When running Windows Live Messenger, aka MSN Messenger of latest version (as installed Windows Live Essentials 2009) in Windows 7, the main Messenger Contact window, display picture, and all chat or conversation windows now have full fledged button or icon on Windows Taskbar, even when minimized, instead of placing main WLM Contacts window icon in system tray or notification area.

Windows Live Messenger in Windows 7

In previous Windows Vista, XP or Server operating system, Windows Live Messenger (MSN) Messenger will load itself into notification area, also known as system tray, which located at the far right end of Taskbar beside the clock, while the rest of the windows such as IM chat dialog box have their own Taskbar button when the windows are opened.

Windows 7 has removed the notification area icon for Windows Live Messenger though, thus the main button for Messenger window now appears in Taskbar, along side with all its conversation or chat windows. The Taskbar button icon won’t go away even when Messenger window is minimized. When mouse over the WL Messenger icon on Taskbar, the thumbnail preview may show two confusing Messenger’s windows, where one is actual WLM Contacts main window, and another is display picture (DP, which does not show if user clicks on ‘X’ button to close the main window).

It’s possible to instruct Windows Live Messenger to revert back to classic style, where its main window is represented by notification tray area icon. The hack is to run Windows Live Messenger in Windows Vista compatibility mode in Windows 7 in order to move WLM icon back to system tray.

  1. Exit Windows Live Messenger or MSN Messenger completely (Right click on WLM button/icon on Taskbar and select Exit).
  2. Go to Start Menu, locate the Windows Live Messenger shortcut.

    Tip: It’s also possible to deal directly with the actual WLM program, msnmgsr.exe located in %ProgramFiles%\Windows Live\Messenger\ folder.

  3. Right click on the Windows Live Messenger shortcut or executable, and select Properties.

    MSN Windows Live Messenger Properties

  4. Go to Compatibility tab.
  5. Tick the check box for Run this program in compatibility mode for under “Compatibility Mode”, and then select Windows Vista from the drop down list.

    Running Windows Live Messenger with Vista Compatibility in Windows 7

  6. Click OK.
  7. Run Windows Live Messenger.

Minimize Windows Live Messenger to System Tray (Notification Area) in Windows 7

With the hack, Windows Live Messenger will minimize to system tray (notification area).

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  • Anatolii


  • Anatolii

    Thanks, nice work!

  • Abr

    Thanks a lot!

  • maya

    thank you!!!!!! YOU RULE

  • prnd321

    If you want to close it, just right click the tab in task bar and choose either exit/sign out.
    I don’t know why Skype 5 doesn’t have this option…

  • Thankx Its worked now both Skype and msn are on system try. I usallly open many windows at same time these Skype and msn takes lots of space of task bar

  • Johnmir

    Man, you rule! I'm happy now πŸ˜€

    Thank you!

  • Daniel

    Thank you

  • mj

    Ah!! THANK you, brother! <3<3<3

  • Zaaphod

    Thats a pretty hoopy peice of thinking there! good job! Finally the icon back where it belongs, not clutting up my task bar

  • Danfers

    thanks it works for me. nice to have a people like you that helps others..

    πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  • yart

    Thanx bro. It really works.

  • Saduga

    Thanks a lot! That was very annoying! =)

  • Kalleb

    Yes, it works perfectly. But what would I loose with it runninh in compatibillity mode?

  • me


  • Howard

    Thanks dude, that was annoying the hell out of me!


    OMG, I want "MY WIFE" to bear your children!


  • Bad Temper

    AWESOME it really works thank you soooooooo much, it was really annoying but with your help it's a charm

  • Ethan

    I disabled compatibility mode from gpedit.msc, is there other way to make WLM minimize to notification area?

  • Keavon

    Thank you so much!

  • Π•Π²Π³Π΅Π½ΠΈΠΉ

    Thank you so much! I was always annoyed – had to periodically turn on and off prog, just for one-stage test post …

  • nihilis

    Cool, thanks for the tip!

  • Claire

    Thanks so much, this has been annoying me forever.

  • diwar


  • Flavio


  • Albeiro

    That's why I love forums!! Thanks a lot!! you're greatttt!!

  • leng chai

    wow~~~ since i use win7 in this damn disgusting feature… now i can roll back~ THANKS~

  • th@nz

    Ggggreeeeeaaaaatttt! Thanks a lot!!

