Windows 7: Place Windows Live Messenger in the System Tray

Posted June 1, 2009 by Rob Rogers in Windows 7

By default, Windows 7 keeps the Windows Live Messenger icon on the Taskbar instead of moving to the system tray. If you want it off of your Taskbar so that it behaves like it did before, you can easily place it on the system tray, giving you more room on your Taskbar for other applications and files.

1. Close Windows Live Messenger.

2. Open Computer and navigate to: C:\Program Files\Windows Live\Messenger

3. Right-click on msnmsgr.exe and select Properties.

4. Select the Compatibility tab.

5. Go to the Compatibility mode section and check the Run this program in compatibility mode for checkbox.

6. Use the dropdown and select Windows Vista.

7. Click OK.

Now when your chat client is active, but not in use, you will find it in the system tray.


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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  • Ryan

    Great Tip, Thanks!
    1. There is no “g” in “msnmsgr.exe”
    2. For those that have 64-bit the correct path is “C:Program Files (x86)Windows LiveMessenger”

    • Ryan

      Ooops, No “d” in “msnmsgr.exe”

  • Jr


  • awaiK

    Is this a bug or feature of WLM?

  • Adam

    Thanks for this. Exactly what I was looking for. Not sure why Windows 7 wants to keep that extra task bar space open all the time for messenger.

  • Curtis_d

    garbage, doesn’t work. sure it starts up in the system tray but after you open it and then minimize again, it is stuck on the task bar all over again

  • Berrie Dirks

    its a bug… compatibility mode makes WLM take up more then 20 times the RAM its using without. cant really call that a feature. im wondering when they’re going to fix this problem but i think its highly unlikely they will