Category Archives: Uncategorized
Over the past week the persistent groups feature in Messenger has completely disappeared. If you had existing groups loaded in Windows Live Messenger or Butterfly Messenger, they will now appear as offline. Additionally, if you delete your locally stored cache of contacts or sign in somewhere you haven’t signed in before, you will see that any existing groups simply no longer exist.
Back on the server side of Messenger, if you attempt to access the groups or create another one, the service will reply with the error message “Circle no longer supported”. (Circles is the original name of the groups feature.)
Why this finally disappeared now is unclear, as the underlying groups feature in OneDrive had its demise back on October 16th and you haven’t been able to reliably create new groups in a while.
Additionally, this seems to be the end of group messaging on Messenger, as the alternative of adding people into conversations hasn’t been working since June of last year.
I’m thinking of making of a relay bot to get group messaging working again in some way, would anyone be interested in that?
If the title sounds familiar, it’s because this whole situation started back in December. Subsequently the disastrous KB3093594 patch was released to replace DeltaSync with Exchange ActiveSync, and then withdrawn. The patch was clearly rushed and untested, as it crashed on Windows 10 and usually fell short of fully synchronizing messages.
Just like back in December, a number of users have notified me that they’ve received an e-mail from Microsoft entitled “Action required for users of Windows Live Mail 2012”. This was sent last month and I’ve still yet to get my own copy of the message. I’m guessing you need to be a daily user of Live Mail to have received it.
The following are the important portions:
It appears that you are currently using Windows Live Mail 2012 to connect to your Outlook.com account. Windows Live Mail 2012 does not support the synchronization technologies used by the new Outlook.com. When account upgrades begin at the end of June, you will no longer be able to receive email sent to your Outlook.com account in Windows Live Mail 2012. Rest assured, you can always access your email by logging into Outlook.com from any web browser, and you will continue to have access to all your data that is currently in Windows Live Mail 2012.
Please take action before June 30th, 2016, which is when we’ll begin upgrading accounts that currently use Windows Live Mail 2012. If you have more questions, please find answers to common FAQs in this help article, or you can contact Microsoft support.
Both in the email and the above referenced help article, they do not cover using IMAP or POP3 as an alternative so you can continue to use Live Mail. Instead they’re more interested in pushing you to the Windows 10 Mail application or signing you up for Office 365. Re-adding your account using IMAP would be my recommendation if you make use of Live Mail and Outlook.com/Hotmail.
What does this mean for Messenger?
Even if you don’t have Messenger installed, Windows Live Mail 2011 and 2012 partially sign you into Messenger using MSNP21. This Messenger connection is used for e-mail notifications (when it worked) and although it’s technically a separate service, downloading your contacts. While the announcement from Microsoft specifically mentions receiving e-mail, which is done over the separate DeltaSync protocol, there is a possibility that this has been one of the key reasons that MSNP21 is still operating and therefore the protocol could be shut down on June 30th. Without further details there is no way to know until then.
UPDATE (2016-02-12): After more investigation, it seems the DNS reported in some regions (especially in Europe) will connect you to servers that are no longer operating. Reviver has been updated to fix this issue. If you are having this problem, please revive Messenger again using Messenger Reviver 2.4.7.
In the last 24-36 hours, a handful of users have been reporting infrequent outages resulting in error code 80072efd (can’t connect to the server). Waiting a few minutes and just trying again usually will remedy the problem.
Four days ago it was reported on the forum that all the bn1 category servers had disappeared, but the actual connectivity problems with Messenger were not reported until several days later.
So far I have not seen the issue on any of my accounts and therefore have not yet been able to properly investigate the situation. However, at the moment my best guess is that the servers are being reorganized in some way and when you get the error message, you’ve been redirected to a server that is no longer operating. At the end of 2014, the same problem occurred when some of the servers started to phase out direct MSNP and HTTP access. However, I think this might a bit of a different situation.
Although it may or may not be related, during the same time period I have also seen some disconnections with Skype causing it to sign out completely, which usually mean the server has signed me out automatically. These sign outs might indicate that Skype’s infrastructure is also being changed too.