  • Faraz

    Thanks heaps! works for me πŸ™‚

  • Clarissa

    OMG! This has been annoying me for a year and I never thought to google it (until today). *lol*

  • happy dude




  • BlackCoral

    Great job!!!! Thanks a lot I'm new to win7 and would have never figured that out…

  • Daniel Thum

    Thank you so much for the info. Is very helpful. Been searching for the solution.

  • me


    Tell me, why is it than when they update something they just leave behind things instead of making them posible by options?

    Even if they preset a new feature, I want to be able to go back to how I like it if I want to, is that so hard to ask???

  • Martin

    Excellent tip thanks very much

  • Smirnoff

    Thanks a lot

  • Shrini Viswanathan

    Thanks much.

  • Salgadinho

    Thanks. Great Help!

  • Casedd

    Thats really amazing how simple tips can make your life WAY more pleasant

  • jonathan

    marvelous freaking awesome, works on the new 2011 version


    I want to bear your children.


    i need a blog!

  • Natascha

    THANKS πŸ˜€ !

  • Bjorheim

    Great^^ thanks alot mate^^

  • Jane, his wife

    I want to bear your children.

  • zokas


  • Sim

    Great. It works like a charm. Thank you so much

  • Meg

    This solution generates another PROBLEM, where it only shows link when there is no http, but www. I am so tired to copy and paste those http links to my browser
    all the time..

    Any way to fix both issues?

  • WolfeBay

    I just tried this for the Windows Live Messenger 2011 in Windows 7 (64bit), I ran it under Windows Vista (Service Pack 2) compatability mode, and when I close the window, it minimizes down to the system tray. I've also seen someone else say they had to run it in Windows XP (Service Pack 3) compatability mode and it worked for them. Give those other options a try and see if it works! πŸ˜€

  • m

    Great tip, thanks

  • Del

    I use windows live essentials 2011, It runs windows live mail 2011, this worked perfectly fine for me. Not sure what this guy was referring to…likely his name says it all. Possible correction for him would be to run it in Win Vista Compatibility for service pack 2


    October 24th, 2010 15:02 293

    this trick doesn’t work for MSN 2011

    anyone know a new trick. they seem to have fixed this wonderful fix in the new version.

    we need a work around asap

  • Chris

    Thanks….it worked but I noticed you don't get an email notifcation now when an email comes in…..a little unread envelope. Any idea how to fix that? I can just open Windows Live and check but it was nice to have the unread envelope show instead….

  • retard

    this trick doesn't work for MSN 2011

    anyone know a new trick. they seem to have fixed this wonderful fix in the new version.

    we need a work around asap

  • Focker

    Thanks worked well MSN icon had irritated me for so long

  • James

    Yet another example of Microsoft just getting it plain WRONG (but probably deliberately – ie you should only use this messaging client). I want to choose if I an item appear on the taskbar, not have Microsoft choose for me.

    So: thanks so much for this workaround. Simple but effective.

  • xixixao

    Simple and working, well written!

  • Aida

    Thanks a lot!! Just what I was looking for. Easy and clear instructions!

  • jamesbond

    thanks for that

  • Chris

    Won't work with Live Messenger 2010. Is there another workaround?

  • Merijn

    Awesome, I should have looked for this much earlier! That msn block annoyed me so much

  • Hoshi

    Late reply but, thanks so much! I've been trying to find a way to fix this little annoyance, so this could not have come at a better time.

  • pat

    thanks so much!!!

  • nore

    My windows 7 is joined to a domain, so there is no compatibility tab. But there is a troubleshoot compatibility in the right click context menu which won't iconize it, it stays the same. Is there a solution for that ?

  • Litso

    Thanks a bunch!

  • ADTC

    Thank you so much. The "new" Windows 7 only feature of Windows Live Messenger had been annoying the hell out of me, since I turned off the "iconized" taskbar in Windows 7 and reverted to the style of taskbar in earlier Windows version.

    Without this hack, Windows Live Messenger had a persistent but useless button in the taskbar with its full name, closing which completely exited the Messenger. Thanks to you a lot, coz now I have removed the annoying extra button and gone back to the test-and-tried system tray icon.

  • Sandie

    Thank you.. Super dud..thanks lot

  • Rae

    thank you thank you thank you!

  • Thanks for this!!!

  • bob

    lol now i can be at msn at school without the teachers can see xD

  • alex

    COOL!!! thanks a lot…..

  • Rehan

    Excellent – work around described as easy as it could be. thank you !!

  • william

    Thanks mate great info!! owe you big time

  • dancingpotato

    Great ! Thanks so much !

