Category Archives: Skype

Signing out of the Skype app on Windows 10 Anniversary Update

If you use Windows 10, no doubt you have updated to the Anniversary Update (Version 1607, build 14393) which has a built-in Skype app called Skype Preview.

After using Reviver to revive Messenger on the new version of Windows, you may notice that Messenger will tell you you’re signed into multiple locations with the same device name.

Messenger status menu with two locations

This will happen if you use your Microsoft account to sign into Windows and the Skype app will automatically make use of your Microsoft account to sign you into the .NET Messenger network.

The biggest problem with this is that you’ll remain signed into Messenger, even if you’re signed out of Messenger or your computer is off as the Skype app operates on the Microsoft servers.  Additionally, even if you use Messenger to force the Skype app to sign out, the app will eventually sign you back in again on its own.

Thankfully you can choose to sign out of the Skype app and use the real Messenger client exclusively.  To do so, just head over to the Start menu and click on the Skype Preview tile (or find it on the applications list under S).

Windows 10 Start Menu with Skype Preview tile highlighted

When the Skype app opens, choose the hamburger menu button in the top corner and then choose your name at the bottom.

Skype app menu with options listed

You’ll then find a Sign out link under your name and info, clicking on the link should sign you out and then close the Skype app automatically.

Sign out link in Skype App

Now you’ll only be signed into one location.

Messenger status menu with one location

Signing out of the Skype app has been maintained through the insider builds, so you should hopefully only need to do this once.  You can always start the Skype app and sign in again if you would like to try the app at a later time.

 

First look at Microsoft’s new “Messenger” client

UPDATE – Oct 12, 2015: A newer version (1.10.7000.0) is now included in Windows Insider Build 10565 which you can try out yourself by joining the Windows Insider program and being in the Fast ring.  Among possible other fixes, it includes a full emoticon set and the Ctrl key doesn’t seem to be sticking.

A version of Windows 10 leaked out late last week and contained within it was the long-awaited Windows Messaging Universal app.

Supposedly written from scratch, it’s the successor to the Messaging app contained in Windows 8.0 and the Skype WinRT app previously available (since withdrawn).  The executable is still named SkypeApp.exe however.

For these keeping track, this app is labelled as version Windows Messaging 1.9.26001.0:
Windows Messaging 1.9.26001 version windowThe user interface is barren when you begin.  Messaging window blankBut soon fills up when you start conversations:Messaging with conversationsWhen sending messages, Messaging claims they’re being delivered on Skype, which is technically not accurate as I was signed in with a non-linked Skype account and speaking only to .NET Messenger contacts.  I suspect Microsoft is trying its best to blur the difference.

Messaging runs in the background separate from the user interface itself and appears as a second location in Messenger while you’re logged into Windows.  After starting it for the first time, it took a while to start working initially and during usage, regularly disconnected.  There was no indicator in the actual Messaging app when these disconnections occurred and although messages appeared in the window as being sent, they weren’t delivered until later.  UPDATE: I observed later in the Event Log that the background SkypeHost.exe process was constantly crashing.  This is most likely the cause of the disconnections observed in the client.

Emoticons are extremely limited in this version, as well as being static and non-animated.  Space bar and backspace buttons are added presumably for use on touchscreens.  You can bring up Windows’ touch keyboard and use its standard emoji though. You certainly won’t be finding any custom emoticons here.
Messaging emoticonsThe paperclip in the conversation window does not function yet, but I assume will be used for sending files when activated.

There’s an integrated search function but it seems quite limited in its results as shown as individual lines of text.  Typing your search term too quickly seems to not put the search through, although adding a space to the end seems to help:

I also encountered multiple instances where it seems the Ctrl key on the keyboard got “stuck”.  Here’s an example where I’m trying to type Jon and as Ctrl-N starts a new conversation, when I get to the letter n, it starts a new window:

This problem was reproducible on multiple machines, so I don’t believe this to be a hardware problem. At least I was able to successfully put in my name by copy/pasting it to the box.

Toast notifications for Messaging have a textbox to reply back to sending contact and although you can type in them, I’ve found they work inconsistently.
Toast

A significant problem with the notifications is that once they’re gone, there’s no little indication that you received a message. The Messaging taskbar icon does not blink and the only way you’ll know you received a message is by opening up the Action Center or the Messaging app.

I’ll note that the notifications broke on all my machines after some light usage and never seemed to worked again, even after multiple reboots.

