Speed Up Hotmail By Disabling Windows Live Messenger Autoload

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 1, 2010
Tutorials, Windows

One of the goals of the Windows Live Wave 4 release was to improve interaction between Windows Live components. One of these improvements is the better integration of Windows Live Messenger into web services such as Hotmail.

Windows users who open the Hotmail website in Microsoft's Internet Explorer will for instance notice that Windows Live Messenger is opened automatically. This can slow down the startup of Hotmail severely with some users reporting that Hotmail did not work at all.

The integration of Windows Live Messenger, or previous messenger variants like MSN Messenger, is not a new phenomenon. The problem that Hotmail users face is the same, how to disable or remove Windows Live Messenger from starting with Hotmail.

Messenger is only loaded in Internet Explorer if Hotmail is opened. Other web browsers are not loading the instant messenger. One easy option is therefor to use a different web browser to access Hotmail.

But that's not always possible. The integration of Windows Live is handled by add-ons. Disabling those add-ons ensures that Messenger is not loaded on Hotmail startup.

Here is how you stop Messenger from loading with Hotmail:

Open Internet Explorer and click on Tools > Manage Add-ons.

windows live messenger
windows live messenger

A new window opens that displays a list of installed - but not necessarily enabled - add-ons.

Locate the two add-ons Windows Live and Windows Live Sign-In Helper. Their status is enabled by default. To disable the two add-ons do the following.

Left-click the add-on and select the Disable button in the lower right corner of the window. This disables the add-on in Internet Explorer. You can also right-click an add-on and select Disable and even select both at once and disable them together.

disable windows live
disable windows live

Make sure the status reads disabled next to both Windows Live and Windows Live Sign-in Helper. Close the add-on manager.

Hotmail will now open without loading Windows Live Messenger as well, this should speed up startup quite a bit, especially on slower computer systems.


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  1. MikeP_UK said on November 2, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    But what about those of us using XP and Firefox? I use Hotmail.co.uk and have never used, not ever want to use, any such messaging system. How do I prevent Live Messenger making my system insecure by automatically starting and logging in without asking me first?

    1. ozzie said on December 13, 2012 at 8:00 am

      I have the same problem like you. If you figured it out, could you kindly let me know. Thanks in advance

  2. Spock said on February 1, 2011 at 11:01 am

    Sorry to tell you guys, but I guess the Microsoft people found a way round the “I don’t use IE issue”. I now have Messenger starting up when people check their Hotmail. And yes, they all have Mozilla Firefox 3.6 installed…

  3. arlenis said on July 1, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    un e-mail para mi plisssssssssss

  4. Lee Whittington said on July 1, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    To disable showing yahoo mail, open yahoo messenger, goto Alertas and Sounds, click I receive a message in yahoo mail, you will see the available options to unselect.. I just uncheck them all

  5. bf said on July 1, 2010 at 9:20 am

    Any help on how disable Yahoo Messenger from slowing Yahoo mail? I use Firefox but it probably loading on other browsers too.

    1. Martin said on July 1, 2010 at 9:26 am

      BF, I do not use Yahoo Messenger but it is likely that it is either a plugin in Firefox that is causing the loading of Yahoo Messenger or a background software / service in Windows. Have you checked the plugins in Firefox?

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