On this page, you'll find the answers to some of the frequently asked questions concerning Messenger Plus! skins. If you can't find the answer you're searching for on this page, please post a message in the skins section of the forum
How can I apply a skin to my Messenger?
Messenger Plus! skins are loaded in memory without modifying the original resource files of Messenger. What this means is that Messenger Plus! takes care of all the hard work for you. Here is what you need to know about installing skins:
- First, you need to make sure you have Windows Live Messenger and Messenger Plus! installed (the latest public versions are always recommended).
- Then, find a skin you like in the Skins Database and press download.
- Open the file you just downloaded, make sure Enable this skin after import is enabled, and press Import. If the enable option is not available, the skin is not compatible with your version of Messenger.
- Once Messenger has been restarted, the skin is loaded and ready to be enjoyed :-).
Are Messenger Plus! skins safe?
Skin packs are in fact ZIP files with images, text and XML files compressed inside them. Messenger Plus! allows skins to change the way Messenger looks but does not normally allow skins to execute extra code. Because of this, Plus! skins are very safe, much safer than regular skins which used to be popular in the old MSN Messenger days. In addition to that, all the skins we add in the official database are carefully tested. You can download skins from this site without ever worrying about the consequences.
I installed a skin but I don't see any changes, why?
Skins change how your Messenger looks. Which parts are changed vary from skin to skin but in general, your contact list and conversation windows should be the first things you notice to be different. However, keep in mind that most skins are designed for specific versions of Messenger. If the skin you downloaded does not support the version of Messenger you're currently using, the skin will do nothing.
Follow these instructions if you don't see any change after installing a skin:
- Click on the Plus! logo in your contact list and select the Messenger Skin menu.
- The name of the skin you installed should be visible in the submenu, displayed with a checkmark in front of it.
- If you don't see the name of the skin you installed, click Select a Different Skin to open the Preferences panel.
- Skins that show up in the list with a grey color are not compatible with your Messenger version, you can read more about this below.
- Double-click on the skin you want to use in the list of installed skins, press OK and restart Messenger.
- If you can't find your skin in the list, follow the instructions above in How can I apply a skin to my Messenger?
Why is it that some skins do not work with my Messenger version?
Skins change the look of Messenger, but Messenger itself changes its own interface in almost every new major releases. When Microsoft makes changes to their software, some internal data is changed and skins need to be updated accordingly. We provide compatibility information on the details page of every skin in the official database, check if your Messenger version is listed there before you download the skin.
Most skins are at least compatible with the latest public version of Windows Live Messenger. Not upgrading to a new Messenger version because you don't like how it looks is not an excuse anymore since the skin will take care of it :). Using beta versions of Messenger is not recommended as these versions are unstable, not supported by Microsoft and highly limit your choice of additional improvements. If a skin is not compatible with the latest public version of Windows Live Messenger, you can try to contact its creator and ask him/her to submit an updated version. You can also post about it in the forum.
The skin I installed is causing problems, how can I correct this?
All the skins listed in the official database are tested before they're added to the site. However, despite the verifications we perform, different combinations of Messenger versions, computer specifications and add-ons may cause several unexpected problems. In general, if a skin you installed does not work properly, all you have to do is select another skin (or the default Messenger look).
- Click on the Plus! logo in your contact list, choose Messenger skin and select Select a Different Skin.
- Select the skin that causes the problems (the skin you're currently using will have a checkmark in front of its name) and click Remove.
- Pick a new skin in the list, if desired, click OK and restart Messenger.
If, for some reasons, the skin you're currently using prevents you from accessing Messenger Plus!'s preferences or crashes Messenger, the Maintenance Wizard of Messenger Plus! will help you correct the situation.
- Open Windows' Control Panel (Start > Control Panel).
- Select "Add/Remove Programs" (Windows XP) or "Programs and Features" (Windows Vista).
- In the list of programs, double click on "Messenger Plus!".
- Choose "Repair Messenger", leave the first 2 options checked and click Next.
- Once the reparation is complete, restart Messenger. Your software will now be running with no skin loaded.
Whenever possible, please report problems you experienced with a skin you downloaded from this web site. The forum is always a good place to notify us of this kind of issue.