What is this "Messenger Service" window, and how do I stop getting it?

Here’s a link to a screen capture I took, currently sitting in my “Yahoo Photos” account (sorry, I don’t have a better place to host it right now)

Weird “Messenger Service” thing

Anybody seen something like this before? I’m using Windows XP, and the only messaging service I’m aware of is MSN messenger.

Where am I getting this from? How do I stop it?

Spammers exploiting yet another Microsoft weakness.

info here

Short answer, you need to disable Windows Messenging in your services panel. (Not the same thing as MS Instant Messenger-- it’s intended for use on a LAN.)

I don’t use XP, so I can’t give you any detail on how to do this. Using the Windows help function and searching for “Messenger” or “Network services” ought to point you in the right direction.

Googling for “NetBIOS Spam” may help you, too.

Oh, and the reason that that particular bit of spam appears to be gibberish is that it’s point-of-origin is Korea. If you had korean-language support installed it would look a bit less cryptic.

It’s in Control Panel>Administrative Tools>Services. You want to set Messenger to Disabled and Manual, so it isn’t activated unless you want it activated.

Note: I am not responsible if something somehow goes wrong. (Don’t worry, just covering my ass.)


Using the free version of the ZoneAlarm firewall will also block these, I think. I never got one until I disabled it for a short period of time.

Yes. A firewall or popup stopper will prevent it, and it’s the only way to stop them with a Windows 95/98/Me machine.

A Win95/98/ME machine doesn’t have a Windows Messenger service, although its possible to get one.

According to http://www.auburn.edu/oit/security/messengerService.html and other sources, Messenger ships with Windows 98 and Me. Worse, it can’t be disabled; you need a firewall.

Here is the easiest way to disable Windows Messenger Service in XP without having to remove it (in case you ever want to use it in the future):

C:\Program Files\Messenger

is the default location that XP looks to to run Messenger.

Simply rename the file folder to something like:

C:\Program Files\Messenger Disabled

Now Messenger won’t start up and you can always change the file name back to the original should you ever want to use Messenger.


Wrong program dietrologia. He’s talking about the Messenger SERVICE, not the Windows Messenger or MSN Messenger programs.

Oops. Sorry about that!

That web page is wrong.

“Windows 98 & ME Windows Messenger Service cannot be disabled”.

That’s because it doesn’t exist. “WinPopup” or equivalent software is required to get “SMB Messages” under Win95/98/ME, and that’s not on any default Windows installation I’ve ever seen.

Try it. Go to a command prompt, do

NET SEND <computer or username> THIS IS A MESSAGE

You’ll see the popup on NT/2K/XP machines with the Windows Messaging service installed, but won’t see it on 95/98/ME.

Incidentally, this is a great way to annoy people.