Introduction: How to Stop Windows Live Messenger From Popping Up on Startup.

Picture of How to Stop Windows Live Messenger From Popping Up on Startup.

I have been recently annoyed with my Windows Live Messenger popping up on startup, cause I don't want to sign in every time I get on my laptop... So, I found a way on how to disable/enable this action, and I thought I would share it with the Instructables community!
P.S. I use Vista.
To make this work on XP, gmoon stated:
"In XP, you can also disable messenger from "Services", which is found under Performance and Maintenance -> Administrative Tools..."

Antagonizer stated how to remove it from startup in a different way. He said:
1. sign on to windows live messenger
2. click the down arrow that lets you select online, busy, away, etc. and go to the bottom and select "options"
3. Choose the "general" tab
4. uncheck the box beside, "Automatically run Windows Live Messenger when I log on to Windows.
5. Click the 'Accept' button.

...But that, for some odd reason, doesn't work for me. If it doesn't work for you...use my way. :)

Step 1: First

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First, get to your desktop.

Step 2: Control Panel

Picture of Control Panel

Now go to your Start Menu, and select the Control Panel

Step 3: Change Startup Programs

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Now click on "Change Startup Programs"

Step 4: Software Explorer

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This will now bring up "Software Explorer."

Step 5: Find Messenger and Disable/Enable It

Picture of Find Messenger and Disable/Enable It

Now scroll through the list to find "Messenger" Once you have found it, click the "disable" button. To enable it again, just click "enable", or if you don't ever want it to pop up EVER then click "remove."

Step 6: Finished!

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Now Messenger won't pop up every time you start up your computer! Enjoy...:)


tsfardaya (author)2013-03-10

Much easier for Vista - 1) click the down arrow at the top that indicates whether available, busy, etc. 2) click "more options" at the bottom of the scroll down box. 3) select "Sign in" from the box on the left. 4) uncheck "Start Messenger when I log on to my computer."

dh123lh1 (author)2012-09-18

the only way to prevent it from coming back every time you have to do a restore is to add and remove programs then find windows live and uninstall then you can select to just uninstall the messenger pain in my ars part of it, microsuck way to make something too annoying inconceivabley annoying to the point of having to either kill it or you gates or both cease and desist the force your asses to chat freaking wenus

cunningfellow (author)2011-09-03

This is pathetically painful (not you Hoboman) having to get a whole new page for six new words. Instructables is only interested in selling its upgrades. I don't have the time needed to load the pages bloated with advertisements and gimmicks to read six words. So it's goodby from me....

eanderson13 (author)2011-08-09

Thanks Hoboman! Worked!

gmoon (author)2008-04-04

In XP, you can also disable messenger from "Services", which is found under Performance and Maintenance -> Administrative Tools...

magnoliasouth (author)gmoon2010-12-20

I'm in XP and that doesn't work for me. In fact, it already has "startup type disabled" and service status is "stopped"

Your instructions are lacking but you'll find them here:

Unfortunately, it doesn't work in XP.

greenseeker (author)gmoon2010-01-17

I believe you are referring to the Messenger Service ( which is not the same as MSN Messenger, Windows Live Messenger and whatever other names MS has given their IM client.

The messenger service allows for pop-up messages to be sent across a LAN or AD Domain, usually for administrative purposes.  ie: "Everyone please log off by 7:00 so that we may begin maintenance."

dungeon runner (author)2010-01-16

Okay, I'm going to the control panel, then programs, but there is no button saying "change startup programs". The only thing there is "uninstall". Is this something to do with windows 7 (which I am using)?

Hoboman (author)dungeon runner2010-01-16

Yes, I have since upgraded to Windows 7 and have a solution for you. But I have a question. What edition do you have? My solution may not work if you have home basic.

dungeon runner (author)Hoboman2010-01-25

Ah, therein lies the problem, as I am almost certain I'm using Home basic. Can I hear your solution anyways?

Hoboman (author)dungeon runner2010-01-25

Here's a different solution that should work for all versions. First, open the Control Panel and click on the Administrative Tools icon, then click on System Configuration. Chose the Startup tab, and deselect Windows Live Messenger and click OK.

Dougholl (author)Hoboman2010-09-23

Hoboman...Many Thanks - this worked for me. Hooray!!!

dungeon runner (author)Hoboman2010-02-09

That worked. Thanks a ton!

RedFlash (author)2010-07-07

Just download CCleaner. It has loads of features

rothko10 (author)2010-01-06

Delete it from yr start menu as follows: 

C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Windows Live

Youll see what to do. Happy New Year...

