Disable/Uninstall Windows Messenger in Windows XP

Windows Messenger (Msnmsgr.exe) is an instant messaging client, which is included by default with Windows XP. It is a different product than MSN Messenger, as Windows Messenger includes tight integration with Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Outlook Express, and the Remote Assistance feature, but both clients can connect to the MSN network. Now the Windows Messenger and MSN Messenger applications have been replaced by a single product called Windows Live Messenger.

With Service Pack 1 it should be possible to remove Windows Messenger from Windows XP using Add/Remove programs in the Control Panel.

If this is not the case then there are different ways to handle it.
  • One can uninstall messenger by modifying the SYSOC.INF file, which will allow one to remove it through Add/Remove Programs in the Control Panel :

    See all Windows Components in Add/Remove for Win2k/WinXP

  • One can also uninstall messenger by running this command :

    rundll32 advpack.dll,LaunchINFSection %windir%\INF\msmsgs.inf,BLC.Remove

  • Windows Messenger can get into a conflict with MSN Messenger, where Windows Messenger tries to install it self every time using MSN Messenger. Repair this by running the following command and then Re-Install Windows Messenger.

    msiexec /x {A433AE09-2126-4dad-9CBD-C1B05DC42787}

  • One can stop messenger from starting with Outlook Express, by setting this DWORD registry value :

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \Software \Microsoft \Outlook Express]
    Hide Messenger = 2

  • One can avoid slow start of Outlook Express after disabling/uninstalling Messenger, by turning off Messenger Support in the Outlook Express menu :

    Tools -> Options -> General Tab -> Messenger Support

  • One can avoid slow start of Outlook after disabling/uninstalling Messenger, by turning off Messenger Support in the Outlook menu :

    Tools -> Options -> Other -> Messenger Support

  • One can avoid slow access to hotmail when having disabled/uninstalled messenger, by renaming this registry key :

    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT \Messenger.MsgrObject]

    To :

    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT \Messenger.MsgrObject-Old]

  • One can stop Messenger 4.5+ from starting, by setting these DWORD registry values :

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \Software \Policies \Microsoft \Messenger \Client]
    PreventRun = 1
    PreventAutoRun = 1

  • One can stop messenger from showing balloontip about creating a Passport account, by setting this BINARY registry value :

    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER \Software \Microsoft \MessengerService]
    PassportBalloon = 0A 00 00 00

    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER \Software \Microsoft \Windows \CurrentVersion \Internet Settings \Passport]
    "RegistrationCompleted"=dword:00000001

  • Disable the popup about messenger is still running when closing it with this BINARY registry value:

    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER \Software \Microsoft \MessengerService]
    DSBkgndMode = 01 00 00 00

More Info MS KB278887
More Info MS KB302089
More Info MS KB327390
More Info MS KB330117

Credits kellys-korner-xp.com

Updated: 26 May 2009

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