While designed to be helpful, the notifications you receive while signed into Windows Live Messenger can quickly get distracting, if not downright annoying. But Messenger lets you not only disable notifications altogether, but choose which ones you want to turn off. This tutorial explains how.
Stop the new email notification and other popups by Messenger
Open the main Windows Live Messenger window, and:
- If you are seeing a notification, click on the "gear" icon as shown below:
Otherwise, click on your name (top right corner), and choose "More options" at the bottom of the menu. Now select "Notifications" on the left of the Options dialog.
- That group of checkboxes, all checked by default, determine which alerts Messenger will display. They depend in part on the features you have enabled (social update notifications only work after you've connected your Facebook profile to Hotmail, for example).
- Here's a breakdown and explanations for each checkbox:
• "A favorite signs in to Messenger" - if you have added favorite contacts, you will see a notification when they login to their copy of Messenger.
• "Any friend signs in to Messenger" - by unchecking this checkbox but leaving the previous one checked, you'd limit notifications to favorite friends signing in only. That in itself will reduce the number of notifications you get if you have a lot of friends on Windows Live.
• The "I receive an IM" and "I receive a group IM" (at the bottom) are notifications you'll probably want to keep. If they are turned off, you will not know when someone starts chatting with you or includes you in a group chat unless you have the main Messenger window opened in front of you.
• Disabling "I receive email containing a social update" and "I receive email" can be quite distracting, especially based on the number of friends you have, their activity, the social groups to which you belong, etc. For more related info, see our Facebook Tutorial.
• We recommend that you keep the "I sign in to Messenger at more than one place" checkbox checked: this allows you to know when someone (hopefully you) signs into Messenger using your Live/Hotmail address and password.
Tip: if you see someone login to Windows Live Messenger with your credentials, and have not authorized it, see our Messenger Logout tutorial to learn how to "force sign out" everyone, and immediately change your Hotmail password. If a person knows your username and password, they can access not only Messenger, but your emails through Hotmail, your SkyDrive files, and any services that uses Hotmail for authentication.
- The "Manage notifications for social updates" and "Manage notifications for calendar and news" links will open a web browser window to your Windows Live profile, and allow you to configure settings that affect your entire Hotmail account, not just Messenger.
Once done, click on "OK" to save your new settings and close the Options dialog. These changes take effect immediately, but only affect that copy of Messenger: if you use Messenger from another PC (like your work computer), you will have to make the same changes in that Messenger's options as well.
Tutorial last updated on December 17, 2011
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