Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.

The term "Windows Messenger" can actually mean several different programs, each of which is uninstalled differently.

How do I uninstall Windows Messenger?

NOTE: if you're here to uninstall the more recent versions of Windows Live Messenger please see this article:
How do I uninstall Windows Live Messenger?

Well, first, let's make sure we're talking about the right thing: Windows Messenger, MSN Messenger, or the Windows Messenger Service? As outlined in a prior article, those three Messengers are all different beasts.

And of course uninstalling them is handled quite differently for each.

Windows Messenger: Windows Messenger is considered a part of the Windows operating system, so to uninstall it:

  • Go to Control Panel
  • Click on Add/Remove Programs
  • Click on Add/Remove Windows Components
  • And at the bottom of the list, uncheck Windows Messenger

Now OK your way back out, and Windows Setup will run and uninstall Windows Messenger.

"... those three Messengers are all different beasts."

MSN Messenger: MSN Messenger is a separately installed application. To uninstall it:

  • Go to Control Panel
  • Click on Add/Remove Programs
  • Scroll down to find and then click on MSN Messenger
  • Click on Remove

Follow the resulting prompts, and MSN Instant Messenger will be uninstalled.

Windows Messenger Service: The Windows Messenger Service is an unfortunately named component of Windows that cannot be uninstalled. It has nothing to do with Instant Messaging, really, and can almost always be safely turned off. Here's how:

  • Right Click on My Computer
  • Click on Manage
  • Expand the Services & Applications node
  • Click on Services
  • Scroll down to find, and then double click on Messenger
  • In the resulting dialog box, set the Startup Type to Disabled.
  • Click on Stop to stop the service immediately.

Now OK your way back out, and the Windows Messenger Service will no longer run.

Article C2311 - March 21, 2005 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

May 14, 2005 3:00 AM

Oh boy, dont you know that you can remove ANYTHING in XP that you want to,including bloat that you dont need, just go to and buy yourself a copy.
PS: Run it from your flash drive for security.

May 14, 2005 4:18 PM

Get a copy of WinPatrol Plus.. You can get rid of Windows Messenger forever. Great program...

August 11, 2005 2:49 AM

Before i tried to seek help i tried to go: control panel- add/remove programs then select win messenger but its not on the list? the icon appears in my task bar and im always prompted to sign in when i start up my pc, aftrer typing uer name password it tells me theres a newer version available and i must download it to continue. when i download it, it does nothing it seems so far that this program cant be removed

August 12, 2005 7:34 PM

Follow the instructions in the article carefully - Windows Messenger is not in the list of installed programs, but it IS in the list of Windows Components.

September 19, 2005 6:37 AM

Can a buddy be taken off of my list? If so, how?

September 19, 2005 9:22 AM

hi how are u can u delete my msn account plz the e-mail address is plz can u do that then that will be a big favour thnx

September 19, 2005 9:29 AM

Laurie: click on the buddy and press delete.

September 19, 2005 9:30 AM

Sawan: you want this article:

October 18, 2005 6:19 AM

Can i delete this email address?

October 18, 2005 2:04 PM

How do i delete MSN messenger email dropdown list from a MAC version??

May 1, 2006 1:38 PM

You don't explain how to uninstall MSn

Leo A. Notenboom
May 1, 2006 5:25 PM

"MSN" is not something you uninstall. MSN Messenger is, and the article discussess that.

Aaron Saunders
October 26, 2006 3:37 PM

Hi, I have the same problem as many, and have tried everything on every other site what has been recomended to me, a friend suggested I ask you for satisfactory results. Anyway, I recently installed "MSN Pollygamy" everytime i try to uninstall it, the pop up that says "Your current trail time is expire.Please register or uninstall all products of MSN content plus."

I've tried to uninstall it on "Add Remove programes", but it just won't have any of it,I hope someone can help me, as it is really widning me up, and making my computer run slow!

Thank's for your time


December 8, 2006 12:37 AM

Hi, if you try to uninstall MSN polygamy, I get this from another forum, in my case it works, I have windows xp profesional

I quote:
Hi all

I have windows xp home edition and I could finally uninstall MSN Content Plus.

Follow these steps:

1. Start windows in safe mode (Pressing F8 while restarting the system)
2. Go to C:\WINDOWS
3. Look for these two files: msnlogm.exe and msnlogs.exe
4. Delete those files.