Unfortunately the inner-workings of the Messenger servers have never been completely fully known, so we’ll have to continue monitoring to see what happens.
Both Google and Microsoft unblocked the original Reviver links from their respective browser detection engines within 12 and 3 hours respectfully.
Although frustrating for the need to continually stay on top of these false positives, I do applaud them both for being quick and relatively painless to resolve the situation.
I have returned all the links, with the exception of this page, to the originals.
Here is a temporary link to download Messenger Reviver 2
|Download Messenger Reviver 2|
It seems someone doesn’t like the idea of Messenger Reviver and has reported all my links as malware.
I suspect this may be related to McAfee being slow about removing a recent false positive. Having these false positives removed takes up time in my life every week, but the antivirus vendors have always removed Reviver without question, although naturally they take their time about doing it.
I find the best way to check software (including Messenger Reviver) is to use virustotal.com. The current analysis reveals that almost every vendor agrees it’s clean.
In the past, I have had infrequent threatening comments directed at me, specifically from those who trust their antivirus software without question and claim that I am harming their computer. I have had my registrar falsely accuse of me of distributing malware, giving me a 24 hour warning to “remove it” or risk losing my entire account. In all instances in these situations, after reviewing the real facts, these people stand down.
Ignoring anything else, just thinking logically, why would I, someone who has been assisting people with Messenger problems for for nearly 15 years, run a blog for 10 years, with comments, forum, live chat on a variety Messenger related topics, only to trick a few people into installing malware now. Why would I ruin my reputation like that? It just doesn’t make any sense.
Messenger Reviver does not do anything other than what it says it does. It does not report any statistical data or personal data about yourself or your computer, it does not install anything other than Messenger, it does not contain ads, or contain any income-generating mechanism. Messenger Reviver loses me time and money and it is simply a work of love.
Which is exactly why the icon for Reviver is Messenger with a heart.
Thanks everyone for your support.
This changed yesterday as the Plus! download page now indicates that it is no longer available:
Messenger Plus! for Windows Live MessengerMessenger Plus! For Windows Live Messenger has been discontinued.
Thank you for your support over the years.
Please try Messenger Plus! For Skype.
Within the last few hours, the Messenger “bay” group of servers all went dark causing outages for a small number of Messenger accounts whom Microsoft has deemed only usable on that group of servers.
If this affected you, the error code you would have seen was 80072efd or in more useful terms, Can’t connect to server.
A good chunk of the servers have now returned and those accounts should now again be operational.
Given that we’ve seen larger changes happen around this time on Thursdays in the past, I highly suspect they were offline for some sort of maintenance, possibly related to the new Skype web client in Outlook.com.
As always, you can monitor the servers yourself by going to dx’s ever useful ismsndeadyet.com (choose “Click to show needlessly detailed server status”).
Just a quick note to wish my readers and users a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays (whichever applies to you!).
Wishing you all the best!
Offline messages in Messenger have always been stored on Hotmail (now Outlook.com), and with the e-mail count and notifications for Outlook.com in Messenger being removed recently, it was no surprise when the reports that offline messaging was no longer working. I can sadly confirm that to be the case.
However, it’s more complicated than simply being gone. Your offline messages can be triggered to be sent to you in Messenger… by using Skype.
If you want to try this yourself, link your Messenger Microsoft account to a Skype ID. Then with Messenger signed in already, log into Skype using your normal Skype username (you could use your Microsoft account as well, but you don’t have to). As soon as Skype logs in, your offline message will magically appear in Messenger. Note this requires Messenger 2012, it does not seem to work on 2009.
Additionally, you can also see your offline messages by using Outlook.com’s web messaging feature by signing in with your Microsoft account (note that it does not need to be a Live/Hotmail address to work).
This month’s Update Tuesday brought an early Christmas gift to those who want to use Messenger 2011 or 2012 on Windows 8.1.
Prior to this update being available, when you tried to sign in, you would receive error code 80090004. After the fix is installed, you will be able to sign in as normal.
The update is contained in the 8.1 December’s rollup update (KB2903939), which contains 18 fixes including KB2906900 (Error “0x80090004 (NTE_BAD_LEN)” occurs when you try to sign in to Windows Live Messenger).
