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Windows Messenger service is almost never needed, and is exploited by spammers when it's running. Follow these steps to disable 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.
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.
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.