June 5, 2007 1:44 PM

I was going to follow your instructions on removing Windows Messenger, but it appears your instructions are INCORRECT. According to my XP, it says that unchecking Windows Messenger will only remove ACCESS to this program thru the start menu. This statement is further supported by the fact that it also indicates that it takes up "0.0 MB" of space. If I was removing the actual component I don't think it would be 0MB in size!

March 4, 2008 7:42 AM

google windows live installer clean up installer.
I downloaded that. I then manually took out windows live messenger, and windows live agent or something like that.
Then I sent to add remove and took out one windows live thing that was left.
I GOT RID OF THAT windows live messenger that I could not delete or run.
I wanted messenger so tried to install msn messenger 7. It told me I had to upgrade to install . I did so and got back windows live messenger but at least now it WORKS.

Please post back if this works for you.

June 1, 2008 2:03 PM

hi everybody, I guess you can solve the 'you don't have the permissions' problem with this:!.html
Hope this helps melissa.

June 20, 2008 8:21 AM

Actually, the option in Add/Remove Windows Components there in Add or Remove Programs will
just remove the shortcut -- it'll still stay around.

To properly and completely remove Windows Messenger 4.7, you'll need to click the Start
button, then click Run and enter:
RunDll32 advpack.dll,LaunchINFSection %windir%\INF\msmsgs.inf,BLC.Remove
Then click OK.

colin chapman
August 20, 2008 9:01 AM

i need to get hotmail out of my system (vista), i have removed msn live mesenger from the add and remove programes but hotmail is still there. also when i loged on to hotmail it always came up with an error has ocured, any more tips please.

Hotmail is not something installed on your machine, it's just a website you visit. Don't visit it.


October 15, 2008 12:03 PM

You can manually uninstall Windows Live Messenger Beta (if you use Windows XP) by clicking the start button, then click "Run" and type this in the box.
msiexec /x {B1403D7D-C725-4858-AACC-7E5FA2D72859}

It worked for me. I'm not sure if it works for Vista.

October 30, 2008 4:25 PM

msiexec /x {B1403D7D-C725-4858-AACC-7E5FA2D72859}
I was trying to uninstall the damn WLM Beta Version... Nothing helped... Untill i googled this webpage...and i found the solution here...
Its brilliant...
Thanks thanks ... Thanks a bunch...
What a relief!!!
I am never installing the beta version again..huh!! :)

November 6, 2008 8:19 AM

Thanks for the msiexec /x {B1403D7D-C725-4858-AACC-7E5FA2D72859}...this is working fine. open the ''run'' and past this text ,copy on the run...and push the ok...

November 15, 2008 11:15 AM

thx guys, everything works fine for me... in RUN just copy this:
msiexec /x {B1403D7D-C725-4858-AACC-7E5FA2D72859}

and your problems will disappear... :D:D:D

Abu-Bakr Taha
November 16, 2008 7:19 AM

msiexec /x {B1403D7D-C725-4858-AACC-7E5FA2D72859}

works fine with me too

many thnx

November 21, 2008 12:41 PM

Alena, I had this problem too. I couldn't install 8.5 at all and got that error too. However, 8.1 installed fine on mine! good luck.

November 24, 2008 12:10 PM

msiexec /x {B1403D7D-C725-4858-AACC-7E5FA2D72859}

Works Fine :) Thanks.

December 2, 2008 4:47 AM

i have the same problem with some of the above.
windows live beta wont uninstal!! :(
please can someone help mee??

December 2, 2008 7:11 AM

msiexec /x {B1403D7D-C725-4858-AACC-7E5FA2D72859}
Write this in the cmd.exe
And press enter and yes or okay.
If u have vista, u type in cmd in the search on "start". ^^
For sophie and all other vista people.


naaish ibrahim
December 13, 2008 12:22 PM

download my ninstaller. and uninstall in one min.

add me

Holly Smith
December 28, 2008 7:35 AM

I go to uninstall windows live and it comes up with something about system administrator. What do i do?

Sorry, "something about" isn't really enough for me to go on. Could be many things. I need the exact error message.
- Leo

Naaish ibrahim
January 7, 2009 10:26 PM

download my uninstaller. and uninstall in one min.

add me

Ali Zaidi
January 8, 2009 1:21 PM

To uninstall Windows Live Messenger, click Start, then Run if using XP, then type/paste the following and press Enter:
msiexec /x {0AAA9C97-74D4-47CE-B089-0B147EF3553C}


January 27, 2009 4:01 AM

I found out on a web... it works for me

to uninstall Windows Live Messenger, click Start, then Run if using XP, then type/paste the following and press Enter:
msiexec /x {0AAA9C97-74D4-47CE-B089-0B147EF3553C}

January 28, 2009 4:14 PM

To Alex: My Webcam would not work with the latest version. I unistalled it thanks to you and reinstalled an older version.. Everything is working smoothly..

