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  1. #1
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    Re: The Definitive Guide to Disable/Remove Messenger

    Mark, thanks for this. A couple of notes. The Messenger Service is scheduled to be disabled by default InfoWorld Oct 28 '03 as part of Service Pack 2 for XP, but it's on by default now, as you describe.

    Then, as definitive as this is, you don't describe the method I use, which does the job and may be a little easier for those squemish about messing with the inner workings, and has the advantage of being very easy to change back:

    1. In Windows Explorer navigate to ...Program Files (where Windows installed the Program Files, on most home systems C:Program Files)
    2. Find the "Messenger" folder (no quotes)
    3. Right click on the folder and choose Rename
    4. Rename the folder "MessengerOld" or some such
    5. Windows will issue a warning. Choose to proceed

    The renamed folder will disable Windows Messenger from loading. It may, as you also suggest, increase some loading times as programs that use it (Outlook Express, for one) look and fail to find it. If you decide to start using Windows Messenger, just rename the folder back to "Messenger".

    Thanks for taking the time on this. I heartily support any and all efforts to build a "Definitive Guide" series!!!

    kip

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    Re: The Definitive Guide to Disable/Remove Messenger

    Many thanks for this. These kinds of review posts are just excellent references with between the lines info that's hard to cull and decide what to keep and not to keep as a guide. Kip thanks for added info.

    SMBP

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    Re: The Definitive Guide to Disable/Remove Messenger

    Mark, A couple of points. Windows Messenger & MSN Messenger are not the same product. Both can exist on an XP system. Only MSN Messenger can be downloaded now at the MSN site. You must d/l Windows Messenger from the WinXP site. MSN Messenger can be uninstalled as any other normally installed applicaton. It is list in add/remove programs in the control panel. Thanks for pulling all the info together.

    Joe
    Joe

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    Re: The Definitive Guide to Disable/Remove Messenger

    Priceless! Thanks.

  5. #5
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    Re: The Definitive Guide to Disable/Remove Messenger

    I went through option 2 (I have XP Home) and went to the Add/Remove, and there was no mention of Windows Messenger. Do you need to reboot in order to have it come up on the list?

  6. #6
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    Re: The Definitive Guide to Disable/Remove Messeng

    If you followed the steps in number two, it should appear under the Optional Components list in Add/Remove Programs. I have heard of some instances where this is not the case, though, for reasons I can only guess at.

    The short answer is no, you do not need to reboot, if the process was successful, all you should need to do is open Add/Remove and then click on Optional Components.
    -Mark

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    Re: The Definitive Guide to Disable/Remove Messeng

    Dave, that's true - but it will also put in an appearance in Windows XP if the steps are followed properly. This occurs because Windows XP ships with a base version of .NET Messenger, and many of the items in the Optional Components list are hidden from view by default.

    The thin excuse that I've heard bandied about is because it was intended for a scripted installation by system admins, but I think we all know that's a load of bull <img src=/w3timages/censored.gif alt=censored border=0>. With the army of programmers in Redmond and the fact that XP is targeted both at home and business users alike, that excuse doesn't hold much water. If system admins wanted it, they would put it in their install script and include it; not the other way around. <img src=/S/sneaky.gif border=0 alt=sneaky width=15 height=15>
    -Mark

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    Re: The Definitive Guide to Disable/Remove Messenger

    I think it will appear in the add and remove ONLY if youe are using the olders OS's and upgraded to IE 6.0 or added the newer version of messenger to the older OS's.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

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    Re: The Definitive Guide to Disable/Remove Messeng

    Mark you are so on the mark. I agree with you.

    I do not use Messenger very much, but I have all of the options turned off and I do NOT have any problems with it.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  10. #10
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    The Definitive Guide to Disable/Remove Messenger

    This topic has come up many times in the Lounge, so I decided to put all of the answers together in one cohesive post. If you have any additions or corrections, please let me know and I will revise!

    Microsoft has force fed a component named, alternately, "Windows Messenger," "MSN Messenger," or ".NET Messenger" to Windows users the world over. Further complicating this is the fact that there is also a service (what's a service?) in Windows NT, 2000 and XP named...you guessed it, Messenger.

