Connect with us

How to Minimize Windows Live Messenger to System Tray in Windows 8

Windows 7

How to Minimize Windows Live Messenger to System Tray in Windows 8

Windows 7 has one of the major changes in UI in the form of task bar which is called Super taskbar. Windows Live Messenger or any other IM clients generally minimizes to system tray in Windows Vista, but in Windows 7, even when minimized it stays in the task bar. If you feel the task bar gets crowded with icons, you can minimize messengers to system tray using the simple hack.

Task Bar Windows 7

1. First close any running instances of Windows Live Messenger and then open Program files-> Windows  Live-> Messenger folder

2. Here you can find msnmgsr.exe file. Right click on the file and select properties.

3. In the properties window, select compatibility tab. 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.

Compatibility Mode

4. Click OK and now sign in back to Windows Live Messenger. Now if you minimize the messenger, it goes to system tray.

Continue Reading

Nirmal is a Technology Blogger and a Microsoft MVP in Windows. He can be contacted at You can find Nirmal on , and .



  1. Craig

    January 19, 2009 at 9:31 am

    This is a nice tip as we “Win 7 beta” testers are getting used to all of the Windows 7 changes. Thanks a lot!

  2. Nate

    January 19, 2009 at 5:05 pm

    This doesn’t seem to work for me, maybe because I’m in 64 bit, but it just crashes and does an MS error report.

  3. Pingback: Windows 7: Come Minimizzare Windows Live Messenger Nel Nuovo Sistema Operativo Microsoft »

  4. Nick

    January 20, 2009 at 12:02 am

    I tried this tip aswell, it worked for about 2-3 hours. Now when i try to open it, i get an access violation error. If i uncheck Compatbility Mode, it starts fine, but then i can’t minimize it to the System Tray.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  5. Nirmal

    January 20, 2009 at 10:34 am

    @Nick and Nate,
    Thanks for the feedback.
    This might not be a permanent hack and its not tested on 64 bit. We have used this on 32 bit machine.

  6. matt

    January 22, 2009 at 2:20 am

    anyone have a working fix for this as changing comp mode doesn’t work and hasn’t work for me since i first tried
    must be some registry hack to force to sys tray

    please help

  7. Jose

    January 25, 2009 at 4:39 am

    I’m running the 64 bit version and it worked great! thanks a lot


  8. Bram

    February 27, 2009 at 12:05 am

    thank god… it was so anoying.

    works fine in x86.

  9. Wonderbread

    May 7, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    Thanks for this, saved me some time screwing around =]

  10. ber

    May 8, 2009 at 11:18 pm

    Thanks. This works for Windows Live Mail too.

  11. Daniel

    May 13, 2009 at 3:58 am

    THANK GOD for this!

    I was just about to buy a ticket to Redmond and a shotgun to go with it!

    Have they been smoking pot when redesigning the taskbar or what??

    Yeah lets make thing better, by adding at least two extra windows for ONE instance of Messenger!
    Way to go MS!!!

    The uselessness leaves me lost for words! ( almost).

  12. Pingback: How-to: Minimize Messenger to the system notification area in Windows 7 | mynetx - Windows Live Enhanced

  13. Pedro

    May 24, 2009 at 9:44 pm

    Thankx man… that was a life saver…
    I’m always struggling to have only a few windows on the task bar… and then out of nothing 2 windows for the same instance of messenger… out of with one we could never close..
    Microsoft Never Ceases to Amaze Me, with their lack of product testing…
    Best Regards

  14. Tynan

    May 25, 2009 at 9:00 pm

    Thanks. I can’t believe it was set up like that. It took me a few days to realize that it was actually shutting down MSN every time I closed that on my taskbar. Thanks for the fix. Running x64.

  15. tuxStyle

    May 29, 2009 at 5:23 pm

    I think micro$oft forgot to ask their usability testers opinion in this matter.

  16. Mix

    June 19, 2009 at 10:44 am

    Works for me. Put it in Vista SP2 mode. I’m on Windows 7 RC 7100 x64.

  17. Jenn

    June 23, 2009 at 10:30 am

    Thank you so much for posting this! It worked like a charm for me… running Windows 7 RC 7100 x32.