  • Rosie

    thank you so much, this has been driving me mad

  • 123

    thank you man

  • Jeppe


    How can anyone with Microsoft not have seen this? I don't think I have ever been so annoyed since Windows ME… ok maybe with all windows mobile…

  • yasmin

    super! daaaaaaaaaaanke! I have it hated! ^ ^: P

  • ShadowVlican

    funny that those dumbasses at microsoft still haven't fixed this behaviour

  • Cosmin

    this is sooo nice πŸ™‚

  • snowonweb

    great tip now microsoft should make it so live messenger doesn't need to be run in compability mode to be minimized to tray with windows 7.

  • T

    Thanks! The default behaviour is really annoying. Thankfully this simple work-around makes it all good.

  • MissMuffet

    Thanks so much for posting these windoze 7 work arounds. Normally I would choose xp since Ive got it all figured out, but I got a new tablet and dont have that option. Who knows why they had to change certain things expect to make our lives more complicated!

  • somnus

    that's one of the reasons why I changed back to XP, Now that I have 7 again this is Perfect! Thanks.

    and it's no hack its just knowing the settings.

  • sean

    thanks so much for this buddy~

  • pabloxnqn

    Thanks a lot man!!!! really helpfull!

  • Tiago

    Thanks men, from BRASIL

  • Amanda

    Thank you so much, damn that thing was annoying me,.

  • Andre

    Thanks a lot! That hint was exactly what I needed. I stopped using WLM because of that stupid task bar icon.

    Really annoying how Microsoft changed some things in Windows 7 like these task bar icons or by default hidden Start Menu (one can not see Start Menu folder tree when right-click and open it through the Start button). I wish my good old Quick Launch menu back, too! πŸ™‚

  • Jenish

    Fantastic well done! Why MS don't use this by default. Who would want this on the task bar?

    Anyway thanks for your help.



  • Kat

    Awesome!! This is exactly what I was looking for! Thanks!

  • sa999

    thanks – that was so annoying. So glad it is fixed

  • shina

    thanks! works like a charm

  • Kees

    Finally… thank you so much.

    How about mving the "show desktop" icon to the left of the tsskbar? Any thoughts on that?

  • Smith

    I agree …. thank you!!!

  • Eli

    Freak'n Thank you…!!!!!

  • Ercan

    heyyy tnx very much.that was great.i was hating win7 coz of this second useless window.u saved my win7:)))

  • milkywayer

    A friggin relief on my Windows 7. Hated the useless 2nd icon of msn messenger on taskbar.


  • Ly

    Wow, it was so helpful for me, i was crazy with it over the last month because both skype and window live messenger are always on my taskbar. After doing like you instructed, they are now settled in system tray. SO SO happy. Thanks

  • Der_Meister

    Thank you!

  • Jepoy

    Wow thanks man. This Windows 7 is very confusing for a previous WinXP user

  • MOe

    Thanks a lot – this was driving me crazy!
    The typical Microsoft-way to do things….

  • me

    thanks…was driving me crazyyyy

  • Softlion

    Thank you so much !!

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  • 616e6f6e

    This tweak wasn't working for me on Windows 7 x64, but I was able to get around it by first uninstalling the Windows Live Upload Tool and the Windows Live Sign-in Assistant, and [then] by using the compatibility tweak. I set the compatibility to Windows XP Service Pack 3, and I selected the "Run as administrator" option, and the tray icon finally appeared.

    Hope this helps!

  • Henke

    I love you dude!!!!!!!!!!

  • NewEraCracker

    Thanks for the tip πŸ˜‰

  • diego

    Awesome, thank you!

  • Tangmeister


    I had tried this yesterday, only silly me did it for XP, and not Vista- hence a UAC prompt everytime I ran it…

    Thanks for this tip!

  • MAS

    It was of a gr8 help, thanks for the information.

  • Maado


    thanks a lot that working Great with me

    good luck

  • bob

    Great, thankx…

  • Blue

    omg! thankss!

  • ash

    nevermind that, i still can, must be the new version πŸ™‚

  • ash

    nice but now you loose the ability to use the messenger jumplist πŸ™

  • Nick

    awesome! exactly what I needed

    Thanks man

  • Anon

    Thanks a lot for this!

  • thnx a lot bro, it worked just fine.

  • Jopie

    Great thanks !!!

  • Mandy

    thank you did exacly what i needed to do

  • josh

    thanks, been lookin for this since the first time i use win7.

  • Mohamed Rashwan

    Thank you a lot. I needed this really.

