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Travis, Mac-Trained Product Designer
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 759
Experience:  19+ Years of Mac Experience, BSA in Design and 6 Years of Mac Training from University of Cincinnati
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I am having a problem using MSN messenger. My messages go

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I am having a problem using MSN messenger. My messages go out and it shows they are typing a message but it doesn't show up on my screen.
If the following suggestions work, please let me know and you can Accept the answer (and if possible, leave positive feedback). If not, please DO NOT Accept the answer. Instead, let me know and we'll try some more things or I can refer you to another Expert who may be able to help you further.

First, there are a few questions I'd like you to answer so I can better help understand the problem.

1) What type of Mac (ie iMac, PowerBook, etc) and how old is it?

2) What is the Operating System (ie 9.2, 10.5.8, etc)? This info can be found in the apple menu, "About this Mac".

3) Has it ever worked or is this a new problem?

4) Have you recently installed anything new, updated the computer, upgraded OS or software?

5) Did you start noticing the problem after a specific event took place?

First of all, I would suggest you run some general maintenance on the computer. It is an obvious square-one approach. I normally suggest this first because it is good practice plus if we dig too deep into a problem and simple measures could have repaired it in the beginning we'll be kicking ourselves later... This is going to be a long email so I suggest printing it out for your reference.

First let's try a Safe Boot. This will perform several clean up procedures that may be affecting the machine's performance and startup.
1) Shut down your computer completely.
2) Start up the computer and immediately after the startup chime, press and hold the Shift key
3) Once the gray Apple and progress indicator appear, release the Shift key
4) Note: Startup will likely take substantially longer than normal
5) In Mac OS 10.4 or later, you will have to login to your account, even if it normally does so automatically.
6) Shut down the computer.

Now let's check / repair the disk permissions. Although this doesn't fix all problems it is a great way to start when working on a machine, besides it often cleans up any other smaller problems you may or may not be experiencing.
1) Restart the machine.
2) Before you have opened any programs, go to Applications / Utilities / Disk Utilities.
3) Run the Verify Permissions, then Repair any errors it finds.
4) Shut down the computer.
5) Restart and try MSN Messenger again. If the problem is still there, please let me know.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I did exactly what you said to do. After that I logged in to MSN messenger and sent an im to a friend but got no response. I sent him an email and asked him to im me so I could make sure it was working. He emailed back that he im'd me 3 times but I never got any of them.
I am going to answer the questions you posted but first let me say that my daughter shares the computer with me and she says it has never not worked for her. Apparently it's just me.

This is a Mac mini
4-5 years old
this is a new problem. I was using MSN messenger at least 4 times a week up until 3 weeks ago when I would hear the 'ping' but not see a im come up.
There have been no upgrades, updates or anything installed. In fact the last time we installed the upgrades sent by Apple the computer wouldn't open Safari and we had to take it in for service. This happened early this year.
A friend let me know 2 days ago that he had been sending im's and getting no response. That's when I realized that something was wrong.

Before we go any further, I would suggest you use a program like Carbon Copy Cloner ( to create a restorable backup of your Hard Drive to an External Hard Drive. This free program will make a mirrored copy of your hard drive in it's current state that you can go back to if things go south after the following changes. I do this personally before I perform any kind of install, update or major change to my system.

The next thing I would do is reinstall MSN Messenger. If the permissions repair did not work, this would be the next step.

Edited by Travis on 11/3/2009 at 5:09 AM EST
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I reinstalled Messenger and am having the same problem. Mine go out, it says they are typing a response and nothing comes across the screen. I don't understand why it works for my daughter when she chats with her friends but not for me. I actually called the Apple store here and there advise was to reinstall also. Any other advice?
I am assuming that your daughter is using the same computer. On a different user account? If so, then it is possible there is a problem with your user account.

I would suggest, before you go any further, you make sure you have a full backup of your Hard Drive. I mentioned Carbon Copy Cloner earlier.

Once you have a backup, then I'd suggest going to System Preferences / Accounts. Add a new Admin User. Once finished. Log out and then log in under this new user account. Load MSN Messenger and set it up for your identity.

Test MSN in this new user account. Let me know if it works now.
Travis and other Mac Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
We do use the same computer and my MSN account is mine alone. My daughter has no problems with using it with her friends but it flat out will not work for me. I am going to close that account and open a new one and see what happens. If it doesn't work I will try downloading Yahoo messenger again and hopefully it will work for me this time.