  18. Buddy

    June 30, 2009 at 4:10 am

    Worked great for me on x64. Thank you!

  19. OK

    July 4, 2009 at 3:21 am

    I’d suggest compatability mode to Vista (w/o service pack). Minimizing to Systray works great (I’m using W7 RC- 64 bit).
    When I choose XP it runs as administrator, and messenger is not a program you want to give administrative permissions to.

  20. Jamesch

    July 15, 2009 at 4:27 am

    Utter silliness to omit such an easy and defacto standard in coding! Why not put a checkbox in the options? Works perfectly fine in x64 build 7200. I did, however do mine a different way.

    Find Win Live Messenger in the start button and right mouse click, then go to properties. Next, on the bottom, open file location. after explorer launches and shows you the absolute path back to the file, now right mouse click and go to properties. Set properties for all users, and set Vista Compatibility mode on the actual program instead of the shortcut.

    This keeps it strait for all users, and will make sure it launches right if it’s in your startup (I know wasted CPU but what good is a Core 2 Quad, 6GB of RAM, and a 9800GX2 video card otherwise?)

    Don’t check run as administrator unless you want UAC popping up every time you launch!

  21. Jamesch

    July 15, 2009 at 4:34 am

    i suppose my method is just an easier way to find anything with a shortcut, because you are also changing the program itself and not the shortcut. Derp… sorry I just saw compatibility mode and that’s all I needed to hear!

  22. blazingangel1986

    July 29, 2009 at 5:01 am

    thanks very much for that tip i like all the new features in vista but that is definitely not one of them

  23. Ted Jardine

    August 11, 2009 at 10:18 pm

    Works for me on Windows 7 RTM x64. Much thanks!

  24. Miko

    August 13, 2009 at 12:51 am

    Simple and helpfull.

  25. jonas

    August 15, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    Worked fine for me

  26. jayJAY

    September 3, 2009 at 9:23 am

    wow thanks man! windows 7 RTM 64-bit here!

    but i guess you have it incomplete. it’s this for the gents in still trouble:
    1. follow above instructions by the dude nirmal.
    2. after opening the WLM window, right click its icon in the taskbar, then select Hide window when minimized.
    3. try minimizing the window and poof! it’s gone!

    hehe..hope i’m not double posting. actually this is the WLM 2009 build 14 version (so far the latest version).

  27. Scott

    September 29, 2009 at 2:00 am

    It works when I start it, but once I maximize it, it goes back to default when minimized.

    So as long as I don’e use it, it is in the systray instead of on the taskbar.

  28. Scott

    September 29, 2009 at 6:57 am

    Genius. Thanks. I’ll keep that in mind for other programs too.

  29. Pingback: Windows 7 De grote Windows 7 thread! - Pagina 49 - 9lives

  30. orpheas

    October 7, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    very helpful thanks!!!

  31. exiting msn live

    October 17, 2009 at 10:19 pm

    OMG have you tried “exiting” msn messenger? you almost can’t. if you close the window or sign out it goes back to task bar, you can’t exit from tray, and close from client minimizes it to task bar. Close window from taskbar, instead of closing the window, actually exits..

    Top 3 annoyances in 2 days on Windows 7:
    1) Quicklaunch removal
    2) System Tray changes
    3) Messenger & System tray behavior

  32. Bradley

    November 1, 2009 at 12:58 am

    I have Windows 7 Home Premium-64 bit. Just confirming that this DOES work for us as well. Thanks for the tip. 😉

  33. Nina

    November 3, 2009 at 1:24 am

    Works fine for me, thank you very much for removing this annoying ‘improvement’!

  34. Christian

    November 16, 2009 at 7:46 am

    Thanks for the tip! .. Geez messenger should stay tray’d.

  35. Spiderr

    November 21, 2009 at 3:47 am

    WOw thanx!!!
    I’m was looking for a Win Live MAIL option to minimize to system tray, nothing works but this works perfect.

    WIN7 ultimate x64

  36. Federico Lezama

    November 26, 2009 at 1:54 am

    work for me.

  37. jp

    November 27, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    thanks! was really annoyed by the icon in the taskbar! this works perfectly!!!

