Use Messenger Reviver 2 to bring back Messenger and beat Skype

Messenger Reviver 2

Download Messenger Reviver 2

E-mail message count and notifications broken
As of April 15, 2014, it seems the e-mail message count and mail notifications have been broken globally.  This is a server problem and cannot be fixed by Reviver.  It is unknown at this time if the problem will be fixed.  For more information, see the E-mail message count and notifications broken post.

How to use Messenger on Windows 8.1
The out-of-box installation of Windows 8.1 breaks both Windows Live Messenger 2011 and 2012 by modifying how the encryption component of Windows works.  If you see this problem, you will receive a 80090004 error when you sign in.  This issue was fixed in Windows Update KB2903939, which will need to be installed to use Messenger 2011/2012 on Windows 8.1.  An upcoming version of Reviver will automatically check and install this update for you.

Messenger Reviver 2 automatically installs, repairs and/or modifies Windows Live Messenger 2012, 2011, 2009, and 2008 as well as Windows Messenger to continue signing in despite being blocked by Microsoft.

Reviver 2 supports modifying all language versions and can automatically install either 2009 or 2011/2012 versions in 47 different languages.

You will receive one of the following messages if you’re being forced to upgrade to Skype:
A newer version is available.  You must install the newer version in order to continue.  Would you like to do this now?
A newer version has been downloaded and is available.  You must install this newer version in order to continue.  Would you like to do this now?

Update Forced

To bypass the forced upgrade, download my Messenger Reviver 2 utility and run the application.  As this requires changes to Messenger you may receive a message asking you to allow Reviver to make changes to your computer.

Reviver will automatically attempt to detect if Messenger is still installed, which versions are eligible for modification and if you need to run a repair or new installation to bring Messenger back (if Skype has removed it).

Download Messenger Reviver 2

Also available: zipped version if you’re being blocked by security software

Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10 Technical Preview
.NET Framework 2.0 or higher (included with Windows Vista or newer), .NET 3.5 or 4.0 recommended

Messenger Reviver 2

To revive Messenger, click Start and the process will automatically modify Messenger and restart it.

If Windows Live Essentials is not installed, you will presented with options to either install Messenger 2009 or 2012 in the language of your choosing.  Reviver will attempt to guess which language you prefer based on your prior Windows and Essentials language settings.

Additionally if Essentials is still installed, but Skype has removed it, you will be offered to just repair your Essentials install.

revivernewinstall Reviver Repair

Advanced options If you wish to do a manual re-install or repair, you can select these options by clicking the Advanced button and choosing the function you would like.

Easter Eggs
As Messenger Reviver 2 will probably be my last exclusive Messenger project, I have added a few small Easter eggs into the application for fun.

Animated MSN butterfly
MSN Butterfly When you open Reviver, you’ll find an animated MSN butterfly in the main window.  This is the original butterfly that flew around from MSN Messenger 5.0.  Based on highly advanced software engineering, the butterfly will fly around, flaps its wings or just sit quietly.  If you click the butterfly when it’s not busy, it will react accordingly.

Messenger spinner
signinani If you click the About button, you’ll find the original Messenger signing in spinning animation in the top-left hand corner.

The MSN sound
Back in 1996, MSN had a sound they used for their advertising which accompanied the various letters of M-S-N.  I was fairly fond of it, and I’ve included it in Reviver.  Single-click the above mentioned spinner to initiate the sound and watch the letters light up.

There’s one more small addition, but I’ll let you find that one yourself :)

If you need help…
Please leave a comment here, visit the live chat, the forum, or contact me directly.
Using Windows 8.1?  For the time being, you will need to make sure your Windows installation is up-to-date and that KB2903939 is installed.  See the top notice.

Messenger server problems
Occasionally the Messenger servers have been experiencing problems signing in.  You may need to sign in at and then try again.  It may also take multiple tries to sign in.  (This also affects you if you’re using Skype.)  This should be resolved now as the issue hasn’t been seen recently.

