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

Windows Live Messenger, Windows Messenger, MSN Messenger and Windows Messenger Service are four names for three applications that do two different things, only one of which you really want. Confusing? Yes. But easy to clear up.

OK, something called "Windows Live Messenger" just released. It seems I'm now floating in "Messengers" ... Windows Live Messenger, Windows Messenger, MSN Messenger and this thing called Windows Messenger Service. Do they relate? How do they relate?

And which one do I want to use?

One of my older and more popular articles here on Ask Leo! is one covering the difference between MSN Messenger, Windows Messenger, and Windows Messenger. Unfortunately with the release of Windows Live Messenger, names have only gotten more confusing.

Let's sort this out, one name at a time:

Windows Live Messenger (WLM) is the latest and greatest version of Microsoft's instant messaging client. Very much like Yahoo instant messenger (YIM), or AOL instant messenger (AIM). Anyone running Windows XP can download Windows Live Messenger and begin IMing with other users.

WLM has a slew of new features compared to its previous versions - the most interesting to me is the ability to share folders with people you're chatting with. WLM promises to interact directly with Yahoo Messenger in the near future.

WLM is actually version 8. Version 8? Yes, because it is really just a new name for, the latest version of and the replacement for MSN Messenger.

It's the same program with a new name, and new features.

MSN Messenger is simply the "old" version of Windows Live Messenger - nothing more, nothing less. Versions 6 through 7.5 all seem to be popular and "in the wild".

If you have Windows XP, you probably want to upgrade to the latest version: Windows Live Messenger. If you're running any other version of Windows, you may need to stick with these older versions of MSN Messenger.

Windows Messenger is yet another instant messaging client, very much like MSN Messenger and WLM. It comes with Windows XP and runs only on Windows XP. It's typically version 4.7, though the updated Windows Messenger 5.0 also runs on Windows 2000, and can be downloaded here.

Important: Windows Messenger is not MSN Messenger, nor is it WLM. That's important because you can run Windows Messenger at the same time as MSN Messenger or WLM. That can get confusing if they are both logged into the same account because a message about being logged into two places may result.

Windows Messenger is a different program from the other two. It has a different feature set, and release on a different schedule. 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 chances are, you'll never need to know how, or why, you would want to.

Windows Messenger Service adds to the confusion. It has a similar name but it is completely unrelated to everything I've talked about so far.

On Windows 2000 and Windows XP there is a service, called "Messenger", often unfortunately 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.

So what, of all of that, do you actually need or want?

My recommendation is actually very, very simple:

The bottom line? For Windows XP users, all you need is Windows Live Messenger. Ignore or uninstall everything else.

Article C2697 - June 20, 2006 « »

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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?

Eli Coten
June 24, 2006 7:50 PM

I have an interesting view on all of the above products...

Windows Messenger Server (a.k.a) Net messages - Leave it on, as I use it to send messages across my network sometimes. (Although I agree that this feature is contraversial and not everyone advises to use it)

Windows Live Messenger (8) - Use it where possible. I was beta testing it and have found it to be sporadically unreliable insofar as random crashes on sign-in or refusal to sign in are concerned. I understand that a lot of the issues that I was facing was something to do with an incompatilibity between Windows Live Messenger BETA and Internet Explorer 7 BETA, both of which are installed on my machine.

Windows Messenger (versions 4.7 or 5.0) - I occasionally use this either as a basic SIP client or more commonly, when my Windows Live Messenger has crashed or otherwise failed in any way, I use this to connect to the MSN IM Network.

MSN Messenger (versions 6 - 7.5) - I have used all of these versions, and found reliability and stability issues from version 7 onwards. When version 7 first came out I found that I couldn't sign in at all, so I reverted to MSN 6. I sometimes wonder whether to ditch my Windows Live Messenger and reinstall MSN Messneger (7.5 now - I think that version works ok on my computer) because of all the crashes of Windows Live Messenger. Then again, it seems to be a bit better now the release version is out.

In short - each product has its uses and each person has to understand the differences between them to work out which one is best for themself.

July 22, 2006 11:52 PM

You cannot see pics of people on your contact list with the new Windows Live Messenger. When are IMs going to be accepted among all messenger services? It seems ridiculous that you still can't do so now.

