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To make myself invisible, I do the following:

  1. Open the "Messenger" app.
  2. Right-click.
  3. Select "Status".
  4. Choose "Invisible".

Alternatively, there are other apps (such as Skype) from which I can make myself invisible.

Is there a quick way to change my status without opening an app?

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Here are some, but not for the status... Windows Live Messenger - shortcutkeys.net/windows-live-messenger-keyboard-shortcuts and Skype shortcutkeys.net/skype-hotkeys-shortcuts-and-chat-commands – Davidenko Oct 31 '12 at 23:04
    
If you want multi protocol instant messenger client for Microsoft Windows try Miranda, it has shortcut keys for changing status, but doesn't have Skype protocol of course, but I am not sure if you'll like it. – Davidenko Oct 31 '12 at 23:10
    
@Davidenko: For now I'm trying to get used to the default applications. I may decide to use third party apps for core features in the future, but not yet. – Matthew Pirocchi Nov 1 '12 at 0:27
    
How can I change my status in Windows 8 without opening an app? … There are [multiple] apps from which I can make myself invisible. What does status have to do with Windows? Shouldn’t this be a per-program thing or does Windows itself have some sort of OS-level “status”? If the latter is the case, did Microsoft learn nothing from the anti-trust lawsuits? ಠ_ఠ – Synetech Dec 15 '13 at 1:17

The Windows 8 Metro interface is designed to operate using fullscreen apps that don't do a lot of background interface activity such as hotkeys.

For the particular IM system in question, such as AIM, if you use the official app, you will most likely have a System Tray icon that you can right-click and toggle visibility.

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I understand that apps are designed to work this way, but "status" doesn't seem to be tied to any particular app in Windows 8. Many apps used the same status. – Matthew Pirocchi Nov 2 '12 at 22:01

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