Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.

Messenger, Messenger or Messenger? Three different programs all with similar names. We'll sort out which messenger is which.

What's the difference between MSN Messenger, Windows Messenger, and Windows Messenger?

Note: this article has been superseded. Please read What's the difference between Windows Live Messenger, Windows Messenger, MSN Messenger and Windows Messenger Service?

They're all "Messenger", right? Not at all. It's a confusing mess thanks to the way Microsoft choose to name several of its applications.

We'll take this one application at a time.

MSN Messenger is an instant messaging client not unlike Yahoo instant messenger (YIM) or AOL instant messenger (AIM). Any windows user can download MSN Messenger. In addition MSN Messenger may be pre-installed in some cases, such as for those users who have signed up for MSN's version 8 or later service.

On Windows XP and presumably later, "Windows Messenger" is another instant messaging client, very much like MSN Messenger. It is installed when you install Windows XP and runs only on Windows XP. (The updated Windows Messenger 5.0 also runs on Windows 2000 and can be downloaded here).

While Windows Messenger and MSN Messenger look very similar, they in fact are two separate applications. The good news is that either can be used to access the same .NET Messaging Service contacts. That's the default instant messaging service for both and the one you'll use on the internet. What that really means is that if all you're doing is instant messaging your friends and family on the internet, it doesn't matter which one you use and changing from one to the other is not a problem.

Unfortunately, as I said, they are two different programs. They have slightly different feature sets and release on different schedules. In particular, Windows Messenger is more tightly integrated with applications such as Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Outlook Express, or the Remote Assistance feature of Windows XP. The differences and the confusion don't end there, though. Microsoft has a Knowledgebase article that touches on more of the technical differences and provides instructions for installing and running both on the same machine. The good news is that most likely you'll never need to know how or why you would want to.

But sadly, the confusion does not end there. There is yet another Windows "Messenger".

On Windows 2000 and Windows XP there is a service called "Messenger". It's unfortunately often referred to as the "Windows Messenger" that is used to present what can best be called "network messages" to a machine's user. This is not an instant messaging application, but rather software that runs in the background listening for incoming messages and popping up a very simple box containing the message when one arrives. The most common example might be in a corporate environment when you send a document to a network printer. The messenger service handles the pop-up message that the printer sends back when it has finished.

Unfortunately the Messenger Service has been exploited by spammers to pop-up unwanted advertising messages on unprotected machines on the internet. The average user has absolutely no need for the Windows Messenger Service and thus it can safely be turned off. To do so, go to Start -> Programs -> Accessories -> Administrative Tools -> Computer Management -> Services & Applications -> Services. Double click "Messenger" and set the "Startup Type" to Disabled. You can also "Stop" the service at that same dialog. (You can also grab a copy of 10 Quick Steps to Stopping Pop-Up Ads for help stopping this and other pop-up annoyances.)

Think we're done? Guess again. There's one more instant messaging client I want to briefly mention.

If you play certain games on MSN's Gaming Zone, you may also be presented with a small application called "ZoneFriends". Yes, you guessed it, it's yet another instant messaging application. It's specifically for chatting among the folks you're playing your online games with.

Thankfully though, the word "Messenger" is nowhere to be seen.

Article C1840 - September 16, 2003 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

David Burn
October 29, 2003 3:48 PM

Very helpful - thanks a lot! However, it might be an idea to include the fact that on some versions of XP (mine at least), "Administrative Tools" is now accessed from the Control Panel, and not from Accessories. Moreover, to see these tools, you have to click on "Switch to Classic View" of the Control Panel.

Thanks again for your help - a most useful site to have found.

Best wishes

David Burn

Jon Bailey
December 3, 2003 9:03 AM

Another interesting trivia bit - both Windows Messenger and MSN Messenger use different methods to transmit video between users.

So ... some firewalled users can share their webcam with another person with MSN Messenger, but not with Windows Messenger.

December 10, 2003 8:40 AM

But what if I only want 1 Messenger in my computer, which shall I choose? Which is better or more suitable for me?
Thanks a lot! ^^

December 10, 2003 9:12 AM

To me it's a matter of personal preference. The feature sets intersect, but there are a few things unique to each. My preference, for what it's worth, is MSN Messenger - and I think that's probably the best solution unless you're using exchange server as your mail provider (which is rare outside of the corporate environment).


December 16, 2003 12:11 AM

thanks you've been a lot of help....I'm now using MSN messenger and I've also found out a way to uninstall windows messenger from another website. We can go to Start->run...-> then enter the following command:-

RunDll32 advpack.dll,LaunchINFSection %windir%\INF\msmsgs.inf,BLC.Remove

then pres ok! that's it!

January 3, 2004 6:12 PM

My mother just bought a new computer but she is pretty computer illiterate. I was able to teach her how to use email and Word but since we live a couple states apart I thought that the Remote Assistance feature would be helpful when she has a problem and such. Well, today she had a such problem and walked her though how to ask for remote assistance through Windows Messenger. I am using MSN messenger. We are both updated but the remote assistance will not work. It goes ahead and does the invite but right after is automatically cancels the invite...whats wrong? I figure it might be the two different messenger conflicting. Anyone know?

Leo Notenboom
January 3, 2004 6:19 PM

That sure sounds like the behaviour that can also prevent audio conversations in messenger as well. Check out this article: and see if it, or any of the comments there, apply.