  38. George

    December 5, 2009 at 6:06 am

    Thx very much for your advice!!
    I don’t know about the rest of you guys but I selected the “Windows Vista (Service Pack 3)” mode and in my 64bit OS worked just fine…

  39. Sasa

    December 6, 2009 at 9:44 pm

    You are the smartest !!!! Thank YOU

  40. bilbarez

    December 18, 2009 at 11:42 pm

    now that was really smart, and very helpful. cheers mate 🙂

  41. Ahmed

    December 19, 2009 at 7:16 pm

    nice tutorial buddy

    works here with Windows 7 x64 Ultimate

    thx alot

  42. Rams

    December 20, 2009 at 10:02 pm

    Wow, amazing, thanks so much. Works with Win7 x64 Ultimate

  43. schoenespapier

    December 23, 2009 at 8:22 pm

    works great for me on 64bit win7 home premium

  44. Zenphic

    January 10, 2010 at 8:22 am

    Thanks, works great under Win 7 x64 Ultimate!

  45. Pingback: ÁghyBlog » links for 2009-09-04

  46. Laura

    January 17, 2010 at 5:12 pm

    thank you so much !!! it works so great!!!

  47. Deepak

    January 18, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    Awesome! Works like a charm.. thx man

  48. Elle

    January 27, 2010 at 4:38 am

    worked like a charm! thanks ! it was so annoying

  49. Kingfil

    February 2, 2010 at 11:56 pm

    Thanks a bunch. It worked great for me.

  50. Jen

    February 4, 2010 at 7:57 pm

    Great tip! It drove me nuts not having the system tray icon and being stuck with 2 taskbar icons in its place. Working great on Win 7 Pro 64-bit.

  51. Alex

    February 7, 2010 at 4:35 pm


  52. ANJ

    February 8, 2010 at 9:01 am

    Thanks much. Very useful hack.

  53. Dan

    February 11, 2010 at 12:36 am

    Awesome! Thanks for helping me put Messenger back in the task bar where it belongs!!

    Also that drag to share thing is really cool. How do you do that?

  54. Matt

    February 12, 2010 at 9:23 pm

    That didn’t work at all, unfortunately.

  55. Matt

    February 12, 2010 at 9:25 pm

    Figured it out… instead of using the “minimize” button you have to click the X (close) button and it’ll stay open but minimize to the system tray.

  56. BigBozza

    February 21, 2010 at 10:05 am

    Champion! thank you!!

  57. Alexis

    February 24, 2010 at 9:51 am

    Thanks!!! 😀

  58. Anders

    February 25, 2010 at 1:36 am

    Thank you

    Useless microsoft can’t even fix their own software!

  59. Ujjwal

    February 25, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    Thnx a lot! i spent hours trying to figure out exactly wht to do with it!

  60. Aaron

    March 1, 2010 at 1:09 am

    Nice, quick easy fix!

  61. Amy Hikari

    March 4, 2010 at 6:41 am

    This is great – works like a charm on Windows Live Messenger, but it doesn’t seem to work for AIM no matter what compatibility mode I choose. Is there a way to fix that?

  62. Joah

    March 5, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    Stop using AIM newfag

  63. Ayyash

    March 18, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    now to the real question, how do i make it start when i login? i tried run as administrator, it still doesnt start, and i try to run it, no matter what i do, it always gives me that stupid stupid prompt of user account control, that i dont want to switch off because i know its important in other places! so whats the solution then?

  64. Damian

    March 20, 2010 at 4:24 am

    Awesome!! Thanks very much – great find!!

  65. Pixie

    April 15, 2010 at 5:10 am

    Thanks, big help. Saved me from Windows rage.

  66. Scott

    April 17, 2010 at 10:47 pm

    Thanks so much!

  67. Chris

    April 27, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    Great fix, Nirmal – much appreciated.

  68. Devang Solanki

    May 13, 2010 at 1:50 pm


    thank you for your tip, really its working fine.

  69. Patton

    May 18, 2010 at 1:22 am

    Thanks a bunch, much appreciated.

  70. J

    May 21, 2010 at 7:15 am

    Thanks, I was about to go back to XP, just because of that

  71. KcL

    May 27, 2010 at 11:58 am

    It works! Thank you very much 🙂

  72. Dean Craig

    June 6, 2010 at 5:01 am

    Hey, thanks alot for this tutorial. Much help, no fuss, really quick too. Worked a charm.