  • noslian

    I run Windows 7 Home Basic and this did not work for me… I have not found anywhere else a solution to the problem. Thanks, anyway.

  • Johnny

    thanks man. I was getting upset without being able to hide it. thanks again

  • Ellie

    Thank you! I did this for messenger and skype. I love you!

  • Michael

    Problem doing this though is that the UAC will catch it. So if you want to sign in automatically like I do, u would either ALWAYS have to click "yes" when the UAC pops up or change the UAC permissions altogether (which I am not willing to do…)

  • The Janitor

    I did this and it worked. But after installing Comodo Firewall + Antivirus it stopped working.

    Messenger and Skype will not minimize to the system tray after installing Comodo Internet Security Free (4.0.135239.742)

  • hema

    thanks alot

  • Nebulo

    Ohh, new discovery: compatibility mode (and going to systray) works only if I started directy the exe file from Total Commander. With Win Explorer doesn't work. Shortcuts don't work either.

  • Nebulo


    I've followed the steps you mentined. After restart msn doesn't stared because of the UAC. I modded the UAC on the lowest state. After these the msn autostart worked but not correctly, it couldn't go to the systray again.

    Finally I found out that the compatibity mode works only if I started directly the msnmsgr.exe. Via shortcut it still doesn't work. Do u have any idea, what I should do?

  • Chrissy



    That stupid taskbar icon has been pissing me off for months! It's so good to finally have it back in the system tray, where it belongs.

  • It worked GREAT! Thank you. Having the MSN icon on my taskbar – as compared to over by the clock – was a nuisance. Thanks for the wonderful tip! πŸ™‚

  • Grinse

    Thanks. But I had to do an additional step:

    On my machine even when I minimized Windows Live Mail it still stayed at the taskbar (and now also at the notification area).

    So I had to right click the mail icon in the notification area and had to select hide window when program is minimized.

  • hassan

    worked, Thanks ^_^

  • sanwal

    it worked on winodws 7 , Thanks !

  • Roxinorita

    Oh Great! It was so annoying. I hate having useless icons in my taskbar! Thanks a lot!

  • BT


    I guess everybody at MS is using gtalk! So they missed out on this..

    It was a swift and easy solution. I had been bugged by it for some time now. Since 6 months actually, I just got a Windows 7 license and updated my beta to full version.



  • peen

    OMG you are the best! this works great! πŸ˜€

  • MBSTeve

    You know what?

    Every 10,000 years or so, someone comes up with something truely brilliant. This is one of those times. Nothing was more annoying than messenger not minimizing to tray!!

  • Nicolas

    Really thankssssssss

  • Chris

    Thank you loads for explaining how to do such thing. It was becoming nightmarish to make the switch without suitable assistance.

    Thanks again.

  • sahil

    thank you soooooo much. it has been bothering me for months. thanks!!!

  • I was wondering why it did that thing when I installed it… Compatibility mode is almost always the answer, as for drivers!

    Thank you very much for this tip!

  • Michael

    googled it, found it, did it. All done in 3min. Thx a lot.

  • Junior

    Thanks a lot man

    MS should have gave priority to windows 7 functionality with WML

    it's their newest system and all

    but they're screwing their reputation with errors like this

    I don't like WMP 12 too

  • Davinchi

    Thank you sir, very much.

  • Pingback: Anonymous()

  • Bacani

    Very good. Problem solved.

    Thank you.

  • Damon

    Thanks a lot….. Microsoft is getting annoying each time they release their new application and FORCE the USERS to use their implemented features … and in this case the TASKBAR ICON , even though some people are not comfortable seeying that icon on task bar all the times…. πŸ™‚

  • Rocky

    thank you. was driving me nuts sooo much better now

  • Chad

    Thank you! This was driving me crazy.

  • Swarvey

    Thanks heaps, this has been annoying HELL outta me for too long!

  • Henrik

    Thank you! Really helpt me out! πŸ™‚

  • biggysmith

    you're a life saver!


  • Carlos Soler

    Nice! Thanks a lot.

  • Alex


  • Gordon

    Gawd Dayumm so easy when you know how πŸ˜€ Thank you dude. Having 2 windows was very annoying. What a stupid mistake this is by MS.

  • Pieter

    Thanks! You are a very good help!! πŸ™‚

  • Dave


    Im running win 7 ultimate 64 and I turn the stacking option off because I find it annoying and slow to navigate thus I get the traditional looking items in my task menu and with two messenger tabs in there it drove be nuts, so thanks for this work-around!