    The first is an instant messenger client that ships with Windows XP, and is available for free download from http://messenger.msn.com. The latter, which has only one name, comes as a service on Windows NT based products and is enabled by default. Its purpose is to provide message services for networked computers, for which Windows NT was originally designed (although XP is a descendant of this operating system, its focus is now consumers AND businesses). Worse still, the messenger service has recently been exploited as a new way of spamming users because it is always on, and provides a means of popping up text messages on a users' screen.

    Now that you know the difference between the messengers, let us move on to removing, or at the very least disabling them. The method may vary depending upon your operating system. Where the steps are applicable to a specific operating system, I have noted it in small italics. Most of these apply to Windows XP, since it is the first operating system to bundle this annoying creature.

    A few final notes before continuing on:

    Outlook XP and later will occasionally exhibit slow startup behaviour if Messenger is removed and the integration with Outlook has not been turned off. This can be turned off in Outlook by clicking on Tools - Options and then clicking on the Other tab. Clear the checkbox next to "Enable Instant Messaging in Microsoft Outlook". Internet Explorer will also call up Messenger when you visit the Hotmail website, and you cannot exit Messenger once it has been started until you close all instances of Internet Explorer that may be running.

    <big>Method #1: Disable The Instant Messenger Client With a Group Policy</big>
    This method will ONLY work with Windows XP Pro, as Home does not provide the Group Policy Editor!
    <UL><LI>Click on Start - Run
    <LI>Enter GPEDIT.MSC
    <LI>Drill down by clicking on the plus signs under Computer Configuration:
    Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Windows Messenger
    <LI>There are two options on the right hand side of the window when you click on the Windows Messenger entry:
    <UL><LI>Do not allow Windows Messenger to be run
    <LI>Do not automatically start Windows Messenger initially[/list]<LI>Select the first to disable Messenger. Select the second to allow the program to run when it is called by Outlook XP/2003 or Internet Explorer.[/list]<big>Method #2: Remove The Instant Messenger Client Using Windows' Add/Remove Feature</big>
    Windows XP Home and Pro Only. The Instant Messenger client does not appear in the list of Windows components, and this trick will make it show up for easy removal.
    <UL><LI>Locate SYSOC.INF in the WindowsINF folder. This is a hidden file (and folder), so you may need to enable viewing of hidden files in Windows Explorer. Alternately, you can click on the empty part of the taskbar (just to the left of the clock is good) and press *F3*. This will invoke the Search window. Tell it to look for SYSOC.INF (which usually hides in C:WINDOWSINF) and make sure you are searching the drive where Windows lives.
    <UL>To view hidden files:
    <LI>Open Windows Explorer (Start - Run - explorer)
    <LI>Click on Tools
    <LI>Click on Folder Options
    <LI>Click on the View tab at the top
    <LI>Under the entry for Hidden Files and Folders select the radio button that reads Show hidden files and folders[/list]<LI>Open SYSOC.INF in Notepad or the text editor of your choice, and locate the following line:
    <pre>msmsgs=msgrocm.dll,OcEntry,msmsgs.inf,hide, 7</pre>

    <LI>Modify the line to read as follows:
    <pre>msmsgs=msgrocm.dll,OcEntry,msmsgs.inf,,7</pre>

    NOTE: You must keep the double comma before the number seven!
    <LI>Save the file.
    <LI>Open the Add/Remove Programs applet in the Control Panel.
    <LI>Click on Add or Remove Windows Components
    <LI>Locate the line near the bottom that reads Windows Messenger and clear the check box.
    <LI>Click Next at the bottom of the dialog box and then click Finish when the process completes.[/list]<big>Method #3: Completely Remove The Instant Messenger Client With a Run Command</big>
    This will completely remove Messenger from any version of Windows. On other versions of Windows, however, there will be an entry in the Add/Remove section of the Control Panel, so this is usually unnecessary. Also, the only way to get it back after this is to download and reinstall it!
    <UL><LI>Click on Start - Run
    <LI>In the Run box, enter (or paste) the following line:
    <pre>RunDll32 advpack.dll,LaunchINFSection %windir%INFmsmsgs.inf,BLC.Remove</pre>