January 4, 2004 9:50 AM

I just wanted to thank the chap who wrote this article as it has saved me some time looking elsewhere for what I have to do to turn off messenger. Anyway, thank you once again for your information.

January 5, 2004 7:43 AM

Well, after a few long hours of research and trying to explain to my mother on the phone step-by-step what to do, I finally got it working! It seems that we skimped out on updating Windows Messenger to 4.7. Kinda gets me frustrated when it seems so simple afterwards. Updating MSN messenger did not do the trick I guess, oh well. The remote assistance is an awsome utility and my mom and I wizzed through a few more "lessons" on how to use the computer, thanks for your help!

anne Fischer
January 5, 2004 12:55 PM

I just got a new dell dimension 8300.

Messenger can be used to call out but they can't hear me!!! I can hear others calling in fine!!!

What's wrong with this thing? I took off the firewall, adjusted the volume, recorded my voice, used the audio wizard...everything works fine! But nobody can hear me.

Thanks, Annie

January 5, 2004 2:30 PM

Which messenger are you using? And what version? And is it identical to the folks at the other end who can't hear you? (And even though it sounds kind of obvious, can they hear *anything*? :-).


January 7, 2004 1:19 PM

If you have them both running, can you log in with one ID to one account, and another to the other?
I know that you can have lots of Windows open, but you have to have the same user in them all.
I think that in Yahoo you can have two instances running, with a different ID in each

M Hall
January 9, 2004 5:24 PM

Verry Helpful.

Thank you.

January 12, 2004 5:42 AM

Thanks for the info; useful site.

January 14, 2004 6:30 AM

If a windows account is not administrative, msn messanger can not be installed.

Is there any way to install msn messanger on non-admin windows account?


January 15, 2004 12:12 AM

I would like to know why my msn not working with not in connect?
I have been looking everwhere I wish found it put connect msn on evertime sorry your password not right. so I went ot my friend place to use computer and my msn is working with my password dont know why my computer fail with password so help me why ?? Thank you

Kay D.
January 21, 2004 5:27 PM

I have an ex-girlfriend of one of my sons that keeps sending me unwanted and unsolicited info
regarding my son and his new wife.

For the life of me, I cannot figure out how to
block her from messenger and also sending me
emails, short of changing my addys.....thank you
very much for any info you can give me. Ka

Alan Huth
January 22, 2004 11:10 AM

All my friends seem to be using AIM. Can I IM with them on Windows Messenger or do I need AIM? Do the various IM programs talk to each other? I'm particularly interested in IM with friends on Macs.

January 22, 2004 11:17 AM

Nope, they do not inter-operate, sorry. Windows Messenger will not talk to AIM. You'll need to install the appropriate IM software. For example, I happen to run MSN Messenger, AIM and Yahoo - three separate instant messengers. The Mac issue doesn't matter - AIM on Mac can talk to AIM on Windows just fine. (The only exception, is that MSN Instant Messenger will talk to Windows Instant Messenger).

There are third-party IM clients out there that support multiple protocols, but their status is legally questionable. The IM protocols are not "open", so technically you're only supposed to use the clients from the IM vendors such as AOL, MSN, Yahoo and so on.


January 30, 2004 12:35 PM

Hi, I know nothing about what is Outlook/Outlook Express and all Outlooks.Please explian me what is it and how do we use it and when can we use it?
Thanx for your time.

January 30, 2004 8:06 PM

Outlook and Outlook express are Microsoft's two mail clients. You can read more about them here:


February 11, 2004 8:57 PM

Great Article, explained a lot

Donna Kitchen
February 13, 2004 3:48 PM

Using Windows Messenger with a friend,on different days the audio convesation would be garbled. I found that I was on line only at 41.2 Kbps. When I reconnected at 46.6 audio was good.

bryant casteel
February 16, 2004 9:35 PM

Thank you for that explanation. Now,it's quite clear but still the naming convention of that MS program is not so good. I thought they have these high paid Software Engineers and System Analysts..ooops, should I say geeks?

sacred bryant
February 16, 2004 9:40 PM

Thanks. Anyway, let's not confuse ourselves with MSN messenger, Windows Messenger and the Net Send messenger utility. They have differences after all. Read FAQ before using these tools.

February 21, 2004 7:11 AM

I have different sign on to my computer msn messenger 6. Now, I log in to my msn messenger with the .net messenger service display, I can scroll down a list of email that has access my computer before. Is there anyway to get rid of the email list?

February 22, 2004 4:38 PM

Not exactly sure what you're asking. If you're talking about the list of contacts that shows in MSN Messenger, you can select each one and delete them from the list with the delete key, or right clicking on each and select Remove Contact.


February 27, 2004 9:32 AM

i have my password and username right, i logged on last note it let me use msn but today i dont no whats happened!

February 28, 2004 4:13 PM

If you're ABSOLUTELY POSITIVE that you have your username and password correct, and you've already double checked things like the CAPS LOCK key not being on, then a) wait just a while ... MSN messenger does have periods where it's down for servicing, and b) if it persists, either create a new account, or try calling MSN customer support to reset the password on your acocunt (I'm not sure they will, but it's worth a try.)

Good luck!


March 6, 2004 9:14 AM

i've just downloaded msn messenger, but when ever i try to sign on to it, it says that it won't work because there's a problem with the service or that i'm not connected to the internet. I am connected to the internet and when i looked the service was fine. Why is it doing this? HELP!!

