When you use Windows Live Messenger in Windows 7, you noticed that when you run it, and then minimize or close it, it does not go to Windows System Tray as it used to be in Windows XP or Vista.
I know this is new Windows, but some things can still irritate and this is definitely one of those things. I simply hate to see Windows Live Messenger mixed with my other applications that are running at the moment or that are pinned down to the new Windows 7 taskbar.
If this irritates you as well and you would like Windows Live Messenger to go directly to System Tray when you minimize it, here’s a simple how-to for you.
To accomplish this little tweak, we are going to use the Compatibility Mode feature which will trick the Windows Live Messenger into using the old behavior that it used for previous versions of Windows like Vista or XP.
Here’s step-by-step how to make Windows Live Messenger to go directly to system tray:
1. Close the Windows Live Messenger completely.
2. Go to Start Menu and locate the program. In this case you can find it by going – Start – All Programs – Windows Live – Windows Live Messenger.
3. Right-click on it and select Properties.
4. Under the ‘Compatibility’ tab check the box that says ’Run this program in compatibility mode‘ (see the image below)
5. In the drop-down menu, choose ‘Windows Vista‘, and finally click Apply. This is the key step that tricks Windows Live Messenger into using the behavior of Windows Vista instead of the new Windows 7 mechanism that we don’t like.
That’s it! Now when you start Windows Live Messenger after applying these steps above, it will still display itself in the taskbar like it did before, BUT, now when you close it by clicking the ‘X‘ in the top right corner, you’ll see that your System Tray will now be complete with a little blueish green man. Yes, that’s the result we wanted.
Now your Messenger will display an icon in system tray when you close it and it will be ready for using whenever you need it. And the best of all – it won’t interfere with your other running applications and pinned down icons on the taskbar. Which means less clutter and more enjoyable experience! So… Enjoy!
And if you would like to know some more tweaks that can help you with Windows 7, read 70 Fantastic Windows 7 Tips & Tricks For Better Functionality.