Windows Live Messenger: Prevent from Starting When Windows Starts

Posted June 19, 2007 by Rob Rogers in Microsoft Vista

By default, Windows Live Messenger starts when Windows does. If you don’t use it on a frequent basis, you are wasting resources by having it run when you don’t need it.

1. Open Windows Live Messenger and login.

2. Next to your name, at the top, click the downward pointing arrow.

3. Select Options.

4. Select General from the left pane of the Options window.

5. Under Sign In, uncheck the Automatically run Windows Live Messenger when I log on to Windows checkbox.

6. Click OK.


About Rob Rogers

Once a prolific author here on Tech-Recipes, Rob has moved on to greener pastures.
View more articles by Rob Rogers

The Conversation

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  • Patrick

    You are the man. I could not for the life of me figure out how to stop IM from starting at my boot up. It’s so simple, but I had to find your post to get it. Thanks.

  • Justme

    Now how to stop it from opening when you visit Hotmail. Even if you delete it from your computer it reloads if you visit any Windows website.

  • Anonymous

    Justme: You can turn off Windows Live from interacting with other Windows Live sites. It’s the bottom check box in the Security tab.

    • Anonymous

      It’s odd though that you have to SIGN IN before turning off the Auto Startup. What if you don’t have a Live ID? There should be a way to prevent a program from auto starting at a program level, not at a service level.

  • Jason

    There is a way to disable auto-start without having to sign in or create an account.

    1. Click on the drop-down arrow next to that stupid question mark image.
    2. Click “Show the menu bar”
    3. Go to Tools -> Options -> Sign In -> uncheck “Automatically run …….”

    Pretty sneaky of them to try to hide this. Took me a while to find…

    • Anonymous

      You are the man Jason! I looked through everything but didn’t notice that option. Thanks for posting.

    • Dino Sarma

      You are so many kinds of awesome for finding that little hidden sucker.

      By the by, if anyone’s trying to /uninstall/ Live Messenger, and has installed the “Windows Live Essentials” thingy (which I had, having had it come down the pipe via a windows update), you have to Chane/Remove Windows Live Essentials. Windows Live Messenger will /not/ show up in the list.

    • Nunyo

      Wow! Thank you so much for this – great post

    • Caliopolis

      You have just answered a GOLDEN question! thank you so much for your directions.. I am really adamant about not creating a live id JUST to remove a program from starting and i was more than disappointed that Microsoft is becoming so persistent with its programs.

    • guest

      THANK YOU!!! I never expect much in terms of UI design from MS, but this one even shocked me!

    • Julie

      I love you.

    • Tomiadebayo

      Top man! Thanks for that

    • Brittany

      Thank you! It never popped up until recently when I would log in and I don’t know why or what made it start because I have had this computer since Sept. and it didn’t do that for the first month or so. It is extremely annoying! Again, Thank YOU!

    • Khatch1900

      Thanks Jason…Your way worked great.

    • Doug

      This is the key – Absolutely terrific response.>

  • FreeWill

    Many thanks. Simple and sorted.

  • chris

    thank you. .

  • Name

    Trying to turn Windows Live Messenger OFF. Problem that I am having is that in the left pane there is no “General”. Not having that, how do I accomplish turning it off.

    • CD

      I didn’t have the general tab either. I clicked options and then to the left clicked Sign In. From there you will see General at the top and below that is where you can uncheck the automatic sign in.

  • Geri

    Thank you Thank you Thank you……Everytime that darned messanger popped up I swore. No more swearing now!

    • Name

      They have some good instructions but when you don’t have some of the steps they say, then it seems impossible. Hope someone has a solution, just buggs me.

  • joe

    thanks a ton! its was really annoying having that thing come up when ever i logged on, slowing my laptop down.

  • Annette

    It seems like an easy solution but I’m using a Netbook and the screen where you change the optios is too big to let me get to, let alone see,the OK button. I can’t move any farther to the top so all I can do is exit and it doesn’t save it. I read a suggestion somewhere about disabling it from the Startup folder but it isn’t in there. Any ideas? Thanks.

    • QB

      you’ll need to change your screen resolution to allow the entire menu to show up. It’ll screw with all your other programs, so change it back once you’re done. To change the screen resolution, go to the same menu you use to change the desktop image, screen saver and crap. ^_^

  • QB

    thank you so much! I have tried for weeks to figure this out, you totally solved the mystery for me! Big E-HUG to you! ^_^

  • Caliopolis

    What if you dont have a messenger ID? and dont want to create one JUSt to rem,ove a program?

  • Lucy

    help! im trying to get the pre-installed windows (the one that was already on computer) to stop signing me in automatically. i have no general tab, and i have ticked and un-ticked every box trying to figure out what to do. any ideas?

  • Vikasbatra29

    this information was very useful for me tnx

  • Julie

    I can’t log in to windows live messenger because I don’t have a password to type in. I don’t want anything to do with the thing. I don’t want ppl bugging me.

  • Jesse Stallsmith

    thank you

  • Tytosi

    what do yu do if yu want it back. i unticked now i cant find it in vista

  • Yana_bana

    what if you dont have a account any longer? and it still pops up?

  • Mahmodyrom

    ok good h m feram to iran . ok خلاصه خیلی حال می کنم توی سایت های خارجی

  • hannah

    thank you genius man!

  • Anonymous

    Thank you SO much!!!!