  • I'm using Windows 7 Ultimate x64 (fully updated), and just installed it the other day for the first time along with the latest version of WLM. I tried the method outlined above but it didn't work, nor did setting the compatibility to any other O/S or service pack version, nor did running it as an administrator before/after the compatibility tweak, nor did reinstalling it several times. Is there any other way around this irritating problem other than the compatibility tweak?


  • AlexValve

    Thanks So Much For this, It's really appreciated!! Microsoft really needs to fix that bug and bring it back to where it needs to be.


  • Daniel

    Thank you. This feature really bugged me and was expecting a much more complicated solution.

  • Don

    Thank you very much. Quick, easy, effective. What more could I ask! Bookmarking your site.

  • Fran

    Thank you very much for this workaround!

  • Cosmio

    Awesome, thank you very much. Wonder if MS will fix it sometime.

  • Andron

    Thanks! Helped me.

  • PR

    Marvellous! Thanks so much!

  • Maxi

    Thanks a lot!!!

  • Eli

    awesome work around. so simple.


  • Ramon

    Thank you man! It was driving me crazy that stupid messenger in the taskbar, it works fine now πŸ™‚

  • Andrei

    thanks ever so much! may I just add that compat. for vita sp2 just works as well. cheers

  • Felipe

    really thanks dude

  • This did not work for me. Strange.

  • Sooster

    Thank you for this. WLM being on my taskbar was driving me nuts.

  • nakeisha

    THANKYOU THANKYOU THANKYOU!! It was driving me crezy sitting in the task bar to the point where I stopped using it. Now it's back where it belongs πŸ˜€

  • CS


    I have been using this method for quite some time, but today, it suddenly didn't work for me. Nothing changes in my system, nothing, but this way just don't work. The WLM just doesn't go to system try.

    Any help?

  • Pieter

    Thanks , epic win!

  • Thanks a lot man you are the man

  • DenisKL

    Great. Thanks, man.

  • LP

    Tks! very nice!

  • julio

    thanks a lot man… that thing was driving me crazy!!

  • Ludo Yeye

    Thanks much for this, made my day πŸ™‚

  • Alvaro

    you are my hero too!!!!!!!! really very very thanks!!!!!!

  • Hafid

    thanks. very2 usefull!!

  • Thomas

    Thanks!! I couldn't change my status from the task bar and there wasn't even an exit button! This looks cleaner and is more user friendly.

  • jose villavicencio

    Thankx, really useful

  • Fabs

    Thank you so much for this!

  • Paully

    AIM does the same annoying thing. I tried this workaround with AIM to no success. But still thanks for solving the Live Msgr problem.

  • Paully

    Awesome tip. So simple and so… "why didnt I think of that?". So far I haven't noticed any issues running it in Vista mode. BIG THANK YOU! I wish there were more people in the world like you.

  • mike

    Thanks a lot! BIIIIIIG problem solved.

  • brenda

    you're the best! i hated having that thing open on my taskbar. thanks!!!!

  • Asim Bijarani

    OMG.. you solved the big problem..

    THANK U SOOOOOOOO MUCH… extremely thankful to you..

    It made me crazy showing on task bar always.. thanks a lot

  • ITGuy

    Thank you for this tip! It was driving me crazy! MS needs to put this back where it was.

  • you are my hero!

    thanks a lot for this solution.


  • Aaron

    I love you for this. Have my babies plox.

  • masha

    Thank you so much, it worked perfectly!

  • thanks for this

    I cannot thank you enough for this. Having that stupid big taskbar icon was bugging me to death.

    Now it is back in the system tray where it belongs.

  • cat reflex


  • CaL

    AMAZING!!! thanks!!!

  • Jiri


  • TJL74

    Sorry, I take it back, for some reason it took few times to "close" the WLM main window before it began to work. Now I got WLM away from my taskbar and in the tray icon list. THANKS, makes me wonder why did MickeySoft did this like it did and also taking away our quicklaunch bar which is the basis of my Windows use since XP! Luckily it could be restored as well with little workaround.

  • TJL74

    I just installed the latest Windows Live Messenger and instantly began looking for this kind of workaround for the taskbar button hide but this doesn't seem to work for me, even I change the .exe file itself to Vista compatibility mode.

  • Jason Smith

    Nice! Thank you

  • Pramesh

    Thank you.

  • hala

    thanks a lot!!!!!

  • staind25

    Oh man, thank you so much, I just installed Windows 7 a few hours ago and that was driving me more insane than anything else.

