Microsoft's instant messenger, which is currently called Windows Live Messenger, offers no option to directly save profile pictures to the local computer system. While it is possible to use a screen capturing software for that, it is a lot easier to use a program like MSN Images for the task.
The free software program offers options to browse through all contact profile pictures independently from Microsoft Messenger.
Profile pictures can be saved to the local hard drive. Why would someone want to use a program like MSN Images? The profile pictures can for instance be used in other programs, for instance email clients or voice over IP software.
MSN Images is a small and easy to use application that is able to display the pictures of your contacts from Windows Live Messenger.
You will be able to browse through all the pictures of your contacts and even save them on your computer.
The application may need to be run with administrative privileges, that was at least the case on the Windows 7 64-bit test system.
MSN Images furthermore requires the Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0. The download is offered at the Portuguese developer website.