How to Return Windows Live Messenger Icon to Notification Area In Windows 7

By Partho, Gaea News Network
Thursday, January 15, 2009

Things have changed in WIndows 7 from Windows Vista and Windows XP. MSN Live Messenger icon is no-more in notification area. The main button for Messenger window now appears in Taskbar along with all conversation or chat windows. The thumbnail shows two confusing Messenger windows. Terrible! Especially, if you are used to the classic style. So how do you revert to the classic one?

To get back the good old classic style with the main window represented in the system tray, perform a trick. For the hack you’ll need to run WLM in Windows Vista compatibility mode in Windows 7. Here’s the clue how?

Just follow the steps below and you are done

  1. Step 1: RIght click on the WLM icon on Taskbar and click Exit
  2. Step 2: Open Start button and locate the WLM shortcut.
  3. Step 3: Right click on the WLM shortcut or executable. Go to the properties and click it.
  4. Step 4: Search for Compatibility tab
  5. Step 5: Find the check box reading Run this program in compatibility mode. Tick it.
  6. Step 6 : Look into the drop down list and select the Windows Vista
  7. Step 7: Click Ok
  8. Step 8: Run the WLM

Now you have got back you classic style, you are comfortable with.  Enjoy chatting.

Anyway, if you are interested in reading more Windows 7 features and hacks, you must read our 10 Top Windows 7 articles. Hey we also have a great Windows 7 up-to-date coverage for you. I am sure you will not want to miss them.


May 4, 2010: 7:02 pm

Greatest trick!!!!

March 6, 2010: 3:32 pm

thank you for this… seems like a pain in the ass to get a program in the notification area for windows 7 … cheers!!

December 26, 2009: 1:28 pm

thank you so much!!

December 18, 2009: 6:15 am

Thanks a lot for the trick. Too bad there is no option in WLM to set this.

Regards from Pakistan

December 9, 2009: 7:42 am

Omg! Thank you! I would’ve never figured this out! It was getting so annoying! Thank you so much!

November 18, 2009: 9:06 pm

Thanks for this. I actually google this writing Live MSN annoyances. :)

November 14, 2009: 5:49 pm

Thankyou soooo much, that was a great help, I couldn’t stand it either! :P

November 12, 2009: 12:32 am

Thanks! I was so annoyed by that. Never thought of using compatibility mode before…

Thomas Griffiths
October 15, 2009: 6:24 am

Please advise if I can return to my previous format for displaying mail on screen ie. Windows mail format.

October 11, 2009: 10:43 am

This is very useful tip!
I was very bored with wlm’s problem in Win7.

Thanks from Thailand!

August 15, 2009: 9:48 pm

I actually went to “C:\Program Files\Windows Live\Messenger and set the Windows Vista mode on msnmsgr.exe file itself. The idea being ANY shortcut that refers to this file will always load it in Vista compatibility mode…


August 6, 2009: 2:11 pm

Thank you very much for this trick! Made my day.

July 31, 2009: 9:53 pm

Thanks boss you saved me from being annoyed all the time

January 31, 2009: 5:18 am

Thank you very much, i am having to search all over the internet just to get Windows 7 the way everyone else wants it.

Why do Microsoft make annoying changes and then not give us the option to change it back?

January 17, 2009: 9:29 am

Thnx, this was the trick! (until messenger has a setting of itself to do this). Very annoying to not be able to put the messenger icon to the notification area.

James Saunders
January 16, 2009: 4:05 pm

Thanks for the information, it was irritating not having Messenger in the notification area and being forced to instead have it on the taskbar. Following your advice restored Messenger to it’s former behavior and spared my sanity.

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