  • Christian

    SWEET! Thansk my friend! I just got bananas on that stupid taskbar icon! πŸ™‚

  • d

    thanks for solving yet another of microsofts many flaws

  • Anthony

    That worked beautifully! Thanks. That was so annoying.

  • Joseph O

    Thanks for a quick and easy fix

  • Cornelia

    Thanks a lot! This works flawlessly.

  • Santi

    God. Finally!!!! Thanks a lot. It was driving me mad!!!!!!!

  • Jonathan

    An easy solution. Thank you.

  • Maddog

    thank you!

  • Q

    Thanks!! An annoyning issue solved.

  • jack

    you sir are a legend πŸ™‚

    annoying the hell out of me too! πŸ˜€

  • Iqodo

    Thank you so much! it was annoying the hell out of me ;D

  • Ty

    thanks a lot !!!!

  • MOYcano

    Yoooho, it works!

  • J-Nic

    I still have the problem. One of the 2 messenger windows is still on the taskbar. The other one is gone. Is it only me ? Any idea how to remove this ?

    I think it's the DP picture that make doesn't make it to the tray.

    I taught 7 was better than vista, it is I think but lot of work to be done to make it stable.

  • kaleesh

    every hack i've wanted for win7 points to ur website. Thanks man!

  • Mcsiv

    Thanks a lot! Köszi:D

  • Serge

    Thanks Man! Nice Job!

  • Mike

    Thanks man! Somehow I had it in the notification area at one time and then it went back and it made me rage! Thanks! πŸ˜€

  • Excellent tip. Thank you so much

  • Guilherme (brasil)

    perfeito! funciona! obrigado!

  • Can not tell you how grateful I am for this, such an annoying 'improvement' by Windows. Thanks very much.

  • Crash_Override

    I agree with every one else i get down on my knees and thank you with everything i have. Finally it gone at last i thank you again.

  • That's been bugging me for months. Thank you!

  • Excellent tip, thanks πŸ™‚

  • JustinG

    Couldn't have been an easier solution. Thanks!

  • jibbajabba

    You are a legend!

  • Stefan S

    Thanks! Windows7 is pretty good, but this was one of the most annoying things Ive expereienced about it so far.

  • Mikko

    Thank you!

  • Thank you very much, having two icons for one program was annoying thanks to you PROBLEMO SOLVED.

  • Charles

    Thanks a million. That has been bothering me for the last two days!

  • Locke

    Crazy how much something so small like that can bother you.

  • tk

    That was driving me nuts. Thanks πŸ˜€

  • Carl

    GREAT! thanks… I thought the new version was really lame, I definitely prefer it in the system tray

  • ahmad

    Thanks a lot for the tip.

  • Mahray

    Thanks for a nice and simple solution to a very annoying problem!

  • georgi55

    Another thans, you saved me biting my nails out.

  • Uffowich

    Another one say a BIG thanks for this solution! Was driving me nuts, keeping the program off rather than having that stupid thing in the taskbar!

    Many thanks!

  • Klaus

    As some of the others have already said. Thanks a lot! πŸ˜€

  • Thodsaphon J.

    Wow! this is what i'm looking for, thank you.

  • hatem

    Thank you, great tip πŸ™‚

  • Chris

    I love you.

  • Markku Hänninen

    This tip saved my day πŸ™‚

    You rule!


  • papa

    Ty very much men.

    I really needed this

  • Ali

    I received and installed my signature edition of windows 7 ultimate yesterday and I was really disappointed of many issues, especially this one, but I am glad to find a way to go around it, I hope this works for Windows live mail, which previously had the option to "Hide window when minimized"


  • Olivier Bastien

    This is really the most useful tip I've seen since I installed Windows 7. Now I need to find a way to disabled those taskbar thumbnails and be able to midle-click to close windows from the taskbar.

  • Thank you very much.

    I actually considered going back to vista coz of this…

  • SDP


    I was also getting the problem that pinning messenger to the start bar was causing multiple instances of messenger.exe to run. Now it's back in my system tray I can unpin it!

  • Micro$oft should be posting this workaround. Thanks for the share! I hated how it was always open, it should live in the tray.

  • Fongwen

    It's good to know this tip, thanks.

  • Dang

    Just the info I needed! Thanks!

  • maso

    THANKS !!!! πŸ˜€

  • Pingback: Workaround to Hide and Minimize Windows Live Messenger Icon/Button to Notification Area (System Tray) in Windows 7 : ORCS Web Team Blog()

  • Ken

    Wicked πŸ™‚

    Thanks man!!