Natedogg2287 (author)rothko102010-06-06

awesome i did that. i didnt push enter cuz when i did it talked about shutting my computer down and i was like no lol. for my Windows 7 laptop, i typed that in on the start menu, in the search bar at the bottom of the start menu and it brought me to all this windows crap and i found the Windows Messenger one and i deleted it. but i needed the administrators password who is my dad and we both just have the same password so thx a bunch. :)

Novice53 (author)2010-02-11

I have vista and Norton 360. To stop messenger I opened my Norton, clicked on Tasks then Startup Manager. This gives you the option to turn off programmes you don't want on startup. I no longer am annoyed by the MSN Messenger window and it has quickened my Laptop's start time (O.K. maybe by only microseconds!!). Hope this helps someone.

beckythenurse (author)2010-02-03

Somehow I do not have windows live messenger on my computer.  I may have deleted it long ago. But I need to disable the extremely annoying Windows Live sign-in page that has suddenly started popping-up every time I try to open my MSN email. I don't think I want to totally disable Windows Live since I would apparently lose all of my email contacts. I've been struggling with this for days! Can anyone offer advice?

me13lake (author)2010-02-02
I really hate the curse of MSN messenger start up with windows!

Maybe this is old news, but I found that if in messenger you go to "tools" then "options" then select the "general" tab, and then then un-tick the box that says "Automatically start messenger when I start windows" it stops it!

Worked for me!

For the record  - doing run "msconfig" and slecting "don't run on startup"  for messneger never worked ...
daisho13 (author)2010-01-21

On Vista, if you go to the Programs and Features section of the Control Panel, and select Windows Live Essentials from the program list and slect uninstall/change, you can slectivley uninstall parts of it, including messenger if you don't want it at all.

Sypran (author)2010-01-02

I really dislike the fact I had to create an account just to stop it. all I wanted was a simple windows movie Maker (didnt come with Windows 7) and i get all this stuff I dont need or want

Hoboman (author)Sypran2010-01-16


Sypran (author)Hoboman2010-01-19

Windows 7 does not come with Windows Movie maker, so I tried to download windows LIVE movie maker (i dislike it...) and all the LIVE junk came with it, and I can't believe I had to create an account JUST to make it so it doesn't turn on when I first boot up my computer.

Hoboman (author)Sypran2010-01-20

Ah, I got ya. Sorry.

Sypran (author)Hoboman2010-01-20

its ok finally found some other software to use (phew!)

Gonazar (author)2010-01-15

It's a lot easier just to switch the feature off inside WLM's options.

I'd be much more interested if someone found a way to get rid of that damn window that keeps poping up when you sign in tho. Like 'update your profile!' or 'Get in touch with friends!" crap that i would do on my own time and don't need some stupid ad to tell me to.

Hoboman (author)Gonazar2010-01-19

I'm not sure, but is this what you're talking about?

Gonazar (author)Hoboman2010-01-19

naw, that's just msn today, you can turn that off. The one i'm talking about pops up about 1 out of 10 times you open msn or on a timely basis since the last one (maybe a week or two?)

I just know occasionally it pops up and you can't turn it off.

though, nowadays, i don't really care that much since i leave my computer on all the time, WLM never get's closed.

Stew2 (author)2010-01-16

 Worked like a charm, thank you :)

wupme (author)2010-01-15

For all Windows Version

Windowskey + r
Klick ok.

Current user\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Run

Delete the Messenger Entry. Done.

funky monk (author)2010-01-15

You know you can just go into the options menu on MSN and tell it not to run on startup, right?

pyroarchist (author)2009-02-27

you cant do this with Vista... as soon as you log back into WLM it will come up on startup again...

tomling (author)pyroarchist2009-10-19

This works for all versions and I always use it successfully.

1. Goto your hard drive ("My Computer" - click on drive "C")
2. click on "Programs"
3.drill down to the "Messenger" folder and change the name.
I change mine from "Messenger" to "message".  Windows can't load what it can't find. 

 In my new version of XP professional I had to do it from safe mode

godofal (author)tomling2010-01-15

 "windows cant load what it cant find"

genius :D

well, the PC is dumb, but thats just genius XD

Hoboman (author)pyroarchist2009-02-27

Not to be rude, but this instructable was for Vista, and it works fine for me. Guess I really can't help if it doesn't work for you, use the theories that others have stated :P Good luck :D

jeracoo (author)2009-01-21

Much easier way just go start, run, msconfig, startup, then deselect any programs that you don't want to run on start.

ThomasR142 (author)2009-01-20

there is an instructibul for this?

chlorinda (author)2008-08-08

thank you very much this fixed my problem after a long time trying

Hoboman (author)chlorinda2008-08-12

no problem

lukethebook333 (author)2008-06-06

You can also use Ccleaner ( for this problem and more.

pythagora (author)2008-04-04

Quick question: Isn't there a setting in Live Messenger to prevent it from starting up when windows boots? I remember previous versions had it, I've since moved to another IM program but I remember there being an option like this.

Hoboman (author)pythagora2008-04-04

Yes, there is. But for some odd reason, it does not work for me.... so I used this method, and it doesn't come up.

pythagora (author)Hoboman2008-04-04

Just another one of those "feature" M$ puts in :-)

antagonizer (author)2008-04-04

1. sign on to windows live messenger 2. click the down arrow that lets you select online, busy, away, etc. and go to the bottom and select "options" 3. Choose the "general" tab 4. uncheck the box beside, "Automatically run Windows Live Messenger when I log on to Windows. 5. Click the 'Accept' button.

About This Instructable




Bio: 6'3" electro-mechanical engineering technician with a taste for spicy foods and things that fly. Enjoys long walks on the beach. Other hobbies include watching ... More »
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