Category Archives: MSN Messenger

Messenger Reviver 2:mac

Messenger Reviver 2:mac

This page remains here for archival reasons.  As of March 12th 2015, the last of the servers accepting sign-ins from Messenger:Mac have gone offline.  To use the Messenger service on the Mac, you will need to use Skype, the web-based client, or Windows Live Messenger 2012 in a Windows virtual machine.

Starting November 13th, 2014, Messenger:mac clients are no longer able to sign in to the Messenger service and you will receive the following error:

Sign in to Microsoft Messenger failed because the service is not responding.  The service is not available or you may not be connected to the Internet.

Messenger:mac failure

As the underlying problem is similar to the issues from earlier this week, using the same technique used by the third-party clients and for Windows Live Messenger 2009, we can revive Messenger:mac.

Using Messenger Reviver 2:mac
To revive Messenger:mac, download the Messenger Reviver 2 dmg and open it from the Downloads folder.  Then right-click on the Messenger Reviver 2 mac icon and choose Open.
Messenger Reviver 2: mac opening

If you receive the “unidentified developer” warning message choose Open when asked.   Next, you may get a message reminding you that you’re about to install software, click Continue.  You can then click Continue to the Introduction screen, then the Install button, type in your password, and finally click the Install Software button.  After Reviver has completed, Messenger:mac should re-open and you should be able to sign in.

Important note: Unlike the Windows version, Messenger Reviver 2:mac at this time is not able to automatically download and install Messenger:mac.  If you do not already have it installed, you can install it from c|net

Known issues and workarounds
When you sign into Messenger:mac after using Reviver:mac, you most likely will see various contact list addition requests from your contact list.  This is a side effect of tricking the server, and can either be ignored or dismissed.  Unfortunately, they will return again when you sign in again.  This issue is being seen in various third party clients as well.

In addition to this, even though contacts appear on your contact list, you might receive a message “Do you want to accept a message from an unknown sender”.  Click the Accept button and you can proceed with the conversation.

Lastly, on some accounts you might not appear online to your contacts.  Regrettably, this is a result of the same issues above.   You can workaround this problem by signing in on another client first (including logging into your Microsoft account at and then signing into Messenger:mac.  The other client will put you online and Messenger:mac will take over your Messenger session.

System Requirements
A compatible version of OS X running Messenger:mac 8.0.1


When is Messenger really shutting down?

Messenger Shutting Down?In the past few weeks you most likely read the headlines in the popular press, “MSN Messenger to end after 15 years”, “MSN Messenger Turned Off Forever!”, “Microsoft Is Officially Killing MSN Messenger Once and For All”, and similar captions of the same premise. Reading through these articles, you’ll find that Microsoft has sent out messages to the current Chinese users of Messenger, informing them that after October 31st they will need to use Skype to sign in, plus a bonus $2 Skype coupon for their trouble. The writers then jump to the conclusion that there will be no Messenger after that time, as it seems none of them have noticed that you can still use Messenger and that they’ve just been using Messenger in Skype.

With no other evidence to the contrary, Microsoft is most likely doing the same in China as it did for the rest of the world, force-upgrading its users to use Skype as their Messenger client instead of Windows Live Messenger.

Here are some facts about the situation:

  1. Messenger contacts (as of yet) did not transfer to Skype contacts. When you link your Skype username to a Microsoft account, Skype (or also will sign you into both Skype and Messenger services. Despite the accounts being linked up, you can still sign into your Skype username separately or sign into your Messenger account separately using another Messenger client.
  2. Recently Microsoft started blocking users from signing into older versions of Skype. This seems to be primarily to push people into using the newer versions of Skype which support MSNP24 (Microsoft Notification Protocol version 24). To compare, Windows Live Messenger 2011/2012 uses MSNP21, so they are in fact transitioing from Skype’s native protocol to the Messenger protocol for all Skype communication. You can view the MSNP server and protocol information in Skype by opening up any Skype window and typing /dumpmsnp.
  3. The Messaging app included in Windows 8.0 (removed in 8.1) signs into the .NET Messenger service.  As Windows 8.0 will remain supported until January 12, 2016, this client within 8.0 should continue to work within this supported time frame. This version of Messenger uses MSNP22.
  4. Although unsupported officially, third-party clients, Windows Messenger 4.7 above and “revived” clients still continue to work nearly a year and a half after the official shutdown date. These clients do not connect to Chinese servers or pretend to be in China.
  5. The dates of these forced-upgrades have been incorrect so far. Initially Messenger was to “shut down” on March 15th, 2013, and then was moved to April 8th. However, the forced compulsory Skype didn’t truly begin on the servers until April 23rd.  Then more recently was the issue of “MSP” (not MSNP) first declared to be discontinued first in March of this year, then May, and then the reference was removed from the Microsoft website all together.

