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MSN Messenger can be told to not interrupt you with alerts when you're doing something else. The option apparently defaults to "on".

Why did MSN Messenger stop alerting me to new messages?

Did you upgrade messenger lately? Then it's probably because it thought you were busy doing something important, like playing a game.

At least that's what happened to me.

A new option appeared in version 6, I believe, in Tools->Options->Personal labled "Show me as Busy and block my alerts when I'm running a full-screen program, such as a slide presentation". I've also experienced this running a game or a Remote Desktop client session.

And it apparently defaults to "on". Turn that off, and you should be getting those all important instant messages interrupting you once again.

Article C1831 - August 15, 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?

June 17, 2004 6:21 PM

How do I upgrade the messenger to the latest version?

June 17, 2004 8:22 PM

Just download the new version and install. will take you to the download page.

January 11, 2006 8:02 AM

When I log onto MSN Messenger it checks my email for 'unread mail' and appears to monitor for 'new' email.
How do I stop this? I don't want it to monitor, alert me or do anything associated with my email.
I want it to 'chat', nothing more.

Big G
August 16, 2006 10:29 AM

Click on the dropdown menu next to your name and go to Personal Settings at the bottom. Then go to Alerts and Sounds and untick the third option "Display alerts when email is received"

June 14, 2007 4:50 AM

When i turn the pc on it shows the 3 family profiles, and next to the name it shows if you have any unread msn messenger email's.
How do i remove this notification ????

June 14, 2007 11:46 PM

I found the answer, it's a regedit that is required.

September 26, 2007 9:13 AM

When contacts come online it usually notifies u but i turned this off, and now i dont know how to turn it back on!! I hear the sound when someone comes online but i dont see the little popup box. Someone pls help!

July 29, 2008 11:00 AM

Is there a log kept on my computer of all the pop-up alerts when someone comes online? For example, lets say I just came online and the little window pops up saying I am online. Is there a log kept of that somewhere on the recipients computer?

Not that I know of.


December 31, 2008 4:08 PM

I have the Windows XP installed on my computer after getting it scrubbed due to a bad virus. Now when I am doing anything on my computer in fullscreen mode or not I get this annoying ring when some one gets an email. I have gone into my MSN options and removed the 'alerts' off mine & the kids did the same...but it still coming through. Is there anyway to disable it completely regardless who signs in on my computer???? Please help. Watching movies is annoying when the computer rings and you fall off your seat cause your watching a scary scares me. Help... B

You said email, but didn't say what email program you're using (I assume by "MSN" you mean "MSN instant messenger", which is not email, it's Instant Messaging). I'd check your email program, and I'd also go into the Control Panel -> Sounds and Audio Devices -> Sounds and see if one of the settings there needs to be disabled.
- Leo

January 1, 2009 10:57 AM

Hey, i did as you said, but it still doesn't flash to show me who's messaged me. i hear the noise but no flashing really fustrates me because if i have like 6 convos open i have to go thru each person looking to see who messaged me..

Any ideas?


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