February 3, 2009 10:30 PM

this worked for me thanks
msiexec /x {0AAA9C97-74D4-47CE-B089-0B147EF3553C}

O.A. Orcan
February 13, 2009 4:40 AM

I had uninstalling problems with many softwares until I found out about revouninstaller freeware utility. Good freeware utilities are really rare and this one is a real gem from a respectable source. It even finds out leftovers (sometimes deliberately omitted in normal uninstallers supplied with software which makes you wonder).
I used MS supplied messenger uninstaller, a "zapmessenger" utility and in its deep clean mode and revo still found some leftovers. It also has a beautiful GUI that can supply info such as install and registry locations, connect to web for info and updates, etc.
Highly recommended for all...

The Clever Man
February 13, 2009 3:40 PM


February 17, 2009 9:40 AM

Everybody who can't uninstall Windows Live Messenger 9, listen to what The Clever Man said:

Paste this into "Run":
msiexec /x {0AAA9C97-74D4-47CE-B089-0B147EF3553C}

It worked perfectly and I'm now able to log in =)

Triad Kin3z0
March 4, 2009 9:01 AM

ANSWER: Uninstall/Remove Windows Live

If you can't UNINSTALL Windows Live version 8.1 or 9 or whatever, or can't re-install old version because it says new version is still in the system, then you must download a program name ZapMessenger. Open it, push START in the icon button and it will remove anything has to do with Windows Live, then you reinstall which ever Windows Live version you desire, but I think Windows Live 8.5 to 9 don't work on some Windows XP with SP2. Goodluck everyone & I hope you can copy and paste this into other forums to help them. Thanks

March 21, 2009 1:35 AM

If nothing on the comment works, you might use the web messenger for a while until you can find a solution to remove it, the site is

April 10, 2009 2:14 PM

there is sort of a way to uninstall the 2009 version of windows live messenger.

my computer go to tools, folder options and then view, show hidden files and folders

then search for messenger in the files and folders on my computer and then follow the path that is found for those files. i.e. c/documents and settings/windows live messenger. [that was just as an example]

then you just delete the messenger files you want to delete, so it wont delete windows live mail or any other windows live programs unless you want to.

April 15, 2009 7:35 AM

I understand that MSN 2009 doesn't come with an uninstaller, so you have to type or copy and paste the following into the "run" commend.

If you do not know what's a run commend, click the start button and you should see "Run".

Click "run".

Once you see the small box, copy and paste the following that it will start the uninstaller of Windows Live Messenger 2009.

msiexec /x {0AAA9C97-74D4-47CE-B089-0B147EF3553C}

Just copy and paste it and the uninstaller will start.

April 22, 2009 6:04 AM

The last step Worked!!!!!
Click "run"
msiexec /x {0AAA9C97-74D4-47CE-B089-0B147EF3553C}
Just copy and paste it and the uninstaller will start.
than kyou very much

April 30, 2009 2:33 PM

ive deleted it but now i am trying to download windows live messenger 8.5, the one i used to have, but i cant seem to a good download

June 1, 2009 11:11 PM

msiexec /x {0AAA9C97-74D4-47CE-B089-0B147EF3553C}

this step work great thanks to the aouther

June 2, 2009 11:53 AM

Go to "Control Panel" and select "Add & Remove", uninstal all the 'Messenger Live' programs, then go to CCleaner to get 'msn messenger' out of the 'Start Up' list. Then select 'Registry' on CCleanup to remove all the 'left behind' programs. Now restart the computer and open Explorer (not Mozilla!), go to to download the previous version of msn messenger: [broken link removed] click on 'download here' and RUN the installation program. this work for me and i got my old msn back today

June 2, 2009 11:22 PM

Yes this step is working fine
msiexec /x {0AAA9C97-74D4-47CE-B089-0B147EF3553C}

Thanks you so much

June 3, 2009 12:43 AM

msiexec /x {0AAA9C97-74D4-47CE-B089-0B147EF3553C}

Works great thanks...

June 5, 2009 1:26 PM

thank you are a star m8t

June 6, 2009 1:21 PM

thank u!!!
this really works!!