March 8, 2004 4:49 PM

I had this very problem, and was going to wait until you got your reply..but I found an answer, and thought I would pass it on to you.

I have zone alarm installed and had to changed my settings to allow MSN 6.1 to run.

You may want to change your firewall settings. It was frustrating, but it works fine now.

March 12, 2004 6:52 AM

is there any way to recover last session on windows messenger--its not been saved--this is a security issue--i think one of my employees is sending info via messenger

March 12, 2004 7:53 AM

Not that I am aware of. If the MSN Messenger session is still open - i.e. the application hasn't been closed then it may still be in the window, and one could copy/paste. But if archiving hasn't been turned on then I'm unaware of any way to recover.


March 14, 2004 6:06 AM

The latest version of MSN Messenger is so simular to Windows Messeger, but Windows Messenger has a "professional look", so why don't Microsoft just have one messanger program which you can give it skins so you can have the prefessional look or the more comfortable 'home' msn look!

March 16, 2004 5:38 PM

i am useing windows messenger so you are saying that i can receive messages from msn messenger too?

March 16, 2004 9:33 PM

That is supposed to work, yes :-).


March 17, 2004 8:54 AM

Leo, Is Windows Messenger 5.0 just an update to 4.7? My company is completely XP and we use 4.7 on all systems. When you do a Windows Update or go to XP's site to download the latest Messenger, it appears to be 4.7 still. However, there is this 5.0 floating around but I was afraid to try it on systems as I thought it might be the Exchange Server version only. Just want to make sure.


March 17, 2004 9:16 AM

First, you're quite right. 5.0 will supposedly still work with normal .NET messaging that 4.7 and MSN messenger use, but it's targetted at the exchange server / corporate market.

As if there weren't enough messengers around already. is MS's info page on 5.0.

Unless you have a specific reason, I'd stick with 4.7.


March 18, 2004 5:53 AM

Leo--Thanks so much for this site and clearing up this confusion. This has been bugging me for a while and you cleared up a lot of my questions with Messenger, Messenger and Messenger. I have shut off Messenger Service and only have Windows Messenger 4.7 installed as a default browser.

One item of note, my friend and I always communicated with MSN Messenger 6.0 until I bought a new computer with XP as a platform and THEN we could no longer use MSN Messenger 6.0 as we were advised (popup window) that my friend had to upgrade to XP in order to connect. We shifted to YAHOO for months before he bought a new computer with XP and now we can use MSN with no problems.

Strange that XP and MSN Messenger are not backwards compatible to lesser platforms. Real strange!

Thanks again,
Al in Ottawa Canada

March 18, 2004 9:25 AM

You sure that's not backwards? MSN Messenger 6.0 interoperates just fine with other messengers. Windows messenger 4.7 may or may not. Perhaps you were using an advanced feature like voice or video? I could see compatability issues there, but simple chatting should work fine regardless of platform.

Whatever, it sounds like you're working, which is great :-).


March 19, 2004 1:19 PM

voice AND video were the problem Leo. Sorry I did not point that out. It's all fine now though as we are both XP and have BOTH 4.7 . I have not loaded on 6.0 as messenger serves me well. We DO find however, that when my friend tries to invited me to audio or video chat from his 6.0 to my 4.7, that it will not accept and the nagscreen says that *I* have to install a messenger platform. Yes, it does not recognize I have 4.7 not only installed, but running. When my friend shut down 6.0 and THEN opened his on board 4.7 we had no problems whatsoever.

Heheh I thought these machines were supposed to make life easier, not confuse the heck out of us!


March 24, 2004 12:05 AM

This helped me, since I've had problems when I started up my computer. MSN messenger was the only one to show, but i got logged off my account, because Windows Messenger was running in the background. It took me quite a while to find out why it was doing it, but when I finally figured it out, I needed help to remove Windows Messenger. This site helped me and of course the comments did. So if anyone else got the problem with both MSN Messenger and Windows Messenger starting, do as "L I M" wrote and uninstall either MSN Messenger, in the add/remove software application in Control Panel, or Windows Messenger by going to Start --> Run and write the following:

RunDll32 advpack.dll,LaunchINFSection %windir%\INF\msmsgs.inf,BLC.Remove

March 30, 2004 12:27 AM

Hi Leo, msn mess v6.1,xp platrform, sound blaster pro card.In thes setting part mic works great but when trying to have conversation volume slide show but no sound from neither party, have reset and hard rebooted but no differance. Any ideas



April 8, 2004 6:05 AM


Great article. Thanks a lot. Do both MSN Messenger and Windows Messenger use the same ports? If so, can you tell me what port numbers they use? I'd like to block those ports on my NetScreen.



April 8, 2004 9:19 AM

I believe that they do for basic operations. However it's not a simple "use this port" ... some ports vary, and some will change based on your configuration (for example it'll try to use an http connection if it can't connect direct). Best advice right now is to search "network" in Messenger's online help, and then hit the advanced, or "configuring for your LAN" types of topics for the latest info.


April 8, 2004 9:25 AM

lucid explanation, worth the reading of it AND the responses. now i can go forth - and recommend this article to those i cannot explain it all to. thanks.

April 10, 2004 10:45 AM

Replying to David Burns comment last October on XP home version. You do not have to switch to classic view in Control Panel to get to administrative tools. It is in the Performance and Maintenance link.
Very useful page, though I had already shut down all netBios traffic through other avenues. I think it was PC MAG security tips.
Please tell me about that little security tag in the form input. I assume it is to screen/filter unwanted mail? Did you write it or is it part of a software package?

