Most third-party Messenger clients have gone offline temporarily

YzK3IFf[1]If you have been using BitlBee, Pidgin (or anything using its library, libpurple), Trillian or some other third-party instant messaging client that supports the msn protocol, you may have noticed over the past few hours that either your contact list is no longer accessible or you cannot sign in.

In BitlBee, you’ll see:
<root> msn – Logging in: Authenticated, getting buddy list
<root> msn – Login error: Connection timeout

In Pidgin, you’ll see it attempt to log in but get stuck at “Available – Connecting…”.  In Trillian, your contact list will just not appear.

The problem seems to stem from a change on Microsoft’s end about which application IDs are allowed to retrieve contact lists.  The ID used in the above clients is the applicationId (CFE80F9D-180F-4399-82AB-413F33A1FA11) from Windows Live Messenger 2008 (8.5).  When the client attempts to get the contact list, the server will reply with: Invalid Application Header Application ID is either not defined in database or blocked from access.

The Fix
The 2012 application ID key still works as do clients revived using Messenger Reviver.  If you’re wanting to re-compile any of these applications with source code, just edit the code to change the above ID to the 2012 one, 484AAC02-7F59-41B7-9601-772045DCC569.  Additionally, if you’re familiar with running python, you can use this python script to automatically patch your client (thanks dx for creating this).

For Pidgin users, you might consider using the msn-pecan protocol plugin, then setting up a new account as the WLM protocol in Pidgin.  This has several benefits, including avoiding the issue mentioned below.

UPDATE: Both BitlBee and Pidgin have both updated their source code trees, and Trillian has a new beta release.

Not showing online to your contacts
On some accounts, you will no longer show online to your contacts after changing the application ID.  This issue is being investigated, but does not affect the Microsoft Messenger clients revived using Messenger Reviver.  On Pidgin you can also use the msn-pecan protocol plugin to bypass the problem.

Meanwhile, despite “the end” of Messenger supposedly 12 days ago, the Messenger Service continues to hum along.



Posted on November 12, 2014, in Messenger, News. Bookmark the permalink. 95 Comments.

  1. Hi, I have been using aMSN on my Mac and found the other day that I cant connect, get “error connecting to server” message, tried all remedies but getting nowhere, anything I can do?

  2. does the revived messenger still notify of incoming hotmail emails? as Pidgin lost this ability some time ago when MSN messed with servers previously (after the shutdown)

  3. it is strange that I had to format and install win 7 32bits on my computer today, then I installed wlm 2012 build 16.4.3528.331 and it works without the use of messenger reviver, after the installation it didn’t ask neither “there’s a new version, would you like to download it?”stuff”
    but an issue still occurs, my contacts still appear offline though they’re online and I appear offline too to them..

    • I took a brand new installation of Win7 32-bit and installed the same 2012 version, it doesn’t allow me to sign-in. However, you’re not the first in the past year and a half to be able to sign-in when you shouldn’t be but without having access to your computer and observing the whole process, I can’t really tell you why.

      With regards to your issue though, on top of the existing client problems that would cause this, there are now server problems. As a first step, when this happens again, sign into, go the Messaging pane and see if they appear online there. Also if they see you as online after you sign in to would be good to know too.

  4. thanks for your reply, when I sign into outlook and use the messaging panel, they can’t see me as online, and I can’t see them as online , I tried pidgin, skype,,same problem,

  5. It being 3rd January 2016, I just wanted to mention that Messenger built into Windows 8.0 still seems to be working. Used it yesterday with no problems…

  6. great put up, very informative. I’m wondering why the opposite
    specialists of this sector don’t notice this. You must proceed your writing.
    I’m confident, you have a huge readers’ base already!

  7. 2019/2020 and what, the best IM program has been dead and not functioning for 5 years (MSN WLM) 😦 .I hope wlm would still exist and develop. Skype was also a great program but now after all its updates, it has lost its identity…

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