How To: Disable Windows Live Messenger from Windows Start-Up

One of the annoyances that I’ve found with Windows Live Messenger is the fact it automatically starts up with Windows when you install it and without asking you if it’s okay (frankly, Microsoft isn’t the only company that does this, but I wish more companies would offer the option if users want their products to start automatically or not). At the heart of this ability, it was probably deemed useful. However, my limited use of Windows Live Messenger coupled with the fact that I really don’t want to be in contact with everyone all the time (hey, I do have to work at some point throughout the day) makes me disable this startup feature every time I install Windows Live Essentials.

The problem with Windows Live Messenger is you cannot just go through the normal means of disabling it via MSConfig and unchecking the startup task. It’s not that simple. If you try to do that, the process will just reset itself and continue to start on boot. Microsoft made it work that way, for some funky reason. Instead, you have to disable the startup procedure within Live Messenger itself. This, of course, isn’t too difficult.

You’ll need to access the menu for Live Messenger in order to disable the Start-Up procedure. When you have Live Messenger as the active window simply tap the ALT key to access the menu. From there, select Tools –> Options.


When the Options dialogue box appears select Sign-In from the list on the left side of the box, then uncheck the option Start messenger when I log onto my computer. Click OK to confirm the changes.


Once done, you can either remain in Messenger or close out of it. Ether way, the next time you log on or restart your computer, Live Messenger will no longer startup automatically. Instead, you can manually start it by opening up your Start Menu and type messenger and then <ENTER>.


By the way, the new version of Windows Live Essentials 2011 is currently available for download. This free download includes a multitude of useful programs that used to come bundled with Windows. Due to legal issues, Microsoft decided to include these extra features as a separate download, but still making them completely free of charge (well, with the exception of an Internet connect, they’re completely free). A few of the bundled apps include Windows Live Writer, Live Messenger, Live Mail, and Live Photo Gallery. There’s a larger list of bundled apps, but these are my favorites.

Feel free to follow me on Twitter for more useful Windows tips and tricks in 140 characters or less. Or feel free to drop me a line via e-mail. I’m always up to answering e-mail questions.

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