July 23, 2006 5:37 AM

i dnt lyk it its rubbish i lyk da old 1 beta plz will yta tel me how 2 uninstall it!!!!!!! plz i h8 it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

August 15, 2006 2:26 PM

i have downloaded windows live messenger. but i dont like it and i wish to uninstall it. as all my family and friends have messenger 7.5 which i prefer and want back what sahll i do to uninstall windows live messenger?

August 15, 2006 2:30 PM

help me uninstall it now:@:@.....u r the one that made it so tel me how to uninstall it man its crap!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

August 23, 2006 3:11 PM

Having had windows messenger, I installed Windows Live Messenger which works fine except that it takes for ever (over 10 mins) to sign whilst it says Norton is scanning files. The machine is nearly disabled during that signing in time and I am sick of it. I think I prefererred what I had before.

October 3, 2006 6:16 PM

hi, could u put a picture up in windows messenger?

October 3, 2006 6:18 PM

sorry but how cum i cant install the windows live messenger?nd again culd i put a picture up in windows messenger?

October 13, 2006 12:03 PM

i would just like to say i have had windows live messenger for some time now and i have had absolutally no problems with it. i dont really get at what people are complaining for. i like windows live messenger and its more updated than the previous messengers i have had. and to the people who ask how they uninstall it from their computers because they dont like it, dont they know how to do things on their own computer lol. thanks anyway. WINDOWS LIVE ROCKS Luke

October 16, 2006 9:12 AM

i have msn live but it wont let me copy or paste anything into my msn name box ( i need help!!!)

October 29, 2006 11:08 AM

i WANT WINDOWS LIVE MESSENGER.. IN my computer..but is windows 2000... pls .. if there is a chance to have it... or the msn messenger 7.5

November 8, 2006 8:46 AM

can you get your msn name in colour on windows live messenger?

November 22, 2006 8:39 PM

I want windows live messenger for windows 2000 is this possible?

November 30, 2006 10:14 AM

how do i install msn live messenger on windows 2000??? thnks

|_yr1c/-\|_ P/-\|<1
December 18, 2006 10:07 AM

basically, to answer the question on whether you can get a windows live messenger for windows 2000 is just dumb because it says when you download it that it is only for windows xp users. do lots of research and browsing and see if you can find it, possibly one that has been cracked(hacked). If you can, tell me because I also have windows 2000 and I use Msn Messenger 7.0. If you do find it(which you probably won't) add me on this email address on Msn Messenger.
My email address
Yours sincerely,
Asfandyar Khan
|_yr1c/-\|_ P/-\|

December 26, 2006 4:49 AM

Windows Messenger is for Remote Assistance. LIVE has problems connecting. But Live saves history of chats while WM doesnt. So what to do? Get LIVE and some app. like Logmein for Remote Assistance (if you realy need that option).

January 1, 2007 10:39 AM

I get a constant stream of requests to load WLM while in Hotmail. I do not want it and want the pings to stop. How do I do this?

January 25, 2007 6:38 PM

Appreciate your description of all the Messengers. But I'm running Vista and need Windows Messenger to work with MS Exchange/Outlook. I've discovered Microsoft Office Communicator works, but for specific business reasons, I need Windows Messenger 4.x or 5.x to work under Vista. Any suggestions? Possibly Registry tweaks so it won't crash every time I use it? Thank you.

January 29, 2007 6:22 PM

I have Windows Messenger. I really want MSN messenger because you can change your picture and play games and its more fun. But I've tried hard to download it and it wont work because Im not an adminstrator and I cant be one because its my school computer, but my friends have it and they arent administrators either. I used to have MSN but then all of a sudden it turned into Windows. Theirs automatically was MSN and mine is Windows. How do I change it without being an administrator??

January 29, 2007 6:57 PM

I live in Canada and have Windows Live messenger... A buddy of mine in Australia is using (an Aussie version of yahoo) Does this Aussie Yahoo messenger and Windows Live messenger synchonize to each other automatically?

February 8, 2007 2:47 AM

Can I force WIndows Live Messenger when I have new e-mail to open Outlook express???
Thanks in advance.

February 26, 2007 4:44 AM

Windows Messenger has a feature under the Actions menu to start Scrabble v2.0, but doesn't show this in WLM. I can't seem to find more info on using this option to begin with, but is this a different feature?