Version history

Apr 16 2014
  • Support for new Messenger 2012 16.4.3528.0331
Feb 19 2014
  • Support for new Messenger 2012 16.4.3522.0110
Sept 09 2013
  • Messenger 2011/2012 has been blocked from being installed on Windows 8.1 due to a compatibility problem with Windows 8.1 I’ve yet been able to fix.
    (This version has been withdrawn as Microsoft has fixed the error in update KB2903939)
May 13 2013
  • Support for new Messenger 2012 16.4.3508.0205
May 07 2013
  • Changes to the detection of Messenger to allow weird modified Program
    Files folder configurations on 64-bit Windows
  • Fixed a rare crash that would happen on new Messenger installs on XP
May 04 2013
  • Now scans all running applications for Messenger file in use
  • Also supports patching the file and rebooting for the change to take effect
  • Added some code to avoid broken Windows Installers
Apr 25 2013
  • Added support for Windows Live Messenger 2008 (8.5.1302.1018)
  • More aggressive in shutting down services that might hold on to the file, hopefully should resolve some of the “waiting” issues
Apr 25 2013
  • Changed how XP clients work as Reviver was trying to patch Windows Messenger and required advanced settings to install Live Messenger again, it should now be automatic on XP
Apr 24 2013
  • Switching the self-extractor to Microsoft’s iexpress to solve some issues, this should prevent the application from not exiting when it’s done its work and hopefully better with security software
Apr 23 2013
  • First release of Messenger Reviver 2

Posted on April 23, 2013, in Messenger, Messenger Tools, MSN Messenger, Skype. Bookmark the permalink. 1,761 Comments.

  1. Until today i have had no problem but now i get message “We can’t sign you in to Windows Live Messenger.Signing into Windows Live Messenger failed because the service is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

    Have used Messenger Reviver 2 but still i can not sign in any help would be appreciated.

  2. I need Messenger (RIP) for work. Everyone elso followed orders and switched to Skype. I refused to, and used Messenger 5.x, then 7.5 (beta). No problems w/ IMing. I was very hopeful when I found this, and wanted to go back to using 2009 (the last version I used), or even 2008.

    Not sure what happened, but I couldn’t install 2009, and w/ 2008 it was a real mess getting my contacts & me back in touch. I finally gave up, uninstalled everything, and went back to using 7.5.

    • Greetings Edie. The Messenger installers are notorious for instigating situations where the installer files and registry entries need to be removed so it can be installed. I’d be happy to look at your installation logs to figure out the problem and give you a fix if you’re still interested in getting back to 2009.

      • Oh, that’s be great, Jonathan–thank you! I set restore points before starting off, and did do a quick sweep of the registry.

        Anyway, do you want me to e-mail to you the (lastest) log or just post it here? (Makes for fascinating reading!)

        I’d used Revo Unistaller first, then your Zap Messenger before I know about Messenger’s/Microsoft’

        • E-mail is fine, just send as an attachment to Also if you don’t mind, I’d like a couple of the log files, not just the latest one.
          As you’re no doubt already aware, the log files are in \ProgramData\Microsoft\WLSetup\Logs or \Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Microsoft\WLSetup\Logs in XP.

  3. UK, September 2014. my messenger started opening up a skyp window to “upgrade”.

    Ran MessengerReviver-2-2-5.7, hey-presto !

    we now have messenger working again.

    many thanks to the site and the creator – KEEP IT UP !!

  4. Hello Jonathan, this is REALLY great! I miss WLM a lot! I just have a question, I assume that people that download this program will be the only ones that I can talk to, right?
    Also.. when i signed in I saw some contacts online and I guess it was just a “mistake”, because those contacts taht were online don’t even have Messenger Reviver lol, howcome?

    • Greetings! There’s no mistake, the .NET Messenger Service is alive and well, it’s just WLM that’s blocked from signing in which is what Reviver addresses. On your contact list you’ll find all the contacts who have “moved” to Skype and sign in with a Microsoft account, users of MSN/Windows Live web properties that have the Messaging integrated, and other non-Microsoft Messenger clients. Additionally if you’re using Messenger 2011 or 2012 and have linked Facebook, you’ll find your Facebook contacts online too.

