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How do I disable Messenger Service pop-ups?

If you are using Windows 2000 or Windows XP, from time to time you may see grey pop-up messages appear on your screen. These are so-called spam pop-ups, sent by other internet users via the Windows Messenger Service software.

To avoid receiving such unsolicited messages, you can change your Windows settings to disable Messenger Service on your PC. AOL 9.0 users can do this very easily by signing on to AOL and running AOL Computer Check-Up.

Note: Most home users can make this change without affecting any other programs. (In particular, it will not affect your use of MSN Messenger or any other Instant Messaging software.)
If your PC is part of a network, you may wish to check with the network manager or administrator before making any changes.

To disable Windows Messenger Service:

AOL 9.0 users:

  1. Sign on to AOL and go to AOL Keyword: Computer Check-Up.
  2. Click Check My Computer!
  3. Click Continue to start the check-up.
  4. Wait for the check-up to complete.
  5. When finished, a Here's what we found page will be displayed, listing any troublesome issues found on your PC:
    • If the list contains You might be seeing Messenger spam popups under the Online Experience section, then click the spanner icon to automatically turn off Messenger Service on your PC.
    • If the list does not mention Messenger Service, or simply says No issues found, then Messenger Service is already disabled on your PC, and you don't need to do anything.

Users of AOL 8.0 and below on Windows XP:

  1. On the Start menu, click Control Panel, then click Administrative Tools. (If this option is not visible, click Performance and Maintenance first.)
  2. Double-click Services.
  3. Scroll through the list of services until you see Messenger, and then double-click it.
  4. In the Startup Type list, click Disabled.
  5. Under Service Status, click Stop, and then click OK.

Users of AOL 8.0 and below on Windows 2000:

  1. On the Start menu, point to Settings, click Control Panel, and then double-click Administrative Tools.
  2. Double-click Services.
  3. Scroll through the list of services until you see Messenger, and then double-click it.
  4. In the Startup Type list, click Disabled.
  5. Under Service Status, click Stop, and then click OK.

Notes:

  • If you change your mind and later wish to re-enable Messenger Service, simply follow the above steps 1 to 3, then select Automatic from the Startup Type list, click Apply, then click Start.
  • You must be logged in as a Windows Administrator to enable or disable Messenger Service.
  • More information on Messenger Service pop-ups is available from the Microsoft web site.