Andrew Darrach
March 21, 2007 7:11 AM

I too; run win2000, and can not download windows live messenger and have it work. Oddly; when you actually ask for their CD which downloads MSN Premium windows Live messenger works just flawlessly. Of course; at PREMIUM $14.99/ month cost. What a scam.

David I. McIntosh
April 8, 2007 6:35 PM

consider this scenario: I work in NY but my kids live in Toronto. so, I want to be able to do live video calls with them, hence I need Windows Live Messenger. On the other hand, if they have a problem with their computer, I want to be able to help them, so I need Remote assistance, hence I need Windows Messenger. Now, Microsoft's "help" page on how to get both of them to run concurrently is their typical sloppy documentation: they switch between synonymous names for each product and never really give you the details you need to solve a tricky problem. (I estimate it would take me a hour or two of intense concentration to really sort out what they are saying.) You have to "trust" their instructions and hope it solves you problem (which it invariable doesn't). Lastly, the link above to "Windows Messenger" now takes one to the "Windows Live Messenger" page, and I haven't found a "windows Messenger" version that will allow Remote assistance to work. sigh. On the other hand, I see an oblique reference to what is perhaps a third party app that will allow romeote assistance to function. Anyone know anything about this?

David I. McIntosh
April 9, 2007 7:17 PM

Well, I just discovered something very interesting. I have a LAN at home with 4 PC behind a freeBSD firewall. On three of my PC's, I have Win. XP sp2, on the third I have Win. 2000. Two of the three machines with XP were clean installs - XP installed on a fresh HDD. On those two machines, I have also loaded the latest version vo Window Live Messenger (ver. 8.1.0178.00 to be exact). And, it seems that the the version of Remote Assistance on these two machines is quite happy using Windows Live Messenger - no need to run "Windows Messenger 4.x". On the other hand, my third machine running Win. XP is an upgrade from Win. 2000, though it was upgraded with the same CD as was used for the clean installs. On this machine nothing works. The third machine is identical hardware to one of the first two, and as far as I can see, all settings are the same. Of course, I am obviously not looking at the right settings. In fact, I have many many problems on the upgrade machine, which is making me very hesitant to upgrade my 4th PC...

Leo Notenboom
April 10, 2007 3:43 PM

Hash: SHA1

Re your remote assistance scenario: I'd be really tempted to do something
completely different:

- - use Skype for video calls
- - use Hamachi to set up a VPN between all your machines
- - use remote desktop, or TightVNC for remote access to the machine.

Version: GnuPG v1.4.6 (MingW32)


May 2, 2007 12:56 PM

i have the 4.7, then today was told i needed to update. clicked to the same link as yours does (Windows Messenger is yet another instant messaging client, very much like MSN Messenger and WLM. It comes with Windows XP and runs only on Windows XP. It's typically version 4.7, though the updated Windows Messenger 5.0 also runs on Windows 2000, and can be downloaded here.) to WLM which you say is different that WM 5.o, but i did download it and now have the two. I saw how you say to uninstall WM and just keep live, but will my contacts be gone? Is this an upgrade to the same system or a different system that i will need my previous contacts to also download. The 18M download on my dialup was a real Sharktooth, South Dakota, test of my patience. Now the 4.7 does work, after saying it wouldn't unless i updated, but you say i downloaded an unrelated messenger, WML. And, btw, i see no admin in my accessories as an option to follow your directions to take off WM services(from my xp). I also, tho, don't get those grey boxes on this system anyway. Thank you for your help, Leo. I will certainly be passing this info on to many, whatever you can help with me here, such as my contacts with the WM if we all have to go to WLM.

Sue Dillman
June 10, 2007 8:29 AM

I want to use an older version of MSN Messenger as I like it better than the new 8.0 Windows Live Messenger. I have found the older versions online to install, but run into a problem trying to install them. At the beginning of the install it makes me uninstall any previous versions of MSN Messenger, which I did, and then at the end of the install process it tells me there is a more recent version available and forces me to reinstall the 8.0 Live Messenger again. Help! I want the older version instead!

July 1, 2007 11:36 AM

will my emoticons stay the same if i upgrade to windows live even if i am using the same computer or will i have to start over again? cheers

July 25, 2007 4:28 PM

msn should let people keep old verisons in msn if they prefer sounds like pressure to upgrade every time its not that nice!

