Remove MSN Messenger

Are you tired of seeing MSN Messenger pop up on your Windows XP system? As usual, in an effort to continue its course towards domination of everything, Microsoft has made it difficult to remove. But it is possible! The following method works in Windows XP Professional, but has not been tested on a system with SP1 installed. FYI, I’ve seen scripts that are similar to this, but fail miserably, automatically deleting other much-needed components! Better to do this slow and manually! As always, I am not responsible for the use or the misuse of this information; use at your own risk.

  1. Exit MSN Messenger by right-clicking the MSN icon in the notification area, and selecting Exit.
  2. Add the following registry entries, both with a DWORD value of 1:
      • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftwarePoliciesMicrosoftMessengerClientPreventRun
      • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftwarePoliciesMicrosoftMessengerClientPreventAutoRun
      1. Open a command prompt by clicking Start/Run, then typing “command” and clicking OK.
      2. Uninstall MSN Messenger by typing

        rundll32 advpack.dll,LaunchINFSection %systemRoot%INFmsmsgs.inf,BLC.Remove

      3. Uninstall the leftover installation information file by typing

        rundll32 setupapi,InstallHinfSection BLC.Remove 128 %systemRoot%INFmsmsgs.inf

      4. Allow MSN Messenger to be displayed in the Add/Remove Windows Components dialog in the future (if it pops up again!) by typing notepad.exe %systemRoot%INFsysoc.inf and deleting the word “hide” from the line that starts with “msmsgs=”. It MAY be possible to skip to this step directly and perform the uninstallation directly from the Add/Remove Windows Components dialog, but that method MAY leave unwanted components and has not been thoroughly tested.
      5. Cross your fingers and reboot! You will probably get a message asking you to confirm the removal of some leftover files. Click OK.

      38 Responses to “Remove MSN Messenger”

      1. Overhorde

        Dude… you’re my idol… Been looking for a clean delete of that retarded program

      2. Joan

        what if it is Windows 98? what must I do to remove the MSN Messenger completely?

      3. Michael

        I have a NT4 machine that when messenger is removed and all registry keys are deleted actually comes up at start up with an error saying that the msmsgs.exe could not be found, Does this mean that I have missed an entry?

      4. steve

        I followed these directions pretty much blindly not knowing what they were doing (especially the runDLL32 commands) and now I’m having a lot of trouble getting Internet Connection Sharing to work. Is it related to this, and if so is there a way to reverse these steps once everything has been removed?

      5. Daniel

        Thank you so much!!! You’ve helped many people including me!! Thx again, mate!!

      6. Judy

        My problem is the same as what Irish posted previously. (iR1sH from on July 23, 2003 07:00 AM) Will the instructions remove the right MSN Messenger? Also, how do you do the DVALUE part? Add the following registry entries, both with a DWORD value of 1: How do I add the registry entries because under the Microsoft folder in REGEDIT, I don’t have a Messenger folder (I’m not familiar with registry stuff at all!)

        HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftwarePoliciesMicrosoftMessengerClientPreventRun HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftwarePoliciesMicrosoftMessengerClientPreventAutoRun

        Thanks and I hope someone can help me out. :0)

      7. LGT

        I believe you can mere remove the icon by clicking with the right button and go to options and uncheck “show msn” option. The icon don’t appear on the next starts (at least on french XP pro version).

      8. Carol

        Never thought I’d say this….but I was fortunate enough to have a virus attach itself in my Start up area, and $40 later…the virus was gone and so was Messenger! Being a new puter user, I gotta ask, Isn’t it against some law to make it dåmn near impossible to remove this crapola??

      9. Petro

        Thanks a million. This is a huge deal as I was about to through my puter throught the window because of that intrusive Messenger. I really like the Remote Assistance feature on Messenger, but find the annoyance of automatically logging in to be overpowering. Besides PC anywhere, is there anything else like Remote Assistance out there?