{ 4 Intelligent Comments }

HOWTO: Stop Windows Live Messenger (MSN) Starting Automatically with Windows

MSN Windows Live Messenger Windows Startup


Windows Live Messenger (formerly known as MSN Messenger) like many programs configures itself to startup automatically when you boot into Windows.


It doesn’t appear in the Startup folder like a lot of programs however it’s options dialog does allow you to disable the startup.


This article explains step by step how you can disable MSN from starting automatically.


Tested Versions

This solution has been tested on all versions of MSN Messenger and Windows Live Messenger from 5.0 to 8.5 on Windows XP Professional with SP3.

Let us know if it works with your version too!


Here’s how to do it:



  1. Click Start > All Programs > Windows Live Messenger or MSN Messenger
  2. When the main window opens, click the Tools menu followed by Options as shown below.
    Windows Live Messenger/MSN Tools Options Menu
  3. When the Options dialog box opens, click the General option on the left hand navigator
  4. Now clear the check mark from the checkbox that says Automatically run Messener when I log on to Windows
    MSN Windows Live Messenger Options Dialog


Wow, 4 Comments! We've got a conversation going now. Join the discussion below!

  1. Ward says:

    I have this problem on my Windows 7 computer. There is a problem here. When I bring up Messenger there are no menus; there is a sign-in form. I assume I have to sign in in order to get to the main window/menus. That is where the problem lies: I have never used this thing, so I do not have a Messenger account! How can a person get this thing off his/her computer if he/she doesn’t have a messenger account? (In case this matters, I didn’t have a problem with this until I was using my voice dictation program one day and the computer/program apparently misinterpreted something I dictated, and that was when Messenger first appeared.)

  2. Rosco says:

    Hi Ward,
    Yes, by launching messenger for the first time it sets some parameter to make it launch for ever more.

    Here’s my suggestion –

    Click Start > type msconfig > hit Enter > Click Startup tab and locate the Messenger service. Remove the check and exit msconfig. Reboot.

    Let me know how you get on.


  3. Ward Ricker says:

    Ahh, yes, msconfig — now I remember. Thank you. I did as you said and it worked — Messenger didn’t start up this time. Thanks Rosco.

  4. Taha Afzal says:

    Your website is very good and ii also helped me a lot from stopping msn messenger from opening by itself. Hope you improve and succeed more.
    Thanks for your help.

    Taha Afzal

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