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Dated: Aug. 13, 2004

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In this weeks article, we are going to discuss some of the annoying things that almost all people go through when they deal with thier PCs. One the most annoying things we've encountered is the appearing of Windows Messenger in our System Tray (Next To The PC Clock). Before removing Windows Messenger, lets discuss what exactly does Windows Messenger do in the first place.

What Is Windows Messenger?

Windows Messenger is a Swiss Army Knife sort of program: Instant messenger, video conferencer, file transferer, shared whiteboard, voice chat. It is built upon MSN Messenger, which has been available for some years, competing with other instant messaging products such as ICQ and AOL Instant Messenger. You’re free to use any instant messaging program you like on Windows XP, or any combination of programs.

What Windows Messenger Is Not?

Well it isn't anything to give up your rights over to. You paid for your computer. You paid for your operating system and other various softwares that go in it. It should be your decision if you want to keep or discard unusable software in your PC. There are many different competing programs like ICQ. Windows Messenger will not be available if your friends are off-line. This in our view one of the biggest drawbacks which ICQ makes up with quite a rigor. Plus, Windows Messenger is put into WindowsXP with the intent of not letting people uninstall it at thier discretion. The question is WHY?

Windows messenger

Removing Windows Messenger

Although Windows Messenger can be a good business tool, many systems administrators choose to remove it to prevent their staff from spending all day online talking to friends and colleagues.

Non-standard versions of Windows or MSN Messenger (version 5.0 or above) can usually be removed via the Add / Remove Programs applet within Control Panel. Once the non-standard version is removed, the Windows XP-native version (version 4.x) can be removed using the method outlined below.

Another reason for removing it is that our friends at Micro$oft for some reason purposely intended it to be nearly impossible for an average PC user to uninstall.

To Remove Windows Messenger From Windows XP:

Copy and paste the following to Run Command Bar in the Start Menu:

RunDll32 advpack.dll,LaunchINFSection %windir%\inf\msmsgs.inf,BLC.Remove

Please Note: You can also prevent access to Windows Messenger using Group Policy or the Set Program Access and Defaults utility added by default in Windows XP SP1 and Windows 2000 SP3.

New Edition: Sep. 20, 2003
First, we wanted to point out that one thing will lack from all Windows XPs after the removal of Windows Messenger. And that is Remote Assistance feature which by default is hooked up with Windows Messenger. The math is simple. No Windows Messenger, No Remote Assistance. But this brings up an even bigger discussion about security. Windows Messenger's remote assistance feature almost opens all doors and welcomes potential crackers to come try their malicious craft on your PC. Therefore, we recommend RealVNC as a replacement. You wont need to change your OS security to allow anyone in anymore. You can download a free copy of RealVNC server/client from . And please don't forget to give something/anything for their effort. They've done a wonderful job with their software.

Secondly, tons of people have been emailing us saying that the above removal technique isn't working on their system. So we've been refering our friends with an alternate way. Following is another way to have an easier removal of Windows Messenger:

  1. Click on Start

  2. Go to RUN and type:


  3. Change:




  4. Then use Add/Remove Windows Components to remove messenger.

Now that you've gotten free know-how on this topic, try to grow your skills even faster with online video training. Then finally, put these skills to the test and make a name for yourself by offering these skills to others by becoming a freelancer. There are literally 2000+ new projects that are posted every single freakin' day, no lie!

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gautam pancholi's Comment
requesting for free tutorial practise for advnace networking
30 Mon Aug 2010
Admin's Reply:

All in good time Gautam.

greg nichols's Comment
this makes it show but it will not allow me to uncheck the add/remove messager component to remove
21 Fri May 2010
Admin's Reply:

Did you try this in your run command yet:
RunDll32 advpack.dll,LaunchINFSection %windir%\inf\msmsgs.inf,BLC.Remove