Disable Windows Messenger on a Windows XP machine

It's the app that won't go away. If you've removed Windows Messenger -- or so you've thought -- in favor of a different chat and videoconferencing application but still can't seem to get rid of it, Greg Shultz will tell you how to banish it from your Windows XP machine for good.

If you're using MSN Messenger as your chat and videoconferencing tool, you may never use Windows Messenger anymore and have removed it from the startup group to keep it out of your way. However, you may have seen it pop up on occasion and had to struggle with closing it down. The reason that Windows Messenger makes these impromptu appearances is that Outlook, Outlook Express and even some Microsoft Web pages can still make it load automatically. Fortunately, you can banish Windows Messenger from your desktop by making an alteration to the local group policy with the Group Policy Editor. Here's how:

  1. Access the Run dialog box by pressing [Windows][R]
  2. In the Open text box type Gpedit.msc and click OK to launch the Group Policy Editor.
  3. Go to Computer Configuration | Administrative Templates | Windows Components | Windows Messenger.
  4. Double-click the Do Not Allow Windows Messenger To Be Run setting.
  5. In the resulting dialog box, select the Enabled option, and click OK
  6. Close the Group Policy Editor.
Note: This tip applies only to Windows XP Professional.

Miss a tip?

Check out the TechRepublic Windows XP blog, and catch up on our most recent Windows XP tips.

Stay on top of the latest XP tips and tricks with our free Windows XP newsletter, delivered each Thursday. Automatically sign up today!

By Greg Shultz

Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.