Monthly Archives: May 2009

Windows Live Messenger 2009 command line parameters

Windows Live Messenger 2009 has a number of available parameters you can use to start actions within Messenger without opening it up.  You can use these for a variety of purposes, like scripts, hotkey/macro applications and anywhere else where you can start a program.

Parameter Action
/available Sets your status to available (online)
/busy Sets your status to busy
/away Sets your status to away
/invisible Sets your status as appear offline
/sendim Opens the “Send an instant message” window
/msn Opens the MSN home page
/email Opens your Hotmail inbox
/profile Opens your Windows Live profile
/signoutal Signs you out of Messenger from all logged in computers

You can use several at once, the actions will be executed in order.

Using parameters
If you’re not familiar with adding parameters, to use these you’ll need to append the parameter to the end of starting the Messenger executable.  For example, pop open the Run dialog by pressing the Windows key and R (or click Start then Run on XP, or in Vista/7 click Start and type in the search field at the bottom).

Then type msnmsgr /busy and click OK.

Now your status will switch to Busy within a few seconds.

Try again with msnmsgr /email and you’ll see your Windows Live Hotmail inbox open.  For fun, try msnmsgr /away /profile /sendim and you’ll see Messenger set you to away, then open up your Windows Live ID profile, and finally the “Send an instant message” window will appear.

Note that in other applications (say a macro program or a script), you’ll need to specify the full path to the Messenger executable, which will be \Program Files\Windows Live\Messenger\msnmsgr.exe (Program Files (x86) on 64-bit Windows).

Messenger server problems

Over the past 24-hours or so, it appears the Messenger servers have become desynchronized (or otherwise broken) and among other problems, are not reporting status information correctly.  So you’ll see contacts with a display name of just their e-mail address, contacts online when they’re not, contacts offline when they’re not, and problems messaging between these contacts.

Normally these problems get resolved pretty quickly and signing out/sign in fixes the problem.  Unfortunately In this case, it hasn’t proven to be very effective and these issues have been persisting.

Hopefully it will be resolved soon.

UPDATE: Everything seems back to normal now.