How do I get Messenger in the Notification Area on Windows 7?

My computer is running Windows 7 Home Premium and I use Windows Live Messenger to chat with friends. For some reason, Messenger no longer sites in the Notification Area, instead appearing in the task bar like other apps. How do I correct thing?

Unfortunately this behaviour is by design. Microsoft have designed Windows Live Messenger to recognise when it is running on Windows 7 and to behave differently in this case. There’s no option for you to change this, but you can still fool it into working the way you want. Here’s what you do:

  1. Make sure all instances of Windows Live Messenger are closed
  2. Find the .exe file for Windows Live Messenger. It’s called msnmsgr.exe and should be under your Program Files, Windows Live folder.
  3. Right-click on the file and choose Properties
  4. Click the Compatibility Tab and tick the box at the top where it says “Run this program in compatibility mode for:”
  5. Choose Windows Vista from the list and click OK

What this does is that it fools Live Messenger into thinking it’s running on Windows Vista rather than Windows 7, a bit like testosterone creams may fool your body into thinking it’s not really what it is. It’s not idea and hopefully Microsoft will add an option in the future to let the program run the way it used to. In the meantime, this should work for you.

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