  5. O.m.g! I can’t express how happy I am at this moment that I found this site! I happen to Google how I miss MSN just to see if anyone else felt the same way as me and it took me to here! Since Non of my friends sign in anymore since Skype! So when I clicked to download the reviver I wasn’t sure if it would work and to my surprised IT ACTUALLY WORKED! I’m soo soo happy to have it back, I can’t believe I’m in!! It’s been years since I’ve been in msn and I missed it so much! I’m so happy to hear the sounds and seeing my pics! :D

  6. Hallo Jonathan, vielen Dank für diese deine Seite. Ich habe ein Problem mit dem WLM… ich empfange keine offline Sofortnachrichten mehr :-(
    Habe schon repair mit Messenger Reviver 2 gemacht, aber es geht immer noch nicht. Woran kann das liegen?
    LG Kitty

    • Hallo Kitty. Offline messaging stopped working back in April. You can read more about this on this blog entry. The only reasonable workaround right now is to sign into and check your messages in the Messaging pane periodically.

      Additionally, you can see what features are and aren’t working on the Messenger Status page.

      • 2 october 2014

        hi Jonathan….. great job !!!

        help me, i have a windows xp with the SP2 …. this messeneger work ok ? and i try into the facebook contact ???

        what version of MSN i use on my windows xp sp2 ? the link to download it ?

        thanks to help me…. best Mery

        • Greetings Mery. On Windows XP SP2, you can use Live Messenger 2009 or you can use the built-in Windows Messenger client in Windows XP. You do not need to manually install it, Reviver will automatically install and revive the 2009 version for you.

          However, only 2011 and 2012 versions of Messenger support Facebook, so Messenger 2009 probably isn’t what you’re looking for. Instead, you might want to try another client, like Trillian that does support Facebook (and does a better job than Skype does).

  7. Jonathan first of all a big thanks. I’ve been using your revival since the first days and still do. The past few months I’ve been having some problems with the hyperlinks (appearing just as text). Is this a problem with a specific Live Messenger version or is it something else? I’m not sure if it’s a problem from my part or from my friends. Any ideas?

    • Greetings MSN. Yeah, this is a problem right now on 2011 and 2012. 2009 works differently in this regard and is unaffected. Despite some effort investigating this, I’ve yet to actually figure this one out. I had another go today and still ended up without success, but I’ll keep trying.

  8. Error:

    “Signing in to Windows Live Messenger failed because the service is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later”

    Error code: 80090004

    • Greetings Afra. I assume you’re using Windows 8.1? This error is a cryptography bug in Windows 8.1 that was addressed in both KB2903939 and in Windows 8.1 Update 1. If you read up on this page (2nd paragraph), you’ll find more information there, although I did decide not to bother adding the search in Reviver as a proper check slowed down the process significantly on Windows 8.1 and it’s been a non-issue since Update 1 was released.

      • jonathan…. messneger 2011 or 2012 is not possible to install in my windows xp with S2 ?

        trillian is ok on win xp sp2 ? you say support facebook and skype ? but i use with trillian my accont skype or not ?

        best mery

  9. Hi, Messenger Reviver (2009 version) has been working fine for years, until I downloaded Windows Live Essentials, because I wanted to get Live Writer. I only checked the box for Live Writer before I installed it, but MSN didn’t work afterwards, and I had to delete Windows Essentials including Live Writer so I could use MSN again (2009 version, I somehow got the 2012 version to work, but I don’t like the look of it, I’ve always used 2009). Is there a way I can use both Live Writer and Messenger (2009 version)?

    • Greetings JD. You can actually install whatever version of Writer (or any other Live Essentials product) from Reviver. Just launch Reviver again, click the Advanced button, and then “Do a new Messenger install”. Uncheck the ‘Hide installation wizard’ checkbox and then choose Windows Live Messenger 2009. When the installation wizard shows up, select Writer, choose Installieren and that should take care of it.

      • Ooh awesome, that worked! Thanks a lot!

      • ??????

        jonathan…. messneger 2011 or 2012 is not possible to install in my windows xp with S2 ?

        trillian is ok on win xp sp2 ? you say support facebook and skype ? but i use with trillian my accont skype or not ?

        best mery

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