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How do I uninstall MSN Messenger?

Posted By : Susan of Mesa Community College on October 15, 2003

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I have a couple .dll files, one of them being msgsc.dll, that were installed by my son, when he installed MSN Messenger. When I go to Program files to delete them, I get the message that they can't be deleted, either because the are "in use" or "write protected". I don't use Messenger, and would like anything associated with it deleted. Any suggestions?

Thank you .......Ted

This question was answered on October 15, 2003. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

Yes You can also uninstall it although I don't recommend it You'd be better off if you just disable it

You can keep Windows Messenger (uninstalling it WILL probably hurt your system), but prevent it from loading when the system starts:

First method

In Outlook Express go to TOOLS > WINDOWS MESSENGER > OPTIONS > PREFRENCES and in the general area uncheck both "Run this program when windows starts" and "Allow this program to run in the background." After doing this IM does not load on startup and Outlook Express loads as usual.

Second method

If you're running Pro, you can use GPEDIT.MSC to prevent Messenger from loading Otherwise, even disabling it in startup won't cause it to "always" not run Outlook, OE and some MS web pages can still make it load.

Start, Run and enter GPEDIT.MSC

For "per machine" restriction, go to Computer Configuration, Administrative Templates, Windows Components, Windows Messenger For "per user" restriction, go to User Configuration, Administrative Templates, Windows Components, Windows Messenger.

You can now modify whether it starts initially and/or whether its to run at all.

Note: Outlook and Outlook Express will take longer to open, unless you turn off Messenger Support In Outlook Express it is in Tools, Options, General tab In Outlook it is in Tools, Options, Other

If, however, you do want to uninstall it, there are at least 2 ways to do it:

First method

XP hides some system software you might want to remove, such as Windows Messenger, but you can tickle it and make it show up everything.

If you'd like Windows Messenger to show up in the list of programs you can add and remove from Windows, navigate to C:\WINDOWS\inf (substituting the correct drive letter for your version of Windows) and open sysoc.inf You'll see a line that reads:


Change this to the following and Windows Messenger will appear in Add or Remove Programs, then Add/Remove Windows Components, then, and you can remove it for good:


You can then go to the Add or Remove Programs in the Control Panel, select Add/Remove Windows Components and there will be your prey, exposed and vulnerable.

Second method

Make sure you close Outlook, Outlook Express and the Messenger client.

Run this command in the CMD window (line may wrap, just copy/paste it):

RunDll32 advpack.dll,LaunchINFSection %windir%\inf\msmsgs.inf,BLC.Remove

Note: This will prevent a long delay when opening Outlook Express if you have the Contacts pane enabled To prevent this, click Start, Run and enter REGEDIT Go to:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Outlook Express

Right click in the right pane and select New, Dword value Give it the name Hide Messenger

Double click this new entry and set the value to 2

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Posted by Susan of Mesa Community College on October 15, 2003

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