Pedro Pereira
August 10, 2007 8:04 AM

Is there any way to disable or uninstall windows live messenger? Thanks.


October 30, 2007 5:41 PM

Argh...what a pain Microsoft is about these programs. Sometime ago I updated to Windows Live but have had continous problems connecting to others with video/sound. So removed it, found the downloads for previous versions, however when I run a previous version I'm required to update to Windows Live. Something that should have taken a few minutes has become a nightmare and I'm right back where I started from!

M kashif khan
November 29, 2007 2:33 AM

I have windows xp and msn 7.5. wehenever i try to sign in it shows message of upgrade and i don't wanna upgrade what i do? Please gimme answer?

hans lundell
December 2, 2007 8:05 AM

what can i say..confusing and plain stupid. 1st the 4"twins" in names almost and then 3!! different BUT same chatprogs. the same goes for WMP 11.. SAD! they are both forced on you and not nicer in looks or in function (yeah yeah,i dont care 'bout sharing and shi.. ) they are very straight lined in design and blurrie coulors with an "sofistcated" - wanna-be look (WMP 11 is a mystery when 9&10 was so perfect in their softer ,rounder looks AND let ME decide my own colurs. and now i dont see my mates avatars on the mainwindow,just the WLM green guy. And that also annoyes me cause it seems the old versoins is left in my pc and i cant find a "uninstall info" like for the WMP (thx good it was so nice to see it again. but i think all this overpretentius functions is the problem and all defragged huligans spread around and the mixes of upgrades thats also get stuck. Why do we have to get those "everytime-something-is-getting-st range-updates"? THE MAIN PROBLEM IS THAT IT SEEMS ALL I READ get me crazy because it seems they think what they take for granted is everybodys knowledge. now i am "intressted and eager to read things-guy,,but im REALLY NOT the braintype,,but many i know knows even less and they falling asleep if i strt to explain something because of the cher komplexitivity. So many things is "doublesided" ie. (things dont work shall i open my pc for threats or be pleased i got a keyborad to look at? and i think MS leave soo much very complex settings and DESICiONS to the customer ,and even "THE MOST 'SIMPLE' mainmenus can be to much to get right and if you forget 1 thing you have changed it soon be more in panic. and i think EVERY option should have a resetbutton on the actual scrren ( IE7 i think is like that but in opposit i miss the ?-sign to move over a specific choice. a function i like very much and its very generous ,i respect MS and they have done much eforts but for a normal user all links (must be 100 millions,right) means no sleep and a heartbeat way too high . bla bla.. Thx anyway i know its not easy to get all things together in a system so complex

December 13, 2007 10:55 AM

is it possible for two msn windows live messenger users be online at the same time from the same computer?

Reshma Kalutay
December 20, 2007 9:47 PM

hi, i want have downloaded WINDOWS LIVE MESSENGER, and i want to sign up using my Yahoo email address, is it possible? or should i use a create a hotmail account for it?


Anna W.
December 27, 2007 6:10 PM

Thank you! I just answered a Microsoft survey about how they did NOT answer my questions. Your info is useful and understandable and I will follow your recommendations, but I'm beginning to fear that I won't be able to use my new webcam to video chat using Live Messenger, although that is why I downloaded it, because others haven't been able to get it to work either. Is there a secret?

Anna W.
December 27, 2007 6:32 PM

Hi, I googles some more and now have another question. I have Yahoo and my (hopefully) video person has AOL. Can we video chat without signing up for hotmail? Can we instant message (using Live Messenger) without signing up for hotmail? This is one of the questions Microsoft support didn't answer. Thanks.

January 23, 2008 4:31 AM

I'd recommend the opposite to what "Leo" says, if you are using XP AND you dont use a webcam.

When you are forced to upgrade from MSN Messenger to Windows Live Messenger your machine may become a turtle depending on RAM size. This is called "forced obsolecense" designed application (meaning it will eat your HW resources so you think about buying new HW). So why spend valuable RAM and CPU when you can get away with lightewigh Windows Messenger?

brenda bjorn
January 30, 2008 5:34 PM

how do i check for offline messeges on windows live using dsl highspeed internet ? and is windows live diffrent from msn messenger

March 13, 2008 12:01 PM

I understand that this article is probably intended for the average user and is intended to clear up confusion and not cause it, but it should be noted that, arcording to a friendly error message that pops up when the installer is about to initialize, Windows Live applications cannot be installed on Windows XP Proffesional x64.