Sending messages is a bit painful right now, as upon presssing Enter to send a message, it adds a new line to the textbox instead of just sending the message. You have to press Ctrl-Enter to actually send the message. Hopefully this will changed or be an option in later builds.

Messaging has a select option and is the first of the built-in Windows 10 apps to support select all (a feature still painfully missing in Windows 10’s Mail app).  You can select conversations to mute or delete, as well as Delete, Copy and Forward individual messages.
Messaging forwarding

When you forward the message, Messaging makes a new empty conversation with that same text and if you switch to another conversation, it will make a draft just like an e-mail client.
Draft Messaging_2015-10-08_05-29-21

I’ve connected Cortana and Mail to my Office 365 account and Messaging seems to know about that too:
Messaging Office 365 2015-10-08_05-31-15Searching the Office 365 Directory didn’t seem to work yet however.  If you push the + button in the corner, another window shows all your contacts and offers to search the Skype Directory.  This doesn’t work either as it attempts to load a “skypepage” that doesn’t exist.
Search Skype DirectoryMessaging uses a separate Skype Video app to do voice and video conversations. I wasn’t able to get it to successfully call another computer but it does appear at least try to make a connection:
Skype_Video_2015-10-08_05-42-25Unfortunately you won’t find winks, custom emoticons, display names, animated display pictures, nudging, coloured text, customization, games, voice clips, or any other of the standard Messenger features in this application.  I couldn’t find an Options screen, so there isn’t much in the way of things to tweak.

Even compared to Windows Messenger that came with Windows XP, nevermind modern instant messaging clients like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Viber, Telegram or Kik, Messaging still has a long way to go.

Skype is down

…but Messenger isn’t!

Skype Down

More information can be found on Skype’s blog post about the problem and you can also use the web version of Skype (although it seems to be slightly overloaded right now).

UPDATE: Skype was mostly restored at 19:00 UTC, after 11 hours of downtime.  The apology from Skype.

E-mail message count and notifications broken (update: probably gone for good)

In the Email Toastlast week I had two people inform me that their Hotmail Outlook.com e-mail count was wrong in Messenger.  This wasn’t a new situation that I’ve heard as over my 10 years of supporting Messenger this came up many times (including in my own account) and the issue simply resolved itself after a brief period.  I double checked my own account and the count and subsequent mail notifications and they were working for me.

But today I’ve heard from many more people that this feature has been failing.  After checking my own personal and test accounts, it’s now fully broken for me also.

From a technical perspective, the message count and notifications are completely handled by the server which then just notifies Messenger.  Unfortunately this means there’s nothing that can be done to “fix” the problem as the server isn’t sending any mail notifications to the Messenger clients.

One can only hope this is a temporary problem and not due to a roll-out of a new version of Outlook.com that’s removed the feature completely.

UPDATE (April 16, 2014)
The e-mail notification feature has been fundamental to Messenger since it’s very inception.  In fact Microsoft has exploited this feature for a long time — it’s been used as the basis for Hotmail mail checking in Outlook Express, Windows Live Mail, Hotmail and Outlook.com.  I was thinking more about this today and wondered that with the feature gone, if Outlook.com had a new way of handling mail notifications.

So, I took two accounts and tested them.  One account is a standard Hotmail account with Messenger contacts and one is the same but linked to a Skype account.  The normal Hotmail account signed into the web-based Messenger client fine as normal, but was not able to receive any new e-mails until I manually pressed the refresh button.  However, the account that’s been linked to Skype was able to receive mail notifications and immediately refreshed.  I can only summarize e-mail notifications have been moved over to Skype, although they don’t yet appear in the current versions of the software.

Just to be clear, linking your Microsoft account to a Skype account will not magically restore your e-mail notifications in Messenger.  (Doing so will restore automatic receiving of mail while in Outlook.com however.)  What it does mean is that some time in the future, the Skype desktop application will be able to notify you to new e-mail and that the notification feature has probably been removed for good in Messenger.

I would recommend you use the freeware tool Howard::Outlook.com/Hotmail email notifier as a replacement.  Although the default is every 5 minutes, you can set the check time to every 30 seconds, which is the minimum on any of the protocols without Exchange Activesync (supported on phones, Windows 8 Mail and Outlook 2013).

