Use Messenger Reviver to bypass the Windows Live Messenger 2009 forced upgrade

UPDATE (4/23/2013): Use Messenger Reviver 2 instead to bypass the forced upgrade to Skype.

Microsoft today started forcing upgrades to Windows Live Messenger 2011 on Windows 7.  Unfortunately the 2011 version drops several key features, adds several annoying features, and is not that impressive of an upgrade.  Certainly many just prefer to use Live Messenger 2009 and now you can (again).

You will receive one of the following messages if you’re being forced to upgrade:
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?


To bypass the forced upgrade for Windows Live Messenger 2009, download my Messenger Reviver utility below, open the MessengerReviver.exe file contained within the zip file and click Start.  Messenger should automatically exit and then restart normally.  You should then be allowed to sign in again.


Download Messenger Reviver

Replaced by Messenger Reviver 2

Note that Messenger Reviver requires administrative rights and you will be prompted to authorize if you have UAC engaged.

Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 (any edition of these)
.NET Framework 2.0 or higher (already included with Windows Vista and Windows 7)
Windows Live Messenger 2009 14.0.8089.726 or 14.0.8117.416

Frequently asked questions
Does it work with other modifications to Messenger?
Yes, Messenger Reviver will not remove any changes you’ve made to Messenger. However, if you use such a tool later, you may need to re-run the reviver afterwards.

I am receiving a “Updating Messenger failed” message, how can I fix this?
Although Reviver does several checks and offers solutions to some obvious problems, if Messenger has been heavily modified by other tools, it may not be possible to apply Messenger Reviver.  Instead, you may need to repair your Messenger files.  Assuming you are using the last version of Messenger 2009, click Start, then Run, enter the following and click OK:
msiexec /fa {B57EAFF2-D6EE-4C6C-9175-ED9F17BFC1BC}

After the Windows Installer completes its work, try using Messenger Reviver again.

A different solution
If you encounter additional problems or don’t like the idea of someone else tweaking with Messenger, another solution to getting signed in again is setting the Windows Live Messenger shortcut into Windows XP compatibility mode.  To do this, locate the Windows Live Messenger shortcut on the start menu, right-click the shortcut, choose Properties, then choose the Compatibility tab, choose Windows XP (Service Pack 3) and then click OK.  If Messenger is already running, restart it and you should now be able to sign in.  Unfortunately by using this compatibility solution, Messenger will change its behaviour as it would operate under Windows XP (for example, a notification area icon with status instead of in the taskbar, and so on).  Additionally, some features in Messenger may not work properly since it assumes you’re on Windows XP (for example, Remote Assistance).  Messenger Reviver does not have these limitations and I don’t personally recommend using the compatibility technique if you don’t have to.

Version history
06/19/2012 First release of Messenger Reviver (this is version 1.2 as it is based on the original Link Reviver code)

Posted on June 20, 2012, in Messenger, Messenger Tools, Tools. Bookmark the permalink. 234 Comments.

  1. Thank you for the sweet piece of software. It fixed my recent not being able to sign in no matter what compatibility mode i use problem.

  2. Hello, I have a problem with one contact constantly disappearing, so every time I start the program I have to add this contact again. Is there any solution for this problem?

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