April 10, 2004 10:51 AM

Re: the security code - I was getting "blog spam" - automated tools were posting links to porn and other sites here in the comments section. I'd manually delete them, but it was apain. I wrote an article on it, which has pointers to where I got the code:



April 12, 2004 5:38 PM

I have windows messenger on my computer, but i wont to update to msn 6, but if i do, there will be 2 messenger on my computer, how do i get msn to replace windows. There has been no update window, so i fiqured i should do it myself.

April 12, 2004 6:29 PM

A couple of ways: in Windows Messenger, just turn off the option the "start when windows starts". That won't un-install it, but will keep it out of your way. To actually un-install: Control Panel, Settings, Add/Remove Windows Components, and uncheck Windows Messenger.


April 14, 2004 5:49 AM

I have just install msn I uninstll msn 6.

April 14, 2004 8:26 AM

6.0 should already be gone, then. 6.1 is an upgrade and should take care of that for you.


April 18, 2004 3:38 AM

No matter what I do, THE FONT ON MSN JUST WONT CHANGE! I press personal settings, change font, press the one i wont, then if i go to start a new convo, it's the font i want, but the size hasn't changed.

April 19, 2004 8:56 AM

The font on MSN? Or the font of your messages within MSN Messenger?

Anyway, it sounds like the font DID change ... just not the size of the font?

I don't have a good answer for that, but I may also be missunderstanding what you're experiencing. Perhaps you could clarify?



April 21, 2004 10:13 AM

Comment to : UnaX at March 24, 2004 12:05 AM that wrote :
This helped me, since I've had problems when I started up my computer. MSN messenger was the only one to show, but i got logged off my account, because Windows Messenger was running in the background. It took me quite a while to find out why it was doing it, but when I finally figured it out, I needed help to remove Windows Messenger. This site helped me and of course the comments did. So if anyone else got the problem with both MSN Messenger and Windows Messenger starting, do as "L I M" wrote and uninstall either MSN Messenger, in the add/remove software application in Control Panel, or Windows Messenger by going to Start --> Run and write the following: RunDll32 advpack.dll,LaunchINFSection %windir%\INF\msmsgs.inf,BLC.Remove
I must say, I faced the same problem and solved it by doing the following :
1) inside Internet Explorer - tools - windows update
2) go RUN tap gpedit.msc + enter -> open computer configuration -> admin templates -> windows components -> windows messenger -> in the right pane you'll find two settings : 1st one you disable and the 2nd one you enable.
This way I can use Msn Messenger and Windows Messenger next to each other and msn does not sign off because windows messenger played on the background. It's simply a vulnerability in the Win XP that you have to patch. What "L I M" wrote is "overkill", it's not needed.
Greetings from George, Brussels, Belgium

April 23, 2004 6:32 PM

i have msn 9 dial up which comes with msn messenger i wanted to ask how can i sign in using another screnn name or user name

thank you

April 24, 2004 4:30 AM

Hye there! i have problem logging into windows messenger and MSN messenger at the same time. I am using windows xp Home edition, can anyone tell me how to be able to log in for both msn messenger and windows messenger at the same time. I tried to enable the windows messenger from the add/remove windows commponent, but windows messenger didn't appeart! appreciate it!

April 24, 2004 9:16 AM

herandy: In MSN MEssenger, File menu, Sign Out, followed by File.Sign In where you specify the new user name to log in as. That *should* be completely separate from your dial-up.


April 26, 2004 11:25 AM


April 26, 2004 5:01 PM

Are you talking about email, or messenger? They're two different things. Clearly you've been able to connect to the internet in order to visit this site. Is MSN you ISP? If the problems you're reporting are with Messenger, does your email work reliably?

I'll also politely suggest you read this article: .


April 29, 2004 11:33 AM

Hi...does Window Messenger 4.7 for XP archive conversations?

April 29, 2004 11:58 AM

Very interesting. From what I can tell it does NOT. Another difference :-).



May 1, 2004 2:50 AM

Everytime i tried to sign in to msn messenger,a pop-out keeps appearing asking me if i would like to download the new msn messenger version 6.2.I am now using msn messenger version 6.0 by the way.So,when i clicked yes as in to download the new version,it said that i do not have a pentium proccessor in my computer.The next time i signed in,i clicked no and so signed in again but the pop-out just keep appearing.How do i clear it.I do not intent to download the new version.

May 1, 2004 8:49 AM

Yes, as far as 6.x is concerned, if you truly have an old machine that does not have a Pentium processor, you may be out of luck. 6.2 is a required update, for security reasons, and it does require a Pentium.

You *might* try running Messenger *5*. - it *might* not force the upgrade, and may not require a Pentium.

But I can't guarantee that will work.

Good luck!


May 3, 2004 2:53 PM

How do I operate MSN Messanger behind a firwall. I would like to use Messanger at work but I am unable to do so, please give me a solution by today to work around this.

Thank you


May 6, 2004 8:10 AM

Hi im interesting in exposing the interfaces on offer with MSN Messanger using VB application. Basically i wish to handle all that i can do with the MSN Messanger through my application. I dont want MSN Messanger screen on my computer but want to use all its functionality. Kindly help

May 6, 2004 8:45 AM

To the best of my knowledge there is no longer an offical API to write your own MSN Messenger client. There are unofficial projects out there that continually try to reverse engineer it, though. Do a google search on "MSN Messenger API" and you run across a few.

