Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Windows Live Messenger Issues with Add Contacts

Over the last few days, some people have encountered an issue with Windows Live Messenger where they are unable to properly Add Contacts to their contact list.

You would be able to goto the Add Contacts area of Windows Live Messenger, and fill in the appropriate Windows Live ID contact and then see the added contact in the Contacts list; however, when you open the Conversation Window, you'd see a prompt similar to below where you are told to click on a link within the Information bar to add the contact to your Contact List.

The problem is that you try clicking that link, absolutely nothing happens!

I contacted Jonathan Kay, a Windows Live Messenger MVP, who is the best source of Messenger-related issues that I know of, about this issue and he said it unfortunately has been an issue that has been plaguing a lot of Windows Live Messenger users lately. Apparently, he believes that something has run amuck in the contact store that Windows Live Messenger uses.

Fortunately, being the resource that he is, he had a solution to fix this issue.

  1. Shut down Messenger entirely by right-clicking on its icon in the system notification area and choose 'Exit'
  2. Download and run the following .reg file - http://messenger.jonathankay.com/downloads/remove_wlmpolicies.reg
  3. Sign back into the Messenger network.

It may take 30-40 seconds after signing in before you see any changes.

What does this fix do? It basically compels Windows Live Messenger to rebuild your contact store. For those of you who don't want to run the above .reg file, you can achieve the same result by deleting the Policies key under the following Registry branch HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\MSNMessenger\ (make sure you close Windows Live Messenger first, prior to deleting the key).

Unfortunately, this is the kind of issue that you that you are suffering from until you actually try adding someone, but hopefully, this information will prove useful if you do run into this issue.

Many thanks to Jonathan for helping me out with this issue.

Update: November 15, 2006 - If you are having problems signing into the Windows Live Messenger network, or you are having issues seeing your contact list, the abovementioned fix can resolve some of the causes of those issues as well. If you are having trouble with signing in, or your contact list is missing, try the above fix. Even if it doesn't work, no harm will come from deleting the key, as it will be re-populated as/when necessary.


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37 comments:

gr0x0rd said...

Thanks for this Jason! I googled the problem and your solution was the first link. Looks like the problem is fixed now, thanks for the reg file and detailed info on the problem. Keep your stick on the ice!

Anonymous said...

THANK YOUUU this fixed my problem!!!

Anonymous said...

how come when someone adds me it doesnt show though??

Anonymous said...

my problem was solved by your solution, thanks.

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot this had been happening for a month or more...lol..I didn't know where to get help!Fixed and people are able to contact me...yippee!!..dw

Caifan said...

Thanks for this info!

Anonymous said...

Man thanks alot..I'm glad some people on the internet acctually try to help you out rather than fuck you always..Any clue as to if it will always work now when I add someone?

Jason said...

Once it is fixed, it should stay fixed (unless the same event that caused it to 'break' happens again).

Anonymous said...

hey...thanks for your help...was a pain in the butt...fixed my problem.
enjoy the weekend.

Anonymous said...

Excellent... you fixed my mind boggling problem. I kept seeing this "not in my contact list" with just one ID which worked fine on other PCs.

Navigated to the profile key and just deleted the value in there, restarted MSN and a minute later the problem was gone.

Good job ;-)

Anonymous said...

Another big thank you! This resolved a problem that caused me hours of frustration. (Of course, now the productivity hit from wasting time trying to fix the problem has been replaced with the productivity hit of my contacts popping up and distracting me, but at least it's less frustrating ;-).)

Dave said...

wow, so much thanks...my urge to kill the live messenger time was definitely rising. WTF are they thinking not having a fix for this?

terrible.

Kathryn said...

Thanks so much for your blog which fixed the problem. Would i work to save this file and run it in the furute if or when i have further problems???
Thanks again, i reeeeaaaly appreciate it :)

Anonymous said...

Brilliant Jason, it worked, and I can honestly say it wasn't user error this time :). thanks so much!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this solutions... My Messenger is working fine now... again, THANKS A LOT...

Anonymous said...

Awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! totally cool

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much!! Worked perfectly!

Anonymous said...

mate ur a legend...thanks for that

Shilin said...

Thank you very much for sharing the solution!

Anonymous said...

Whoa dude! All my messenger contacts and info were deleted. Your solution solved my problem and now it's fully functioning again. Thanks for helping us out!

Anonymous said...

Hello, I have the same problem, but there is no policy or policies entry under the mentioned registry key. :( Please help.

Anonymous said...

Super! It worked. Thanks a million Jason! xx

Anonymous said...

tried this on own and two other troubled souls machines - ran beautifully but did'nt solve the problem for us. Anyone any other ideas as it makes Windows Live Messenger pretty useless.

Anonymous said...

didn't work for me either, I even tried clearing my local settings/app.../micro.../windows live contacts

and clearing more reg keys...

even tried clearing all of them, uninstalling (in different orders) and none of that worked.

I'm b0rked and windows live messenger seems to b0rk up sometimes... works fine on my notebook though. Brilliant isn't it. Anyone got any other ideas? I would be REALLY grateful. Thank you, ciao.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this, it solved my problem instantly!!! :D

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the step by step problem fix blog Jason, the only thing is that the reg. link do not work anymore, when I try to access it, it kept on saying that the file has been removed?!

Jason Tsang said...

As of June 15, 2007, the file is still there...

Anonymous said...

thank u sooo much!!! wanted to talk to this girl but deleated her like an idiot after gettin pissed then cudnt add her. working now :D. thnx again

Vee said...

Thanks Jason! I was getting so annoyed after trying time and time again to add this one friend. She could easily add me, but Windows just did not want to cooperate for me! Now it runs perfectly.

NanBerOne said...

Big thanks!!

Anonymous said...

This did nothing for me...I tried with both the file, and following the links...on two different computers. I am basically finding that I can't add anyone these days, but they can all add me. Any hints?

Anonymous said...

Hi - thanks for this. NOW am having problem with friend in Middle East (where they can get Windows Live Messenger). He seems unable to verify I am a 'friend' and I can not send him any messages. Any ideas? I need also explain to him in simple English!
Quite a challenge!!

Anonymous said...

believe! its 2009... the post is from 2006... AND IT STILL WORKS!!! Tks for you JASON... it solved my problem!!!


and MSN staff(not all of you), you guys suck!

Guy said...

Thanks allot man, but this did not fix my problem.
I did as the article said, but nothing changes. This is what happened.
I exported the contact list from my old msn account. I then imported it to the new address. Some of the contacts don't appear in my list, but can speak to me. A friend of mine had the same problem, but he changed back to the old msn. Really don't know what to do. Please reply.

Bouncy64 said...

As well I have followed all the tips that were suggested, and unfortunatly, was unable to add a contact to my windows live messenger, in the past it always worked, but as of late for what ever reason, this cannot be accomplished, the messenger has bee updated to the latest update, tried deleting the contact list by both means suggested, and no soution, a couple friends of mine have tried the exact same things with no reselution, so is there any further suggestions ????

Anonymous said...

3 years... And the problem still occurs?!?

Oh and it's not just limited to Windows Live Messenger btw. I've tried ebuddy, and a few other clients. Even if I add some people they don't get my add contact request.

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