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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Remove Windows Messenger From Your Computer

If you had the misfortune of seeing large advertisments pop up out of nowhere when you first got your computer, it was probably caused by Windows Messenger (not the same as Windows Instant Messenger). Windows Messenger is often used by spammers to send unsolicited ads and can be a security vulnerability.

Since you will most likely never use Windows Messenger and given the security vulnerabilities associated with it, it's alright to just remove it altogether from your system. If you are uneasy about removing Windows Messenger, this page has a good explanation for how to disable it along with Windows Instant Messenger, which often runs silently in the background.

If you want to uninstall Windows Messenger, you might think about going directly to Add or Remove Programs, but Microsoft is tricky about allowing you to get rid of it. You have to:

1. Go to C:\WINDOWS\inf and open up sysoc.inf in Notepad.
2. Look for this line under [Components]: msmsgs=msgrocm.dll,OcEntry,msmsgs.inf,hide,7
3. Edit the "hide" out so you get this: msmsgs=msgrocm.dll,OcEntry,msmsgs.inf,7
4. Save the file and close Notepad.
5. Now, go to Start->Control Panel and open up Add or Remove Programs.
6. Select Add/Remove Windows Components and look for Windows Messenger.
7. Uncheck the box next to it, and click Next to remove it.


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Comment Archive

Reader Comments:

I think you should clarify that it can be used by spammers or by spyware, and might display ads, but only if your computer is already infected. I've never heard of it displaying pop-up ads by itself, and I've used it for years.

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