May 11, 2004 4:13 AM

Here was me thinking ive signed out of MSN messenger but still i was getting PMs because i was also signed into windows messenger!

Ive now sorted the problem and im just running MSN messenger now :)

Thank you very much

May 13, 2004 4:20 AM

Hi Leo, you're the best!!! Still unclear about how to work around an office firewall in 6.2

May 13, 2004 9:05 AM

There's no one answer, Zaphod. You'll have to talk to the IT people maintaining your office firewall to see what they will, and won't allow. "You can't" is, sadly, one of the possible answers.

Good luck.

May 17, 2004 1:49 AM

Hello....I understand your infomation but I feel that you are a bit too long winded....Sorry but I'm saying a fact....Hope u won't take it to heart...Thanks.....

Take Care......
May God bless you...

May 21, 2004 8:01 PM

What should I do if I want to use only one of them? How to uninstall Windows Messeger?

May 21, 2004 8:09 PM

Uninstall Windows Messenger by using Control Panel, Add/Remove Programs, Add/Remove Windows Components, and deselect Windows Messenger. It may be enough, though, to simply configure it to not start when Windows does. That's in Windows Messager's Options dialog.

Matt Williams
May 23, 2004 1:49 PM

I have Windows XP and the person I'm trying to video/audio message has 2000ME. The Audio works well, and I can send my video with the audio working. However, when the ME person sends his video, the video "locks up" and eventually, his system "freezes".
We're both using Logitech web-cams and MSN Messanger.
I have Norton Anti-virus as well as Norton's Firewall.

May 23, 2004 2:15 PM

Offhand I'd say that his system is too underpowered to send video, but I could be wrong. Could be several issues at play, it's hard to say what. I'd probably start by making sure he has the latest drivers for his video card, and that his system is as up to date as possible.

June 5, 2004 11:12 AM

Someone pleeeez help me. This is a strange difference I've come across between MSN Messenger and Windows Messenger. Whenever I use MSN Msgr I can never see any font colours except for black (my own or others) even though this option isnt selected. Neither do the backgrounds work - even though its MSN 6.1. However, the colours for the fonts work fine with Windows Messenger. I've tried uninstalling/reinstalling MSN Messenger tons of times and nothing works. Any ideas? ... I have MSN Plus installed, and the same font colour problem happens with Yahoo messenger if thats of any relevance.... I'm close to giving up.

June 6, 2004 8:29 PM

why wont back grownds work hen u type in , how do you get a back grownd for aol insant meseger

June 9, 2004 6:11 AM

Hi, how can I stop msn messanger prompting me to upgrade - I don't use it and it comes up a lareg number of times per day.

June 9, 2004 9:07 AM

Open up Messenger, hit Tools, Options, General and DEseelect "automatically run Messenger when Windows Starts up". Hit OK on that, and close Messenger.

Now right click on the messenger icon in the status bar, and select exit. Messenger should no longer run unless you explicitly tell it to.

June 15, 2004 9:29 AM

Hi Leo I was wondering can you download msn messenger 6.2 on to a mac

June 15, 2004 9:33 AM

There's a separate Mac version:

June 23, 2004 4:32 AM

Hi Leo! I'm not familiar with MSN Messenger yet. I was hoping that you can help me with this.
1) Is it possible to send an instant message to someone who is off-line? Like in Yahoo messenger? And
2) if the person I'm sending an instant message to, has not installed her Messenger, does this mean I can't communicate with her? But can still add her to my contacts?
3) By the way, Windows Messenger was installed in my XP but I had problems connecting so I downloaded MSN Messenger instead. Will there be any conflict?
Thank you!

June 23, 2004 10:28 AM

1) no.
2) If the other person has not installed messenger, you can't use messenger to communicate with her. You may be able to add her to yoru contacts *if* she already had a account she had used with messenger and plans to use again.

3) No conflicts.

June 25, 2004 9:50 AM

For some reason my msn messenger is not working. I have gone to the website and tried all the suggestions in the "help" section. It used to work fine but when I downloaded 6.2 it started saying "unable to sign in to .NET Messenger Service". At that point I checked the status of the .NET service and it was working fine, and my internet itself was working fine because I was able to sign in to my hotmail accounts with no problems. Please help me out!

June 25, 2004 6:15 PM

I have installed windows messenger 5, but I can not use .NET Messaging Service, only Exchange Instant Messaging.
How do I tweak registry to use both services?

June 29, 2004 1:22 PM

Thanks for completely ignoring my post and answering the ones below it, Leo. Props to you.

June 29, 2004 1:52 PM

Sorry Star, but with the volume of questions and comments comming in every day, I can't guarantee a response to absolutely every entry. In your case (the font color question, I assume), I have no answer for you, so anything I would have posted would not have been helpful.


June 29, 2004 7:27 PM

I really want to only run MSN Messenger, not Windows Messenger. However, sometimes Windows Messenger will automatically start up when, like, I sign in to Hotmail and haven't yet started MSN Messenger. The reason this bothers me is that others can then see me online when I dont want them to. Also, for some reason Windows Messenger doesn't show up in my taskbar (though MSN Messenger does), so I am unaware that I have been signed in by Windows Messenger until someone (using either messenger) IM's me. How can I totally prevent Windows Messenger from ever automatically starting??? I'd like to just remove it, since MSN Messenger seems to have more functionality and I KNOW when I have activated it.

