posted by Jason

A few days ago, we announced that we were upgrading all users on Windows XP and later operating systems to Windows Live Messenger 8.1. Since then, a large number of users have been successfully upgraded and are happily using our latest client. (Actually, most users were already on 8.1.) However, several of our users are having problems after installing the upgrade. The Messenger team wants you to know that we hear you and are working as fast as we can to fix these issues.

Having Connection Problems?

If you’re having problems connecting to Messenger and/or sending IM’s, we encourage you to try the some of the following suggestions:

1. Make sure that your firewall is properly configured to allow Windows Live Messenger 8.1 to function properly.
Behind a corporate firewall:  The 8.1 client uses far more web services, and it is possible that the network administrator for the corporate firewall will need to put a few more URLs on their web address white list.    The client needs to send web requests to “*”, “*”, and “*”. (The asterisk (*) is a “wildcard” character meaning that anything can come before “”.) Your network/ firewall admin will understand this jargon if they see it.

On your PC at home: Many personal firewall products learn what a client does on the network, sometimes asking the user for permission to allow the applications to access the Internet and then remembering these answers.   When the new client changes its network behavior, some personal firewall products don’t learn fast enough about how to let the client function properly on the network.    To test this you can temporarily turn off your firewall and see if you can sign-in.  Be sure you turn the personal firewall back on after your experiment.  If you can sign-in, then it is likely that your personal firewall needs to reconfigure itself.   Many products allow you to see the list of filters it is using, and by removing the filter entries for messenger (or msnmsgr.exe) you can force the personal firewall to re-ask you for permission to grant the required network access to the new 8.1 Messenger client.   Sometimes you have to let the client fail a few times while the firewall is learning, and then restart the client. 

2. Try to using the Connection Troubleshooter (you don’t have to login to Messenger to do this). You can find it in Messenger -> Tools -> Options -> Connection tab:

3. If you are using a proxy server, click on ‘Advanced Settings’ and configure the proxy settings.

4. If IE is NOT set as your default browser, launch IE (you don’t have to set it as default) and visit any webpage to make sure that the internet connectivity and network configurations are properly set. 

Is Messenger Crashing?

If you are using Windows Vista, you may encounter crashes if you don’t have the latest version of Adobe Flash installed. You can install the latest version of Adobe Flash at

If you have a computer manufactured by Acer, you may be using Acer eDataSecurity software. Please upgrade to the latest version at

Error Codes

For more information on specific error codes, please visit the Messenger Support Space. You’ll find lots of information and troubleshooting tips there.

More Updates to Come

Check back here often for updates on other issues. If you’re having a problem, please head over to the newsgroups and post there! The benefit of posting your issues on the newsgroups rather than as blog comments is that we are able to reply to your newsgroup post directly and connect with you if we need more information about your particular issue.


If you have a comment on this post please comment! For other questions/concerns/discussion topics/rants/raves/etc – please head over to the Windows Live Messenger Newsgroup.