View Full Version : FAQ #71 - How do I remove or disable Windows Messenger in Windows XP?

14-10-2004, 04:24 PM
FAQ #71 - How do I remove or disable Windows Messenger in Windows XP?

Originally written by Babe Ruth

This problem was fixed with the issue of the Win XP SP1 but for those who have not (or will not) install SP1 or SP2 the following procedures will remove or disable Windows Messenger in Windows XP.

If you have Windows XP and you have installed Service Pack 1, you can remove MS Messenger (among other MS programs) completely from your XP system using Control Panel | Add or Remove Programs | Add/Remove Windows Components.

Option 1:

Windows Messenger comes as part of WinXP but if you do not use this feature and wish to completely remove it from WinXp Home or Professional then do the following:
(Note: The inf directory is a 'special' system directory; make sure you have enabled your explorer folder view options appropriately.)

Open the file %SystemRoot%\inf\sysoc.inf

Where the system environment variable %SystemRoot% will point to something like C:\Windows or C:\Winnt or wherever WinXP was installed / upgraded. The actual harddrive is pointed to by the system
environment variable %SystemDrive%

The %SystemRoot% and %SystemDrive% system variables can be seen by going to a CMD prompt and typing SET | MORE

e.g. Open C:\WINDOWS\inf\sysoc.inf in NOTEPAD and change the line:


Save and Exit from Notepad.

You can then go into Control Panel | Add or Remove Programs and then use Add/Remove Windows Components to remove Messenger. BTW If you are the more adventurous type then remove the word "HIDE"
from each (all) of the lines in SYSOC.INF. Now have a look in Add/Remove Windows Components section.

Option 2:

Remove the Windows Messenger installation procedure:
Click Start | Run and cut and paste the following in the dialogue box.
rundll32 setupapi,InstallHinfSection BLC.Remove
128 %SystemRoot%\INF\msmsgs.inf Click OK

Option 3:

If you just want to disable Messenger (as you might want it back again) there are four things to do.

Start Messenger and click Tools | Options | Preferences
(i) Uncheck the item for “Run this Program when Windows starts”
(ii) Uncheck the item for “Allow this program to run in the background”

Start Outlook Express and click Tools | Options.
(iii) Uncheck run Messenger at start-up. Disable or don't open the 'Contacts' pane in Internet Explorer
(iv) Go to the View menu, "Customize Toolbar", uncheck 'Contacts Bar'

Option 4:

If you have WinXP Professional.

Click START | RUN and type gpedit.mscand click OK

Open Local Computer Policy | User Configuration | Administrative Templates | Windows Components |
Windows Messenger and double-click the ''Do not allow Windows Messenger to be run''

• This setting allows you to disable Windows Messenger.
• If you enable this setting, Windows Messenger will not run.
• If you disable or do not configure this setting, Windows Messenger can be used.
• If you enable this setting, Remote Assistance also cannot use Windows Messenger.
• This setting is available under both Computer Configuration and User Configuration. If both are present, the Computer Configuration version of this setting takes precedence.

Option 5:

Click START | Run and type RunDll32 advpack.dll,LaunchINFSection %windir%\INF\msmsgs.inf,BLC.Remove and click OK
-- contributed by mashimaro

Option 6:

There is a removal tool for Win XP MSN Messenger available here (http://www.pchelplive.com/modules.php?name=Downloads).
-- contributed by Jim B

Original FAQ available from here (http://pressf1.pcworld.co.nz/thread.jsp?forum=1&thread=21837&message=58803&q=windows+messenger#58803).