June 29, 2004 9:24 PM

If you go to Control Panel, Add Remove Programs, Add/Remove Windows components, you can uninstall windows messenger.

June 30, 2004 9:48 PM

I have Windows 2000 professional at work and must use Windows messenger for work's internal Microsoft Exchange Instant Messaging use. I tried to download MSN Messenger 6.2 but it would only allow it if I removed Windows messenger. Can you only run both on XP? And if you can run both on 2000 how do i install one without it uninstalling the other one (very frustrating)

June 30, 2004 9:55 PM

That's wierd. What's the error message you get when you try to install on Win2k? I would expect it to work.

July 1, 2004 2:25 PM

I get an installer information box and it says -

'We have detected Windows Messenger on your computer. To install MSN Messenger, you must first remove Windows Messenger and then run this set up again. To remove Windows Messenger, click the Add/Remove Programs icon in your Windows Control Panel.'

July 1, 2004 2:27 PM

And then after I click 'ok' I get the error message -
"MSN Messenger setup has failed with error code: '1603'."

July 1, 2004 2:41 PM

Well, apparently the ability to have them side by side is a Windows XP only thing, according to this (older) Knowledgebase article: . However Windows Messenger 5 supposedly will let you communicate with both exchange users and MSN Messenger users, and supports Windows 2000. It's here: . Perhaps that's a solution?

eddie green
July 2, 2004 7:20 PM

how do I download windows messenger on mim?

July 2, 2004 7:28 PM

mim? Not sure what that is.

Vaclav Pinkava
July 5, 2004 1:25 PM

To get Messsnger voice communication to work from behind a NAT address you can try ENAT or ENAT Voice from JDSOFT. It worked for me.

July 6, 2004 11:30 AM

How do I uninstall .NET Messenger from my PC? The horrible thing about it is that it sings me in automatically whenever i boot my PC and that too without my knowledge. There has got to be a way to alter the settings of this service. As to the auto sign-in I think it's 'cos I setup MSN Messenger to remember my password but never gave the option to auto sign-up at start of the computer. I'd greatly appreciate any help in this regard.

July 6, 2004 2:07 PM

If by .NET Messenger you mean *Windows* messenger: go to control panel, add/remove programs, add/remove windows components and uncheck it. If by .NET Messegner you mean *MSN* messenger: control panel, add/remove programs, and it should be listed there.

July 11, 2004 8:28 PM

i would want to ask why i can't log onto msn messenger. it has this error that may have to do with my firewall created by my router or somesort.... maybe its port change or something taht blocked it.. i have a person here that doesnt want me to use msn messenger and blocked it somehow.. i kept uninstalling it.. but still doesnt work.. can you plz teach me how to solve this?

July 11, 2004 9:19 PM

Hard to say without the specific error message. You might also try this article:

July 22, 2004 7:29 AM

Is there any way to block msn. like able for the user to open msn.. but unable it to log on into any accounts. ive seen someone do it. and i would ike to learn myself... can ne one teach me how. does it have anything to do with the ports thing? firewall? :s....the person i saw doing it .. controled it... he somehow did it for people to unable to log on.

July 22, 2004 7:29 AM

Is there any way to block msn. like able for the user to open msn.. but unable it to log on into any accounts. ive seen someone do it. and i would ike to learn myself... can ne one teach me how. does it have anything to do with the ports thing? firewall? :s....the person i saw doing it .. controled it... he somehow did it for people to unable to log on.

July 24, 2004 8:24 AM

i have like 100 contacts and i got a new email and i need to no how to move them all to my new email from my old do you no how, Leo?

July 24, 2004 9:46 AM

That depends entirely on where the new acocunt is, what ISP or service provide you have on both sides, and what email program or programs you're using.

July 26, 2004 10:57 AM

Leo.? do you htnk you can help with my question above....? i would realy like to know how taht works

July 26, 2004 11:05 AM

The question is difficult to understand. You want to prevent people from logging in to MSN completely? So that NO ONE can login from that machine?

July 28, 2004 12:32 PM

Yes Leo...Prevent It Somehow that doesnt make it obvious for the person to notice.... it gives them the error that the internet connectiong has problem or something...

July 28, 2004 7:37 PM

Locate your hosts file (normally in C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\DRIVERS\ETC), and place the following entry in it:

There may be other hosts involved, but I beleive that's the one that counts.

That will disable the passport service that is used to authenticate MSN users. It'll appear that that web site is down.

August 9, 2004 11:56 AM

Hey, I use MSN Messanger 6.2 and am getting the error code '1603', I've tried things from other places and none of it gets it to work. I've uninstalled and reinstalled... but still nothing...
Anything would be nice.


- PauL -

August 26, 2004 6:26 PM

When starting aol windows messenger automaticly logs in, how do I stop this and why would it start with AOL. Also how do I get rid of Windows Messenger, I do use MSN Messenger and it is much more versitile

August 27, 2004 11:23 AM

You can uninstall Windows Messenger in Control Panel, Add or Remove Programs, Add/Remove Windows Components

August 27, 2004 3:51 PM

Windows Messenger came with my computer when I purchased it, but I seem to sign off automatically when I am on chat and go straight back to signing in, is there any way I can fix this problem is very annoying, as I miss have of the chat. Any help will be appreciated! Thank you.

August 28, 2004 9:31 AM

The most common cause for this is a flakey internet or network connection ... in particular wireless. Essentially you're dropped from the network, and then immediately reconnected. Applications like Messenger notice this and reconnect.