June 6, 2009 8:39 PM

This step works
msiexec /x {0AAA9C97-74D4-47CE-B089-0B147EF3553C}
Thanks a lots man

June 7, 2009 9:03 PM

thanks so much this step [ msiexec /x {0AAA9C97-74D4-47CE-B089-0B147EF3553C} ] works so great with me, Subhan'Allah I was going to reinstall windows Xp all over again, thanks so much that u save all of this time on me :D

June 9, 2009 8:08 PM

You are a genious! msiexec /x {0AAA9C97-74D4-47CE-B089-0B147EF3553C} worked like a charm. Thank you!!!

June 12, 2009 2:49 AM

Genius...... msiexec /x {0AAA9C97-74D4-47CE-B089-0B147EF3553C} WORKED SO GREAT... I struggled for half an trying to uninstall this...

June 14, 2009 3:11 AM

Hello. Please help. I have Windows XP and I cant uninstall my windows live messenger. I have tried for a month now =( It started with it having error codes for quite some time so I decided to uninstall it. These are the things I tried to remove messenger:

1. I went to Add/Remove Programs in Control Panel, well I saw Windows Live Essential in the list but when i click it to remove, nothing happened.

2. So I stupidly rashly >. and it said can be uninstalled manually by typing msiexec /x {B1403D7D-C725-4858-AACC-7E5FA2D72859} at Run. I pressed Enter but it said I need to install windows live first for it to uninstall. Huh??! But when I tried installing at, it said I have ALL THE SERVICES INSTALLED! Waaaaaa I feel like crying now! =(

4. Went to Add/Remove Programs again. Clicked Add/Remove Windows Component. I unchecked Windows Messenger and clicked next. After it finishes...nothing happened. Tried installing, said ALL WINDOWS LIVE SERVICES ARE INSTALLED.

5. Went to Regedit and disabled messenger but luck.

6. Decided to manually remove windows live folder (since I still see the folder in Local Disk C) but its write protected. So I stupidly deleted one by one the components inside the folder. Well some of them are protected but some could be removed. So yea, I did that.

7. Went to Add/Remove Programs again and saw Windows Live Essential still in list. Clicked on it again to remove it and heeeey it did! It said that urmm cant remember but something like its corrupted or some files are gone or something. Not sure what it said. And I thought its removed for good! So I tried installing...but... -.- it said i still have all the services installed!

8. Searched for websites that have ways to uninstall windows live messenger 2009 but still no luck..until now still...sigh...

I hope anyone please..anyone help me!! I love messenger and all I ever wanted was to make it run again so thats why I thought by uninstalling, it would refresh the services and it would be normal again but now its all a mess! All the services (including Live Safety, Hotmail etc etc) are installed (so it says..although I have removed them..well thats what I believed I did) and I now cant install OR uninstall messenger. And theres also no folder of windows live messenger and neither can I find msnmsgr at Run. Im stucked with all these mess...its all up in the air! Pleeeease help.. I would appreciate it alot. =(

June 15, 2009 12:10 AM

msiexec /x {0AAA9C97-74D4-47CE-B089-0B147EF3553C} - worked like a charm thanks!

June 15, 2009 6:34 PM

So, I wanted to uninstall MSN Messenger. Stupidly, I followed the advise of a friend and deleted the program from my Control Panel. Of course, now I realize that that won't work. Now that I want it back to use it, I don't have a shortcut or anything, but whenever I try to install it, Windows Live says I already have it installed. What can I do to get Msn Messenger back???

June 15, 2009 6:37 PM

Haha sorry same person as the message above, it's just that I need to make an adjustment ... I didn't delete it from my Control Panel, but rather from my prgram files. I'd really appreciate any help that could be given.

June 16, 2009 3:44 PM

Sounds like this is a major bug, because it has to be one. I've obviously got the same problem as pretty much everyone above, and there's NOTHING left of Windows Live Messenger on my computer, still can't install it.

June 20, 2009 8:15 AM

windows live messenger uninstalled smoothly
thankx a lot
run -
msiexec /x {0AAA9C97-74D4-47CE-B089-0B147EF3553C}

Lenn Dolling
June 24, 2009 10:52 PM

Whoo hooo!! the msiexe worked Great!! it found the install and uninstalled the bad msn and let me install the one I want! Thanks. Lenn Dolling

July 9, 2009 5:50 AM

omg i deleted the WLM from program files.
and when i tried wat everyone said worked:
msiexec /x {0AAA9C97-74D4-47CE-B089-0B147EF3553C}
they said something like "make sure u have this program and can access it"
T___T i need msn.

