Windows Live Messenger: Unable to Connect Error 80040200 Fix

By Peter Bromberg

This is from a blog post of mine that has been so popular I want to publish it here. "Unable to Connect" is a common Windows Live Messenger error.

The fix:

1.) Close Messenger. Go into Task Manager and ensure that the “msnmsgr.exe” process is not there. If it is, kill the process.

2.) Navigate to C:\Users\<YourUserName>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Live Contacts and delete the entire contents of the folder.

3.) Restart Windows Live Messenger. Voila!

There is another issue I found where the standalone installer for Messenger fails with a message like “could not open key…”. One fix for this is to navigate to the C:\Program Files\Windows Live\Messenger folder and DELETE the msnmsgr.exe executable if it is there.

The new "Windows Live Installer" creates problems for many users. Often it will try to install selected programs, get to the very end, and then proceed to "Roll back" everything.

The worst part is that the wlsetup-all.exe, which has all the installation files, cannot be uncompressed, unpacked or extracted into a separate .MSI installer for each individual software.  

Here is how to get the "Standalone" after you have run Windows Live Installer:

Open Windows Explorer, and set it to Show hidden files and folders and show protected operating system files (uncheck the tick for Hide protected operating system files) in the View tab of Folder Options.

Browse to \Program Files\Common Files\Windows Live\.cache\ folder.

Search the subfolders for "Messenger.msi". There may be several, you want the latest one.

You can now copy this to a convenient location, and install Messenger with it.  You may also need to find and install "Contacts.msi" to avoid errors.

Windows Live Messenger: Unable to Connect Error 80040200 Fix  (4313 Views)