Windows Live Messenger shutting down

Windows Live Messenger will soon cease to exist. You can use Skype and keep your contacts. Also, some Windows 8 users have experienced a problem with Windows Live Photo Gallery. But…there is a simple fix.

Fix the Windows Live Photo Gallery won’t open problem

Windows Live Photo Gallery is a program that lets you view and edit pictures. Generally it works so well that you might not even realize you’re using it. But once in awhile something goes haywire when you try to view or import photos Windows Live Photo Gallery in Windows 8. You might get an error message with the code 0x8007000b, or an error message like this:

"Documents.library-ms" is no longer working. This library can be safely deleted from your computer. Folders that have been included will not be affected.

That message is more informative, and it tells you how to fix the problem. Libraries are just a way of viewing the contents of certain folders. You can delete a library and the contents will remain. In this case:

  • Open Windows Explorer (not Internet Explorer --- that’s something else)
  • Right-click on the Pictures library
  • Click on Delete
  • Click on Yes
  • In the navigation pane on the left side, right-click on Libraries
  • Click on Restore Default Libraries

That will rebuild your Pictures library, and that should fix the problem with Windows Live Photo Gallery.

Say goodbye to Windows Live Messenger

If you’re using Windows Live Messenger to chat and/or video with friends, you need to know that Microsoft is ditching that program in favour of Skype, which was acquired by Microsoft a couple of years ago. Microsoft announced in February that they would discontinue the Windows Live Messenger service March 15, but after a few weeks of testing they decided to move the date out to April 8.

Sometime between now and the actual end date, when you sign into Windows Live Messenger you’ll be prompted to install Skype, migrate your contacts, and uninstall Windows Live Messenger. How you get this done depends upon whether you already have a Skype account.

If you already have Skype, make sure you have the most recent version. You will find it here: http://www.skype.com/en/download-skype/skype-for-computer/ or if you have Windows 8, download it here: http://www.skype.com/en/download-skype/skype-for-computer/. When you’re completely up to date, sign out of Skype. When you’re back on the Sign In screen, you’ll notice that you have a choice now to sign in with a Messenger, Hotmail, or Outlook.com account. Use the same name and password as you were using for Messenger. This is also called your Windows Live ID.

On the next screen you’ll be asked if you already have a Skype account. Click on the “I have a Skype account” button, and your old Messenger and current Skype account will be merged. You’ll retain any Skype credits and import your Messenger contacts.

If you do not already have a Skype account, I suggest you point your browser to this page and follow the instructions there: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-CA/messenger/home. There is a little more information here: http://www.skype.com/en/download-skype/skype-for-computer/windows-live-messenger/?cm_mmc=MSFT|LINK_B1-_-z71_MSP_WLM_P1_842x250_ROW.

Skype is completely free for the kind of IM chat you’re used to in Messenger. You don’t need to purchase any Skype credits or additional services to do that. It is also free to make voice calls to another person using Skype anywhere in the world. The same is true of video calls to other people using Skype. You do not need a webcam or microphone unless you want to use voice or video chat. There are additional features called Skype Premium that you can purchase, but you do not have to purchase anything for the services I’ve described here.

Here’s a quick orientation to Skype for Messenger users: https://support.skype.com/en/faq/FA12246/i-used-to-use-messenger-what-do-i-need-to-know-about-skype-for-windows-desktop. And here is a description of the (pay-for) Skype Premium services: http://www.skype.com/en/premium/?intcmp=CS-Upsell-NarrowRight.

Don’t forget to uninstall Messenger once you’ve got your accounts merged and your Skype set up!

Do you need help with your computer? I'm here to help you and your home or business computer get along!

Cate Eales runs Computer Care Kelowna (http://computercarekelowna.com/) a mobile service helping home users and businesses get along with their computers. To arrange an appointment phone her at 250-764-7043. Cate also welcomes your comments and suggestions. Send email to [email protected].

You can read previous columns here: http://rlis.com/column.htm . If you'd like to subscribe to this column by email, please visit this link: http://www.feedblitz.com/f/f.fbz?Sub=20618 . It's easy, and free. If you'd prefer the RSS Feed, click here: http://rlis.com/rlis.xml.

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About the Author

The Technology Shaman, Cate Eales, has been helping people make online computing safe, accessible, and fun for over 30 years.

Cate lives in Kelowna with her husband, Eric. She owns and operates Computer Care Kelowna, a mobile computer business providing on-site service for home and small business customers.

Cate is here to help you and your home or business computer get along.

E-mail Cate at [email protected] with comments, suggestions, or questions.

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