September 21, 2004 9:44 PM

How can I keep MSN Messenger from starting on bootup OR when I open an IE or MSN window. I've tried clearing both the boxes that are under the options tab... No good... I've tried clearing the registry for the password... No good... I've even tried to upgrade from 4.7 to 6.2 and nothing happend. It even still shows v4.7 when I open the "About" tab. I just don't want people on my list to know each and every time on on the net.

Please HELP! I've googled this to death!

(Oh... I'm using XP Home on a 2.4 Athlon)

September 26, 2004 6:14 AM

Does "msmsgs" need to be enabled in the startup menu in my System configuration utility?

September 27, 2004 6:05 PM

Nope. You can disable it, and it will prevent messenger from running at startup.

October 1, 2004 1:32 PM

Hi.I moved to japan when i was 5, ilived in japan for 7 years and now I live in england again. I have windows 98 and I want to talk to my english friends and japanse firends at the same time, the only way i cna do that is with windows messanger and msn messanger because i tried it at my friends house (who has windows 98 with windows messanger:P)please let me download it all it does is take you to sp2 or something pakage?????? what??? please help I really need it it's destoring my life love lila-anna

October 4, 2004 1:39 PM

I am currently using windows messenger 5.2 in office. I use the messenger for exchange server. My question is : Is there a higher version of messenger which supports Exchange server messaging, as .NET messaging is blocked in our office.

October 10, 2004 11:30 AM

I have been using Msn Messenger 6.2 for a while now but today I tried to install Windows Messenger so that i could go on both my accounts at once. It installed perfectly except for one little problem: if i install Msn Messenger, Windows Messenger won't work. If i install Windows Messenger, Msn Messenger won't work!

October 17, 2004 12:23 AM

Actually, my question does not relate to a problem with either implementation of microsoft's instant messaging, but rather the title of this article. You point out that "They have slightly different feature sets..." yet you do not mention what these feature sets are. I have glimpsed some of the general differences, and the individual sites for each make comparisons in simple paragraph format.

But what I am looking for is a chart, table, or something similar that lists specifically what features are available with which messenger. If anyone knows where to find such a chart/table/whatever, please e-mail me.

October 19, 2004 10:53 PM

I have windows me, have downloaded msn 6 and am having nothing but problems with my computer since it freezes and can no longer use my web cam, and has slowed my computer considerably have uninstalled it and tried a older version but then it won't let me sign in? I would be thankfull for any help you can give.

October 30, 2004 2:12 AM

hi...b4 i could open 2 msn messengers on 6.2...and i recently downloaded msn 7.0..and u cant open 2 of it..=(....pwies help..

November 1, 2004 11:50 AM

How can I prevent msmsgs running in the background at start-up. It's making me appear online when I don't want to be.

November 2, 2004 5:40 PM

this sucks ass

November 7, 2004 1:57 AM

Can u talk from mac messenger 2 windows messenger

November 7, 2004 10:41 AM


November 20, 2004 5:04 PM

this question relates to windows and msn messenger and hotmail email connected to both- I am having trouble with email since both messengers attached themselves to the computer.
I can no longer delete spam mail- a notice pops up to report spam mail and delete, but no matter whether I tick the box to report as junk, nor tick ok- I cannot delete the messages in msn hotmail- they remain presumably until five days is done- ?? I do not need two messengers- but I do need room in my hotmail inbox (still 2mbs) for new emails. This double msg problem only occurred after XP SP2 was installed. I would get rid of one msg program if only I knew how to sort out email

November 29, 2004 1:34 PM

I need help.My msn is frozen but it shows me as offline, I can't left or right click it and when I try to log in it just freezes. Can you help me get it unfrozen so I can get back on?

November 29, 2004 1:34 PM

I need help.My msn is frozen but it shows me as offline, I can't left or right click it and when I try to log in it just freezes. Can you help me get it unfrozen so I can get back on?

December 1, 2004 4:37 PM question or comment does not relate to 'What's the difference...'.I have 2 e-mail acounts,and i want to run both at the sametime.I already tried downloading another msn messenger like messenger 0.1...but it did not work...please help me...respond soon!

Andy W.
December 28, 2004 4:44 AM

Does anybody know why? I can't believe that this is really true! But often the things are not as they seem to be in
this coloured world…

February 3, 2005 11:25 AM

Can i communicate with windows messenger for XP with someone who has MSN messenger and is using a windows 98 machine? How much memory and RAM does the windows 98 machine require? Thanks.

February 3, 2005 6:12 PM


Memory *is* RAM. And both Windows and MSN Messenger should work fine with whatever the minimum requirements for Windows are. In otherwords, if Windows is running, you have enough RAM.

February 8, 2005 10:30 PM

i have been using msn messengger 6.2 in one of my systems where in windows xp is the os.

sign out is not responding in the messenger particularly for one of my client's id.

even without typing the pass word, the messenger gets open.

the email id name is visible in the home page window of messenger even before sign in.

1) how to delete the name in the home page?
2) how to sign out?

pl help

February 12, 2005 6:29 AM


I thought Windows Messenger and MSN Messenger were the same thing and that MSN Messenger was a later version.

Well after reading your comments I guess i'm wrong.

However, I now have 2 applications on my PC Windows Messenger and MSN Messenger and i am operating on Windows XP my question to u people is that which one should i delete and how can i delete it.