    I will be telling friends about this 🙂

  73. JamRoll

    June 15, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    thank you – that was very helpful. such a relief to get it off taskbar. it just doesn’t feel right there.

  74. Sridhar Gumpula

    June 19, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    Thank you very much
    its very useful

  75. Abdulrahman Ishaq

    July 15, 2010 at 5:21 am

    awosome, thank you very much

  76. Prashant

    July 24, 2010 at 9:07 pm

    Thanks a lot.

  77. Risu

    August 1, 2010 at 11:06 am

    thanks so much for the solution!

  78. Alex

    August 2, 2010 at 11:41 am

    Works – thanks a lot!

  79. Don

    August 4, 2010 at 5:31 am

    Thank you so much! Ya gotta love the Internet!

  80. gelu

    August 7, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    thanks…was a verry annoying for me…thanks again

  81. mehmet

    August 8, 2010 at 2:02 pm


  82. Mike

    August 20, 2010 at 9:34 pm

    Not sure what I’m doing wrong, but X’ing out of the window closes the program on both the task bar and system tray… I changed the program to Vista compatibility.

  83. Mustapizza

    August 24, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    thank you… very useful findings/hack indeed

  84. Jonathan

    September 11, 2010 at 10:32 am

    Nice hack! One thing that I had to change to get it to work though – after you’ve put it into Vista compatibility mode and you’ve re-started it, you have to right click on the Mail icon on the system tray and check “Hide window when minimised”. Otherwise, it will just minimise to the taskbar or close when you press the minimise/close button.

  85. Juan

    September 20, 2010 at 11:27 pm

    Thanx nice fix…! Microsoft should be that creative

  86. BlackDoomer

    September 21, 2010 at 2:44 am

    Thank you Indeed Man, pretty easy action saved me the headache i had because of this stupid two items on the task bar as well as the ability to minimize to system tray, my appreciation

  87. Mink

    October 4, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    Thanks man! It’s a stupid thing to get annoyed about but it is nice to have everything work ‘just so’.

  88. bubu

    November 2, 2010 at 3:21 am

    thx a lot man 😛

  89. Sahar

    December 17, 2010 at 3:16 am

    thanks a lot!!


  90. Asad

    December 22, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    Thanks a million.

  91. Japoks

    January 20, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    Thanks. That’s worth a lot of time. Thanks!

  92. udi

    February 1, 2011 at 4:14 pm

    thank you. worked like a charm. 🙂

  93. Bhuwan Ghimire

    February 10, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    Hi Nirmal,
    Thanks so much. I think i will need lot more help from you now. I just bought a new laptop and windows 7 looks so different. im so used to vista. I will ask you questions if you dont mind.


  94. LowCarbBlogs

    February 19, 2011 at 3:49 am

    Great tip. I hate having msn messenger on my task bar.

  95. Shurikn

    March 8, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    Thank, you’re awesome!
    I usually use another client for msn, but at work I have to use the official one and it was really annoying to have it in the bar. Thanks!

  96. hassan

    March 22, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    not working in here plz hel i have win 7 ultimate 32 bit i tried what you awl said but nothing done … wlm icon doesnot fit in there .. plzzz help me

  97. Cam B

    April 1, 2011 at 3:29 am

    Great fix! thanks a lot!

  98. Pingback: Live Messenger 2011

  99. sanju

    July 19, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    Thanks man.Worked like a charm

  100. kiwichick

    August 17, 2011 at 6:39 am

    Windows Essentials was recently updated and this doesn’t work anymore. Anyone have another suggestion?

  101. paige

    June 12, 2012 at 1:24 am

    many thanks!!! that was driving me crazy!! I hate things in the task bar!!

  102. Guest1234

    July 28, 2012 at 9:25 am

    Thanks a lot. Excellent post

  103. s.pindiyar

    June 2, 2013 at 11:30 am

    Really, it done. I’m Feeling lucky. very good help, I get ever. many thanks sir.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

More in Windows 7

Recent Articles


Trending Articles

Latest in Windows 10

Subscribe to YouTube Channel

Like Us on Facebook


To Top