The answer
I have no idea when non-Skype Messenger clients will no longer be able to sign in.

Regardless of the facts above, Microsoft could still prevent non-Skype Messenger clients (and their subsequent versions of the protocol) from signing in at any time. I would personally implore them not to do so, as they only face to alienate more users to other services, particularly with their dwindling usage and increased competition. Additionally, once their move to the MSNP24 protocol on Skype is fully complete, they could open and encourage third-parties to write for that new protocol.

Final note

After reading through the most recent Messenger headlines, I think it’s worth a reminder that MSN Messenger was replaced by Windows Live Messenger in 2006. Everyone knows that Messenger is colloquially known as “MSN”, which can correctly refer to the protocol (MSNP) being used, but in reality the actual versions of software called MSN Messenger were discontinued and replaced in the years following the name change, particularly as older versions of the protocol were retired and security issues were found.

Windows Live Messenger 2009 signed in on September 11th, 2014

Windows Live Messenger 2009 signed in on September 11th, 2014

Use Messenger Reviver 2 to bring back Messenger and beat Skype

Messenger Reviver 2

Download Messenger Reviver 2
Version 2.4.9
SHA-1: 508216587726DC0DA62ED4DE97BE2DDDBBC191BA
SHA-256: A4DAACF866B9E14BD6613CEECE1C58DA9AC308A457A940E655372AC52FBD0C1D

May 19, 2017
Microsoft’s Messenger server is no longer operating.  Please read about the discontinuation, and download the farewell release.

March 12, 2015
Now Windows Live Messenger 2012 only
With the removal of the last servers supporting the older version of the Messenger protocol, versions of Messenger prior to Windows Live Messenger 2012 will no longer work.

If you’re using Windows XP, Mac OS X, Linux, or any other non-Microsoft Messenger client, you will need to either use Skype or the web-based Messenger client in

Windows Live Messenger 2012 current issues:

  • When you sign in you will briefly see a message indicating that your e-mail address is not verified. This started on on March 5th. It can be ignored.
  • Hyperlinks will need to be copy/pasted to a browser as they presently don’t show up as a hyperlink.

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: Messenger Reviver 2 zipped if you are experiencing problems with running Reviver.

Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10

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 repair your Essentials installation.

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.

If you are attempting to revive Windows Messenger on Windows XP and do not have Windows Live Messenger already installed, use the Patch Messenger option in this menu to revive it without further Live Essentials installation.

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 forum, the live chat, or contact me directly.

Concise version history (full history)

May 19 2017 2.4.9
  • Farewell release of Messenger Reviver 2
May 17 2017
  • Support for Windows 10 16199
  • Includes support for Windows 10 update KB4019472 14393.1198
  • Includes support for Windows 10 15063 (Creators Update)
  • Includes support for Windows 10 update KB4013198 15086.839
  • Includes support for Windows 10 update KB4012606 10240.17319
May 10 2016
  • Support for Windows 10 14342
  • Starting to remove old 2009 code and user interface
Feb 12 2016
  • Patches Messenger to a new Messenger server host as the existing one was resulting in “can’t connect” (error 80072efd) messages in some locales
Jan 27 2016
  • Support for Windows 10 10586.71-10586.494
  • Support for Windows 10 14251
Oct 3 2015
  • Fix for Windows 10 Cumulative Update KB3093266 (was causing 8004882a/800488fe errors)
Aug 10 2015
  • Fix for Windows 10 32-bit versions
  • Support for Windows 10 10162
  • Better Windows 10 detection
  • Better handling of pending reboots
Jul 29 2015
  • Fix for Windows 10 (10240) and the 8004882a error, workaround no longer needed
Mar 21 2015
  • Fixes for installing Messenger 2012 on 64-bit Vista and full Windows Server 2008 support
Mar 17 2015
  • Windows Vista support for installing/reviving Windows Live Messenger 2012 and the other 2012 Essentials
Mar 12 2015
  • Automatically brings up upgrade window if you don’t have 2012 installed
  • Installation of versions other than 2012 is disabled by default
Dec 20 2014
  • Patches Windows Live Messenger 2011 to use the correct Messenger servers
  • Patches Windows Messenger (all versions) to use the correct Messenger servers
  • New support for Windows Messenger 4.7.3000 (Windows XP SP2) and Windows Messenger 5.1.0715
  • Bug when detecting if Live Messenger 2008 has been re-revived fixed
  • Automatically enables TLS support (as now required for Messenger) if it has been turned off
Dec 5 2014
  • Patches Windows Live Messenger 2008 and Windows Live Messenger 2009 to force them to use the correct Messenger servers
  • Fixed a bug when upgrading to Messenger 2012 on Windows Server when the .NET Framework 3.x isn’t installed
Nov 13 2014
  • Fixes both Windows Live Messenger 2008 and Windows Live Messenger 2009 (solves error code 85ae0010 sign in issue)
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