June 10, 2008 3:48 PM

i just recently bought a new computer and it runs windows vista home basic...should i use windows live messenger or continue to use yahoo messenger?

Ilove Technology
June 16, 2008 8:31 PM

Oh yeah, the names alone initally create confusion for all users but eventually some lucky confused users actually managed to figure it out...and obviously still others are at a loss in understanding the differences between these four entities...3 of which have the words "WINDOWS MESSENGER" included in their names and all 4 use the word "MESSENGER"; talk about chaos and confusion...and that's from "jump street" in NAME ALONE! Speaking of confusion, allow me to mention the UAC on the Vista System...IT IS NOT user friendly; IT IS a pain in the neck! Initially I gave it my all and tried using it but now I have turned it off (and believe it or doesn't disappear; for still I AM REMINDED to turn it on EACH AND EVERY TIME the system boots up. Amazing! This UAC is like a nightmare that won't go actually CREATED problems for me rather than adding to the "security" of the vista system. It is nothing more than an annoyance...when it was turned on and now EVEN WHEN IT IS TURNED OFF...what grand wizard thought up this one, huh? I have my own system of security which I "chose" to suit MY NEEDS...why foist an extremely annoying UAC on me and all other "unsuspecting" vista users...this is not progress Microsoft! The UAC, one of the "main differences" between XP and Vista Operating systems, tauted as an improved security control, is the very thing that I dislike most on this newest operating system! Get out your magic wand Bill and make it GO AWAY!!! No "lol" either!

Tom H
June 22, 2008 5:50 PM

Leo, thank you. I was trying to help my brother 5 States away with a DVD burner problem by using Remote Assistance, I used Remote Assistance before my computer crashed. of course i reloaded everything, but instead it had me setup live messenger. I attempted to use "live messenger" to do the remote and it kept telling me to "get the latest version of messenger" and nowhere i mean nowhere, have i found an answer. windows "help" links to the "windows live" download, and all of the articles i found at relate to Small Business Server. the remote assistance, as you mentioned wont work without "Windows Messenger" but all the links to messenger at microsoft send you to "live Messenger" well you figure they'd know that.

Bottom line is.. You have helped me..

Thank you
Tom H

September 30, 2008 1:01 PM

hi I have a webcam and i try to used it with MSN messenger went i send a request to view my webcame i can see my self but the other person cant see me and later said that i have stoppped the webcam and i dont understand why is not working with MSN Messenger live if the webcam work good with yahoo messenger can u help me please

October 11, 2008 1:18 AM

Dear sir,

I have Windows Live messenger and MSN Messenger in my system, running XPs. At my system tray there are two same icons for messengers, as well. Is it safe to completely remove the older one (MSN) from my computer? I ask this because you suggest just to disable it from loogin, not to remove it...

Thanks for your time

Remove is fine also. The two are actually two completely different programs. See this article: What's the difference between Windows Live Messenger, Windows Messenger, MSN Messenger and Windows Messenger Service? and this article How do I uninstall Windows Messenger?
- Leo
October 19, 2008 8:13 PM's an interesting one. Both my wife and I downloaded Windows Live 8.1 and we are getting echo city. And I can hear her typing and getting the ta-ding when my message comes in.

As well, when we play a wink (like the heart) it plays on both ends.

I hear her clearly but she says I sound garbled like under water.

Don't like this new version at all, but I got Vista unfortunately on my laptop.

November 7, 2008 1:04 PM

I don't care how computer illiterate what I'm about to ask may sound, but I am ticked! I had just got my computer fixed, went back and installed windows live msgr, which I am used to, instead of just windows msgr. Everything was just fine and I was happy to have a fully functioning computer. Then BAM! I'm not given a choice to go to the upgrade. It sucks! Why can I not send or forward emails to several people by clicking on the boxes under "my contacts", and then clicking on "add to address line"? It doesn't give you an option to do that! I either have to send to one person at a time, or I have to go through the flippin alphabet, and try to remember who I have already put in my address bar, so I can send it to multiple people. This is annoying as h*ll!! If anyone elses is doing this with hotmail, and is experiencing this same problem, can you please tell me, if there is something I'n missing, before I blow a gasket?

