Personal Computer Fixes

How To Fix The 800401f3 Windows Live Messenger Error

Windows Live Messenger is an instant messaging system produced by Microsoft. Sometimes it can display a “800401f3” error. This error means that something is blocking its access to the internet, such as a firewall or a proxy server. It prevents use of the messenger service as it needs the internet to work. This problem can easily be resolved, just follow the steps below.

What Causes Error 800401f3?

This error typically shows itself like this:

Error 800401f3: The service is temporarily unavailable.

What this is suggesting is that it cannot find access to the internet. This is due to a number of reasons: making sure you have the correct login details; checking your internet connection; the installation beings corrupt or damaged; out of sync with the date and time or the MSMXL library is not registered. One, of a culmination, of these problems can contribute to the 800401f3 error. To prevent this, follow the steps below.

How To Fix Error 800401f3

Step 1 – Check You are Using the Correct Login Details

If the error message that is generated by this error is suggesting that your login details are incorrect, you should check you are entering them correctly. You can check this by going to and entering the username and password there. If logs in, then you should open up Windows Live Messenger and type in the username and password you just used. If it fails to log in, and you are sure you are entered the correct details, contact Microsoft or carry on to the next step

Step 2 – Check Your Internet Connection

Sometimes it can be something simple that prevents connection, such as the internet connection not working / plugged in. To find out whether the internet is working on your PC, the best solution is to open up your internet browser. If it displays the home page then your internet is working and you should test Windows Live Messenger again. If it isn’t, then you should either contact the network administrator and alert them of the problem or you should source the problem yourself. Make sure all the internet cables are plugged in and you have the correct internet settings as supplied by your ISP. If this did not work, carry on to the next step.

Step 3 – Reinstall Windows Live

After a while installations can become corrupt when files go missing or become damaged. The best way to solve this problem is to reinstall the whole program.

  1. Download the latest install package for Windows Live Messenger from the Microsoft website
  2. Whilst this is downloading, uninstall the old messenger and delete all instances of it from your PC (such as directories etc.)
  3. Once the file has been downloaded and you have successfully removed Windows Live Messenger, restart your PC
  4. Load up the install file that you downloaded before
  5. Follow the wizard to install the program

This should completely clear your system of any corrupt files relating to the Windows Live Messenger program and install a fresh copy with working files. You can now test it to see if it is working. If it isn’t, follow on to the next step.

Step 4 – Check The Date & Time Of Your PC

Having incorrect date or time settings on your PC could cause errors in Windows Live Messenger, such as the 800401f3 error. To correct these, double click on the time in the bottom right of the desktop which opens the “Date and Time Properties”. Make sure these are concordant with the actual time for your time zone.

Step 5 – Re-Register MSMXL Library

This particular DLL is used to send and receive data when you log in to Windows Live Messenger and is therefore a vital process. Sometimes it can lose its registration on the system. To re-register it:

  1. Click Start > Run
  2. Type “REGSVR32 MSXML3.dll”

This should register the file and you can now try to access Windows Live Messenger again. If this fails, carry on to the next step.

Step 6 – Clean Out The Registry

The ‘registry’ is one of the main causes of errors for Windows, because of the way it’s continually being used by your computer. This is a large database inside your PC which stores vital settings & options, allowing your system to save & recall various options. Every program on your PC needs to use settings from this database to help it run, but because so many of its files are opened at once, most computers end up getting confused about which ones it has open, leading your PC to save many of them in the wrong way. This then causes a multitude of problems with your programs, and is often the cause of the likes of the 800401f3 error. It’s highly recommended that you use a registry cleaner to repair any damaged settings inside this database, allowing your PC to run smoothly again.

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