July 9, 2009 5:52 AM

i finally managed to load it..
but in the end it said :
the application has failed to start because its side-to-side config in incorrect. please see the application event log for more details.
help? T__T

July 9, 2009 5:53 AM

after that i clicked:
msiexec /x {0AAA9C97-74D4-47CE-B089-0B147EF3553C}

it said that its only valid for installed programs.
but my msn is still in program files..

July 18, 2009 4:03 PM

I have the same problem. I have an older version of messenger on my computer. when I install windows live it won't let install the messenger since I already have it. Tried to uninstall windows live and reinstall it and I get the same message all the time. My computer was defragmented yesterday so it should be working fine.

July 19, 2009 8:31 AM

I like to add that my computer was formatted 2 days ago and not defragged, so there should be no problem really with installing or installing programs.

Test User
July 19, 2009 4:42 PM

go to add remove programs click on windows live essentials click change remove then you will get an option to unistall part of windows live essentials that includes messenger 2009

July 30, 2009 6:45 AM

If (like me) you can find it in the add/remove programs section but there's no button to remove it showing try the following - it worked for me. Click START, then RUN and in the box copy the following msiexec /x {0AAA9C97-74D4-47CE-B089-0B147EF3553C} and then press return.

August 5, 2009 7:29 AM

can you help me with msn a got 1 new msn i dont like the new 1 im installing it and it tell me you have to delete the new msn but i did delete it wot shall i do?????????????

August 17, 2009 9:09 AM

hi, okay. well everytime i sign on msn messenger, my old picture and old status from friday keeps popping up and im really getting annoyed because i have to keep changing it, people say uninstall msn messenger and i have but it keeps doing this, what shall i do?

August 27, 2009 2:01 PM

Brilliant!!!! I tried everything to get rid of windows live messenger and so did 2 techs from norton, but no good, until I came across your site and WOW!! fingers crossed it has gone. Thanks for sharing your knowledge it is much appreciated.

audrey french
September 19, 2009 4:32 AM

Have followed instructions to go to Add/Remove programmes but have no 'remove windows components' on my list so cannot complete the process. I also read that Mocrosoft recommend 'disabling' rather than 'uninstalling', but how do I do this?

paul redfern
October 11, 2009 3:14 PM

i had messenger 8.1. loved it. now they said i had to update to 9 and it sux big time. i couldnt even figga out how to send when i typed in a message. no bloody button. and i couldnt get my koi pond background. so i deleted the whole bloody mess. and soon ill go to linux and dump the whole windows mess too. they think they run the whole world. im told foxfire messenger is good. ill go there or to yoohoo. anything but windows. gee i love having a place to vent my anger.

October 28, 2009 8:13 AM

If you are having difficulty re-installing windows live essentials after having removed it from your computer[xp or vista]it is because it was installed with the windows installer and this programme is telling the windows live installer that the programmes are still on your machine.Download and use the windows installer cleanup tool to remove the offending entry/s which relate to the windows live installation[they should be referenced by the version number of the live installation]
This means that the uninstallation of windows live or components is not complete until you have run the windows installer cleanup for the respective programme.

November 27, 2009 10:14 AM

So ive done everything. Ive removed all content from programs and went into my registry to remove as much windows live things that i could find ...But It seems no matter how much i remove more just keeps getting found. Its everywhere in my system and each time i get rid of a significant amount of things i try to re download an older version and it keeps saying ive got a new version still installed. So i guess my question is what exact file name (key ect) should i be searching for in my registry to get rid of windows live forever!

December 9, 2009 9:35 PM

hey i deleted the file so i cannot uninstall it and cannot daownload it again......wat shall i do????????

December 21, 2009 8:58 AM

I went to my control panel and uninstalled the latest MSN messenger I had on there. It left the earlier version. It will not let me sign in. I would like to uninstall all msn messengers but can't figure out how.

December 26, 2009 12:17 AM

by unistalling msn messenger will i loose all my contacts in outlook express also

December 26, 2009 5:59 AM

I've built this tool that should remove any version of WLM. If you try it, I would appreciate a little feedback.

January 2, 2010 4:09 AM

In that case you should really try this Windows Live Messenger Uninstaller that I have posted above:

I would recommend covering this tool as an alternative because it helped a lot of people already.

Done. Added to the more current How do I Uninstall Windows Live Messenger? article. Thanks! Also closing comments on this one due to it's age.

Comments on this entry are closed.

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