Force Windows Live Messenger 2009 Hotmail button to use IE

In the earlier versions of Windows Live Messenger, when you clicked on the Mail icon or button, Internet Explorer would automatically open up and log you into Hotmail, irrespective of your default browser.

However, beginning with Windows Live Messenger 2009, clicking this Mail button opens Hotmail in your default browser. If the browser is not Internet Explorer, it will not provide the automatic log-on into Hotmail.

MVP Jonathan Kay has created freeware Hotmail in IE, which will  allow you use your default browser in Windows and other applications, BUT use Internet Explorer for Messenger’s Hotmail features.

Hotmail in IE does not require installation. Just download the executable and run it directly.

hotmail in ie

To set Internet Explorer to open when you click the Mail button in Messenger, choose the Internet Explorer button.  Should you wish to set it back, choose Default Web Browser.  Once you have made your choice, choose Done and no further changes should be needed.

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.