Any help will be appreciated thank you

February 24, 2005 11:13 PM

A friend of mine told me about this place. I love it. I will recommend you to all my friends.
See you again next time I surf around.

February 26, 2005 8:50 PM

Hey, okay so one day i accidentally deleted my 7.0 on my computer, but since then (its been about a week and a half)ive been trying to download it again and it HASNT BEEN WORKING!! ive been going crazy!! it keeps saying "en error occured error code 1603" or something.. what do i do!?! can ANYONE help me?

March 19, 2005 3:35 PM

Can you message archive on Windows messenger? I know you can on msn but not sure about windows.

April 2, 2005 3:55 PM

When I click on the Windows Messenger Icon in the task bar and then click My E-mail Inbox, it goes to Outlook Express. How do I change it so it goes directly to my E-mail account which is Hotmail.

Tony R
April 7, 2005 2:34 AM

I used Windows messenger on a friend's laptop to chat and now I can't remove my details from his machine. How do I?

April 20, 2005 11:44 PM

very nice pages

Berti Joel
April 28, 2005 12:36 AM

Great site, well done. I enjoy beeing here and iŽll come back soon. You do a great job. Many greetings.

August 29, 2005 5:05 PM

Actually, It's not true that Microsoft Messenger runs only on Windows Xp and 2000. It runs on my Mac too. Click here to download it. And by the way, CONVERT TO MAC HEATHENS!! You won't regret it. Now, with the Mac mini, most PC users can afford to switch. You have no excuses!

I hope the HTML above worked!!

Richard N Manion
November 4, 2005 5:03 PM

Have MSMSGS running. If I disable the computer gets molasses slow; pages open exytremely slow, Internet connection becomes erratic Re-enable MSMSGS and all corrects. Everything works fast and normal. What gives?

November 25, 2005 3:21 AM

Windows Messenger 5.1 runs on XP/2000 and Windows Messenger 4.7 runs on 98/ME/NT. How come oh so smart Leo didn't mention that?

maricruz guadalupe
December 11, 2005 10:06 PM

quiero decirles que su pinchi messenger

January 8, 2006 11:19 AM

I did what u said to disabled windows messenger but the the feature still in my start, all programs, windows messenger.
i have a share computer and anyone can access to my account. I would like to delete my account from tha windows messenger at least but i can not do so. please any advice?

February 7, 2006 4:33 AM

I used Windows messenger on a public computer and now I can't remove my user's account from there. How can I do it?
Thank you very much in advance for your answer.

February 16, 2006 2:09 PM

I cant get to
Start -> Programs -> Accessories -> Administrative Tools -> Computer Management -> Services & Applications -> Services
so i cant disable messenger, and these popups will go on on driving me mad

February 18, 2006 8:03 PM

What happens when you try?

You probably need to logged in as administrator.

Lady Raven
February 24, 2006 8:05 AM

I cant get to
Start -> Programs -> Accessories -> Administrative Tools -> Computer Management -> Services & Applications -> Services
so i cant disable messenger, and these popups will go on on driving me mad

I am having the same problem, I even tried doing a search for this messenger and got nothing. The pop ups are unreal. I have the google tool bar, and even that doesnt help. I have cable internet which does not help matters any.

Any advice before I take this Vaio and chuck it out the window?

Lady Raven

February 24, 2006 8:55 AM

You need to be logged in with adminstrative privileges in order to shut down the Messenger service. You didn't indicate where, long that path of steps, you can't get past.

February 24, 2006 2:56 PM

Is there any guide or tutorial that explains how to use the Windows Messenger Service??

.....and for the people having troubles disabling the Messenger Service: Hold the Windows key and press "R", the 'Run' window will show, then type "services.msc" and the Windows Services Window should appear.......
March 11, 2006 4:57 AM

keep gettint erroe message "the selected port, com 1 is not available at this time

March 17, 2006 1:39 PM

Good afternoon,

My question is about uninstalling MSN messenger. My friend has both 7.0 and 7.5 installed. When I try to uninstal 7.0 the computer will not let me. When I try to uninstall 7.5 it causes some important files (shared with 7.0) to be deleted, thus 7.0 does not work and it still can not be uninstalled. I don't know why both could have been installed in the first place.

Her computer is XP in Spanish. She also has the latest version of McAfee antivirus installed which I thought might be part of the problem...

If you know a solution that would be great,


Troy in Spain

March 22, 2006 9:51 AM

hiya do u no how 2 fix msn

June 4, 2006 11:14 PM

Hey do u know why my msn emotions pics keep deleting? its so annoying..

Robert Gagnon
June 7, 2006 10:55 AM

What is the difference between MSN Messenger and an Instant message?

Leo A. Notenboom
June 20, 2006 10:11 AM

Closing comments on this article. It's been replaced with: "What's the difference between Windows Live Messenger, Windows Messenger, MSN Messenger and Windows Messenger Service?"

September 15, 2009 4:37 PM

Hi I'm having problems with windows live messenger...(msn)It used to run fine but now it just says freezes when i try to log in then when i try to close it i get the message saying its unresponsive. I've uninstalled and reinstalled more than 5 times now but its not helping ..anyone got any ideas on how to fix this problem?

Microsoft Chat
February 23, 2012 2:10 AM

To correct this--> click Start--> then Run--> then type -->
and click OK--> Right-click the MSN Messenger folder and choose Delete... After all this, restart Messenger and see if the problem has been corrected.. {URL removed}

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