How to Remove Windows XP’s Messenger

Remove Messenger

One of my least used Windows component is XP’s Messenger. And it’s got an annoying behavior to show up once in a while running in the background our sitting quite smugly in my system tray. Now, by logic, I can remove it easily by removing it from my installed Windows components. But lo and behold, once I open my Add/Remove Windows Components, there’s no option for Messenger! Windows has hidden the option from sight so it’s up to you to make it “visible” to remove it. Here’s how you do it.

  1. Open Windows Explorer and go to your Windows directory
  2. Navigate to the INF folder. This folder can be hidden to you may want to set Windows to show hidden and system files via Tools -> Folder Options -> View tab
  3. Open sysoc.inf (Before modifying files, create a backups!)
  4. Look for the line that contains msmsgs
  5. At the end of the line, you’ll find hide as part of the line
  6. Delete it so that you’ll have the 2 commas adjacent to each other
  7. Save and close the file
  8. Open the Add/Remove Windows Components and you’ll find Messenger there. Just uncheck the box and click ok.