What’s up in the IM dept…

A Messenger detail…

One of the most compelling things about some companies’ products is the small details the customer initially doesn’t know about but discovers after using the product.   In Microsoft’s case, such details are usually usability features like a keyboard shortcuts or “intelligent” features to prevent extraneous typing.  Very rarely are the small details visual in nature.

After sending a screenshot of my conversation window to a contact of mine as a joke, he identified something odd.  The Sharing Folders icon in the toolbar showed the Windows Vista folder icon whereas on his Windows XP install, it was showing the XP folder icon.  It’s a nice detail but I only hope that in the future other more important details might be done.  I for one would like to see some Aero glass in Messenger, especially in toasts.

Here’s a screenshot of the differences of the two icons:

Bell Messenger Ad

I was in the Cambridge Centre today and spotted this Bell Canada ad.  Thought it was funny so I snapped an image

It’s all about Web Sharing

My Activity App is now up!  You can check out my first Activity API application for Messenger, which I’ve dubbed Web Sharing here:

For those who haven’t read about how long it took to get this up, be sure to read my previous entry.  Needless to say, it ended up taking a month, half a dozen e-mails and a blog entry to get the application up.  So far there’s been no official response from Microsoft and I’ve been excluded from the latest mini-contest that I would’ve presumed I would’ve been included.  So, I’m still not very pleased with the whole thing from the ridiculous amount of work and time required not building an app (it actually wasn’t that difficult) but just trying to get it up.  Not only that, but even some final statement of apology would be nice.

Anyway, my inspiration for Web Sharing came from a long lost feature of MSN Explorer.  For those who knew it existed or have forgotten, the feature was called "Browse the Web Together".   You could initiate it from MSN Messenger 5 and assuming both people had MSN Explorer 8 and a paid MSN Subscription, an applet would appear full-screen with chat on the left and a web browsing pane on the right that both users would "share".  With the introduction of MSN Messenger 6 and MSN [Explorer] 9, this functionality was removed and hasn’t been seen since.

There are some distinct differences between the two however.  Firstly, Browse the Web Together let you see the other user’s cursor as it moved over the page.  This was actually rather ridiculous as you couldn’t see them scroll down a page nor fill in forms.  I thought about attempting to reproduce this silly feature as homage to the original but decided against it.  Secondly, Browse the Web Together would follow links (with the exception of form POSTs) but Web Sharing simply opens a new browser window.  If you want the user to follow the link, you have to copy/paste it back to the conversation window.  Thirdly, unlike Browse the Web Together, Web Sharing monitors URLs in the current conversation (http:, https: and www.) so that you can continue copy/pasting links as you normally do.

Initially I thought the design breaker was not being able to follow links (it’s actually a JavaScript restriction, although from a security standpoint it makes complete sense) but after actually using Web Sharing for awhile, it’s actually become a useful tool.  Although there’s plenty of uses for Web Sharing, like for a few friends to blow off some time or for someone to "push" information to a client, it really shines with contacts who send you a lot of links (usually from blogs) like images, articles, etc. which you normally end up clicking on and at the end of the day, end up with 25 browser windows.  If you have Web Sharing initiated, you can simply open up their conversation, read the article without having to do anything, and then go back to what you were doing — no clicking, no extra windows, no browser cleanup later. 

Also, I’d like to give my friend Huuf some credit for the whole thing as he pointed out the IFRAME SECURITY attribute and gave me some pointers on how to improve the Regular Expression for detecting the URLs in the conversation.

If you have any comments or feedback on Web Sharing, feel free to let me know.

Worlds Frustrating Contest

If you’re reading this, you’ve probably heard of the "World’s Best App" Contest that started in September.  There have been plenty of submitted applications, and you should check them out.

However, as nearly everyone has noted, the one I got (nearly) everyone to try out *still* isn’t up.
Initially I made my little application back when the contest started.  It didn’t take too long to prove that my concept worked and then I left it for a few weeks.  Then in October, it was announced that they would add an incentive; $200 Amazon gift certificates for the first five approved applications.  So, I spent a few nights rewriting the application, adding a snazzy UI and then finally submitting it.

