Windows - Stopping Windows Messenger Pop-Up Spam

This document details how to stop the "Windows Messenger" service, preventing messenger pop-up ads from appearing. Windows NT, 2000 and XP systems are vulnerable to receiving unsolicited pop-up advertisements through a windows component called "Windows Messenger".

Windows 9x/2000/XP
UNSUPPORTED

NOTE: Windows 95/98, Windows Me, Windows 2000, and Windows XP are no longer supported by the Help Desk. We can only provide best effort support. If we are unable to resolve your Windows 9x/2000/XP issue, you may be able to find help in Microsoft's Knowledge Base.

These products are no longer actively supported by Microsoft. No further development will take place on these products and security updates are no longer issued. It is highly recommended that you upgrade to Windows 8, 7, or Vista.

SYMPTOM

Advertisments or other unusual messages suddenly appear on screen inside a "Messenger Service" window.

CAUSE

Windows Messenger (not to be confused with the MSN Messenger chat program) is a windows service designed to allow system administrators to send text messages to users on a network. The service is also used by Windows itself for certain types of communications to the user.

Unfortunately, the service can also be used by anonymous third parties -- including commercial advertisers -- to send pop-up messages directly to your display. The messenger service is enabled by default on Windows NT, 2000 and XP systems.

SOLUTION

Messenger pop-up spam can be prevented by closing TCP and UDP ports 135 and 137-139 with a firewall. Describing firewall configuration is beyond the scope of this document

Alternatively, the Windows Messenger service can be disabled. Be aware that doing so may also result in Windows not being able to alert you to certain conditions, including (but not limited to):

  • Printer spooler messages
  • Anti-virus messages
  • Event logger status messages

Disabling Windows Messenger on Windows NT and 2000

  1. Click Start->Programs->Administrative Tools->Services.
  2. Scroll down and select Messenger.
  3. Right-click the selected line and choose Properties from the pop-up menu.
  4. Click the STOP button.
    To prevent the messenger service from starting again on reboot

    Select Disable or Manual from the "Startup Type" list.

  5. Click OK when finished.

Disabling Windows Messenger on Windows XP

  1. Click Start->Control Panel.
  2. Click Performance and Maintenance
    (Step 2 is unnecessary if the Control Panel is in the "Classic View").

  3. Click Administrative Tools.
  4. Double-click Services.
  5. Scroll down and select Messenger
  6. Right-click the selected line and choose Properties from the pop-up menu.
  7. Click the STOP button.
    To prevent the messenger service from starting again on reboot

    Select Disable or Manual from the Startup Type list.

  8. Click OK when finished.



Keywords:windows message messenger messaging pop up spam ads advertisements NT xp 2000 netbios win9x2kdisclaimer   Doc ID:1923
Owner:Xander Z.Group:DoIT Help Desk
Created:2003-02-24 19:00 CDTUpdated:2015-10-01 09:50 CDT
Sites:DoIT Help Desk
Feedback:  3   2