Tuesday, May 05, 2009

How to get Live Messenger back in the System Tray on Windows 7

Ok, so Windows 7 has a fancy new task bar, and Windows Live Messenger shows up on the task bar even when it’s closed.  It definitely looks fancy, and it will help folks like my parents and grandparents find messenger on their computer.  I love that I don’t have to explain “that tiny little chess piece in the right hand corner of the screen, no further down, no all the way down, near the clock, no to the left of the clock”.  Yes, I do this often.

However, for me, and probably a lot of power users that take advantage of the fact that Windows can task-switch and have plenty of windows open, you really don’t want Live Messenger to take up a section of that, when you’re used to it sitting right in the corner out of the way.  You can get that back to the way it was in Vista/XP simply by running it in compatibility mode. 

If you want to get Live Messenger back into the System Tray, you can customize that by following these steps:

  1. Simply close Live Messenger by clicking on it and closing it.  Make sure it’s not minimized, but actually closed, so it doesn’t even appear in your Task Manager as a running program
  2. Then browse to c:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Live\Messenger (this could be c:\program files, without the (x86) if you’re running a 32-bit operating system)
  3. Right-click on msnmsgr.exe and choose properties.
  4. Under the Compatibility tab, choose to run this under Windows Vista (SP2) compatibility mode: image
  5. Click OK, and then run messenger again

Now Live Messenger is sitting back in the system tray.  Don’t forget to customize the hiding feature, so it doesn’t hide on you for not using it!!


So, it’s easy to get Live Messenger back in the system tray.


Lee Evans said...

Fantastic. Thank you. This and my randomly disappearing taskbar/start menu pinned items are the only two things I've found really wrong since moving to RC1.
I looked all weekend and this didn't occur to me. Genius. Thanks!

DaveN said...

You made my day with this one, Sean. Thanks.

Chad Gross said...

You rock yet again my friend! This has been annoying me for quite some time now

Nick King said...

Classic. I didnt even realized you'd posted this. Lookng at the dates you get to call *first* :)