  • davide


    thanks man!

  • diegooo

    I don't like windows 7 GUI for many things like that but at least MSN will not bother me anymore. thanks for the workaround

  • Yurei

    Thank you very much! I just installed Windows 7 yesterday, and this thing with msn was really a killer-factor! happy to know there's an easy workaround ^^

  • Cera

    Brilliant, thanks!

  • Tony

    Great stuff! i have searched the whole internet for this solution πŸ˜›

  • Eric

    Thanks! I was about to uninstall the program because of this issue, but then I read this.

  • dErzOnk

    WOW, great job! THank you very much!

  • Paul

    Thanks so much!!! You rock!

  • Boki

    Thank you soo much…

  • Win 7 Fan

    Great, Thanks man!

  • Gary Yeung

    Thanks … you are the man !!

  • borsn

    it works. simple modification but i would never come up with this idea.

  • Thank you thank you thank you.

  • Rafa

    thank you very much. It really was a big HEADACHE!

    With this tip, Win7 is back in the game.

    Greetings from venezuela.

  • Barry

    Thank you very much, it's crazy this is necessary if the first place!

  • Thanx πŸ˜€

  • Yuji

    Very nice tip

    Thanks and cheers:-)

  • Ace

    AweSome DUde THANKS XD

  • Gil

    Thank you very much!!!

  • AJ

    Look at your system memory now. It's inflated about 60mb memory now.

  • GSoriaN

    Gracias, vaya que si me ayudaste a quitar un dolor de cabeza…

  • Nice, but immediately after reboot messenger stops working .. at all. :f

  • iamme

    Thanks! This was annoying me.

  • Andy

    THANK YOU!!!

    This was one of my biggest annoyance in win 7 and removal of classic start bar.

    But im so glad i found this, to the person that discovered this your an absolute genius.

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  • Groodles

    Many thanks man, this was bugging me big time.

  • hehe

    Hahaha not really a hack but its a funny way to get it back to normal.

  • markisthejob

    Thank you.My taskbar is much tidier now

  • matizwn

    Thank you for the helpful tip πŸ˜‰

  • heeeeeeyyyy sweet dude!! it works!!! love ya man!! I really miss this way to find messenger in notification area!! u rock!! xD

  • Dev

    Thx! this worked!

  • Thomas

    Glad I looked it up, this DID help, and the problem did bug me. Still, I wouldn't call it a hack though, because it isn't.

  • Mark Sinclair

    This bugged me for a while so I googled it. I'm glad I found this answer. Thanks.

  • nice! That's it was looking for πŸ˜€

  • lily

    GRACIAS! era un problema que tenia!

    muchisimas gracias(:

  • LogiX

    Comodo Firewall updated and now this trick doesn't work anymore ib Build 7100 x64

  • Thanks. BTW, the same goes with Windows Live mail too. It hides when you run it in compatibility mode.

  • Bernard F


  • LaGgEr

    Does anyone has a problem with compatipility mode and http links in chat window? Icons are in right place but when i send or recieve links with http, then they are not links but just text. When compatipility mode is turned off then links work but with any compatibility mode it will suck.. Please help.

  • Minat0r

    I can't thank you enough. This was positively annoying as hell. Can't thank you enough for this!

  • Me

    A lot of stupid people here, this works flawlessly. If you can't manage to change the option then do the world a favor and don't have any children. As a bonus you could also jump under the train or something.

  • semantik0

    Thank a lot… been looking for this solution for a while.

  • Elaine

    Thank you SO MUCH. I actually sent angry emails about this to msn, because I was so pissed.

    Does anyone know if there's a workaround so that opening your hotmail can open in a browser other than IE? (I fucking hate IE, love firefox)

  • Gal

    Simple and great post!

    thanks a lot…

  • Reizzal Faizal

    GARH! Thanks buddy for sharing this tip….


  • Mladen

    Thank you very much… this thing was anoying me, every time I would minimize my programs the dang thing would maximize…

  • Moemen

    Great tip πŸ˜‰

    I have windows7 (build 7000) and the original tip above workes fine with me.

    Thanks very much.

  • Joey

    well done )

  • Dan

    This kind of craps annoys the hell out of me!

    Is this what MS are spending their valuable time on fiddling around with?

    "Hey! let's see how much we can annoy our users! lets make this crappy window fatter than a BigMac, Yeah that's great!"