November 28, 2008 5:18 AM

Is Windows Live Messenger compatible with MSN? Do I need a hotmail / windows live account to use it? I downloaded Live and it forced me to create a live (hotmail) account, which I have no use for...?

January 16, 2009 2:47 PM

Okay, I have a different question. Just today I successfully downloaded Windows IM and signed on. I inadvertently exited out of the window and now don't know how to get back into it. I have been told that I can log on through Internet Explorer, but I don't see where you can do that. Can you please help me with this? Thanks.

It's either still running in your task bar, or you'll find it somewhere on your Start menu.
- Leo

Lynn S.
January 23, 2009 4:45 PM

Good article !! I was really annoyed at all the "windows" and "messengers" in these seemingly different interfaces. Two questions: 1) how does .net fit in (and its passport?) and 2) Isn't there a white board in live messenger? There was one in windows messenger, but I don't see it in my XP Live Messenger.

lynn s
January 23, 2009 4:49 PM

your RSS Feed button is broken .. just tried to subscribe to omments on this article and got some weird xml error.

Just worked for me - I got the feed in my feed reader, including your comment. I'd have to see the exact error to know/do more.
- Leo

January 24, 2009 11:31 AM

I tried downloading windows live messenger then i couldnt sign into msn explorer after that?

February 3, 2009 2:14 PM

when i installed the new windows messenger, i can not get any of my contacts, it is like they are gone, i use to have all of them on there. what happen, how can i download messenger live and have all my contacts there. thanks

Robert M.
February 13, 2009 9:21 AM

"If you have Windows XP, you probably want to upgrade to the latest version: Windows Live Messenger."

I have used this when attempting and using Remote Access to help friends/family & even clients. I too have had problems with WLM 2009, and recommend against using it - until the bugs are out.

That being said, I need to add a few points.

I think your link for WLM goes to the 2009 version by default. Here is a link to WLM 2008:

I found it by searching (google) "Windows Live Messenger 2008" and it too will try to add features other than the Messenger. As you noted, this version is also known as WLM V. 8.5xxxx.

I did exchange some comments with a Microsoft guru, whom told me that the Windows Messenger v. 4.7 was needed to make WLM 2008 run. I haven't tested that out, and it doesn't seem to run as a separate process, but I'm not ready to uninstall it just yet.

As far as Remote Access & Control goes, it's acceptable. It requires a UPnP port connection, and some routers either aren't certified that way or are set up with UPnP disabled. It's free, it's from Microsoft, and it actually works.

For a professional or corporate tech supporter, I'd recommend GoToAssist from Citrix.

February 15, 2009 1:44 PM

I am am Mac Book Pro user. trying to communicate with a friend that uses windows live hotmail I have microsoft messenger, do I need a hotmail account too?
All these communications things are confusing!!


March 3, 2009 7:31 PM

Just d/l WLM, but couldn't get it working. Got error code 80040154, I went to microsoft support site and followed instructions, still won't work. Any ideas? I still have the old msn messenger running, is that the problem?

March 30, 2009 4:48 PM

This Messenger Live 2009 has driven me to distraction. I so hate those useless idiot nerds at Microsoft for causing me to waste so many hours of my life.

I originally installed a slightly older version (7.5 I think) but when I ran it, it told me that I had to update, otherwise I wouldn't be able to use it. So I did that and now I keep getting "We can't sign you into Windows Live Messenger" Error code 80040154.

I've scoured Google, tried re-registering some msxm (something or other) file, downloading and re-registering it, entered a load of commands into the Run box, etc, etc, etc, but nothing works! What the hell can I do? This is wearing me out! Feeling homicidal. I'm using WinXP Pro SP3.

May 3, 2009 2:20 AM

Im the same as IanP... I had problems with WLM and so i uninstalled it... Downloaded the new version and i get error code 80040154. This is the support you get.

Error 80040111 or 80040154: You can't sign in to Windows Live Messenger
You may not be able to sign in to Windows Live Messenger because of a problem with your DLL file or the XML parser.
To resolve this issue, try the following:
Reregister the Msxml3.dll file, wait a few minutes, and then try to sign in to Messenger again.