    <LI>Click OK
    <LI>If you see a dialog box prompting you to exit Messenger, do so, and then click OK.
    <LI>When the uninstall is complete, you will see a second dialog confirming that it has been removed. Click OK again.[/list]
    <hr><hr>
    <big>Disable the Windows Messenger service</big>
    This applies to Windows NT, 2000, and XP (Pro and Home). This is not the instant messaging client!
    <UL><LI>Click on Start - Run
    <LI>Enter services.msc (In NT4, you will need to access services directly from the Control Panel)
    <LI>Locate messenger in the list of services. Double-click on the entry.
    <LI>Change the Startup Type to Disabled and Stop the service.
    <LI>Click on OK to exit the dialog.

    Windows NT users should note that the Services applet looks completely different than in Windows 2000 and XP, but the steps are nearly identical.[/list]If you are concerned that this will cause problems, take heart. It is rarely used for benign purposes, and if you are logging into a corporate domain, the corporate policy will override whatever change you make here.
    -Mark

  11. #11
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    Re: The Definitive Guide to Disable/Remove Messenger

    Mark, this is great, thanks! I absolutely hate this 'service' and had found and disabled/removed all but one of the ways you list already - now I know I've got them all!

    Just one thing to make life a bit easier - in Method #2 you don't have to go off and switch on 'View hidden files and folders'; whilst in the Search just click on Advanced options. One of these is to include hidden files and folders, and (on my machine anyway!) with this ticked it finds them whether you see them normally or not.

    <img src=/S/cheers.gif border=0 alt=cheers width=30 height=16>
    Beryl M


  12. #12
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    Re: The Definitive Guide to Disable/Remove Messeng

    Thank you, Beryl. <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>

    I outlined the View hidden files and folders option for consistency, since the search dialog can appear differently on different systems. This was one method I could be sure would work without raising further questions.
    -Mark

  13. #13
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    Re: The Definitive Guide to Disable/Remove Messeng

    Dave
    I found that even with all the options deselected as per your screenshot, others could see whether or not I was online. Logical - No. Fact - Yes.
    Nothing was showing in the System Tray (XP) but contacts could see me coming online. With MSN Messenger, there is an additional option and that allows me that extra bit of control over whether I choose to be seen online.
    PeterG

  14. #14
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    Re: The Definitive Guide to Disable/Remove Messenger

    There is one significant advantage of MSN Messenger over Windows Messenger that I have found and that has not appeared in this thread.

    Some time ago I had not signed in to Windows Messenger and had deselected the automatic log in options shown elsewhere in this thread. Notwithstanding that, the main contact I use this service for could always whether or not I was online! I had no control over that other than to sign in and then show myself as not online, which would be truly perverse.

    MSN Messenger has slightly different options but with these my main contact has not seen me showing online unless I had chosen to sign in.

    The latter is, to my mind, how it should be. If I sign in, people can see me as signed in, if I don't sign in, they cannot me as signed in. Why can't Windows Messenger figure that out?

    PeterG

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    Re: The Definitive Guide to Disable/Remove Messenger

    Hi Peter,

    I know this rather belongs to the Software forum, but alternately you could try the <img src=/S/free.gif border=0 alt=free width=30 height=15>, all-in-one Trillian client, which is compatible with MSN, ICQ, AIM, Yahoo! and IRC (Internet Relay Chat? Truly I don't know what this means here). The only drawback is some smileys won't be displayed as such and instead you'll see a weird string of characters (although it does support many smileys). I believe there's been a MSN release lately that enables one to play some games online. I don't know if Cerulean Studios have updated Trillian for compatibility but I won't bother checking for that either <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>.
    <img src=/w3timages/blue3line.gif width=33% height=2>
    <img src=/S/flags/Argentina.gif border=0 alt=Argentina width=30 height=18> <big><font color=4682b4><font face="Comic Sans MS">Diegol</font face=comic></font color=4682b4> </big>

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