Although I quickly managed to write some code to automatically check, download and install the update on machines that need it, it will be a few days before I think it’s ready. In the meantime, I have withdrawn the version of Messenger Reviver which blocked Messenger 2011/2012 installations on 8.1 and you will just need to manually update Windows 8.1 if Windows isn’t updated automatically.
A special thanks to user Chooky who was the first to notice the update!
Last week, Microsoft announced (yet another) rebrand of Hotmail to Outlook.com. It has received plenty of favourable reviews and praise but one feature is extremely annoying – and that is, like the Windows 8 Metro Windows 8-style UI Messaging application, it automatically logs you into Messenger and connected services (Facebook Chat) when you sign in, with no ability to log off instant messaging except for setting your status to “invisible”. (Side note: Windows 8 Messaging now thankfully has a global off switch added into its settings since the Release Preview.)
I’m sure there are people who don’t mind this – perhaps they don’t use instant messaging or they keep webmail open all the time anyway (in fact you get a small bonus feature if you do). I personally use the actual Outlook desktop application and only use webmail when I’m away from my own PC, so I’m not too keen to be speaking of people when I’m just trying to quickly access my email from other locations.
So I looked for a way to disable this from happening and after rummaging through the options unsuccessfully, some searches to see if anyone else had already figured it out, I started looking through the code, and found the key:
geo.messenger.services.live.com geo.gateway.messenger.live.com (changed December 2012).
So to disable Outlook.com’s Messaging feature, all one has to do is block this host and the easiest way to do this is to add it to your hosts file. If you’re not sure how to do this or want to save time, I’ve made a quick tool for Windows users below which you can easily run to automatically add (or remove) blocking this host. To make this change yourself manually, you find yourself on a machine without administrator rights, or you use another operating system, see Other Options below.
Using the tool
To start, download the Disable Outlook.com Messaging tool, open the zip file, and run the application inside. You’ll be prompted for administrator rights so the tool can make modifications to your hosts file, and then you’ll receive a message indicating the change has been made. Please note you’ll need to restart your browser to see the change.
To remove the entry in the hosts file, run the tool again, the messenger entry will be removed and you’ll receive a message notifying you as such.
If required, you can use the /q command line parameter to avoid seeing the notification messages that the change has been added or removed.
After the change
Once the hosts file entry has been added, when you click Messaging in Outlook.com, you will see an attempt to sign in but it never will be successful. With the new Messaging pane added in 2014, you will also need to collapse the Messaging pane by clicking on it:
If you wish to add the entry to the hosts file yourself and use Windows, press the Start button (if you use Windows XP, click the Run option) and type:
then press Ctrl-Shift-Enter to start Notepad with administrator rights. Once Notepad starts, add the following line:
Then close Notepad and save. Now just restart your browser to see the change.
If you’re on a Windows machine without the ability to get administrator rights, such as a work setup or library and there is an available version of Internet Explorer available, commenter qiang reminded me that you can use the Restricted Sites zone to block specific hosts like this one. To do so, after starting Internet Explorer, press the Alt key on the keyboard to bring up the menu bar, choose Tools, then Internet Options, then the Security tab, choose Restricted sites and finally press the Sites button. In the ‘Add this website to the zone:’ box, type geo.gateway.messenger.live.com and choose Add. Then click Close, and OK in the remaining open options windows. If outlook.com is already open, sign out outlook.com and sign back in to see the change.
If you’re using another operating system, the How-To Geek has tutorials for both Ubuntu Linux and OS X (the Windows one is missing the fact you need to start Notepad in Administrator mode if you’re following this guide).
Additionally, you could use firewall software to block outgoing connects to this hosts. Unfortunately the built-in Windows firewall only supports IP addresses and since these can change, it isn’t too useful for the purposes of blocking this.
As modifying the hosts file requires administrator rights, this probably won’t be successful on machines you might use when you’re out and about. Of course, the best solution would be for Microsoft to add this feature into Outlook.com itself and in fact, the web messenger in Hotmail initially didn’t allow you to log out either but the feature was added later on. I certainly have no idea why is was deemed unimportant to be included in the current release of Outlook.com and it seems many of you agree with me.