Show me how
In Windows XP, click Start, click Run, type cmd, and then press ENTER.

— or —

In Windows Vista, click Start, click in the Start Search box, and then type command prompt. Under Programs, right-click Command Prompt, and then click Run as administrator.

Type %windir%\system32\regsvr32 %windir%\system32\msxml3.dll, and then press ENTER.
Type exit, and then press ENTER.

If you still can't sign in to Messenger, reinstall the XML Parser, wait a few minutes, and then try to sign in to Messenger again.

Show me how
Visit the Microsoft download website for XML Parser.
In the section for msxml3.msi, click Download, and then choose to save the file to your computer.
Locate the Msxml3.msi file on your computer, and then double-click it.
Follow the on-screen instructions.

If you still can't sign in to Messenger, restart Messenger, and then try to sign in again.
Related topics
Troubleshoot connectivity problems

Check your connection status and settings

To provide feedback about Messenger, visit the Windows Live Messenger Feedback website. ,IS_Windows Live Messenger v9 , , eformqaf code message firewall internet connection log loin logon log-on sign signin sign-in connect communicate

And this doesnt work. Any suggestions?

May 5, 2009 4:23 PM

After reading the instructions of sharing background the some of the places I was advised to go to didn't exist e.g. Tools> Background > 'Share background...Share Backgrounds wasn't even there so how the hell can you share them??????

Dave Fink
May 7, 2009 7:33 AM

A friend uses Instant Messenger on his Vista Lap Top, using A.O.L. I use Windows Live Messenger on an XP machine through TalkTalk. Why can we not communicate with each other - it's driving us mad.

renee greenberg
June 15, 2009 12:45 PM

I have Windows XP & Windows live Messenger/ Windows live Internet Explorer 7. As I have that printing problem in Hotmail, you said to switch to Firefox. So are you suggesting to use Firefox INSTEAD of Windows LIve Messenger?

No, I recommend using Firefox instead of Internet Explorer. Those are browsers. Windows Live Messenger is an instant messaging program and unrelated to those, and unrelated to Hotmail printing problems.
- Leo

July 2, 2009 7:20 AM

I have always used either window messenger or MSN messenger in the past years to get to my Hotmail account without any problem. I have done all updates and all worked fine even with the new WINDOWS LIVE MESSENGER well untill this last March 2009 update and from there on the problems began. I check all the boxes to sign me in automatically when I start my laptop.... Well everytime it asks me to enter my e-mail address & password and . Is this a common problem with others? or I am the lucky one? Please help..... Thanks

August 31, 2009 1:29 PM

I need to uninstall this windows live messenger...MSN..I am not sure what it is...It is 4.7...but there is nothing in my add and remove for this. If there had been..I could have taken care of this myself..
Thank you ever so much.

How about this article: How do I Uninstall Windows Live Messenger?

Patricia Tummond
September 25, 2009 5:50 AM

I am trying to drag my contacts into Windows Live Messenger from Windows Messenger as it suggests, however I get the "no" sign. How can I import my contacts list? I have XP and am using a brand new Dell that came with the newest version of messenger, but all my contacts are in the old version. Should be simple? Not!

richard in denver
November 13, 2009 12:36 PM

I do not use instant messaging. I just use the MSN website (or whatever) to send and receive email. So, do I need this WLM? For me WLM only presents headaches and real frustration !!!!

Jacki Lamphire
December 8, 2009 7:41 PM

I just got a new computer with vista and microsoft
office 7
I have tried to sign on to windows live messenger and it's driving me nutz. I called microsoft to help me install correctly they did, said the rest was my "server's problem" i called comcast he walked me through the steps to "set it up" no it does not work..he said it's a microsoft problem WELL HOWDY FOLKS...WE ARE IN THE MIDDLE !!! And we paid them all a fortune. Jacki

February 1, 2010 3:20 PM

I have windows messinger..are those conversations saved somewhere? or automatically deleted..I can not find a history button anywhere like in (file,tools,)..please advise

March 23, 2010 9:23 AM

how can i have two versions installed on my pc on same time

C. Morr
April 15, 2010 10:22 AM

I don't wnat Windows Live Messenger; don't understand it, don't want to use it, want to get rid of it. Is there an option anywhere to opt out of it? Now knowing what it is, I'm afraid to just remove it.

