Windows Live Messenger unable to connect with error code 80040200 – solution in Windows 7

Are you unable to log in to Windows Live Messenger and getting the error code 80040200 ? If so, you may wish to try the following which worked for me on Windows 7 (beta, build 7000) with Windows Live Messenger 2009 (final build 14.0.850.1202):

DISCLAIMER: make sure you have a backup of everything before proceeding, and use this information at your own risk and peril.

I based these instructions from the official Microsoft suggestions in the Windows Messenger blog article about error 8100030d and it worked for me. Your mileage may vary. Caveat emptor.

  1. Make sure you have a restoreable backup of everything on your system!
  2. Go to Start (the Windows Logo)
  3. Click on Computer
  4. On the Organize menu, click Folder and Search Options. Click the View tab. In the Advanced settings list, select Show hidden files and folders under Hidden Files and Folders.Clear the Hide extensions for known file types check box. Click OK to close the Folder Options window. This is so that you will see “hidden system folders” on the subsequent steps… Edit – added Dec 21, 2009Also, be sure that the option “Hidden files and folders” is checked to “Show hidden files, folders and drives” option.
  5. Navigate to your C: drive
  6. Go to C:\Users\Robin\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Live Contacts*important* replace “Robin” with your user name that you use on your machine… if you go to users from C:\ you should see it there.
  7. Delete the contents of the Windows Live Contacts folder
  8. Try restarting Windows Live Messenger. If it doesn’t work, try restarting Windows and then restarting WLM.

Again, this worked for me in Windows 7 Beta Build 7000 with the beta of Windows Live Messenger 2009 (14.0.850.1202) – a similar fix may work for you in Windows XP or Windows Vista.

Good luck!

Edit: this has incredibly become my most popular article ever, with dozens of comments and I appreciate that it’s helped out a few people. Some want to buy me a beer or other beverage… well, if ever you’re in Montreal, contact me (see top tab) or in the interim, a few bucks sent my way will go to a brunch with my boys :)

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