UPDATE (May 1st, 2014)
In the prior update, I mentioned how you couldn’t receive new e-mails on the Outlook.com site without Skype linked to your Microsoft account.  It seems they have fixed that problem as accounts that aren’t linked to Skype can now see messages arriving once again.  However, the Messenger e-mail notifications are still missing, giving further evidence that they won’t be back.

Microsoft to remove server-side instant messaging history and conversations

I was rather pleased when I discovered that Outlook.com had a server-side message history last August.  It’s quite handy at times to have conversations stored elsewhere without having to deal with Remote Desktop, add-ons and other trickery to do the same thing.

But today, I received an email from the Outlook.com Team with the following information:

We’re contacting you because we are making a change to the messaging history feature in Outlook.com.

Whenever you chat using Outlook.com whether it’s through Facebook, Google Talk, or Messenger, a copy of your chat is saved in the Messaging history folder. As part of adding Skype to Outlook.com, the Messaging history folder will be removed sometime this fall.

So there’s no actual cut-off date, just “sometime this fall” and my saved conversations will just disappear?

If you want to keep a record of your chats, you’ll need to move them to another folder. To move your message history:

1. In Outlook.com, right-click Folders, and then click Add a new folder.

2. Enter a name for the folder and press the Enter key.

3. Click Messaging history, and then click the check box at the very top of your message list.

4. Click Select everything.

5. Right-click any message and then click Move.

6. Select the folder you want to move your messages to, and then click Move.

I completed this process and it took nearly 10 clicks, plus some typing.  This doesn’t sound like a lot, but why do I have to do this manually?  At the very least, why couldn’t it be as simple as one button to ‘Save your data’? And Since there is no actual date, I’ll have to continue to do this process periodically until it disappears as not to lose anything from now on.

After the Messaging history folder is removed, a history of your Skype, Google Talk, and Facebook chat sessions can be found in the Messaging pane.

After the Messaging history folder is removed, the chat sessions will be found in the messaging pane?  Are they referring to the ones I just moved to a folder of my own choosing?  Does this mean they’ll be in both locations?  It’s really not clear.

messagehistoryFor me, this is just another example of how Microsoft continues to fail their customers.  According to news reports, Skype support in Outlook.com has been rolling out in preview form for four months and was was first talked about nearly a year ago.  Was this not an issue before in their rollout?  I understand why they might want to discontinue the feature since Messenger is officially on its way out, but why remove the existing conversations?  And finally, do they truly believe my conversations have no value to me that I wouldn’t want them archived automatically?

Use Messenger Reviver 2 to bring back Messenger and beat Skype

Messenger Reviver 2

Download Messenger Reviver 2
Version 2.4.8.51
SHA-1: 0FDFACFA04B7AB796E9DE09AFD01C6E68C4D1C64
SHA-256: 72DA8490C2FEC25A7366783D1B830CF82789D1582B3C1718312D76F847D9BEAB

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 Outlook.com.

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.

Requirements
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
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)

Apr 28 2017 2.4.8.51
  • Support for Windows 10 16184
  • Includes support for Windows 10 15063 (Creators Update)
  • Includes support for Windows 10 update KB4013198 15086.839
  • Includes support for Windows 10 update KB4013429 14393.953
  • Includes support for Windows 10 update KB4012606 10240.17319
May 10 2016 2.4.8.0
  • Support for Windows 10 14342
  • Starting to remove old 2009 code and user interface
Feb 12 2016 2.4.7.0
  • 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 2.4.6.3
  • Support for Windows 10 10586.71-10586.494
  • Support for Windows 10 14251
Oct 3 2015 2.4.5.4
  • Fix for Windows 10 Cumulative Update KB3093266 (was causing 8004882a/800488fe errors)
Aug 10 2015 2.4.5.0
  • Fix for Windows 10 32-bit versions
  • Support for Windows 10 10162
  • Better Windows 10 detection
  • Better handling of pending reboots
Jul 29 2015 2.4.4.0
  • Fix for Windows 10 (10240) and the 8004882a error, workaround no longer needed
Mar 21 2015 2.4.3.0
  • Fixes for installing Messenger 2012 on 64-bit Vista and full Windows Server 2008 support
Mar 17 2015 2.4.2.0
  • Windows Vista support for installing/reviving Windows Live Messenger 2012 and the other 2012 Essentials
Mar 12 2015 2.4.1.0
  • 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 2.4.0.0
  • 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 2.3.5.0
  • 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 2.3.0.0
  • Fixes both Windows Live Messenger 2008 and Windows Live Messenger 2009 (solves error code 85ae0010 sign in issue)
Apr 16 2014 2.2.5.0
  • Support for new Messenger 2012 16.4.3528.0331
Feb 19 2014 2.2.4.0
  • Support for new Messenger 2012 16.4.3522.0110
Sept 09 2013 2.2.3.0
  • 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 2.2.2.0
  • Support for new Messenger 2012 16.4.3508.0205
May 07 2013 2.2.1.0
  • 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 2.2.0.0
  • 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 2.1.0.0
  • 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 2.0.1.0
  • 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 2.0.0.1
  • 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 2.0.0.0
  • First release of Messenger Reviver 2