Uninstall it. Look in Control Panel, Add/Remove Programs.

November 20, 2010 11:57 PM

so happy i finally removed windows messenger (and kept WLM) :D thanks a lot for the tips!

March 24, 2011 4:55 PM

the difference between the two was helpful to understand.
what I cant get is im unable to retrieve my chat friends etc from msn messenger.I have windows live messenger.When i had signed in,I couldnt see my previous contacts and chat friends.Can you help please?

Bill Bond
July 27, 2011 10:32 PM

I have a computer which came with windows 7 and the windows live messenger has at the top left just below the windows live messenger it has File Contacts Action Tools Help and below that it has a picture. On a computer that I upgrade to windows 7 the windows live messenger page does not have that layout on the left side of the page. Can some one tell me what is wrong that the upgrade is not the same. thanks for your help bill

Miss.Andrea Borman.
September 12, 2011 4:53 PM

I had Windows Messenger 4.7 on my Windows XP laptop. But unfortunently,it did not work at all. When I tried to log into it,I got a message telling me to upgrade to the latest version of Windows Live Messenger! So I removed Windows Messenger 4.7 from my computer by deleting the file on programs on C drive. As Windows Messenger does not come with an uninstaller.So it cannot be uninstalled in uninstall programs menu.The problem is that Windows Messenger 4.7 is no longer supported and is now out of date. Which is why it does not work anymore. Andrea Borman.

Cristine Buntin
December 1, 2011 10:47 AM

I don't want windows live messenger but want to keep the MSN messenger, how do I do that? I really don't want anything to do with Qwest or Century-Link. I have a subsciption for MSN. That's all I want to use.

Windows Live Messenger replaces MSN Messenger. It's the same program, with new features and name.

May 17, 2012 1:26 PM

the thing i like about windows messenger is that it is clean and has remained the same. windows live messenger seems to want to engage with other stuff...for example i now have "windows live call" installed (i didnt ask for this but its there). I just feel like this is going to get blaoty and messy and eventually ads will appear somewhere in my face. do you know what i mean. old windows messenger just looks the same as it looked 10 years ago...and does what it does. maybe im

Anders Paradis
May 18, 2012 8:23 AM

This Window Live service isn´t available right now, but we´ll add to your contacts as soon as the service is available again,You don´t need to do anything else.

Anders Paradis
May 18, 2012 8:27 AM

this is the message I get (see below) w hen I try do add some persons (not all) to my window live messenger friend list


This Window Live service isn´t available right now, but we´ll add to your contacts as soon as the service is available again,You don´t need to do anything else.
This is the message I get when I time and time again try to add some ( but by no means all people) people to my regular window live msn list, but even so they don´t appear in my WL msn list of friends, and when I try to write to them when they contact me, my writing turns red and there is a message that says: "All recipients couldn´t recieve this message". I can read what they say but they cannot read what I write. There is also another message saying: "This person is not in your friend list, Add as friend " and when I try to do so it says that I am already connected to this person.

I can see these people connected = the people that won´t be added to my regular Window Live msn, I can see these peope in the messenger that appears in my hotmail email account, but when I want to write to them from this place where my hotmail emails arrive, their coversation screen won´t show up and these people don´t appear in my regular window live msn.

Neither can I receive invitations from these people (= the people that supposedely are in my WL msn contact list but they can´t be seen in this list.) but I have received invitation from strangers
When I am at work using another computer and a window live msn that isn´t the latest they appear as conected in my regular msn list. Can you please help me with this problem. I have Windows 7 in both computers the one at home and the one at work.
I deleted the window live msn and downloaded it again but the problem persists

Please help. Anders Paradis, {email removed}

July 17, 2012 6:05 PM

I just bought an HP Touchsmart with Windows 7 and all I'm trying to do is set up an Email a/c like Outlook Express. What's the closest thing to it or can I download Outlook Express. Is it true that Windows 10 has Outlook Express, and would it be compatible to or straight forward to purchase it and install it or does that get a little challenging". I just want a simple Email program no bells and whistles; or should I take this contraption back and buy a Mac Desktop?

Mark J
July 17, 2012 9:24 PM

Outlook Express is no longer an option with Windows 7. A couple of options are Thunderbird and Windows Live Mail.

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