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How do I disable the Windows Messenger service?

I keep getting these pop-up messages. They’re very plain, just grey boxes
with an OK button, but they are annoying. Someone told me it’s from something
called the “Messenger Service” and that I can turn it off. How?

First let’s be clear, Windows Messenger Service is
not related to the Messenger instant messaging programs – it’s
something else entirely. It’s a “service”, which is software that runs in the
background, listening for incoming network messages, and popping up a very
simple box containing the message when one arrives.

And it’s very easy to turn off.

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As you’ve seen, the Windows Messenger Service has been exploited by SPAMmers
to pop-up unwanted advertising messages on unprotected machines on the
internet. The average user has absolutely no need for the Windows Messenger
Service and it can safely be turned off.

“The average user has absolutely no need for the Windows
Messenger Service and it can safely be turned off.”

To turn off the Windows Messenger Service:

  • Click on Start

  • Click on Programs

  • Click on Accessories

  • Click on Administrative Tools

  • Click on Computer Management

  • In the Computer Management tool, expand Services &
    Applications
    in the left-hand pane by clicking on the plus sign in
    front of it.

  • Click on Services in the resulting list.

  • In the right hand pane, scroll down until you find the entry
    Messenger, and double click on it.

  • In the resulting properties box set the Startup Type to
    Disabled.

  • You can also click on Stop, to stop the service
    immediately.

  • Click OK, close the Computer Management window, and you’re
    done.

Windows Messenger Service might be used in a corporate environment – for
example when you send a document to a network printer. The messenger service
handles the pop-up message that the printer sends back when it has
finished.

But in the home, or even in a small office setting, there’s simply no
need.

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17 comments on “How do I disable the Windows Messenger service?”

  1. There is a very small program called “Shoot the Messenger”. Google “Steve Gibson”, and you can get it there. It disables Windows Messenger Service with one click and it’s free.

    Reply
  2. I need the messenger service to receive alerts from Performance Monitor counters I monitor. But sometimes I come in on a Monday morning with several hundred alerts stacked up from the weekend.

    Short of rebooting, is there a way to clear the queue of all these messages? Stopping/restarting the service doesn’t clear the queued messages.

    Reply
  3. To disable Messenger Servie, you can also click:
    Start
    Control Panel
    Administrative Tools
    Services
    and then find Messenger click on it and click stop.

    Reply
  4. Hi Leo, I clicked on start, accessories but there is no Administative Tools’ etc. I also tried right clicking on My Computer, and clicking on “Manage” but nothing happened. You said “click on manage on the resulting popup menu.” which I did but nothing happens when I click on manage. How in the H— do I get rid of Windows Messenger? Thanks

    Reply
  5. Click 1-START 2-Control panel 3- performance and Maintenance 4- Administrative tools 5- Services 6- Find MESSENGER click on it on the right hand and chose STOP. You will be fine 😉

    Reply
  6. The procedure outlined above does not work in Windows Vista because there is no Service with the word Messenger on Windows Vista.

    Reply
  7. Nothing above worked for me, but I figured out how to do it for myself. For Vista Users: Click the Start Button on your keyboard (it is the one with the Microsoft logo) and then go to Control Panel. Click on Administrative Tools (I assume that you have to be the Administrator to find this as an option). Find System Configuration in the list and click on it. Click Continue. When the box appears, click on the Startup Folder at the top. Scroll down till you see Windows Live Messenger (it was at the bottom of my list). Uncheck it and and then click Apply at the bottom of the box. It will tell you that you need to restart your computer to apply this change. Restart the computer and Goodbye Windows Messenger!

    Reply
  8. Windows Messenger Service was removed for Vista and Windows 7 as a security precaution. Hackers were utilizing it in malicious manners. IT IS NOT THE SAME AS YOUR MESSENGER APPLICATIONS, SUCH AS WINDOWS LIVE MESSENGER AND AOL INSTANT MESSENGER, AS STATED ABOVE.

    Reply
  9. This is not available in windows 7.

    I can find it in My XP machine so from that i able to stop the messanger services but in WIN7….. Nthng like that is available.

    Right. It’s been done away with in Windows 7 (perhaps even Vista).

    Leo
    24-Feb-2011

    Reply
  10. i want to enable my messenger service, but a notification always popped up everytime i print. how can i get rid of this message while my messenger service is turned on?

    Reply

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