End of week one: Messenger still not blocked

I will surviveDespite Microsoft’s constant urging over the past few months that Messenger would not be accessible after April 8th, the desktop clients continue to work one week later.

Of course the honest truth is that Microsoft has indicated that the “retirement” would begin April 8th for “English-speaking countries” and should finish by April 30th with Brazilian Portuguese users being last.

So, let’s put this information to the test to see how they’re doing.  As I’ve been supporting Messenger for 12 years, somewhere down the line I started creating accounts with the various locales so I could understand the different country-specific features I was being asked about.  Therefore I already have most of the accounts already created and luckily been in existence for a quite a few years.  Additionally, (thanks to some friends) I also have the opportunity to test my accounts from several of the different countries so they can be tested from a local IP.  For the purposes of this experiment, I will use Windows Live Messenger 2012 (16.4.3505.0912) on Windows 7 SP1 64-bit.

UPDATE (April 23, 2013): Microsoft suddenly blocked all the accounts at once.  I guess they didn’t bother with their announced rolled out server changes.  To bypass the block and continue to use Messenger, use my Messenger Reviver 2 tool.
UPDATE (April 24, 2013): Spoke too soon, apparently some accounts are still active, just not any of mine.  However, they’re all around the world and not limited to a specific country.  This is the typical way they’ve done forced updates by not doing all servers at once.
UPDATE (April 25, 2013): Apparently they’ve overloaded Skype with Messenger logins…

Country registered Old/New account Messenger accessible from Canadian IP Messenger accessible from local country’s IP
Australia Old Yes N/A
Brazil New Yes N/A
Canada Old Yes Yes
France Old Yes N/A
Netherlands Old Yes N/A
United Kingdom Old Yes Yes
United States Old Yes Yes

Based on this test data and that none of my contacts elsewhere in the world (in countries not tested above) have experienced a block,  I conclude that Microsoft has not even begun the process.  Considering the original date of this “retirement” was March 14th, it seems that the date is being delayed even further.

If you believe your account is being forced to upgrade to Skype:

Please come over to the live chat, leave a comment here, or contact me personally.

Messenger love still great

A friend of mine discovered the following on Friday.  It sure seems there’s plenty of Messenger love around!

Messenger car

You can sign in to Messenger now using Skype (beta)

The latest Skype beta released today, among other changes, now supports signing in with your .NET Passport Windows Live ID Microsoft account, then linking it to your Skype account which then signs into the Messenger service.  You can also just sign in without linking an existing Skype account.

Skype beta with Messenger support where I'm 107 years old

It also seems they’ve also taken upon the styling of Office 2013 with an all white colour scheme and the client offers to tell your Messenger contacts to download Skype with a big ‘Send download message’ button,“Hey, we’re not contacts on Skype yet. Go to skype.com and you can download it now for free.”  Not exactly what I would expect from professional software.

You're not using Skype!

On the instant messaging side, only basic text seems to be supported.  Display pictures (albeit not animated ones) are displayed properly and some Microsoft account profile information is transferred (like your contacts’ birthday, although with the wrong year – I’m apparently 107 years old).   As expected MPOP is supported, so it won’t sign you out on Messenger or other locations.  However if you use both Messenger and Skype clients now, you probably would not want to sign in to both unless you don’t value your personal sanity.

When I tried logging in without linking a Skype account, I was assigned a new Skype ID in the format of “live:beginningofemail”, so my test1557@jonathankay.com Live ID Microsoft account became live:test1557 which was callable and messageable from others using earlier Skype versions.

Reliability of the Messenger side seems pretty poor (understandable in its beta state) as I only got it to work once and it has refused to sign into Messenger since.  Although I have yet to find a way to unlink accounts, it seems if you just sign into Skype using only your normal Skype credentials, the Messenger portion is ignored.