    Fucking morons I'd like to kick your nerdy asses!

  • Andrew

    Ah thankyou!! That was my only one of contention.

  • Andrew


    thats like the only problem ived had with windows 7 XD

  • Bosteco

    iiiiiiiiiiiii loooooooooooove you

    that made me angrey but now

    im enjoying my win 7


  • Tnxxxxxxxxxx :D

    THANK YOU SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH FINALY I CAN START USING WINDOWS 7 NORMALY πŸ˜€ i hope microsoft will make a button or fix when the final version of windows 7 arrives

  • Terry

    Thank you so much.

    I appriciate it.

  • Thanks a ton, that was really pissing me off, I almost didn’t want to use it anymore. A appreciate it!

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  • gaby

    same problem like you matt…:(

  • Ian C

    Thank you sooooo much! πŸ˜€

    Was really pissing me off, popping up everytime I minimized everything. In the end decided to google it and you answered my summons!

  • Aza

    I have the same problem as Mavamaarten.

    It works the first time i change the compatability mode. But after restarting or simply turning off one evening and on the next. It no longer starts automatically.. Nor does it allow me to open the program manually… I have tried changing it back to run on Windows 7. But nothing happens.

  • Oscar

    Great! I was also very annoyed by this! πŸ™‚

  • Sid

    Awesome…2 icons in the task bar was so annoying..

    You made my day πŸ™‚

  • Hey my love iam just trying if i can go through .love you.

  • shoo

    Brilliant! thankyou, it was annoying the sh*t out of me!!


    i did it with the executabl itself and not the shortcut, if that helps anyone above.

  • You are quite the genius friend. Thanks for the great information. πŸ˜‰

  • Yosh-Egg

    Thank you very much πŸ˜€

  • Ross


    this worked on the built 7022!

    thanks again man,

    i apreshate it!

  • Running Build 7022. Went directly to file and told it to run in vista compatibility mode and it works great. It's funny how that the way to fix many things in 7 is to change the compatibility mode. Thank you.

  • Retail Pro

    Great post! This is the only "problem" I was having after a Windows 7 install today. This should be a very popular post. πŸ™‚

    Thanks a bunch.

  • abdo

    thnx alot dude

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  • Cookie Monster

    Thank you very much… this thing was anoying me, every time I would minimize my programs the dang thing would maximize… once again thanks

  • matt

    so has anyone come up with a working fix besides running in comp mode? doesn't work for many people from what i see

  • Yes, that is what I want! Thank's a lot!

  • matt

    to wasscp

    yes i did apply that patch to extend windows 7 and remove watermarks/build, etc. sounds like something it did is causing the error

    anyone come up with another solution aside from rerunning patch and unpatching


  • Darren

    This worked like a charm! Thank you, I now have my taskbar back!

  • wasscp


    you wouldnt have happened to use that patch to get pluspatch for windows 7 did you…

    im asking because i applied this *workaround* first shot and it worked beautifully…

    soon as i tinkered with the pluspatch 5 (remove watermarks and annoying feedback link) i also recieved *unable to initialize* (unticking compatibility mode) was the only option to get msn running again…

    sucks that annoying MSN on my taskbar is enough to make me stop using it easily.. guess i gotta find an alternate way ot connecting to msn πŸ™‚ trillium maybe…

  • superhobo

    Same here. Doesn't start at all in compatibility mode.

  • Neil Marshall

    The Program Files folder method described above worked perfectly for me.

    Brilliant solution. Well worked out!



  • Aimee

    Yep. Uninstalled my previous version, then installed the latest version straight from Microsoft's website, before I made my previous post. I've got version 14.0.8050.1202.

    I've tried Vista compat mode, and XP compat mode. I've tried it with the shortcut, and the actual .exe file. I get the same error every time.

    Its kind of annoying that they've made this change to the way the program works in Windows 7. An older version I had, before I was told by the program that I needed to update, actually went to the system tray.

  • admin

    Have you all try to install the latest version?

  • Aimee


    The same thing happens to me; the exact same thing. Does anyone know of any other way to get it to the system tray instead of on the taskbar?

  • matt

    this doesn't work at least not for me – it pops up an error and says messenger has stopped working – close program. then application error failed to initialize properly (0xc0000005) blah blah – UAC set off and i've tried changing everything to default as well as setting compatability to other OS version – nothing works – anyone has same issue?

  • Mavamaarten


    I HATE the way it works, and when i try this thingy, WLM9 stops working, i can't run it at all πŸ™