If you’ve used Windows Live Messenger in Windows 7, you’ve probably noticed that instead of minimizing to the system tray, the taskbar button always stays put. Luckily you can force Messenger to work the way you are expecting with a simple tweak.

To accomplish this, we are going to use the Compatibility Mode feature—which will trick the application into using the old behavior for previous versions of Windows.

Force Messenger Into the System Tray

Firstly, you’ll need to close Windows Live Messenger completely by right-clicking on the icon and choosing Close window.


You then need to go to the start menu and find the program. In this case it’s Start, All Programs, Windows Live, Windows Live Messenger.

From here we are going to utilize the lovely Windows 7 right-click and select Properties.

Then click on the compatibility tab on the right.

Then check the “Run this program in compatibility mode” box, choose Windows Vista, and click apply. This is the magical step that tricks Messenger into using the old behavior instead of the new Windows 7 mechanism.


When you reopen the program it will still display itself in the taskbar as it did before.


However if you now close it by clicking the fabled “X” in the top right hand corner, your system tray will be complete with a little blueish green man.


He’s been known to associate with some less than savoury fully green characters, so you can now sleep easy knowing you’ve done him a world of service by separating him from those other shady messengers.