re available to receive messages. (You can use buddy lists with a Jabber account, but not with iMessage.)
If you don’t set Messages to go offline when you quit, when someone sends you a message, a notification appears. You can open Messages from the notification, or you can turn off notifications for a conversation. Your Jabber buddies can’t send you messages while you’re offline.
You can set your status to any of the following:
Offline: You’re not available to receive messages.
Invisible: Shows you’re offline, even though you’re actually online, and you can see the status of anyone in your buddy lists.
Available: Status indicator in the buddy list is green and you’re available to respond to messages.
Current iTunes Song: Shows the name of the iTunes song or podcast you’re currently listening to.
Unavailable: Status indicator is red. You’re online, but unavailable or don’t want to receive messages. People can still send you messages, but your status lets them know that you may not answer.
Custom: A status message that you create.
Set your status manually
Click your status in the bottom-left of the Messages window, then choose a new status from the pop-up menu.
If the Messages window isn’t showing, choose Window > Messages.
Have your status change automatically
Choose Messages > Preferences, then click General.
Do any of the following:
Have your status changed to Away after you haven’t used your computer for more than 15 minutes: Select “Set my status to Away after the computer is inactive.” Your status is also changed to Away if the screen saver comes on or the display goes to sleep. (If the computer goes to sleep, Messages quits.)
Choose what happens when you return to your computer after your status has been set to Away: Choose an option from the “When I return” pop-up menu.
Indicate that you’re not available for chatting when you quit Messages: Select “When I quit Messages, set my status to Offline.”
When you quit Messages, your buddies see your status as Offline. If they send you a message, you won’t receive it until you open Messages.
Manage your online status
Use the same status for different accounts: Click your status in the Messages window, then choose Use Same Status for All Accounts from the pop-up menu.
Change your status from the menu bar: Choose Messages > Preferences, click General, then select “Show status in menu bar.”
If you want to be able to change your Messages status and send messages to available buddies even when Messages is closed, select the “Show status in menu bar” option and deselect the “When I quit Messages, set my status to Offline” option.
Customize your status messages
Create and apply a new status message: Click your status in the Messages window, choose Custom Available or Custom Away from the pop-up menu, type your message, then press Return.
Manage your status messages: Click your status message in a buddy list, choose Edit Status Menu from the pop-up menu, then do any of the following:
Add a status message: Click the Add button below the Available or Away list, type a new message, then press Return.
Edit a status message: Double-click the message, make your changes, then press Return.
Remove a status message: Select the message you want to remove, then click the Remove button .
Save Custom Available and Custom Away status messages: Choose an option from the Remember pop-up menu.
Change the order of the status messages in the menu: Drag them up or down in the list, or between the Available and Away columns.