That was over three weeks ago.  It still isn’t up.
A week after I submitted my application, I got an e-mail that stated the following:
Thank you for your submission to the MSN Messenger Worlds Best App Contest. Unfortunately, your entry has been rejected for the following reason: Excluded Under Terms of Use. See the official rules for submission guidelines. The following additional text was supplied to help you diagnose the issue: Missing msgrp2p.xml file upon initial submission.
Please re-submit your application, including the msgrp2p.xml file.
So that’s fine, except that the form itself requires you to have the msgrp2p.xml file included and not only won’t submit the form without the XML file, but actually -validates- the file before a submission goes through.  How could it be "missing"?

I replied to them and carbon copied someone at Microsoft, attached my XML file and set to high priority.  A reply wasn’t immediately coming so I figured I’d follow the advice of the e-mail and simply send it again, unfortunately that proved to be fruitless as the form dutifully informed me that my application was "already submitted".

So, 5 days later I do get a reply indicating that I’m not the first to report the problem and that they’ll look into it.  That was on the 2nd of November and today is the 11th.  A friend of mine at Microsoft managed to get me an answer that I’d get at least some communication by them within 24 hours on Wednesday but of course here I am writing this on Friday and have yet to get anything.

I do encourage you to check out the currently submitted applications, because some of them are really quite cool.  At the moment my favourites are Cartoon Memory and Hangman (of course I have to mention TB’s Tankwars, but I’ve gotten sick of that now). 
Unfortunately for me the press for these applications has already gone out to major Messenger news sites and all the various Messenger blogs so the chances of me even having a remote chance of winning anything in this contest is basically none.
Good luck on your own applications!

Windows Live what?

Mark your calendar, the butterfly is dead, swatted down by those on giant pedestals at Redmond.  Like myself, I’m sure that in the various Microsoft locales around the world, marketing people screamed out in agony.
Of course, this rebranding makes sense completely from a corporate standpoint, however as I’m constantly reminded, MSN, er, excuse me, Windows Live is consumer oriented.  Consumer oriented products generally need a catchy name and distinct logo to make the mainstream.  Over the years, MSN has done this as someone will ask you for your "msn" (referring to your Passport e-mail address), or "talk to you on msn".  How exactly this lingo will transform under the Windows Live brand is beyond me…


Just the other day Corey came up with the idea that they "should just remove the MSN name" from the MSN logo as the butterfly was a symbol that nearly everyone immediately recognized.  So why are they killing it?  Surely someone at marketing should’ve raised the red flag on this one?


So not only has the equivalent of Apple rebranding the iPod as "Apple Music" been done, but now we’re apparently all going to be using Windows Live Messenger.  I’ve personally had to deal with the Windows Messenger / MSN Messenger divide over the past 3 years with claims that "all will be fixed soon" — but now Windows Live Messenger?  So now instead of two clients (ignoring Communicator), we’ll have three — Windows Messenger, MSN Messenger and Windows Live Messenger!  Luckily Windows Live Messenger will apparently upgrade MSN Messenger although MSN Messenger today doesn’t upgrade Windows Messenger, except on Windows 2000 — confused yet?  So are most of MSN…er.. Windows Live customers.
Apparently the butterfly will still be around for MSN’s "content" ( properties like entertainment, tv, MSNBC, etc.) although there’s been no mention of where MSN Dialup/Premium fits in this whole mess.  I know a lot of people will say, "it doesn’t matter, it’s just a name", but a name can make or break you in this rather competitive market. I just hope this one somehow works out.

Messenger used for MSNBC Wilma video

Dom pointed me to the MSNBC’s live "Watch Wilma’s approach" webcam.  That in of itself isn’t that odd, except that they appear to be using MSN Messenger 7.x’s full-screen webcam functionality (see the link or screenshot below).
I suppose that using Messenger saves having to setup anything else, not to mention being able to use an off-the-shelf webcam.  For those you aren’t familar with Messenger in full-screen view, the thing blinking (in the screenshot, the messenger pawn on the bottom right) indicates that there are messages waiting.  I guess someone wanted to talk to that client
It would be nice if you could remove the extra information on the screen for this particular scenario though (messages waiting, own webcam, etc.).
Here’s the full blown screenshot in case you don’t like Space’s small version.
Update (10/24/2005 12:58p GMT-4): Matthew pointed me to the link again and now it appears that the client has disconnected and hence the video stream stopped.  Also it appears that MSNBC didn’t bother to verify the e-mail address (tsk tsk tsk). See second screenshot below, or the big second version.