Transferring Live Messenger Winks

Note: Applies to Windows Live Messenger 2011 running on Microsoft Windows 7; may also appy to other versions of Live Messenger and Microsoft Windows.

Microsoft's Windows Live Messenger stores Winks, which are are Flash-based animated files in C:\Users\Username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Messenger\email_address\ObjectStore\Winks3 where Username is the user's account name and email_address is the email address associated with the Live Messenger login account.

To see the location of the files, you first need to make the directory where they are stored visible, as it is normally hidden. To make the directory visible, take these steps . Then navigate to C:\Users\Username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Messenger\email_address\ObjectStore\Winks3, where Username is the username for the user on the computer from which the user is logging into Live Messenger and email_address is the email address the user is using for Live Messenger, e.g., C:\Users\Jane\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Messenger\\ObjectStore\Winks3.

Note: the equivalent location on a Windows XP system would be C:\Users\Jane\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Messenger\\ObjectStore\Winks3.

In the directory you will see files with .id2, .dt2, and .png extensions. The .png file is the image. The other two are binary files associated with each image. E.g., here are three files associated with the "Sleepy" wink.

Live Messenger sleepy wink


If you opened the .dt2 file in Notepad or another text editor, you would see a lot of what would likely be incomprehensible binary data, but you would see also see the text sleepy.png and sleepy.swf.

To transfer the winks from one system to another, you need to copy the contents of a user's winks directory on the source system to the relevant winks directory on the destination computer.

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Created: December 28, 2011